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HOME: Work in Russia

Work in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS


Looking for work in Russia? The barriers to finding good work aren't as imposing as you may have thought. Russia, Ukraine and the CIS have rapidly growing economies and opportunities abound if you know where to look for them.


Whether your aim is to volunteer, work in Russia as an intern, a teacher of English or find a rewarding career, below you'll find straight forward information and helpful links to start your search on the right path.






Volunteering and Internships


One great way to work in Russia is to volunteer or intern abroad. Volunteering not only enhances intercultural understanding, it opens the door to new and exciting opportunities (career related or otherwise).


Most volunteer programs and internships require an upfront fee, while accommodations (and certain meals) are provided free of charge by the hosting organization.


Volunteers also have the opportunity, outside of their volunteer work, to earn spending money by teaching English (or another native language) at local language schools. (see more information below)


Useful resources for work in Russia as a volunteer include...

  1. United Planet: a respected non-profit organization with volunteers in over 150 countries (including volunteer work in Russia).

  3. Cross-Cultural Solutions: another well known and respected organization in the field of international volunteering.

  5. Global Volunteer Network: a private NGO based in Wellington, New Zealand, offering volunteer opportunities with disabled children in Yaroslavl, Russia.

  7. an excellent resource for volunteering abroad, work and study abroad, and international living.


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Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)


Opportunities to Teach English in Russia and Ukraine are numerous. Pay in Eastern Europe, though not as high as South Korea and Japan, is improving all the time. Highest wages, of course, are found in Moscow and St Petersburg, but the cost of living in theses cities is proportionally higher as well.


Helpful resources for TEFL include:

  1. Online TEFL course for internationally recognized certification.

  3. Excellent directory of EFL Schools in Russia.

  5. Directory of ESL jobs worldwide. (lots of work in Russia & Ukraine)

  7. Get the perspective and opinions of teachers who have gone before you. Read the Russia & CIS Forum from Dave's ESL Cafe.




Wage / Salary Jobs in Russia and Ukraine


Finding work in Russia and Ukraine is possible with patience and persistence. Like a job search in the west, don't limit your search to employment sites only. Start your research with employment sites, find out who's hiring and use this as a guideline to expand your search.


Remember, many companies are eternally on the look out for good employees and many vacancies are never posted to job ads. Once you have a general idea of who's hiring, look for similar companies using a Google search and/or a good business directory.



Foreign Corporations with work in Russia and Eastern Europe.

  1. Take a look at postings from Russia-Ukraine-Jobs.

  3. Here's a good directory of oil and gas jobs. (You'll find lots of positions under "jobs based in the Former Soviet Union").


Russian and Ukrainian Employers

  1. Russian job search websites

  3. Ukrainian employment sites

  5. Career Section in Local English Language Newspapers

  7. Rusmarket Business Portal - Business Directory for Russia, Ukraine and the CIS. (contacts of potential Russian employers)

  9. RIN Project (Russian Information Network) Yellow Pages. Detailed directory of over 350,000 organizations in Russia and the CIS.

  11. The Moscow Business Telephone Guide Popular business directory serving not only Moscow, but the entire Russian market.


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Work Permit for Work in Russia


What is a Work Permit?


A work permit is a document that says a certain foreign national is allowed to conduct business activity for a specified company in the Russian Federation.



Who Needs a Work Permit?


Any foreign national seeking entry or permission to remain in Russia for the purpose of employment will normally require a work permit.


Work Permits to work in Russia are not required for...

  1. employees of foreign entities who...
    1. visit their representative office(s) in Russia.
    2. are performing installation (contract-supervision) work or servicing of technical equipment supplied to Russia.


  2. journalists who are accredited in the Russian Federation.

  4. employees of diplomatic representations.

  6. students studying in Russia and working in their spare time.

  8. lecturers from foreign colleges and universities.

  10. foreigners performing volunteer work in Russia.

  12. foreign nationals with permanent residence status in Russia.

  14. foreign nationals who register as private entrepreneurs under Russian legislation. See Business in Russia for more information about starting a business in Russia and the CIS.


Foreign Nationals who Teach English are, in theory, required to have a work permit. In practice, however, few schools go through the trouble of obtaining a work permit for their teachers.


Some schools are known to arrange work visas for their teachers, but don't mistake a work visa with a work permit. Only a work permit gives you legal right to work in Russia. Nevertheless, Russian authorities have bigger fish to catch, so if the school or institution isn't worried about getting you a work permit, you shouldn't worry too much either.



Who Applies for a Work Permit?


The employer applies for a work permit for their employee. As an employee, you will be asked to give your employer the following documents so they can proceed with the application.

  1. A copy of your identification (ie. passport), which must be valid for a minimum of 6 months.
  2. A color photo 30x40mm.
  3. Proof of education or training (copy).
  4. A medical certificate declaring that you do not have immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).