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Moscow - Employment

As an expatriate moving to Moscow, you will find that obtaining a job in Russia's capital city is a difficult process. The vast majority of expatriates in the city are transferred there by their current employers, or have otherwise secured employment before moving to the city. If you are planning a move to Moscow, it is advisable to make sure you have a job there before you move. Not only will this ensure that you will have adequate income once you arrive, but your employer can also assist you with obtaining the necessary work permits to legally work in the city.

Work permits are difficult to obtain once you arrive. The Federal Migration Service (FMS) places a yearly quota on the number of work permits it issues to citizens of visa countries (countries whose citizens require visas to enter Russia). The quota is determined at the end of each year for the following year. In 2008, the FMS reached its quota before the end of May, and could no longer accept applications for work permits for that year.

The easiest method for securing employment in Moscow is to be hired by a company which has an office or branch within the city. Engineering, senior management, information technology management, and investment banking are common jobs for expatriates, with "blue collar" jobs being far less accessible.

"Expatriate packages" are sometimes available, which make the process of becoming authorized to work in Moscow easier. Currently, however, the package is only available to oil and construction industry specialists, and cannot be obtained by a person who does not possess this specific expertise.

By far, the greatest obstacle to finding a job in Moscow is that employers prefer to hire English speaking Russian natives, who are willing to work for a far lower salary. The average salary for a worker in Moscow is about $3,000.

Although headhunting agencies do exist within the city, they are of little use to expatriates. These agencies are primarily focused on providing jobs to locals, and exhibit little interest in providing employment services to expatriates.

Headhunting agencies in Moscow estimate that only seven percent of job seekers qualify as potential candidates for jobs within the city, even for sales positions.

Also, no government operated employment agencies are currently available for expatriates wanting to work in Moscow.

If you have not secured employment before arriving in Russia's capital, The Moscow Times offers job listings in its classified advertisements section. Often, however, the employers posting jobs in the Moscow Times are looking for English speaking natives, rather than expatriates.

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