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How can a foreigner work in Russia in 2022

Russian companies have the right to hire citizens of other states, but only if they strictly follow the procedure established by law. At the same time, the fines for violations are so impressive that many employers prefer not to mess with foreign employees. In the article, we will analyze how to properly process the employment of a foreigner and avoid accountability.

In accordance with the Federal Law of July 25, 2002 N 115-FZ (as amended on July 2, 2021) "On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation" (as amended and supplemented, effective from December 29, 2021), foreign citizens enjoy the right to freely dispose of their abilities for work, to choose the type of activity and profession, as well as the right to freely use their abilities and property for entrepreneurial and other economic activities not prohibited by law, subject to the restrictions provided for by federal law.

An employer, in accordance with this Federal Law, is an individual or legal entity that has received, in accordance with the established procedure, a permit to attract and use foreign workers (except for the cases provided for by this Article) and employs the labor of foreign workers on the basis of labor contracts concluded with them. A foreign citizen registered as an individual entrepreneur can also act as an employer.

The employer and the customer of works (services) have the right to attract and use foreign workers if they have a permit to attract and use foreign workers, and a foreign citizen has the right to work if they have reached the age of eighteen years, if they have a work permit or a patent.


In 2019, adjustments were made to several regulations, which affected the work in 2020. Here is a quick overview:

  • Forms of foreigner employment notifications were updated. They were approved by the Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs No. 363 of 06/04/2019.
  • Requirements for employers were tightened, companies that have tax debts would not be allowed to hire foreigners.
  • The procedure for migration registration of foreigners was changed. Now, the employer only has to do this if the specialist lives in a company-owned facility. The new rules were approved by Government Decree No. 246 of 03/07/2019.

Few people know that violation of the procedure for hiring foreign citizens can be very costly for an employer (up to administrative liability – company's activities suspension for up to 90 days).

On October 19, 2020, the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia dated July 30, 2020 N 536 was published. It approved new forms of notification related to the labor activity of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation. They include:

  • on the conclusion of a labor / civil contract with a foreign worker;
  • on the termination (cancellation) of a labor / civil contract;
  • on the fulfillment of obligations to pay remuneration (salary) to a foreign (stateless) person - a highly-skilled professional;
  • on the employment of a foreigner (stateless person) by an organization providing services for the employment of foreign citizens in Russia.

It is important to know that the new forms must be used from January 1, 2021.

It is worth talking about the peculiarities of employment of foreigners depending on their status. The list of required documents, as well as the employer’s and applicant’s actions depends on the status in which the foreign worker resides in Russia. Law No. 115-FZ describes the following options:

  • Temporarily staying person. This group includes all foreign citizens who are in Russia without a residence permit, but always with a migration card.
  • Temporarily residing. This category has a temporary residence permit (Rus. “РВП”, “разрешение на временное проживание”). It is issued for a fixed period, usually 3 years.
  • Permanently residing. This category includes holders of a permanent residence permit (Rus. “ВНЖ”, “вид на жительство”) for 5 years, which can be extended. The admission is issued to those who have been living in the country for at least 12 months.

Depending on the nationality, a temporarily staying foreigner enters Russia with or without a visa. For representatives of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, there is a special facilitated employment, as these are member countries of the EAEU - the Eurasian Economic Union. Highly-skilled professionals fall into a separate group. They have to meet special requirements.

Next, we will analyze the features of employment for each category.


This is the most troublesome option for an employer, since they need to obtain permission to employ foreigners. The process is multi-stage and takes a lot of time. The step-by-step instruction for hiring a foreign citizen looks like this:

Step 1. Applying to the Employment Center. The center will try to meet the employer's needs with Russian personnel for a month. If it fails, the application for attracting foreign workers will be approved.

Step 2. Obtaining permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to attract foreigners to the state. One must submit an application and pay a fee of 10,000 rubles for each employee involved (Article 333.28, paragraph 23 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation). The validity period of the obtained permit is 1 year. After that, if the employer wants to extend cooperation with the employee, they need to apply again. Application processing time takes up to 30 days.

Step 3. Obtaining a permit to work in Russia for the applicant from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The package of documents includes:
  • Statement. The form was approved by the Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs No. 637 of 08/14/2017.
  • No HIV and no infectious diseases medical certificates.
  • Photo of the applicant and a copy of their passport.

Documents issued by the country where the future employee comes from should be legalized in Russia. The future employee must also pay a state duty - 3,500 rubles (Article 333.28, paragraph 24 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation). Application processing time is up to 15 working days.

Step 4. Applying for a work visa for a foreigner. Documents for issuing an invitation can be submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the same time as a package for a work permit.
Here is the list:

  • Petition. The form was approved by order No. 735 of 09/21/2017.
  • Original passport or other identification of the employer's representative.
  • Copy of the passport of the future worker.
  • Letters of guarantee from the employer, where they undertake to provide the foreign employee with material, medical and housing support.

The state duty is 800 rubles. Processing time is 20 business days. On the basis of a ready-made invitation, the employee receives a visa at the consulate, and upon arrival in Russia, a work permit.

In addition, it is important to emphasize that a foreigner must have health insurance throughout the entire working activity period.

Step 5. Familiarization with company regulations and concluding a labor contract. This stage includes standard procedures for the employment of new employees: familiarizing them with internal labor rules and job descriptions, signing an employment contract, issuing an order.


The employment of specialists from this category repeats the process for other visa foreigners, starting from Step 3. You do not need to contact the employment center and file an application for employment of a foreign citizen with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. From this point of view, the solution seems to be simpler for the employer.

But it costs more. The matter is that for foreign highly-skilled professionals, the lower limit of the salary is established. For most professionals, this is 167,000 rubles per month (Article 13.2 of Law No. 115-FZ). Highly-skilled professionals must also obtain a work permit in Russia by paying the usual fee of 3,500 rubles.


You can find the full list of visa waiver states on the website of the consular information portal.

In case these are representatives of these very countries, temporarily staying in Russia, foreign citizens with a patent are hirable.

That is, the applicant must provide an employer with a permit document - patent. They must receive it on their own, within 30 days from the date they entered the Russian Federation. They also have health insurance drawn up and register themself with the Migration Service on their own. The basis for obtaining a patent is a migration card bearing a note that the purpose of the visit is work.

From the point of view of personnel procedures, the employment of a visa-free foreigner is the same as for Russians. But the package of documents is different. In addition to the standard set, citizens of other states must provide:

· Patent;
· Voluntary health insurance;
· Migration card.

You also need to know that every patent has a validity period of 1-12 months. A foreigner can work only in the subject of the Russian Federation that issued a patent to him or her and only in the profession that is registered in it.


A temporary residence permit is not always a separate document; it can also be a stamp in your passport. Employment of workers with such a status takes place according to the standard scheme for Russians, but personnel work with them requires special attention.


Workers with Armenian, Belarusian, Kirghiz or Kazakh citizenship can be registered for work in the same way as Russians. They do not need to obtain a patent or a permit.
A “voluntary” health insurance certificate may be added to the standard package of documents for a foreigner when applying for a job. But if the employer themself concludes an agreement with the insurance company, this is not necessary, since the employee will have “compulsory” health insurance.


According to the law, the employer must notify the migration service within 3 days following the date a foreign worker was employed. They must report about all citizens of other states employed: having a visa, having no visa, having a residence permit and TRP, from the EAEU countries and even refugees. We remind you that the notification form was updated on October 20, 2020. The current form was approved by Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia dated July 30, 2020 N 536 and must be used beginning from 01/01/2021. The outdated form is not acceptable. Few companies know that violation of these requirements will lead to a fine of 800 thousand rubles or activities suspension for 90 days.

Do not forget that the company that has hired a foreigner must pay taxes:
Employed foreigners automatically become tax residents of Russia if they have been living in the country for more than 183 calendar days. This means that you are considered their tax agent and pay personal income tax at a rate of 13%. If an employee has been living in Russia less than six months, they have to pay personal income tax at a rate of 30%. The contributions to the Social Insurance Fund and the Pension Fund of Russia in both cases are the same as for Russian employees.

In 2020, a new rule appeared: if a foreigner has been living in Russia for more than 90 calendar days, they have the right to voluntarily become a tax resident. To do this, they need to apply through the Confirmation of Tax Resident Status online service (Rus. «Подтверждение статуса налогового резидента»). It is enough to register on the Federal Tax Service website and fill out an electronic application.

Obtaining required documents for work may appear a complex problem. Intellect-Pravo LLC is always here to help:
Tel: +7 909 961-19-09
Visit us: Moscow, Zubovskiy bulvar, building 4, room 308
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