A guide to setting up your expat life in Moscow | Expatica
Home Living in Russia Cultural Integration Setting up your expat life in Moscow
Last update on February 04, 2021

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.

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.

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 Moscow. 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 and apartments in Moscow. Know the process of buying a home in Russia, Expatica helps you to do the research and decide on the best housing option. For basic guides to renting in Russia and buying in Moscow, visit our Housing sections.


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, and learn a little bit of Russian health phrases to be on the safe side.

Enjoying the expat life in Moscow

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