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The Standard Work Permit process for foreign nationals (except visa waiver nationals) at Ltd companies and branch offices in Russia is extremely lengthy and complex and therefore likely to be unsuitable for assignments/employment in Russia of less than 12 months.
The Work Permit and Accreditation Card (Rep Office) is the standard process for foreign nationals (except visa waiver nationals) going to a representative (Rep) office in Russia. These offices are not considered independent legal entities, but have the right to carry out limited activities on behalf of the foreign company. Before a foreign company may begin doing business in Russia through an accredited representative office, it must register with the Tax Authority and/or the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Highly Skilled Worker Work Permit for employees earning at least 167,000 roubles per month, which is approximately two million roubles per year, provided the Russian employer is willing and able to meet certain criteria, including quarterly notifications on salary payment to the migration authorities. Note that Representative Offices (as well as Ltd companies and branch offices) may also apply for Highly Skilled Worker work permits.
Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia have ratified a freedom of movement agreement, which entitles nationals of one country to live and work with a Work Permit Exemption in the other member countries. Registration (and an Accreditation Card for a Rep office) is still required, as is the signature of a local contract.
The Technical Support Visa applies where the assignee is being sent to fulfil foreign contractual obligations for technical support or installation of equipment to a Russian client company. An existing service agreement or purchase order should be in place between the sending company and the host company and assignees must remain on foreign payroll and contract. Note that this category is not applicable for software installation - a work permit will be needed in that instance. This visa is issued with a maximum validity of 12 months and an allowable in-country stay of 90 days in each 180 day period.
Nationals of Azerbaijan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan may enter Russia without a work visa and declare their intention to seek work, file for a Work Patent and supply an employment contract within 60 days of their work patent issuance.
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