After the fall of the communist regime, Russia opened up to the market economy, but even today most of the country’s financial income comes from the enormous wealth of the underground (oil, gas, gold, diamonds, uranium and many other minerals). It is no coincidence that over 80% of Russia’s exports abroad are oil, gas, metals and timber. Due to the difficult language and protectionist policies of the Russian government, it is not easy to work in Russia.
Economic development in Russia is not geographically uniform, most of the country’s wealth is concentrated in the Moscow region, and Russia is one of the countries with the most uneven distribution of wealth in the world. Russia currently ranks seventh in the world in terms of the number of millionaires. Moscow has become the capital of billionaires with 79 billionaires compared to 58 billionaires in New York.
There are 9% rich Russians who own about 50% of the country’s total wealth, while 14% of the citizens (over 20 million) live below the poverty line and many Russians are forced to work 2-3 jobs to survive.
Two major problems in the country are the old infrastructure that needs to be renewed and corruption at all levels, two factors that slow down investment and the development of the economy. As mentioned at the beginning, most of the national GDP comes from the export of raw materials, and the industrial sector is backward (with some exceptions such as the aerospace sector and little else).
The tertiary sector is also not very developed and tourism is almost non-existent. Russia’s GDP per capita is equal to that of Greece, but unfortunately it is an average and does not reflect the reality of the country, where there are very strong inequalities.
Working in Russia
Foreigners who wish to work in Russia must apply for a work visa and then a work permit. Obtaining these documents is lengthy and complicated. Among other things, there are few jobs for foreigners in Russia. Also, you must know Russian to work in Russia, unless you are working in a multinational company, in a call center or in a language school.
One employment opportunity for those moving to Russia is teaching a language (English, French, Spanish, Italian, etc.) to Russians. There is the traditional form of teaching at institutes or private schools, or there is the option of teaching online. There are even websites where you can teach a language online.
Working in Russia job serch
1 Linkedin, you can check open jobs
2 Public Employment Service, job vacancies by region (in Russian only)
3 Job search websites
- Trud, international job search website
- Rabota, popular jobs search website, (Russian)
- Premium-job, job search engine, (Russian)
- Superjob. job vacancies all over Russia, (Russian)
- HH, you can see vacancies and add your resume
- Unity, recruitment agency in Moscow
- Careerjet versione russa del famoso motore di ricerca
- Jobsinmoscow, vacancies in Moscow
- Avito, classifieds website
For the recognition of your qualifications you can refer to the Enic-Naric
Work as an entrepreneur in Russia
Many foreigners start a business in Russia in the hospitality industry (restaurants, pizzerias, bars, etc.) or import-export companies. If you also want to try to start a business in Russia, you need to open a company that will give you the right to a residence permit.
Considering the laws and Russian bureaucracy, starting a business is lengthy and difficult (it may take several months), especially if you do not know the language. So it is advisable to contact a good law firm that speaks English. Usually the following steps are to be taken:
- you need to open a new company in Russia
- you must return to your country and apply to the consulate for a work visa
- you receive a work visa
- you return to Russia and apply for a residence permit
- you have to take medical tests
Unlike in the past, today you should avoid cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg. If your business is not financed and supported by an important local person, you have little chance of success. Start-up and management costs are very high, and if you do not know the right people, you probably will not succeed.
Nowadays, only big chains open in these cities. Russia is huge. It is much better to focus on lesser known cities where you can start your business more easily and with lower costs, especially for small business owners.
Finally, I would like to point out the website of the Russian Chamber of Commerce, which provides support and information to foreign investors.