Permanent Residency for teachers

Recent changes in Russian immigration laws have made the process of obtaining a permanent residency in Russia a whole lot easier. While previously only a limited number of conditions such as marriage to a Russian national, or a child born in Russia, could allow one to apply for residency status, now the government has introduced a new program. The plan, called ‘10 million in 10 years’ is aimed at increasing the population of the Russian Federation through a series of targeted measures including incentives for young families and simplifying the residency status for foreign nationals.

In our case we will focus on foreign teachers who are legally employed and plan to live in Russia for longer than a year. While the Teacher Work Visa is a great solution, a residency doesn’t have an expiry date, there is no need to extend it every year, and is economically beneficial in the long term. A foreign national can even apply for citizenship shortly after the residency has been approved. There has been a lot of interest in this process from teachers but, as often is the case in Russia, the bureaucratic process can be quite confusing. The rules and requirements are constantly changing and even immigration lawyers often don’t have the correct information! It can be incredibly frustrating trying to find the correct information from seemingly contradicting sources, and collecting all the necessary paperwork. Although one can attempt to go through this process alone, it is not recommended as it will often result in a lot of wasted time, frustration, and a rejected application.

Our visa experts have the knowledge, experience, and contacts within the federal migration service to make this process as smooth as it can possibly be. Our aim is to assist as many foreign teachers in Russia as possible to obtain the residency permit in a quick and easy process!

Below you will find a list of the required documents along with the explanation of the process:

  1. Your passport – make sure the validity of the passport is at least another 12 months and you have a minimum of 2-3 empty pages.

  2. Notarized translation of your passport – every page of the passport has to be translated and our partner notary can do this for you.

  3. Current visa – you must have a valid and current work or business visa. If your visa is about to expire, you will need to renew it or get a new one as the process takes approximately 4 months.

  4. Migration card – the white paper you received at the airport upon arrival

  5. Four photos – 35x45 mm printed on matte paper

  6. Registration – you must have a valid registration at your residence. If you don’t have one or forgot to get it after arrival, we can help you with that.

  7. Criminal record check with an apostille from your country of citizenship – depending on your home country, this can be obtained either at the consulate or through another organization. Please note that the criminal record check cannot be older than 3 months from the date of the application. In our experience, this is the longest document to obtain.

  8. Russian language, history and law knowledge certificate – this is a sort of ‘diploma’ you receive upon successfully passing the test. You must have at least basic Russian speaking and writing skills. Our visa expert can assist you in preparing and passing this test. On test day, we will go with you to the actual testing center.

  9. Medical certificate – you must have a document from a Russian clinic stating that you passed all the test including COVID test. Our manager will assist you in obtaining this.

  10. Proof of official income – 2NDFL form provided by your employer showing that you have been employed for the past 6 months.

  11. Employment contract – your current employment contract from your place of work.

  12. Proof of pension fund contributions – Our manager can assist you in obtaining this document.

  13. State tax paid for the application – a receipt for the payment of 5000 Rub must be submitted.

  14. Filled out application form – will be completed by our immigration expert.


The above list can seem a bit daunting and it will certainly take some time to obtain all the required documents. Our visa experts will assist you in collecting all the forms, filling in the application, and applying successfully.

Once all of the above documents are ready and our visa expert has checked them, we will make an appointment at the dedicated immigration center to submit them. Our visa expert will travel with you to the immigration center (about an hour from Moscow) on the specified day to submit the application. The immigration officer will check to make sure all the documents are correct and acceptable. Once the application is accepted by the immigration officer, it can be considered successful because if anything is missing or is unacceptable in the application, the whole package of documents will be rejected.

After the application is successfully submitted, the processing time is 4 months. At the end of the 4 months, our manager will call the immigration center to confirm that the residency permit is ready. The final step of the process is travelling back to the immigration center alongside our manager to pick up the residency permit!

The cost of the service is 75,000 Rub and includes the Russian language test, all expenses related to obtaining the medical certificates, as well the state tax of 5000 Rub. The teacher applicant is responsible for obtaining the criminal record check as well as cost of the passport translation. If you are interested in finding out more about the service or starting the residency application process, we invite you to come to our office for a free consultation with our English speaking visa expert.