How to get residence in Russia if you are not married to Russian citizen, do not have any Russian relatives or any other ties with Russia.
First, let's take look at residence types available in Russia.
Temporary residence vs Permanent
1) Temporary residence, also known as "Razreshenie na Vremennoe Progivanie or R-V-P". It allows you to stay in Russia for up to 3 years, to work for any company or individual (but only in the region of Russian where you have received your residence), to start your business, to have state medical insurance. After 1 year can be upgraded to permanent residence.

2) Permanent residence, also known as "Vid na zhitelstvo or V-N-ZH". Same as temporary residence but doesn't have expiry date and allows you to work anywhere in Russia. Basically, gives you same rights as citizenship with the exception for the right to vote and be elected. Can be upgraded to Citizenship.

What are general requirements for residence in Russia:
- You need to speak, read and write in Russian, you need to know basic history and basics of Russian law;
- You don't have any dangerous infections (like HIV and others);
- You don't have criminal record in your home country and in Russia;
- You came legally to Russia;
- You are not on a tourist visa.
So, what are the ways to obtain residence?
1) Work for 6 months in Russia as a specialist if your occupation is included into the list and get permanent residence.

If you are working in Russia officially for more than 6 months as a specialist and your occupation is included into the list of "required professions" you can apply for permanent residence and later for citizenship.

The list of 135 professions includes doctors, nurses, midwives, medical laboratory technicians, veterinaries, therapists, engineers, mathematicians, certain managers, and directors. (see annex 1 for list in the end of this post).

You will need simple work visa to start with.

2) Become highly qualified specialist (HQS) and get permanent residence.

If you who are working in Russia as highly qualified specialist (and have so called HQS working visa) you can apply for permanent residence together with your family members.

To start you will need HQS visa. Minimum requirement to obtain it – employer who will hire you and pay at least 160 000 rubles (~2150 USD) a month as a salary. For some medical workers and teachers minimum salary requirements are less. Downside: permanent residence will be cancelled if work permit expires, so you will need to apply for citizenship while still working to maintain your residence in Russia.

3) Graduate from Russian university with honors and get permanent residence.

If you graduate from Russian state-licensed university or academy and obtain higher education degree with honors, you can apply for permanent residence. No strings attached.

You will need educational visa to start with.

4) Get employed by Russian army and get temporary residence.

Foreign national who is employed by Russian army can obtain temporary residence permit for period of the employment (military service). I have no idea what you should start with for this option.

5) Try Russian version of "green-card lottery" or quota-based application for temporary residence.

Every year Russian government announces number of foreign nationals who can apply for residence in Russia without any specific requirements (it's called "quota"). This number is quite small, for example, in 2021 only 2000 people would be allowed to apply for residence in Moscow. For other regions, this number is even less.

Specific people who can apply for residence are selected by migration committee every year. They are reviewing applications of all foreigners and choosing those who will have best chances to integrate into Russian society, based on education level, work experience, family background, age, property and etc.

Needless to say, selection procedure is not always honest and there are no specific selection criteria, so there is no way to be sure in positive outcome.

To participate in this selection, you need to apply personally in Russia and provide basic documents (passport, registration, migration card). When you win you will be allowed to apply for temporary residence in Russia.

To start you need to be legally in Russia.

PS: There are some plans to introduce residence for investments program, but details are not yet available.


List of required professions in Russia

(updated on March 13, 2021)

(translation from Russian might be inaccurate)

1. Agricultural engineering
2. Agronomist
3. Agrochemist
4. Midwife
5. Presenter
6. Veterinary and sanitary doctor
7. Veterinary and sanitary expert
8. Veterinarian
9. Reproductive area veterinarian
10. Veterinary gynecologist
11. Veterinary therapist
12. Educator
13. Health center doctor
14. Clinical laboratory diagnostics doctor
15. General practitioner (family doctor)
16. Palliative care physician
17. Doctor of the admission department
18. Emergency doctor
19. Doctor of the station (department) of emergency and emergency medical care
20. Doctor-anesthesiologist-resuscitator
21. Doctor-bacteriologist
22. Pediatric Oncologist
23. Cardio-rheumatologist
24. Doctor-laboratory assistant
25. Neurologist
26. Doctor-oncologist
27. Otorhinolaryngologist
28. Ophthalmologist
29. Pediatrician
30. District pediatrician
31. Psychiatrist
32. Children's psychiatrist
33. Pediatric district psychiatrist
34. Psychiatrist adolescent
35. Psychiatrist adolescent district
36. District psychiatrist
37. Psychiatrist-narcologist
38. Medical specialist
39. Doctor statistician
40. Dentist
41. Physician-therapist
42. Local doctor-therapist
43. Traumatologist-orthopedist
44. Phthisiatrician
45. District doctor-phthisiatrician
46. Surgeon
47. Epizootologist
48. Gas welder
49. Hydromeliorator
50. Chief Project Engineer
51. Chief Metallurgist
52. Economics Director
53. Zootechnician
54. Engineer for automated production control systems
55. Engineer for the implementation of new equipment and technology
56. Mining engineer
57. Oil and Gas Production Engineer
58. Information Security Engineer
59. Quality engineer
60. Instrumentation and Automation Engineer
61. Metrology Engineer
62. Construction Supervision Engineer
63. Commissioning and Testing Engineer
64. Production Management Engineer
65. Production Preparation Engineer
66. Welding engineer
67. Design engineer
68. Design engineer
69. Process Engineer
70. Electrical Engineer
71. Correspondent
72. Drill foreman
73. Mathematician
74. Nurse
75. Medical nurse procedural
76. District nurse
77. Medical laboratory technician
78. Machine operator
79. Drilling, mining mechanic
80. Steel and reinforced concrete erector
81. Assembler of electronic equipment and devices
82. Installer of sanitary systems and equipment
83. Fitter of ventilation, air conditioning, pneumatic transport and aspiration systems
84. Technological pipeline installer
85. Assembler of technological equipment and related structures
86. Adjuster of machine tools and manipulators with programmed control
87. Operating room nurse
88. Teacher
89. Pharmacist
90. Editor
91. X-ray laboratory assistant
92. Fish farmer
93. Electronic product assembler
94. Assembler of hulls of metal ships
95. Reinforcement mesh and cage welder
96. Locksmith for the repair of agricultural equipment
97. Locksmith for the repair of agricultural machinery
98. Locksmith for the repair of agricultural machinery
99. Locksmith for the assembly of metal structures
100. Construction locksmith
101. Aircraft assembly fitter
102. Locksmith-ship repairman
103. Engineering Technology Specialist
104. Woodworking machine operator
105. General machine operator
106. Shipbuilder-repairman
107. Drilling Technician
108. Set-up and test technician
109. Cartographer technician
110. Technician-technologist
111. Food and processing industry technologist
112. Agricultural production technologist
113. Turner
114. Carousel Turner
115. Turner-boring machine
116. Combine tractor driver
117. Tractor driver
118. Tractor driver
119. Ship's pipe fitter
120. Teacher
121. Pharmacist
122. Paramedic
123. Ambulance paramedic
124. Paramedic laboratory assistant
125. Milling machine
126. Grinder
127. Site electrician
128. Electrician for cable networks
129. Lighting and lighting network electrician
130. Marine electrician
131. Electrician for the repair of overhead power lines
132. Electrician for the operation of distribution networks
133. Electric welder on automatic and semi-automatic machines
134. Construction electrician
135. Entomologist

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