RUSSIA: No Work Permit Unless You Go To Russia State Clinic

20 july 2011

June 2011 was marked by an unexpected announcement from Federal Migration Service: as of June 9th a foreign national will have to provide medical tests results issued by a state Russian clinic. Similar certificates issued by private or international clinics – which are the most popular among expats – are no longer accepted.


The new requirement was first suggested back in February by the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development for the purposes of careful control of high level of diseases among foreign employees. According to the state medical statistics there has been a strong increase in HIV positive tests results especially from employees of CIS countries. The research proved that all the foreigners with HIV positive held legal work permits which were given on the base of medical certificates issued by private medical clinics.

How will it work now?

Medical tests results (med certificate) are required to get a personal work permit for any employee. Therefore, now a foreign national will have to apply to a specialized State Russian clinic located in the same area as his/her immigration registration. The process of getting the tests done take much longer (around 1 week), than in private clinics, and will require an employee to come there several times in person.

Moreover, one should be ready that in a Russian state clinic you will not find an English speaking person, therefore accompanying English-speaking assistant will be useful, if not essential.

Alternatives and recommendations

  • As it looks now, both American Medical Center “SOS” and European Medical Center (two most popular clinics in Moscow among expatriates) being private clinics will no longer comply with the above requirements for medical tests.
  • Still, FMS officially confirmed that if a private clinic has a contract with a state Russian clinic, then the private one can physically take tests and then send them to a state clinic to be examined and approved. Do the above clinics have such contracts? Not yet.
  • HQS (Highly Qualified Specialist) work permit could be an alternative as does not require medical tests at all. The above can also be a way to stimulate more HQS applications. Contact us to find more information about HQS.

We do hope that the new rule is a temporary solution and will be reviewed in the near future. Aimed at employees coming from FSU/CIS countries to Russia for work, the new procedure becomes an unnecessary and unpleasant obstacle for employees from Western countries.

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