International students do not need any permits if they are employed at universities (or affiliated organisations) outside class time (including vacations).
In all other cases, a permit is required. Permits are issued only to students on full-time courses at state-accredited universities. Students can work only according to the profession specified in the permit, and in the region (city) where their university is located.
A permit is issued for 1 year and needs to be extended for the term of the respective employment contract. If students leave their course, the permit is cancelled.
If a student changes their job before the end of the term of the current permit, they may work under this document at their next place of employment, but they must inform the Russian Federal Migration Service of such changes.
From 2014, it has become easier for international students to arrange a work permit: the number of documents required has decreased and the processing term is now shorter (down to 10 working days).
The permit is issued by the regional office of the Federal Migration Service, where the following documents need to be submitted:
Certificate confirming HIV-negative status, no infectious diseases or drug addiction
A statement from a university confirming that the student is enrolled on a basic full-time course
What happens if I work without the requisite documents?
Foreign citizens who work without a permit face fines from 2,000 to 5,000 roubles. In Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Leningrad regions, the punishment includes a penalty of 5,000-7,000 roubles and deportation from Russia.