Relocation Options for Russian Nationals

September 12, 2022 Jessie Butchley

This article was originally published on 18 March 2022 and was updated on 12 September 2022 to reflect new information.

This article highlights a selection of immigration options for Russian nationals in the locations below. Please be advised that processing times may vary depending on the operation status of each country’s diplomatic mission. A sponsoring entity in the host country is likely required for many of the arrangements noted here. 

Envoy continues to track authorization options worldwide for nationals departing Russia. Such options include temporary measures such as visa-free entry or the ability to enter as a tourist initially before changing to a work authorized status later. 

The European Union

The government of the European Council announced the full suspension of the European Union’s (EU) Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia. As a result, Russian citizens will no longer be granted privileged access to the European Union, including access to reduced processing times for immigration documents. Additionally, more restrictive rules for the issuance of multiple-entry visas will be put into place and member states of the EU will have the ability to add additional measures for applications. Visa application fees will also increase from €35 to €80.  

Switzerland  

The government of Switzerland announced that current holders of the protection status S may have their permissions revoked if they return to Ukraine for more than 15 days in a quarterly period. This measure will also apply to Ukrainian refugees who spend more than two months in a third country. The government will also revoke the permissions of status S holders who hold citizenship of a European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member state, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, New Zealand or Australia.  

The Netherlands 

The Dutch Embassy and consulate-general are currently fully operational, however, as of April 27, 2022, Russian nationals are not permitted to apply for a Schengen visa. Instead, Russian nationals may apply for authorization for a temporary long-stay visa (MVV) that permits a maximum period of stay up to 90 days. Individuals who seek to remain in the Netherlands for more than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit.  

The Netherlands’ airspace is currently closed to flights from Russia. The Dutch government will allow Russian nationals to enter the country via an alternative route, such as a flight from the United Arab Emirates.  

For additional information, click here.  

Finland 

The Finnish embassy in Saint Petersburg is currently fully operational and Russian nationals may apply for a visa to enter Finland. Russian nationals who seek to remain in Finland for more than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit.  

The land border between Russia and Finland remains open under limited hours. The airspace between Russia and Finland is currently closed and trains from Russia are no longer permitted to enter Finland.  

For further information, click here.  

Australia  

The Australian Embassy remains open in Moscow but is not currently providing any visa services. Instead, individuals requiring visa services should seek services at the Australian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, or through Australia’s online services. The Australian government continues to process visa applications from Russian nationals and has not added any additional requirements to the process. Delays are expected due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.  

Applicants must ensure that they obtain police and health clearances prior to applying for an Australian visa. Applicants are advised that there may be severe delays in receiving police clearance in Russia. Currently, limited flight options are available for Russian nationals leaving Russia. 

For additional information, click here.  

Chile 

The Chilean Embassy in Moscow remains open and continues to process visa applications for eligible Russian nationals. Russian nationals are permitted to enter Chile for an initial maximum period of 90 days as a tourist. This period can be extended by an additional 90 days through a local immigration office in Chile.  

To conduct work activities and reside in Chile, Russian nationals must request an appropriate work visa. This can be done while they are abroad from a Chilean consular post in their country of residence. To submit a visa application, click here.  

Currently, there are limited flight options for leaving Russia. Additionally, it is no longer possible to request a change of status while in Chile.  

Denmark 

As of 15 May 2022, Danish visa application services in Russia have been temporarily closed and the Danish Embassy in Moscow is currently not receiving applications for visas and residence permits for Denmark. Applicants for visa and residence permits are advised to apply at an application center in another country. Processing delays are expected due to sanctions and coordination issues. As of April 27, 2022, Russian nationals are not permitted to apply for a Schengen visa.  

For additional information, click here.  

The United Arab Emirates  

Russian nationals who enter the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may be able to obtain a multiple-entry visa upon arrival. A multiple-entry visa grants a maximum stay of 90 days within a rolling 180-day period. Russian nationals can also apply for a tourist or business visa that can grant an additional stay period of 90 days.  

Alternatively, Russian nationals can apply for a remote work visa in the UAE. This visa type is initially valid for one year and authorizes multiple entries into the country. This visa can be renewed for an additional one-year period so long as the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria. Through this visa type, Russian nationals are permitted to sponsor family dependent visas, rent a home or apartment in the UAE and open a bank account.  

To qualify for a remote work visa, an applicant must be able to provide proof of employment with a current employer located outside of the UAE, hold an employment contract valid for a minimum period of 12 months with their employer, and be paid a minimum monthly salary of USD 5,000. It takes approximately seven to ten working days for the entire work application to be processed by the government. Additional time may be required for collecting the required documents for filing the application.  

For additional information, click here.  

Turkey 

An initial visa-free stay of up to 60 days can be granted to Russian nationals entering Turkey. Following the initial 60-day period, Russian nationals can obtain an additional stay of 30 days if they exit and re-enter the country. After 90 days in a rolling 180-day period, a foreign national cannot remain in Turkey without obtaining a visa. 

Russian nationals may also apply for a Tourist Residence Permit, which will allow them to remain in Turkey for up to one year, however, this permit does not grant work authorization.   

To remain in Turkey for more than 90 days and to obtain work authorization in the country, all foreign nationals must obtain a domestic Work-Residence Permit, regardless of their nationality. To apply, applications must be filed and submitted outside of Turkey with a Turkish Embassy or consular post. 

For further information on obtaining a work permit for Turkey, click here. 

Georgia 

Georgia maintains a visa-free regime with the Russian Federation and citizens of Russia are permitted to remain in Georgia for a period of 12 months without any visa formalities. During this time, these individuals are permitted to work in Georgia and can apply for the appropriate work and residence permit if they wish to permanently relocate to Georgia.  

The government of Georgia issues work and residence permits for employees of Georgian-based legal entities, including branches of foreign enterprises or the subsidiaries that are registered and operate in Georgia (GEO Entity).  

In order to qualify for a work and residence permit in Georgia, the employee must hold an employment agreement with a GEO entity and meet other required qualifications. The work and residence permit can be granted for six months or one year and can be further extended for up to twelve years if the permit holder continues to meet the eligibility requirements.  

For additional information on work permits in Georgia, click here. 

Kazakhstan  

All foreign nationals entering Kazakhstan must submit a ‘Notification of Arrival’ within three business days. A notification letter must also be submitted to the Migration Service in a written format. This can be completed through the Visa-Immigration online portal.  

Russian nationals crossing the state border into Kazakhstan by land must be granted specific permissions from the Interdepartmental Committee (IDC), as required by the Border Control Service. Generally, this process can take around two to four weeks, however, this timeframe may vary depending on the region of Kazakhstan in which the request for permission was submitted. The entity inviting the Russian national is responsible for submitting the required documents to obtain the invitation.  

Russian nationals entering Kazakhstan by air are not required to obtain permission from the IDC.   

As a result of the Russian Federation’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, Russian nationals are permitted to sign an employment contract in Kazakhstan without obtaining a work permit. However, long-term residents in Kazakhstan are required to obtain a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP). A TRP can only be applied for and obtained after arrival in Kazakhstan. The conditions of the TRP are based on the applicant’s employment contract. Generally, it takes around three to five business days for the TRP to be issued.  

For more information, click here. 

Armenia  

Armenia maintains a visa-free regime with the Russian Federation, which allows Russian nationals to enter Armenia without a visa. In order to qualify, the traveler must be able to present a valid biometric passport. Under this process, Russian nationals are permitted to remain in Armenia for a maximum of 180 days within a one-year period. If the traveler wishes to remain in Armenia for longer, they must obtain a temporary residence permit.  

For more information on work authorization types in Armenia, click here. 

Brazil  

The government of Brazil announced that the Brazilian Embassy in Moscow will remain open and continue to process visas for Russian nationals. Brazil offers a range of permits that grant work authorization to foreign nationals. Some of these options include work permits for investors and digital nomads who choose to temporarily relocate and live in Brazil while working for a company abroad.  

Most residence permits can be processed locally so long as the foreign national applicant can provide the required documents upon arrival.  

For additional information on visa and work permits for Brazil, click here. 

Sweden  

Sweden’s Embassy in Moscow remains open and continues to process visas for Russian nationals, however processing times may be delayed due to the evolving circumstances. Travelers seeking to enter Sweden by air from Russia may encounter difficulties as well.   

Russian employers who do not have an established entity in Sweden may seek an Employer of Record (EOR) firm for assistance with employing Russian employees locally and obtaining work authorization through a fast-track process.  

For more information on obtaining a work permit in Sweden, click here. 

India  

The Indian Embassy in Moscow remains open, and no immigration restrictions have been imposed on Russian nationals that seek to obtain a visa to travel to India. Russian nationals holding a valid passport can enter India by procuring the appropriate category of visa prior to departure for India.  

For further information on work permits for India, click here. 

These are just a few pathways in which Russian nationals can relocate to another country for work. Travelers should continue to adhere to COVID-19 entrance restrictions when traveling. Envoy will continue to monitor and provide additional information related to the situation in Ukraine as it becomes available. Please consult your organization’s global immigration team for specific guidance. 


For more news and insights from around the world, please sign up for Envoy’s Global Blog Digest, emailed to you every Wednesday morning. 

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.

About the Author

Jessie is Envoy's Global Immigration Writer.

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