This guide was written prior to Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine and is therefore not reflective of the current situation. Travel to Russia is currently not advisable due to the area's volatile political situation.
Expats moving to Russia are likely to have a number of questions about life in their new home. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about relocating to Russia.
Do I need a car in Russia?
It greatly depends on where one intends to live. In bigger cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg, public transport is efficient, safe and cheap. Maintaining a car can be extremely costly and comes with much paperwork. Expats will also have to get a Russian driving licence after six months. On top of all this, the weather conditions in Russia make it more challenging to keep any car running. That said, if living in a more rural area or planning to live on the outskirts of the city, one would need a car. Many expats opt to hire a Russian driver.
Is it worth learning Russian?
Definitely. This is a must, even if only learning how to read the Cyrillic alphabet and a few basic phrases. One will not easily find Russians who are able to speak English, even in Moscow. It is essential to know the basics of Russian before arriving.
Can I open a bank account in Russia?
The Russian banking system has undergone significant improvements in recent years. Online banking is now offered by many banks, and credit cards are accepted at establishments throughout major towns and cities, although cash is still used widely in the more rural areas. ATMs are widely available.
Are you an expat living in Russia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Russia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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