Expat life in Moscow


The Expat Community

Moscow is home to a large and growing expat community, as more and more companies set up there. While established companies are reducing their expat complements, as local experience comes on stream, new companies rely heavily on expats.

Meeting People

In Moscow, you can be sure that if you go out alone for a drink, you need not remain alone, as the expat community is very sociable and mixes easily, with everybody from CEOs to TEFL teachers joining in.

Although it's not always obvious on the surface, Russian people are friendly and hospitable, and once you make friends, you have made a friend indeed, one who will do their best to help and support you in a way most Western Europeans never would.

What's there to do in Moscow?

This is a huge city with endless possibilities – sightseeing, theatres, sports, shopping, eating out – all of this is to be found in Moscow in abundance. And beyond the city limits, there is the beautiful Russian countryside that so inspired the poets and writers – and close at hand, the rest of Europe is only a short flight away.

Getting visa for Russian trip

If you are planning your first visit to Russia, the main issue to solve is obtaining a visa.

The process of getting a visa in Russia is similar to other countries. First of all, one should decide which type of visa is required.

A tourist visa – If you are visiting the RF for the first time and the aim of your trip is a Home Search and Orientation Tour, a tourist visa is fine. It takes from two days to three weeks to get this type of visa. You may book a hotel, which will send you an invitation by Telex. To apply for the visa you need to prepare the following documents: the invitation, your passport, a completed application form, photos and payment. The visa can be for single/double/multiple entry and can be issued for a period ranging from three days up to three months, depending on your request.

A business visa - If you are coming to Russia for business, you should have an invitation from the company which you are going to. The invitation from the company is usually prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a request has been made from the company. At the Consulate you will need a letter from the company with the signature of an authorized person on the company letterhead. You will also need: your passport, a completed application form, photos and payment. The process of getting a business visa usually talks from two weeks to one month. The visa can be issued for a period ranging from three months up to one year and can be single/double or multiple entries.

Work Visa – After you have obtained a business visa, you can apply for a work visa. Please note that for a work visa you will also need to pass an HIV test. The process of getting a work visa can take from two to six months. Visa type can NEVER be changed within Russian Federation. If you want to change your visa from business to work, for example, you will have to return to your own country and submit the documentation to the Russian Consulate there.