I posted an article on FB that a friend had sent to me titled, “Ten Good Reasons to Move to Russia.” Part of my reason for posting it was to convince others (and perhaps myself) that moving here from America is not considered crazy by everyone. Another motive, however, was that fact that I do get questions from friends and sometimes strangers who write me about moving to Russia. It isn’t that they are completely serious about making the move, but some of them have told me they do think about it. Others ask me about it just because they would like to know what is involved in moving to this culture. They don’t think they ever will. They simply have a healthy curiosity about the details. So I thought I’d try to give some insight from our experiences thus far for those who are just curious and for those who, well, sort of think about it from time to time.
First, getting a visa is not difficult. It is paperwork, but it is not that bad. I suggest going the route I did. Get an invitation from a citizen and resident of Russia. Essentially what they say is that you are invited, and they will be responsible for you while you are here. My invitation was from my father-in-law. It does not have to be from family, however. The visa I got for myself, Gabriel, and Marina Grace was a three year multiple stay private visa. Despite the fact it’s for three years, by law foreign citizens can’t stay in the country for longer than 6 months at a time. So Gabriel, Marina Grace and I will have to leave Russia and then reenter every six months. We don’t have to go far. We could potentially cross the border with neighboring Estonia and come back the next day, but it is still a bit inconvenient. I hope to apply for a temporary residency permit before the three years are up. It is also for three years, but with this document in my hands I won’t be obligated to leave and re-enter every 6 months. I will have to prove I have an income, provide them with a criminal background check from the FBI, and pass tests in Russian language, history and civics. The language part is what is holding me up. It is a long test and much of it is written. I am far more comfortable with speaking Russian than writing it. I’ve never had classes in Russian so my spelling is atrocious and my reading is ponderous at best. Of course, you do not have to have that status to live here. And as far as our two youngest kids, we’re planning to obtain Russian citizenships for them as soon as possible . . .
Read the full article here: What If I Wanted to Move to Russia?