Settle in Russia

Immigration to another country is not only about legal issues and employment. In fact, it's a complex process including cultural and psychological adaptation, learning the language, choosing a city to live, purchasing or renting a property and integrating into a local community. Use the links below to navigate through the page.

Do I need to learn Russian?

Russian is the only official language in the Russian Federation spoken by over 99 per cent of its population. With over 150 million native speakers around the glode it is among the world's most popular languages and also one of the five official languages in the United Nations. At the same time it is widely believed to be a difficult language to learn because of the rich vocabulary and rather complicated grammar rules.
At a certain point almost all potential immigrants come across a dilemma whether they should learn and how long it takes to learn Russian.
First of all, it is necessary to decide on your relocation goals. Learning Russian is not a must if you are going to stay in Russia for a few months with a tourist / business / guest visa.
However, if you are going to permanently reside and work in Russia, learning Russian is almost always needed. Most immigration strategies require passing a Russian language test for obtaining a work and residence permit as well as citizenship (however, applicants below 18 and over 60 (women) / 65 (men) and a few other categories are exempt from the language test). Basic grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking and reading skills are required to pass the test successfully.
Speaking at least basic Russian will also become your great asset in everyday life. Not many Russians speak English, especially outside Moscow and other large cities. Speaking Russian is often the only way to communicate in shops, hospitals, immigration service, colleagues at work and just with your Russian friends.

How to transfer money to Russia under sanctions?

Foreign bank cards don't work in Russia anymore as well as Russian bank cards generally don't work abroad because of sanctions. Many Western banks refuse to send/receive transfers to/from russia for the same reason. At the same time transferring money to Russia for personal use is not subject to any sanctions, and there are several legal ways to do it:
a) Cash. You can still bring cash in the equivalent of up to $10,000 without custom declaring. You can bring even more if you have documents confirming the money origin.
b) Cryptocurrency. This option is becoming increasingly popular. You can buy crypto with your non-Russian bank card, convert crypto into Rubles through an exchange and have them remitted to your Russian account.
c) Bank transfer through a neutral country. If you have an account in a neutral country like Armenia, Serbia or Kazakhstan, you can first transfer funds there and then have them transferred to Russia. We recommend to double-check if your bank in a neutral country offers transfers to Russia.

How to open a bank account in Russia?

There are no legal restrictions on opening accounts in Russian banks by foreign citizens. Any foreigner (even if you come to Russia as a tourist) and resident is eligible for opening a bank account.
To open a bank account you will only need your passport, translated and notarized into Russian, and registration (which is provided by a landlord or hotel). The account can usually be opened the same day. In 2-3 business days you will already get a Russian bank card.

Personal taxes in Russia 

On average Russian residents pay far less taxes than American, British or EU citizens. Most Russians pay just a 13 per cent personal income tax. If your annual income exceeds 5 million Rubles, the income tax rate will be 15 per cent.
Personal income tax in Russia is automatically deducted from employee's salary by the employer with no further actions required. If the income comes from other sources than salary (for example, from renting out an apartment), it should be declared to the Tax Service by 30 April of the year following the year the income was received in.
Russian residents and citizens who are registered as self-employed (like teachers, translators, IT engineers) enjoy an even better income tax rate which is just 4-6 per cent.

How to rent / buy a property in Russia?

Most Russian cities offer a wide choice of properties from luxurous residential projects to Soviet-era apartment blocks. At the same time living in a private house in a suburb or countryside is becoming increasingly popular.
The most popular website to rent or purchase an apartment in Russia is Avito. There you can choose the desired city, apartment size, cost, etc. and find relevant offers with photos, descriptions and sellers' contacts.
The prices for renting and purchasing a property may vary greatly, however they are usually far lower than in Europe and the United States. Apartments for rent start from $500 per month in Moscow and from $100 per month in smaller cities. Apartments for sale start from $80,000 in Moscow and from just $20,000 in smaller cities. Private houses are usually a bit more expensive.
There are no restrictions for renting and purchasing properties in Russia by foreigners except purchasing agricultural (farming) lands and properties next to the state border.
If you are going to rent an apartment, it is always recommended to conclude a rental contract in writing. Make sure the contract specifies the monthly rental fee and who pays the utility bills (they are often not included in the rental fee). It's a common practice to conclude a rental contract for 11 months because longer contracts require state registration.
If you are going to purchase a property, make sure to check the seller's ownership rights in the State Registry, to check all utilities are paid for and nobody is registered in the property. If you purchase a house, it is important that the house is registered by local authorities and connected to electricity, gas and water supplies. The purchase contract should be registered in the Public service center.

Our services

Comprehensive guide on immigrating to Russia
We offer:
-A unique guide in PDF format with over 110 pages of really useful and up-to-date information;
- 11 immigration strategies;
- Russian visa, residency, citizenship procedures & paperwork;
- Samples of Russian language tests;
- Information on taxation, employment & business opportunities;
- Useful tips on choosing a place to live, purchasing a property and everyday life.
Cost: $49
Legal consulting
We offer:
- Legal consulting and legal opinions on Russian civil, immigration, labor, family, commercial & administrative legislation;
- Legal paperwork: service & employment contracts, sales contracts, confidentiality agreements, powers of attorney, statements of claim.
- Trademark registration & intellectual property protection.
Cost: from $30 per hour
Legal support with renting / purchasing a property
We offer:
- General consulting on renting / purchasing a property in Russia;
- Property legal check;
- Rental / purchase contract in Russian and English;
- Full support during the registration process.
Cost: from $199
Russian language classes
We offer:
- Online classes with a professional Russian tutor;
- Improving grammar, vocabulary, listening, reading, writing and speaking skills;
- Preparing for Russian language tests.
Cost: $25 per class
Money transfers to / from Russia
We offer:
- Quick and reliable money transfers to / from Russia.
- USD/EUR/crypto to RUB exchange.
*For personal use only.
Commission: 1-9% (depending on currency and transfer amount)
Translation & notary services
We offer:
- General, legal, business translation;
- Notary certification;
- Apostille.
Cost: from $9 per page