Immigrate to Russia. Things to consider before moving to Russia

Immigrate to Russia. Things to consider before moving to Russia

Many Russian people immigrate to other countries all over the world in search of a better life. However, foreigners are moving to Russia from the USA, Asian countries, and Europe as well. This country could be a complicated puzzle for expats planning to immigrate to Russia as the language system and alphabet are totally different there compared to the rest of the world.

People moving to Russia from the USA, the EU, or other developed countries may experience difficulties in understanding local people and their culture due to numerous stereotypes coming from mass media means. Therefore, we have prepared this article to differentiate what is a myth and what is the truth. It will help you to understand this country better and alleviate the period of adaptation in Russia when you plan to relocate there. Moreover, we will provide packing and shipping tips for you to move personal belongings to Russia easily, cheaply, and fast.

International removals to Russia with Eurosender

Whether you are relocating from the USA to Russia or immigrate from any other region, you definitely need to learn more about this country and prepare all the necessary documents which will grant your legal stay there. Most likely you are also encouraged to move your personal belongings to Russia safely. Therefore, we have prepared a brief guide with basic facts about this country and information about our services for international removals to Russia. It will help you to better understand the country’s lifestyle, traditions, and bureaucratic procedures before moving to Russia from the USA or any other country.

LocationEveryone knows that Russia is the biggest country in the world. It stretches across 10 time zones from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka.
Capital cityMoscow
ClimateTaking this geographic diversification into consideration means that the climate varies from north to south and from east to west. By the way, have you ever heard about Russian winters? Probably, yes. Indeed, Russian winters are severe even in Moscow because the country itself is located in the northern part of the Northern hemisphere. Relocating from the USA to Russia means that you need to take plenty of warm garments with you or better ship those clothes with Eurosender.
CurrencyThe Russian ruble is the official currency in the country. Nevertheless, cashless payments have become extremely popular over the last several years, especially in bigger cities where expats tend to reside.
PopulationThere are many peoples living in Russia and immigrating to this country each year. The latter category mainly comprises people coming from post-Soviet republics, Middle Asia, and China. Subsequently, there is a diversity of cultures and religions in Russia.
LanguageRussian is the official language in Russia. However, people living near border areas also speak other languages.
Timezonefrom UTC+02:00 to UTC+12:00
Surprising factRussia’s Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world and it contains about 20% of the world’s unfrozen freshwater.

You already know a few basic facts about expat life in Russia that will help you to adapt to this country after the relocation. Also, find out a cheap and convenient way to move personal belongings to Russia or send household appliances abroad with courier services. Contact our logistics experts and they will gladly assist you.



Living in Russia

Before you immigrate to Russia, you need to learn reading in Cyrillic script. It is extremely essential because almost every sign is in Russian with Cyrillic letters only. In most touristic places and subway, you may often notice English translation of signs. We strongly recommend learning at least basic Russian vocabulary before moving to Russia from the USA, the UK, or the EU and other world countries.

Living in Russia is not the same as illustrated in the international mass media means, but many of those facts can be true. We have prepared a list of advantages and disadvantages of expat life in Russia.


  • The taxes are relatively low in Russia compared to most European countries and the USA.
  • The prices for food, entertainment, and modern utilities are not very high. However, people need to pay much for central heating during the winter season.
  • Saint Petersburg is the cultural centre of Russia. Many expats, students, and tourists come to this city to study art, culture, and history.
  • There is a clear distinction between the seasons in Russia. However, the northern parts have long winters and low temperatures throughout the year.
  • Given that Russia is the biggest country in the world with many unexplored spots, it has many places and cities to travel to.


  • The mindset of Russian people is different from that of the Europeans or Americans. Many people are simply not polite and even a bit aggressive.
  • It could be really a hard time for you to find an English speaker in the streets to ask for a local cafe or the nearest metro station.
  • A phrase about Russia says that this country is “famous” for its roads. Indeed, the quality of the roads outside of big cities is nearly catastrophic. However, Russia has a vast railway network and a significant number of domestic flights at reasonable rates.

Cost of living in Russia

The cost of living in Russia could be pleasantly surprising especially for the expats relocating from the USA to Russia. The prices for food, entertainment, apartment rent, clothing, public transport is rather low in general. For instance, a typical menu of the day will cost you $3-5 in a canteen or a cafe. However, Moscow, Vladivostok, and Saint Petersburg, the most popular hotspots among expats, are rather expensive cities. Anyway, expats who decide to move to Russia are usually offered decent wages and get many opportunities to save money.

Visa Regulations for Russia

Many foreigners and expats complain of tough bureaucratic procedures associated with the visa application process either when they plan to relocate to Russia or just arrange a short visit to this country. Depending on the purpose of travelling to Russia and the duration of stay, there are 4 main visa types for foreigners coming from abroad.

  • Tourist visa. This type of visa is intended for a short-term stay in Russia. It provides a possibility to enter the country for up to a 30-days period, visit local historical and sightseeing places, museums, or resort areas.
  • Business visa. It allows staying in Russia during a longer period of time mainly for business purposes.
  • Student visa. If you are enrolled in a Russian university, you can easily apply for this type of visa.
  • Work visa. Ask your employer in Russia to arrange all work-related documents as you will obligatory need those to apply for a work visa and residency permit. A work visa allows staying in the country for up to 3 years and could be prolonged upon necessity. The process of obtaining a work visa and residency permit can be really exhausting, but the procedure is simplified for highly qualified professionals (engineers and IT experts, for instance). To get citizenship, you must be a resident of Russia for at least 5 years.



Healthcare in Russia

In fact, all Russian citizens are eligible for gratis medical treatment in public healthcare institutions. However, the quality of healthcare services is not always superb in public hospitals and may significantly differ from what the expats are used to. Non-Russian citizens are obliged to acquire a health insurance policy that could be purchased in specialized establishments or granted by employers.

Both local citizens and expats consider private health insurance policies due to the range of advantages it provides. There are many private hospitals and medical institutions in Russia (especially in Moscow and Saint Petersburg) offering high-quality medical services.

School and education

Children in Russia have to attend school starting from the age of 6 for 10 or 11 years in total. Many graduate students decide to enrol to the university or go for vocational training after graduation.

Many Russian universities, especially the medical and technical ones, invite foreign students to study there. However, there are certain quotas for international students, so one needs to pay tuition fees for a chosen educational program.

The job market in Russia

If you want to work in Russia, you need to obtain an official permit and get your documents ready for a work visa. There is also a possibility to apply for an entry visa to seek employment opportunities in Russia upon arrival.

Most expatriates working in Russia are employed by international companies and language schools. In those cases, the knowledge of the Russian language is not obligatory, but basic vocabulary would be really helpful as most of your subordinates or students will speak Russian with each other. Moreover, you will have access to a wider spectrum of job opportunities with proficiency in the Russian language.

We have prepared a short list of the online platforms where you can find job opportunities for expatriates in Russia – GlassDoor / Expat.

Driving in Russia

If you want to drive a car, you need to apply for a local driving license once you immigrate to Russia. You will have to pass both theoretical and practical driving tests. The rules on the road are similar to those in other world countries, but we have prepared a short list of recommendations and highlights for you related to driving in Russia.

  • Speed limits: 60 km\h in urban areas, cities, and villages; 110 km\h on highways.
  • When driving in Russia, take your driving license, international driving license, vehicle insurance, and vehicle registration documents.
  • Be very attentive because the road traffic in Russia is unpredictable and can be even dangerous. Try to use common sense while driving in Russia.
  • The quality of Russian roads is inferior in some areas. Temperature fluctuations throughout the year result in cracks and ruts on the roads, while the limited funding makes it impossible to fix all of them.

Cost of moving to Russia

Relocating to Russia from overseas is not an easy task for sure. To get prepared for relocation, you need to discover the average moving costs to Russia, check how long does it take for a parcel to arrive in Russia, discover the cheapest way to move furniture to Russia, or estimate how much is shipping from the USA to Russia. We have prepared some shipping tips to move personal belongings to Russia safely, cheaply, and fast.

What is the average cost of moving house to Russia?

Eurosender offers exclusive shipping services for expats and international students planning to move personal belongings to Russia. When using Eurosender platform for booking shipping services, you get a range of benefits:

  • You can send almost any kind of items internationally.
  • Eurosender partners with the best courier service providers that ensure the safe transportation of your packages.
  • You will discover the cheapest way to move furniture to Russia thanks to our unique algorithm that crafts the best offer based on the price-to-performance ratio.
  • Just enjoy the convenience of the door-to-door shipping so that you do not have to carry your heavy bags to a local drop-off point.
  • Check the estimated delivery date with the help of our online calculator (it will help you to determine how long does it take for a parcel to arrive in Russia).
  • You can always track a parcel online with our tracking engine.

We recommend placing an order in advance and choosing the right shipping services.

If you need to ship multiple parcels or heavy items, contact our logistics professionals for organizing an individual offer for you.



The most popular destination from where you can move to Russia

Moving to Russia from the UK

If you are going to immigrate from the UK to live in Russia and looking for an affordable solution to send your packages, suitcases, or pallets, Eurosender can offer you access to a wide network of international logistics companies. By using our online platform, you can automatically see the cost of your shipment and the estimated delivery time of shipping service from the UK to Russia.


Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.