Cultural Integration

Setting up your life as an expat in Moscow

Here’s a brief guide to getting started with your Moscow expat life, from where to go for visa and banking information to handling Russian business culture and managing culture shock.

Moscow expat life

By Expatica

Updated 6-5-2024

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Important notice from the Editor in Chief

Maintaining our Russian site is a delicate matter during the war. We have chosen to keep its content online to help our readers, but we cannot ensure that it is accurate and up to date. Our team endeavors to strike the right balance between giving information to those who need it, and respecting the gravity of the situation.

If you’re just starting your expat life in Moscow, it’s tempting to start exploring, but there are some essential tasks to get through first. Our channels offer a wealth of important information and advice about life in Russia.

Crown Relocations

Crown Relocations is a leading global relocations specialist. They have been helping individuals and families relocate around the world for over 50 years. Their dedicated team provide transportation and a range of other services to assist people relocating internationally to and from Russia.

Visas and bank accounts

If you haven’t done it already, sorting out your Russian residence visa and registration is an essential first step. We also have information on Russian migration policy. Another essential step in the expat life is to start banking in Russia. Visit our Banking section for details and keeping updated with news from the financial world.

The Moscow expat life: finding a house

So you have your visa and bank account. Now you need to find a place to stay. Read Expatica’s guide on the history of Russian buildings. Know the process of buying a home in Russia and how to find a place where you can keep your pets in Russia, Expatica helps you to do the research and decide on the best housing option. Whether you’re buying or renting in Russia, you’ll also want to make sure you set up internet and TV in your home.


The Russian education system is another important point for you to consider as part of the expat life in Moscow with your family. You’ll need to decide on local or international education for your children and pick a school. Visit our Education section to find out about international schooling in Russia.

If you have young children in Russia, you may need to enroll them in a daycare center or hire an au pair. Expatica’s Kids section will help you to find suitable childcare. Students should visit our Higher Education.

The Moscow expat life: finding work

If you are looking for a job, then learn more about the ways of Russian business before you start on your job hunt. Check out our Employment & Trends section. Expatica’s A-Z listings will direct you to specialist recruitment agencies in Moscow.

Learning the language

Speaking the Russian language is important if you want to improve your social life as well as job prospects, therefore make sure that you enroll in a language course and pay a visit to our Languages section.


So far so good, but don’t forget your health — moving is stressful. Learn about the Russian healthcare system, choose a health insurer, and find a doctor by clicking on our Healthcare section. Read on giving birth in Russia as a foreigner. All insured? Make sure you keep fit by finding one of the many fitness centers in Russia.

Enjoying the expat life in Moscow

Once you get over the initial culture shock of Russia and are ready to venture out into expat life in Moscow, get to know your local food markets, the shopping scene in Moscow, and Moscow’s historical landmarks. If you are hesitant about using your driver’s license on driving the Russian roads, read our article about public transport in Russia.