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Thread: How would you improve your freedom to travel around Russia and start to establish yourself there?

  1. #1
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    How would you improve your freedom to travel around Russia and start to establish yourself there?

    Hey guys, I'd like to know how you would go about getting better access to and mobility around Russia, please?

    I've been visiting Russia and learning the language for the past 5 years, but always on a tourist visa (UK citizen).

    I'd like to improve my mobility and freedom to travel, as the 30-day single-entry tourist visa is very restrictive and I'd like to explore other options.

    A few things I've looked into so far:

    • Private visas (I don't want to be a burden on my friends, and most of the time I'm travelling solo to new cities, not visiting ones I've been to before)
    • Multi-entry business visas (I'm a freelance web developer, but I don't have any ties with Russian businesses, I don't see how I could do this, also they are only valid for 1 year, so not really the best option)
    • Work visas (This seems ideal, multi-entry and valid for 3 years. But by Russian isn't good enough to get a job in IT, I don't want to be an English teacher, and I'd like the freedom to travel to different cities over multiple months without being limited to working from one location, I don't know of any employer that would offer that!)
    • Highly-skilled migrant visa (I don't think I'd qualify, I'm a decent freelance developer, but there's thousands of native developers already)
    • Applying for a Moldovan passport to get visa-free entry for 30 days at time (It's really expensive, about 150,000 euros)
    • Marriage (I don't want to get married in the near future)


    My goals are to have a bit more freedom to access Russia, so that I can:

    • Travel the country, with a bit more freedom for long-term stays
    • Improve my Russian
    • Start building a business in Russia
    • Become more established in Russia, i.e. have a home-base


    Apologies in advance if this is all too specific or if it's been asked before. I did search the forum, and I couldn't find exactly the right topic which answered my questions.

    I have spoken to a few of my Russian friends about it, but all the expats they know are working for large companies in Moscow or have Russian spouses. Neither are really an option for me in the near future.

    Thanks again, any help/advice would be really appreciated.

  2. #2
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    The easiest way would be to pay a monthly tax of around 80k I think.

    It's not a tax, but the cost of creating your own biz and hiring yourself and then all of the expenses that go along with that.

    It's actually a fairly well used path and I think one guy on here has gone that route.

    You can contact a law firm to get u started.

  3. #3
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    I suggest getting the one year ME visa. Spend some time in the country, improve your Russian and get a feel for the lay of the land. Take it in stages. Study your visa options. Don't pay 80k in monthly taxes until you are absolutely sure. Maybe you will find employment and can get a work visa. Who knows, something else might come up.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to xt-tsi For This Useful Post:

    americaninmoscow (26-12-2019)

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by xt-tsi View Post
    . Study your visa options. Don't pay 80k in monthly taxes until you are absolutely sure. Maybe you will find employment and can get a work visa. Who knows, something else might come up.
    Oh, that's right. Some esl schools offer a work visa in exchange for a few hours teaching a week.

  6. #5
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    Hey guys, thank you for your advice.

    I had heard about setting up your own business and issuing yourself a work visa, but I hadn't looked into it in too much detail as I wasn't sure about the legality of it. I'll have a search in the forum to see if I can find that person you mentioned. If I can make it profitable, then sure, it'd be the perfect choice!

    Yes, I think the multi-entry business visa will probably the best bet in the short term. I'll probably go with that for now while I do more research into my other options.

    Thank you

  7. #6
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    Starting a business in Russia and hiring yourself is a complex and costly process. You are right to study this option carefully before committing to it. Very carefully.
    Last edited by xt-tsi; 26-12-2019 at 22:57.

  8. #7
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    Yes for sure! Definitely something for the long term. I'll go with a multi-entry business visa for now and spend some more time on the forums reading about the residence permits. Thank you for your advice.

  9. #8
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    One last piece of advice. These forums will give you a general idea about visa and residency options. Most of them are accurate at the time they are written. However, the picture changes here in Russia. As the Russians say, Trust but Verify. Something I think you already know.

    You might also find a Russian speaker and do some research using Russian language sources. For example, I used Google translation to search "how can I hire myself in russia and get a residency visa" (как я могу нанять себя в россию и получить визу на жительство) and found this site, which you can translate into English with Google Translation. It shows "how to hire a foreigner". This doesn't cover how to open a company, another subject entirely.

    https://e-kontur.ru/enquiry/139

  10. #9
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    This UK company offers long term visas - https://www.facebook.com/groups/mosc...6953588131047/

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by americaninmoscow View Post
    The easiest way would be to pay a monthly tax of around 80k I think.

    It's not a tax, but the cost of creating your own biz and hiring yourself and then all of the expenses that go along with that.

    It's actually a fairly well used path and I think one guy on here has gone that route.

    You can contact a law firm to get u started.
    Can confirm, this is what I did from spring 2017 until....1/9/2020 when I was issued my RVP!!

    For what it sounds like you want, probably your best option is to find a company eligible to issue Salary-restriction-free work visas (e.g. a company with an educational licence), with the lowest work loads possible. That way you'll have lots of free time!


    Another option, open your own company with an educational status category (it's the smthg-smthg tax code), then issue yourself an HQS visa. It's less expensive to open the company if you don't pay to do the license, too (I think that'll cost upwards of $5k), but you've gotta pay yourself the minimum 167k monthly salary, which can be tough if you're teaching during the summer and Christmas months!

    I used a law office to register the company and issue myself an HQS work permit & visa, and can give you more details, if needed.
    Good luck!!
    I am fascinated by Russia, this country with frigid weather, hard souls, and hot girls!

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to nicklcool For This Useful Post:

    JonLDS (01-02-2020)

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