the path to a work permit in Moscow

In this video, a migrant worker documents just one of the sites of friction that is encountered along the path to a work permit in Moscow. For citizens of the CIS, the “simplified procedure” to attain a work visa involves crossing many urban borders.

The map depicts the stops along the way to a work permit while the video depicts the scene at the Federal Migration Services in Bibirevo on the outskirts of Moscow. Perhaps even more incredible than this scene, is the journey required to attain fingerprints for the work permit application. 20 prints are processed a day at a center that is first-come-first-serve, and happens to be 30 miles / an hour outside of Moscow in a town called Zelenograd.

The full story in Russian is available on