Being slightly less than twice that of the United States, Russia is the largest country on earth, occupying one-eighth of the earth’s inhabited land area.
Russia borders with fourteen countries: Kazakstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), China, Mongolia, Poland, Norway, and Finland. The country has the world’s longest border (20,139 km) and approximately two-thirds (37,653 km) of the frontier is coastline. Russia’s shores meet the Arctic, Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.
Early Russia was a number of Slavic cities in the Eastern and Southern parts of Europe until the Scandinavian warrior Rurik took the city of Novgorod by force ca 862 and with his successor Oleg unified the region they controlled. After more than 200 years of Mongolian rule the Muscovites threw off their domination and emerged gradually into one of the strongest powers in Continental Europe. The country was renamed The Russian Empire under Peter I and with Napoleons fatal invasion in 1812 it grew more powerful than before. Increasing internal tensions, however, led to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 when Vladimir Ilyich Lenin seized power. The Russian Soviet Socialist Republic was established and its first few years were marked by social and cultural change.
After Lenin’s death in 1924 a struggle for power in the Communist Party developed and by the end of 1930s, the Soviet Union strictly regulated life of its citizens. Decades of stagnation followed after the death of Stalin in 1953 until Gorbachev tried modernize Communism with glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). The Soviet Union was disintegrated in 1991 and the supremacy of the Communist Party was put to an end in 1992 by its President Boris Yeltsin. In December 31, the Soviet flag on top of the Kremlin was replaced by the Russian tricolour. In recent years the Kremlin has overseen a recentralization of power that has undermined democratic institutions. Russia disabled the Chechen rebel movement, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.
People: Russian make up 80% of the population, the remaining groups being Tatar, Ukrainian, Bashkir and Chuvash.
Russian is the official language. There are over 100 minority languages spoken in Russia today and most speakers of a minority language are also bilingual speakers of Russian. Other minority languages include Tartar, Ukrainian, Chuvash, Bashir, Mordvin and Chechen.
Russia has a wide natural resource base, including major deposits of oil, metals and timber, but is vulnerable to swings in world commodity. High oil prices together with a relatively cheap currency combined with recent investment has helped Russia end 2007 with its ninth consecutive year of growth. Poverty is steadily declining and has led to the expansion of the middle class.
The climate ranges from Temperate to Arctic Continental. Winters vary from short-term and cool along the Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; The summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along the Arctic coast.
This is a country of vast landscapes, vibrant life and beautiful contrasts offering a magnificent culture, ethnical diversity and awe inspiring nature with Moscow and St. Petersburg as its largest cities. Once a country under communist uniformity, Russia of today is in constant change – a dynamic nation in full bloom with lots of energy and potential.
In the middle of the European continent lies the capital, Moscow, being its political, economic, commercial and cultural center. The Kremlin, around which Moscow has developed, stands in the center of the city. Once the residence of the Czars but today it is the center of the Russian government. Moscow is the leading city in population with nearly 15 million inhabitants (the town and its suburbs). It has a large concentration of educational institutions and theatre, music, and art are important in the city’s life.
Main expatriate destination cities:
Most expatriates live and work in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Vibrant Moscow, is home to the largest companies and enterprises in the country, encompassing all sectors. Most shops are opened 24 hours a day with currency exchanges on ever corner. St. Petersburg is the second biggest consumer centre after Moscow where hundreds of French service, import-export, transport and restaurant sectors are based.
Main foreign investors:
Russia is a large and growing market with plenty of opportunities and has made major progress since its formation in 1991. The influx of western businesses into the country, including international oil companies and a large number of American commercial companies has been one of the factors helping to drive this growth. Vast natural resources, especially oil and gas, made Russia 2000 the world’s largest non-OPEC oil exporting country. Banking, insurance and property-related services has expanded rapidly and accounts today for more than half of Russia’s economic output.
Learning some Russian can be useful as relatively few Russians speak English and road signs, public transport signs are only in Russian.
In Moscow, apartments or townhouses in gated or guarded compounds or apartment buildings are common among expatriates. Be prepared to commute at least an hour to work wherever you choose to live, given the size of the city.
In St Petersburg and others, the suburb cities do not offer much accommodation of a standard acceptable to western tastes why it is preferable to rent accommodation in or near the city centre.
There are International Schools in Moscow and St Petersburg. Some schools also have English language pre-schools available.
The international assignment in Russia can prove to be a challenge due to local conditions, an ageing infrastructure and lack of investment. Culture, weather, language, bureaucracy and the cost of living are also some factors which can add to the challenge.
Russian organizations are hierarchical, with decision-making concentrated at a senior level, but work practices are based on teamwork. Titles are important in Russia: people should be addressed by their official or professional titles if known, or with their family name. Normal business attire is conservative. Business cards are always exchanged and it is advisable to have your materials and business card translated.
Leisure activities and opportunities: Moscow and St Petersburg has a wide range of sports and leisure pursuits that are organized within the expatriate communities plus a wide range of clubs and associations for other pursuits and interests. Sophisticated, world class dining and a wide variety of cuisine can be found both in Saint Petersburg and Moscow which are also excellent cities to sample some of the best cuisines of the former Soviet Union.
Prepare and Plan Visit
In this initial contact the Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee, introducing destination services commissioned, and provide access codes to HTLC Network on-line City-Specific Resource Guides. In addition, the Relocation Coordinator will help the Transferee assess personal and family’s housing needs, as well as their hopes and plans for the sojourn in your new destination. The Transferee will be asked to fill out a Personal Needs Analysis Form, which will enable customized service delivery. After gaining a sense of the Transferee’s needs, the Relocation Coordinator will arrange appointments with schools and real estate agents, an appointment will be set up with one of the Local Counsellors for a city briefing and a programme will be finalised for accompanied property and school viewings.
Airport Pickup and Greeting The Transferee and family will be met at the airport by a Local Counsellor and accompanied to designated hotel.
Destination Country and City Information
The Transferee will be given a briefing on the local city and life in your new destination in general, and will be encouraged to ask any questions. An Information Pack on the destination city will be provided. This Pack includes an information sheet with the HTLC Network office and Local Counsellor contact information and emergency telephone numbers. Further, it includes a city and transport map as well as a hard copy of HTLC Network own City-Specific Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of information such as telephone access codes, English-speaking doctors and expatriate clubs. When available, a copy of the English Yellow Pages, local English language periodicals and other relevant information will also be included in the Information Pack.
City by Zone Tour
The purpose of this tour is to familiarise the Transferee with selected areas of the city and type of housing and amenities available, in order to be better prepared to select the neighbourhood most suitable for personal and family needs. The City By Zone Tour is often delivered in conjunction with a house hunting programme.
International Schooling The Transferee will be briefed on educational opportunities in the area. The Relocation Coordinator will schedule appointments at the selected schools, and the Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged appointments although the appointments will be privately held between the Transferee and school administrators. Where possible, the Relocation Coordinator will organise enrolment procedure and arrange for company invoicing.
Full-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to eight properties.
Two-Day Househunting Programme Following an in-depth briefing by the Relocation Coordinator a programme of property viewings will be arranged. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to pre-arranged viewings of up to fifteen properties.
Lease Negotiation After the Transferee has selected a property, the Relocation Coordinator will negotiate lease conditions with the real estate agency or landlord according to The national destination law. HTLC Network coordinator will prepare a contract that ensures legal protection for the client. Particular attention is given to include a break clause, as international assignments often change in duration and the aim is to give maximum flexibility within the limits of the national destination law.
Property Inspection and Inventory Once the lease has been signed, a thorough property inspection is taken in the presence of the Transferee. This includes an inventory of any furnishings, general condition of the property, and meter readings for utility contracts.
Utility Connections, Phone Line and Bank Account The Relocation Coordinator will arrange all utility and telephone connections, and a Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to open a bank account in the selected area.
Settling-In Assistance The Local Counsellor will spend time with the Transferee and family, assisting with requested elements of the relocation process, such as arranging language training, obtaining a satellite decoder or internet service provider, shopping for furniture or securing house contents insurance. Duration of this service depends on various company authorizations.
Car Purchase or Lease The Relocation Coordinator will brief the Transferee on the logistics of making an automobile purchase and will research reputable dealers in the area. The Local Counsellor will accompany the Transferee to dealers and act as a translator. Once the Transferee has made the selection, HTLC Network will take care of necessary documentation including insurance cover. For long-term rental HTLC Network will advise local availability of this service.
If the Transferee requests, and is eligible, the Local Counsellor will assist with National Health Registration. City hall registration is a separate service and if authorizied, HTLC Network will assist with the whole bureaucratic procedure at the relative cityhall.
Ongoing Phone Support The HTLC Network support Helpline is available to all Transferees for 90 days from date of property contract signing. Extensions to this Helpline can be added in periods of three months.
Car Importation Importation of car to your new destination, including full document assistance and re-registration with Vehicle registry.
Full Assignment Tracking Full tracking of all deadlines throughout duration of the Transferees international assignment, notification given of all scheduled renewal dates, such as housing contracts, Permit of Stay and Work Permits. Ad Hoc Services Service rendered both from back and front office is available on an hourly and daily basis.
Immigration procedures and requirements vary greatly from country to country. Documents requested from applicants depend on the citizenship of the individual applying and the status he wishes to obtain in the destination country, be it authorisation to work, authorisation for accompanying family members, tourist or study visas, temporary or permanent residency status.
• HTLC Network has been selected by many International Law and Immigration Firms as well as Global Relocation Companies to represent them exclusively for immigration
• We work closely with the relevant governmental and police authorities in each country
• Our Immigration Team are experts in immigration laws and keep abreast of changing requirements and procedures
• We prepare all documentation for HR, all you have to do is print out and sign
• We inform the Transferee which specific documents are required , which translations must be obtained and if these must be legalised
• We provide HR and Transferees with information on the process flow, timing and specific legal requirements of each destination
• We update all parties involved regularly as to the status of the application
• Whenever possible, we act with a Power of Attorney on behalf of the company and the Transferee; when the Transferee’s presence is required, he will be accompanied to the relevant office in the destination city
• Our Local Counsellors, residents and locals of the destination city, are able to present the all prepared documentation to the relevant offices in person; thus speeding up the process and ensuring an efficient service
For more info about our immigration services in the Russian Federation please contact our marketing department at: email@example.com
Unfurnished properties will have a built-in kitchen, in some cases built-in wardrobes; necessary electro domestics (washing machine, dishwasher, boiler, sometimes air-conditioners).
A semi-furnished will have a kitchen furniture, beds, sometimes a wardrobe plus electro domestics.
Furnished properties will be fully equipped for living.
Your Relocation Coordinator will confirm whether or not the property has these facilities.
Some flexibility does exist but this depends on the Landlord in question, and any additional furnishings included in the property will lead to raise in rental fee.
This depends on the Relocation Package you have selected: HTLC Network Basic Package includes 8 properties and the Extended Package includes 15 properties. You will be told at the outset how many properties you will be shown or how much time you have available to do the house hunting. The properties provided will be as close to your ‘Needs Analysis’ description as possible according to what is available on the market at the time.
It is possible to pay a holding deposit to have a guarantee that the landlord will not sign the contract with another tenant. Once a property has been identified, negotiation takes place and a contract is drawn up..
Initial rental payment: rent is usually paid monthly but can also be paid quarterly or for the entire year, depending on agreement reached with the Landlord in question.
A security deposit is often required, usually equal to one months rent.
All properties also have a main bill to be paid on a monthly basis . This covers some standard charges such as TV tax, Garbage tax and other ( cost varying according to size of property and number of inhabitants ). The bill is paid by the landlord and sometimes is to be refunded by the tenant, if this is the case, it will specify in the rental contract.
The rental contract must be registered.
When the property selected is in a building with others a condominium fee is to be paid to cover light and maintenance of common areas and sometimes security.
Once a suitable property is identified, the contract (Apartment Transfer Certificate) is negotiated and is signed by both parties. Payment is made.
The contract must thereafter be registered at the relevant government office by the tenant. (Please note: All Corporate leases of min 1 year must be signed by the legal representative of the Company and must be registered. Short term lease contracts or leases signed in the name of an individual do not require registration).
The Landlord is responsible for the maintenance of all items and technical systems and to guarantee they are kept in good order and in a safe condition throughout the contract period. He/She should promptly have any repairs undertaken at his own expense in the case of malfunction or breakage, provided the foregoing condition is not a result of Tenant’s negligence.
The Tenant is responsible for any repair works to the property in cases where damage is caused by the tenant. The responsibility of any such cost would fall on the tenant.
Only with permission from the landlord.
Russian property law states that a standard break clause should be with not less than three months notice. The contract can be unilaterally terminated.
The Landlord should refund the tenant all prepaid rent, less any agreed damages caused through negligence of the tenant in the apartment.
Penalty for the tenant’s breaking the lease before its full term is usually the security deposit.
– All Utilities are to be paid by the tenant according to consumption : Electricity, Gas, Water, Internet, Satellite TV and international telephone calls.
Utility Accounts usually remain in the name of the landlord :
Electricity bills arrive to the address of the property or PO Box on a monthly basis. These are paid at a bank or post office.
Bills for water are often included in the rent and paid by the landlord. If however the property has a meter, the tenant according to consumption. Bills arrive to the property address on a monthly basis and can be paid through bank transfer, ATM machines or at a post office.
In Moscow all properties have a piped gas system and the landlord usually pays for gas and includes the cost in the montly rent, in some cases the gas bill is passed directly to the tenant to pay.
Television taxes are generally paid by the landlord as us Garbage tax.
Utility contracts remain in the name of the landlord and are not transferred into the name of the tenant.
Provided the property is located in an area that is covered it will take from one up to 3 months and costs 7.200 RUR for the phone to be installed.
Television and Garbage taxes are paid by the landlord and comes with the main utility bill. Telephone bills are paid through bank transfer, ATM machines or post office monthly. If you make international calls or calls to other Russian cities, its is charged extra and bill is send to the property mail box and this bill should be covered by tenant.
Foreigners require an International license, their own country license legally translated into Russian.
Russian customs charge import customs duties on personal motor vehicles, with the exception of motor vehicles belonging to foreign diplomats.
In order to transport a motor vehicle across the Russian border, the importer must pay a deposit to Moscow customs in advance. The amount of the deposit depends on year of manufacturing and the engine volume in c.c.
A foreigner can purchase a vehicle provided he has a valid Work Permit and Residency status.
Foreigners wishing to work in the Russian Federation require a Work Permit and Work Visa.
It can take up to 3 months for issue of a Work Permit and an Invitation for a Work Visa.
Yes you can stay in Russia on the basis of your temporary business visa, but you will need to apply for a Work Visa abroad once the Work Permit is approved. You can only start to work when you arrive to Russia with the Work Visa.
Your family members can apply for a Residence Visa as accompanying family members, but if they want to work in Russia, they require a Work Permit in their own right.
– Extensive rapidly growing client list.
– Exclusive partner/representative of many Global Relocation Service Providers.
– Exclusive representative of many International Law and Immigration Firms.
– Quality control guarantee: Head Office directs all relocations and immigrations in every destination.
– All staff required to attend on-going training sessions and workshops to keep updated as to global mobility needs.
– No language barriers – Assistance provided in all major European languages and many others.
– Corporate consultation with HTLC Network’s’ Representatives at location of choice.
– HTLC Network own ‘Resource Guides’ providing a wealth of everyday information for expatlife in destination city.
– Comprehensive FAQs for each country serviced.
– Red Alert List to prepare for the specific challenges of each destination.
– Extra ‘Safety’ section in Resource Guides for countries posing specific security threats.
– 24-hour Emergency Helpline for Transferees throughout the duration of the relocation.
– Complimentary 3-month Helpline.
During HTLC Network’ initial teleconference with the client we go through an in-depth ‘Needs Analysis’ which can include Housing Budget variables for the Destination City. HTLC Network will work with the Company to ensure the workforce locate properties of a suitable standard within the parameters set by corporate policy.
Legally, yes, as long as it can be proved that the individual who signs the contract has the legal right to sign as a representative of the Company. Many landlords however, will not accept this as it is harder to take a foreign Company to court should there be any missing rent payments or problems. As landlord’s rarely accept a foreign Company signing the lease, it is usually signed by the local company that is VAT registered locally.
HTLC Network will prepare the contract in the name of a legal representative of the Company. We require full data of the individual, a photocopy of his/her passport ID pages and a photocopy of the Company’ s document demonstrating position within the Company.
The prepared contract will be emailed to the appropriate Company contact and instructions will be given on how it is to be printed out and signed. Once signed, one of HTLC Network’ Local Counsellors will collect the contract and deliver it to the real estate agent for the signature of the landlord. A signed copy will be returned to the Company whilst the three copies of the contract are being registered, thereafter a registered copy will be delivered.
Arrangements will be made to take a thorough inventory in the presence of the tenant and landlord.
For the presentation of document application, it varies from city to city. Wherever possible HTLC Network will prepare power of attorney in order for a Local Counsellor to act on behalf of the Transferee and family.
To release the obtained documents, the Transferee and other members of the family must be present as an original signature is required.
All Local Counsellors are really ‘local’ to the area where they assist Transferees. They are selected for their good knowledge of their city area.
All Local Counsellors are trained by HTLC Network to follow our set pattern of delivering services using an in-house ‘Training and Operations Manual’.
All Local Counsellors are closely directed by Office Coordinators, ensuring a consistent standard of service is delivered.
All relocations are handled by the same system of centralisation. When required, we arrange for a member of our office team to go to the location of a group move to be an in-house Coordinator, working from the Client Company’s premises as a point of reference for HR, Transferees and their families.
In main centres we have several Local Counsellors.
HTLC Network aims to equip your workforce to settle into their new environment as soon as possible. Upon arrival they are presented with a local Information Pack. They are given access to our on-line City Specific Resource Guides that provide general local information as well as specific local information once a suitable property has been located.
We have a 24hour emergency helpline throughout the duration of the relocation. We provide a 90 day complimentary phone line that can be extended throughout the duration of the assignment.
Our aim is to teach the Transferee how to live in his new city and to equip him to be as independent as possible.
Area: 17,075,200 sq km
Time Zone: GMT+3
Capital city: Moscow
Bordering countries: Kazakstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), China, Mongolia, Poland, Norway, and Finland.
Climate: Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast.
Legislative Branch: Bicameral Federal Assembly
National Holiday: Russia Day, 12 June (1990)
Currency: Russian ruble (RUB)
Population: 140,702,096 (July 2008 est.)
Religion: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other Christian
Note: Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule
Languages: Russian, many minority languages.
Ethnic groups: Russian, Tatar, Ukrainian, Bashkir, Chuvash, other