Once a Russian business offers a foreign citizen a permanent job, the work permit can be issued. Work permits require the approval of the Federal Migration Service.
If you change your job, you may keep the work permit obtained by your previous employer, if it still has at least 3 months until the expiry date.
The employer in Russia must obtain the work permit before the employee arrives in Russia. The company needs to demonstrate that your work cannot be done by a Russian. The process of obtaining a permit from the city employment office can be difficult.
Working as a private entrepreneur in Russia
Another option is to register as a private entrepreneur. Eventually you’ll be able to apply for permanent residency, which will allow you to have the same rights as Russian citizens.
Proceed with caution, as although it’s been done, creating a business can be difficult without knowing the language or the country well. In this case you will probably need the services of law firms with English (French, German, etc.) speaking attorneys which can be quite expensive. The whole procedure for setting up a business can take about 2-3 months.
Employees that don’t need a work permit
Some employees (lucky!) do not need work permits. These include journalists, university lecturers, students working in their spare time and employees of foreign companies who are brought to Russia.