Things to Know When Moving to Russia Long-Term
If you are thinking about moving to Russia your first associations may be the overly-long, but ingenious works of literature, the fairy-tale-like images of the empire era depicted in the movies and TV shows, or its current long-faced leader. However, there are some crucial and much more practical things you need to be aware of if you’re relocating to this vast country.
First, make sure you know your basic facts. The capital city of this vast country is Moscow, but you can make your international move to Saint Petersburg which is the second most populous city. The official language in the country is Russian and the currency is the Russian rouble (RUB.) Sometimes you are going to see a euro price tag, but you are still expected to pay in the local currency.
Save Yourself Some Trouble and Get to Know the Culture
This goes without saying when making an international move to another country you don’t know. But regarding Russians, it might be particularly important to take your time and study the way people behave and think based on their collective subconscious. The country’s history and its impact on the people’s mentality are unique and complex, to say the least. Let’s get into the homework you’ll have to do to ease what may be the biggest culture shock of your life.
Educate Yourself on the History
You don’t have to buy extensive textbooks and become an expert on Russia’s past – unless you want to, of course. But, reading a detailed article or watching well-made videos on the main turning points in Russia’s history – such as how Moscow became the capital after St. Petersburg – will inevitably help you understand why these people are how they are today. Plus, it might give you extra ideas on where exactly in this vast land you want to start your new life since that is the first thing you’ll want to sort out. It is the biggest country in the world, after all.
Understand Your Average Russian
This goes both for people and when learning a language abroad. When you’ve learned about history, you might start to get a glimpse into the general way Russians look, talk, and go about their lives and interpersonal relationships. Like, for example, why they appear to be so grim all the time. It is actually because they take life and family very seriously. When they smile at you or inquire about your well-being, they do indeed care about you.
Buy a Travel Guide
Even though moving overseas is different from taking a tourist trip, it might still be good to buy a travel guide. You’ll learn plenty from such books, like how transport works, what sort of delicacies natives enjoy, and what are the places to go to socialize and meet new people. What’s more, these usually come with lists of the essential language phrases. As Russians are not known for their English fluency, make sure you brush up on their language before you move. Don’t get spooked up by the different letters and soft sounds the English doesn’t have. Once you’ve mastered the basics of it, говорить по русски is incredibly fun. Trust us, you’ll be saying спасибо to us for this one.
Moving to Russia and Visas
Now onto the practical part of the article, specifically to the documents needed to travel abroad. The most important task you’ll need to do is acquire a visa. The process will take a lot of time, so you’ll want to start working on it ASAP. The Russian government offers a couple of options for expats, like a work or a business visa. They are different in many ways, so if you want more information, read some of the online guides.
There Are More Than Enough Work Opportunities
The economy in this great country is ever-growing, which means there isn’t a lack of work for foreigners. Moscow is the biggest hub for employment, but it’s by no means the only city that offers a vast choice of career prospects.
Ideas for an Expat Job
Some positions that are particularly popular among expats are language teachers, engineers, and IT specialists. These aren’t all there is out there, especially if you decide to make Moscow your new home, but if you belong to any of these professions, the chances are you’re going to get hired quickly. Fear not if this isn’t the case though. Do your research and explore all expat job options that are in demand in Moscow and other Russian cities.
Before Anything, You Need a Residency Permit
The government will need you to provide proof of where you intend to live before giving you a job. If you’re making your international move through a company you already work at, this may be easier to acquire. But, if you’re going on your own, keep in mind that you’ll first have to be granted a residency permit. Only then you can start your job hunt.
The Cost of Living in Russia
Just like anywhere else when moving across the world, living in the capital city, which is Moscow in this case, is going to be pricier than living in other areas. It includes the cost of rents and the prices of food, clothes, dining out, etc. However, compared to the USA, you may find that the general cost of living in Russia is lower, so that is a good thing. The trickiest part of this is going to be the money you’ll spend on visas and red tape as such.
Do Not Forget About Health Insurance Permit
The whole process of applying to immigrate already encompasses various health tests and examinations. This is nothing out of the ordinary. However, once you are an expat, you’ll also have to get private health insurance. Also, if you’re willing to learn more about the specific differences between healthcare in Russia and America, don’t miss out on the video below.
Last but Not Least – Get to Know Some People
Thanks to the largely globalized world in which we live today and an array of social media specifically designed to meet new people online, it is extremely easy to make international friends. You may think of opening an account on one of such platforms and start messaging some Russians right away.
It will be even easier, if you leave the practical aspects of your move to the professionals in international moving and packing services. The option of vehicle overseas shipping is quite handy, too, and will allow you greater freedom of movement once you reach your destination.