Monday, March 15, 2010

A Moscow-based friend has just received this letter from his hr department


I need to ask you to bring me medical certificates about absence of the following diseases  for Work permit:

lepromatous leprosy chancroid
HIV test (HIV certificate is needed)
test on the absence of narcomania

All the tests could be taken at the International Medical center SOS (Orlovskiy pereulok, 7).

Warm regards



Tom Adshead said...

Welcome to my world.
Actually, I'm not sure if the International SOS certificate is acceptable for all FMS offices - sometimes they insist that you get them all from local clinics (where the narcology test often consists of the trick question: "Are you a drug addict?").

I think for a residency permit you need a certificate that you are not insane (a bit catch-22, that!), but I'm not sure, as I just paid someone 450 Euro to present the piece of paper.

And Lavrov said the other day that it's "easy" for foreigners to work in Russia. For instance he said that to register, you just fill in a form at the post office. This is in fact that law, but most FMS officials "recommend" that you don't do this. I've heard reports of the FMS just throwing documents submitted via the post office into the bin, because there are no bribe opportunities there for them.

Unknown said...


If you're wondering where Russia got the list, look no further than the medical tests required for an American Green Card. See following link:

Does that make you feel less hostile and patronizing towards Russia?

Edward Lucas said...

Hi Timothy

The difference is that the Green Card is a big deal--just one step away from citizenship. This requirement is just for a work permit in Russia. When I moved my family there the Russian consulate in Berlin insisted that my three-year-old had an HIV test. The German doctors refused saying that it was unethical to inflict pain on a child for that reason and gave me this in writing. The Russian consulate still insisted and in the end I found an American doctor who reluctantly did the test--I have never forgotten how upset and frightened my son was and how guilty I felt inflicting this on him.


Lingüista said...


here in the Netherlands, were I live, there are no health requirements to obtain a tewerkstellingsvergunning (work permit). In fact, you don't even have to apply for one yourself: it's the company that is hiring you that has to do that. You automatically get a card allowing you to work for them. If you want to be able to work for any person, you need a certain time of residence (always employed), but again no health requirements.

Why do you think Mr Lucas is being hostile and patronizing? That Russia's bureaucracy is too big, too corrupt and too inefficient is quite clear. President Medvedev himself has commented on that.

Criticizing a true problem is a first step towards solving it. It's those in the system who think there is no problem that really cause damage.

Richard Lucas said...

In Poland, (foreign or local) to start work in any company you need to do a medical, which includes (amazingly) an x-ray. Its a while since I did one and I don't know if the X-ray is still part of the process but I imagine that one day the mass x-raying of healthy people will result in legal action as a small % of the population get cancer as a result.

In principle however, I think that mandatory (safe) testing for dangerous diseases makes sense, whether foreign or not

Richard Lucas said...

in Poland, accepting a job requires a medical certificate (badan wstępny)
which included an x-ray. doesn't matter if you are Polish or foreign.

as mass x-raying causes cancer I imagine that even if this dangerous practice has stopped, a large number of people in the future will have to be compensated.

In principle however it makes sense to test (sensibly) for dangerous diseases, foreigner or local alike )

Tom Adshead said...

The Chinese also have a medical, I believe, although friends who have done it say that it's amazingly quick - you walk in one door and walk out 15 minutes later, after having 10 different tests done on you.

The equivalent process in Moscow requires about a week of trekking round and queueing at various clinics.