Let's consider both types of visas:
- Business visa to visit Russia (Russian business visa) can be obtained by a foreign citizen who travels for a business, teaching, research, consultancy purpose, but does not seek an employment contract in Russia. However, performing a contract work or order with a specified deadline, or a one-time task/delivery of services is permitted. For example: conducting lectures, participating in business lunches, adjusting equipment, providing maintenance support, offering consulting services, holding exhibitions, as well as establishing business connections, exchanging experience and other similar activities. The invitation for business visa is issued in 1 to 30 working days, while the visa issuing process takes 3 to 30 working days depending on the country of origin and the applicant's nationality.
Business visa is issued for a period of 1 month to 3 years (you can find more information about the types of business visas, pricing and time frames in this article). However, the period of stay in Russia with a business visa is limited to 90 days out of 180 (learn how to stay in Russia with a business visa continuously throughout the year in this article). The cost of business invitation for business visa starts from around 40 USD.
Russian Work Visa This type of visa can be issued only to foreign nationals who intend to apply for a contract job in Russia in accordance with the Labour Code of the Russian Federation. Therefore, if no company is willing to employ you and pay a considerable amount of taxes for you, a 1-year Russian work visa would cost quite expensive, ranging from 45 to 55 thousand rubles plus the costs of translation of the diploma and postage expenses to send the original documents. A 3-year work visa to visit Russia would cost as much as 55-65 thousand rubles. For more information about prices, terms and conditions of arranging a work visa please contact our assistants by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Work visa allows to stay on the territory of Russia continuously throughout the whole duration period of the work visa to Russia, that is 1 year or 3 years respectively. Usually, arranging an invitation for the work visa takes about one and a half months.
Business visa can be issued much faster than the work visa and costs much cheaper. A small package of documents is required for submission to the Consulate when applying for this type of visa. The only negative, which you can try to get round, (see the corresponding article) is a limited period of stay in Russia allowed, which is 90 days out of 180 (number of entries in Russia is not limited by any types of business visas with a duration period of at least 6 months).
Work visa is quite expensive, takes longer to arrange and requires a large package of documents. However, it allows to stay in Russia continuously throughout the whole duration period of the visa.
Therefore, we encourage our clients to opt for business visas when planning a trip to Russia.
Arranging business visa invitations to Russia for foreign nationals in the form of a letter
Business visa best suits those who intend to conclude new contracts, it also allows performing some contract labour (e.g. technical maintenance) for a foreign company.
The difference between the work visa and the business visa is that the holders of the business visa are permitted to work in Russia. Employment in a Russian company means that the employee registration procedure must be completed and all taxes must be paid into the budget of the Russian Federation.
Arranging a business visa is a difficult and complicated process. Many of our customers get confused by the many types of Russian visas available.
If you're looking for a way to work in Russia without having to deal with the difficulties related to the need to obtain a work visa, learn how establishing a legal entity abroad can help with that. Your legal entity (e.g. self-employed entrepreneurship, called ИП) concludes a contract to perform some activities. After that, the payment is transferred to your bank account abroad (taxes must be also paid abroad).
The advantage of work visas over the other types is that it allows to stay year-round on the territory of Russia. There is an alternative way to stay in Russia throughout the year.
Some of our clients hold two passports allowing them to stay in Russia for 3 months, then leave the country and enter again.