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Working in Moscow?

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Working in Moscow

Are you considering working in Moscow as an expat? In recent years, numerous professionals have come to Russia’s capital to work as diplomatic staff, business developers or language teachers. In this guide, you’ll find information on the job search process and business life.
Many multinational companies are located in Moscow's business districts.

At a Glance:

  • To find work in Russia’s capital, ask your current employer about a company transfer or check out a Russian job site.
  • The work permit process is long and complicated, so start early and be patient!
  • Your employer will take care of your social security contributions, although we would recommend acquiring private health insurance in addition to this.
  • Russia has double-taxation treaties with a number of countries, so check if this applies to you.

 

Moscow is Russia’s undisputed economic and financial center. Greater Moscow’s workforce produces over a quarter of Russia’s entire GDP. With an unemployment rate of just 1.3% in 2017, the capital has the lowest unemployment rate in all of Russia.

Many of Russia’s largest companies have their headquarters and the majority of their staff working in Moscow. Nearly all multinational corporations which have entered the Russian market are based in the city as well. This makes Moscow an attractive option for expats from all over the world.

As the city is Russia’s capital and major political center, another large share of the expatriates in Moscow are diplomatic staff, foreign correspondents, and employees of cultural institutions. There is also a high demand for foreign native speakers working as language teachers.

Moscow's Main Industries

Moscow’s economy has changed drastically since Soviet times, when the city was reliant on its manufacturing and engineering activities. Nowadays, the service sector employs many Muscovites, thanks to the city’s growing tourism and retail industries. Moscow is also Russia’s financial center: it is home to the Moscow Exchange (the national stock exchange) and almost all of the country’s major banks, including Sberbank, which is the largest in Eastern Europe.

Despite the decline in Moscow’s manufacturing sector, the city is still a major industrial center of Russia and home to the national headquarters of many major companies, with mechanical engineering, food processing, and research and development (R&D) being the most prominent sectors.

Where Will You Be Working?

Many expats have their offices in commercial districts such as Kitai-Gorod or the area around Paveletsky station just south of the Garden Ring. The city is continuously investing in an entirely new commercial neighborhood in the Presnensky District, the Moscow International Business Center (Московский Международный Деловой Центр), also known as the “Moscow City” project. While construction is still ongoing, the district already contains a vast number of futuristic office buildings.

During his time in office as Russia’s president, current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the establishment of the Skolkovo Innovation Center just outside of Moscow, which is intended to be Russia’s own “Silicon Valley”. With this initiative, the government hopes to attract more high-tech and research-based companies and to get more tech-savvy entrepreneurs interested in working in the city. Although the center is experiencing various infrastructural and financial problems, it is nevertheless a sign that the government is willing to invest in new technology.

Looking for a Job: Search Wisely

Depending on your background and qualifications, realizing your dream of working in Moscow may or may not be easy to fulfill. There is a high demand for foreign experts, but it is generally limited to specific sectors. Skills in the fields of construction, business development, IT, and finance are much sought after.

Your most promising option for working in Moscow is to check directly with companies from your home country or multinationals in your field which are doing business in Russia, as these are the most likely to hire expats.

Alternatively, there are many online recruitment consultancies which can help you find a job in the capital to match your qualifications. If you would like to go job-hunting on your own, you might find the following websites useful:

Remember that due to work permit quotas, locally advertised jobs may not always be an option for expats.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Jürgen Hofmeister

"When I came to Moscow I barely knew anyone, but now I've got dozens of expat contacts from dozens of countries. "

Caroline Hayes

"At the first InterNations Moscow event that I attended I was absolutely delighted by the elegant atmosphere and the high-quality expat crowd. "

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