How foreign AI specialists can live and work in Russia


The National Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence for the period up to 2030 states that a number of conditions must be created to achieve the goals set. Among them is the creation of conditions for attracting the best foreign specialists in the field of artificial intelligence.

How can foreign specialists in artificial intelligence obtain work and residence permits in Russia?

Photo: Sergey Petrov / TASS

Requirements for a highly qualified specialist 

Article 13 of the Federal Law "On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation" of July 25, 2002 No. 115-FZ gives a comprehensive answer to this question. According to the law, a highly qualified specialist is a foreign citizen who has work experience, skills, or achievements in a particular area, in this case in the field of artificial intelligence. 

The salary of such a specialist is subject to the following requirements:

  • Not less than 83,500 rubles per month – for researchers or teachers of bachelor's, master's, postgraduate, and residency programs, as well as specialists invited to work by organizations in the field of information technology;
  • Not less than 58,500 rubles per month – for specialists invited to work as residents of the Technology-Innovative Special Economic Zone;
  • Not less than 1,000,000 rubles per year – for medical, pedagogical, or scientific staff invited to work in an international medical cluster;
  • No salary requirements – for specialists participating in the development of the Skolkovo project and the Sirius federal territory;
  • No less than 167,000 rubles per month – for other specialists.

Entry quotas and work permit quotas do not apply to highly qualified foreign specialists in the field of artificial intelligence and their family members. Such a specialist can get a residence permit in Russia on the basis of a work permit issued to him for the term of his employment contract, but no longer than 3 years. The validity of a work permit upon expiration of this term can be extended on the basis of an employment contract. 

Also, when the employment contract expires, the professional can find a new employer within 30 days and conclude a contract extending his or her (and his or her family's) residence permit. If he/she fails to find a new job within 30 days, he/she will have to leave Russia. 

All necessary documents for issuing a work permit are sent to the appropriate authorities by the employer. 

All family members of a highly qualified specialist can work on the basis of a work permit and study at universities in Russia. 

Independent application in the country of citizenship

A foreign specialist can apply to representations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, embassies, or consulates of the Russian Federation in the country of his citizenship for recognition as a highly qualified specialist. He/she can provide information that can confirm his work experience and skills in the field of artificial intelligence, after which this information will be entered into a database and transferred to Russian employers.