Home Moving to Russia Relocation Expat guide: Setting up life in Moscow
Last update on December 11, 2018

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

If you’ve just landed 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 residence visa and registration is an essential first step. We also have information on Russian migration policy. Another essential step is to start banking in Moscow. Visit our Banking section for details and keeping updated with news from the financial world.

Finding a home

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


The education system in Russia is another important point for you to consider when moving to 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 Moscow.

If you have young children, you may need to enrol them in a daycare centre or hire an au pair. Expatica’s Kids and Pre-school sections will help you to find suitable childcare. Students should visit our Higher Education section and Courses & Workshops has something for everyone.

Finding a job

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, and see the latest jobs exempt from permit quotas Expatica’s A-Z listings will direct you to specialist recruitment agencies in Moscow.

Learning the language

Speaking the local language is important if you want to improve your social life as well as job prospects, therefore make sure that you enrol 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 health system, choose a health insurer and find a doctor by clicking on our Healthcare section. Read on giving birth in Moscow as a foreigner, and learn a little bit of Russian health phrases to be on the safe side.

Getting out

Once you get over the initial culture shock and are ready to venture out, 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 Moscow.