WORK PERMIT IN RUSSIA
In general, a foreign employee assigned to work in the Russian Federation should have a degree of appropriate knowledge, specialized skills or managerial/executive-level skills that are not available in Russia's labour market.
"Regularisation" of Immigration Status from Visitor Status to Work Status
A foreign employee may not convert her/his immigration status from a "Visitor" (travelling on the basis of a tourist or business visa) to "Work" status while remaining in Russia. The employee can be present in Russia on the basis of travel or business visa while the work permit application is being processed; at that time he/she does not have authorisation to work in Russia. Once the work permit is obtained the employee (the inviting company) should apply for obtaining the invitation for the work visa on its basis in the Russian Consulate abroad.
Types of Work Visas
There are two types of work visas:
a) Ordinary Visa Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Purpose: Work Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this visa is issued to the foreign employee working in the company established in the Russian Federation;
b) Ordinary Visa Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Purpose: Representative office employee visa Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this visa is issued to the foreign employee working in the representative or branch office of the foreign company in the Russian Federation.
Visas are distinguished as single entry work visa (representative office employee visa) valid up to 3 months and multiple entry work visa (representative office employee visa) valid up to 1 year.
In order to sponsor a work permit application, a Russian company sponsor must first be formally registered in Russia. That sponsor must then obtain an employment permit; this process involves an evaluation of the application by three different Russian government agencies: The Local Employment Service, the Moscow Department of Federal Employment Service and the Federal Migration Service.
Obtaining the employment permit is a three-step process. First, the corporate sponsor must obtain approval to employ foreign employees from the Local Employment Service. This step generally requires a processing time of 21 business days. Second, the sponsor must obtain approval to employ foreign employees from the Federal Employment Service (Moscow Department). The approximate processing time for this step is 10-14 business days. Third, the employment permit is obtained from the Federal Migration Service, a process that requires approximately 30 business days. Please note that in some regions of the Russian Federation, obtaining the employment permit requires the additional step of obtaining an opinion from the local Trade Union authorities. This process requires roughly 10-12 business days.
Once the employment permit is successfully obtained, the work permit is obtained by submitting an application to the Local Migration Service (Migration Service of the Central Department of Internal Affairs in Moscow). This process requires approximately 21 business days.
The next step towards completing the process is obtaining separate invitation letters allowing the employee and each accompanying family member to apply for a single entry visa for the purposes of work from the Russian Consulate with jurisdiction over his or her place of legal residence. The sponsoring company should apply to the Passport and Visa Department to obtain the invitation letters on behalf of the employee and each family member. Upon issue of the invitation letters, the employee and family members can apply for her/his single entry visa. A personal appearance at the Russian consulate to obtain this single entry visa is not required.
Once the single entry visa for the purposes of work and residence is obtained through the Consulate, the employee (and family members, if applicable) may enter Russia and immediately commence to work. However, immediately upon arrival, the employee and family members must undergo the formalities of registering with the Passport and Visa Department, and converting their single entry visas into multiple entry visas valid up to 1 year.
Basic Requirements to Qualify
1. Employment permit stipulates number, positions and countries of the nationality of foreign employees that the company is authorised to hire.
2. Representative and branch offices can employ foreigners within the framework of the quota of the accredited employees, which stipulates initial 5 foreigners. Representative and branch offices may increase the quota of accredited foreign employees in the accreditation authority. Without increasing quota, the employment permit for more than 5 foreign employees cannot be issued.
3. Preferential procedure of employment of highly qualified specialists for the position of director, his deputies, as well as for foreign employees of accredited representative office was abolished.
4. It is absolutely essential that the foreign employee has the name of the same company stated in her/his work permit and her/his work visa.
5. The hiring company should place on deposit of the Federal Migration Service the approximate price of a one-way airplane ticket to the country of origin for each foreign employee.
6. The representative office employee visa is issued on the base of personal accreditation card, that is sponsored by the accreditation authority.
7. Medical examination by a registered physician in a Russian State clinic certifying that the applicant is free of tuberculosis, leprosy, HIV, syphilis, Chlamydia and genital chancres. For those persons applying for a Residence Permit in Moscow, an additional test certifying a negative result for the presence of narcotics is also required.
Russian Corporate Documents Required for Employment Permit
The sponsoring Russian employer must present the following documents:
1. Charter (3 notarised copies);
2. Certificate of Registration;
3. Certificate of entry into the Consolidated State Register (3 notarised copies);
4. Licence (if any, 3 notarised copies);
5. Statistic Committee Certificate (3 notarised copies);
6. Certificate of registration at Tax Inspectorate (3 notarised copies);
7. Draft of labour agreement with the foreign employee;
8. Lease agreement on premises occupied by foreign employee (a copy);
9. Power of Attorney (to be drafted by local vendor);
10. Balance-sheet for the most recent quarter, if applicable (a copy and the original);
11. Bank reference (funds on account);
12. Original of receipt for payment of the state duty (3,000 rubles and 1,000 rubles for each foreign employee);
13. Original of documents proving the payment of deposit, which is required in case of employee's departure from the Russian Federation.
Employee and Family Documents (Most Commonly Requested)
The following personal documents are required to obtain work permit:
1. Passport copies of a foreign employee's and each family member's passports. Passports should be valid no less than for 6 months.
2. Copy of Certificate proving the foreign employee's professional education, obtained in the foreign state or equivalence of such a document to a Russian certificate of the professional education.
3. Medical examination by a registered physician in a Russian State clinic certifying that the applicant is free of tuberculosis, leprosy, HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and genital chancres. For those persons applying for a Residence Permit in Moscow, an additional test certifying a negative result for the presence of narcotics is also required. Medical Certificates cannot be issued for more than 90 days from the exam date.
4. 2 photographs 3x4 (mat, colour) of the employee and each family member;
5. Notarised copy of the spouse's Marriage Certificate.
6. Notarised copy of each child's birth certificate with names of both parent's evidenced.
The approximate time to assemble all corporate and employee's personal documentation is approximately one month. The term for obtaining the employment permit is 2 months. The work permit is obtained within 21 working days. Single entry work visa can be obtained within 12 working days, the multiple entry one Ã¢â‚¬â€œ within 21 working days.
Validity of the Work Visa
A single entry work visa is valid up to 3 months and enables to the foreigner to come to Russia within these 3 months and begin to work. A multiple entry work visa is valid up to 1 year.
Documents Required to Apply for a Work Visa
Following are the documents required to obtain the work visa, which should be provided by the foreign employee to the Russian Consulate:
1. Application form;
2. Passport copy (necessary pages) of a foreign employee. Passport should be valid no less than for 6 months;
3. Copy of employment permit with grant of original;
4. Copy of work permit (a plastic card) with grant of original;
5. 3 photographs 3x4 (mat, colour) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for re-registration of a single entry visa into a multiple exit-entry visa;
6. Required application fee.
Registration for Residence Permit and Tax Card
Foreigners (and their dependents) must register their residence within three days upon their arrival to the Russian Federation. If a foreigner would like to live in the private sector, the landlord of the apartment (house) has to give her/his consent on registration of the foreign citizen, which has to be legalised in House managing service (DEZ). Consent has to be provided by all individuals that are permanently registered in the apartment.
Foreigners arriving to the Russian Federation are not obliged to register as a taxpayer and to receive tax card.
FAMILY AND DEPENDENTS
Spouse and Children
The inviting organisation in Russia must submit separate invitation applications on behalf of the employee and each accompanying family member in order for the employee and each family member to apply simultaneously for their entry visas at a Russian consular post.
Separate invitations are required whether family members are accompanying as Tourists (for short term visits) or for residence (long-term work assignment).
Unmarried Partners (Opposite-Sex)
The Russian legislation does not stipulate the opportunity of obtaining dependents visas for the opposite-sex partners which marriage is not officially registered.
Unmarried Partners (Same-Sex)
The Russian legislation does not stipulate the opportunity of obtaining dependents visas for the same-sex partners which marriage is not officially registered.
Ability to Work
Dependents (family member) visa does not allow to its holder to work in the Russian Federation. To secure the employment in the Russian Federation dependents (family members) should obtain their personal work permit and work visa.