Nine Great Reasons to Move Your Family to Russia (And Three Reasons to Stay Home)
Fr. Joseph Gleason

A little over five years ago, my family and I left America and moved to Russia. On New Year’s Day, we took our shiny new Russian tourist VISAs to the airport, boarded a plane, and flew across the Atlantic, ready to start our new lives in Russia.


Fast forward to 2022, and now all ten of us are Russian citizens. We live in the beautiful Russian countryside around three or four hours north of Moscow, and we have more than a hundred acres of fertile Russian farmland. I serve as a priest at one of the local churches. I’m also a journalist, and I recently had the opportunity to interview several refugee families who moved to Russia.

At first, my family and I were the only Americans in Rostov Veliky. Today, a number of wholesome families with traditional values are leaving the West, settling in various towns in Russia’s Golden Ring. Here are more than a dozen new local households for example:

  • 2 English speaking families have recently moved to Rostov — one from America, the other from Brazil. And the principal of the local Orthodox Christian school speaks English.

  • 3 English speaking families moved to Pereslavl-Zalessky — two from America and one from France. And the local Russian Bishop speaks English!

  • 1 American moved to Yaroslavl.

  • 2 English speaking families moved to Suzdal — one from America and the other from Scotland.

  • 8 English speaking families (and counting) are building a community in the rural outskirts of Borisoglebsky, a half-hour drive west of Rostov Veliky. One family is from Denmark, one is from Italy, five families are from America, and one is a native Russian who speaks good English. Another family from England is also on their way here. The Yaroslavl government is assisting us with building an “American Village” just south of town. Several of the families are working together, purchasing many acres of land, building/restoring homes, setting up small family farms, and settling into the new community for the long haul.


People have frequently asked me, “Why did you move to Russia?” “What do you like about living in Russia?” Here are nine good reasons to consider:

  1. The GloboHomo LGBT Rainbow Mafia is not allowed to force their views down your throat here. Homosexual “marriages” are not permitted in Russia, nor are there any civil unions. LGBT propaganda for minors is illegal. And they are now working on putting a new law on the books, which will make LGBT propaganda illegal nationwide, regardless of age.

  2. You won't get called a “racist” every five seconds. No riots. No “Black Lives Matter” marches. Lots of white people live here, and we aren’t aware of any particular reason we should be ashamed of it.

  3. The American military industrial complex has no power here. No need to worry about the United States arriving on the doorstep to overthrow another national government.

  4. There are gazillions of Orthodox churches and vibrant Orthodox Christian communities here. For example, in Rostov Veliky there are five monasteries, numerous churches, and zero mosques.

  5. Inexpensive, fertile, beautiful land is in abundance here. Five grand can get you five acres of land (or more). There are lovely trees and landscapes, perfect locations to build family homes and live out in the country. Some of the land is clear and ready for farming. In the near future, I plan to share multiple articles on this topic, showing photos, prices, and locations of some great land available for sale in the area.

  6. Taxes in Russia are super low. If you are an employee, you’ll pay a flat 13% tax on your income (or in certain cases 15%). If you are a homeowner, you may pay $50 a year (or less) in property taxes.

  7. If you have savings, it will last much longer here than in the West. Most things are much cheaper. In a future series of articles, we will take a look at various everyday household items, comparing prices in America with prices in Russia.

  8. Russia is technologically advanced. From the military to the university, from software development to cryptocurrency, Russia has top notch technology to compete with the best of them. Luddites are welcome in Russia, but it’s certainly not a requirement.

  9. Russian culture is very rich. If you are of an intellectual bent, you will love discovering the national literature, film, art, dance, philosophy, and architecture. It is one of the richest countries in the world in that sense. The human capital of Russia is very high. A lot of very highly educated, smart, and sophisticated people call Russia their home.

But there are downsides too! Don’t waltz into Russia expecting flowers and fairytales, unless you want to end up like this guy:


So what’s the catch? What are the big negatives about living in Russia, that might make you decide to pack your bags and go home?

Make no mistake, moving to Russia is a challenge, and it’s not for the faint of heart. If you can’t handle these three things, then you might want to put away your passport, settling for a nice Russian vodka and a Netflix rerun of Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future. When you consider moving to Russia, you need to keep your eyes wide open:

  1. The immigration paperwork is frustrating and complicated. It is not recommended that anyone immigrate to Russia without assistance from someone who has already done so successfully.

  2. While Russian is a beautiful language, it can be challenging to learn. It is possible, but it is not easy.

  3. You are going to miss your friends and family. Moving to Russia is not like staying in your own country, moving from one state to another. You will not be able to take a road trip to visit your cousin or your mother, because there are no roads from Russia to America. And these days, flights aren’t cheap.

As for me and my family, I am glad that we moved. Russia is a good place to be, and there is not anywhere else on earth that I would rather live. We successfully conquered the immigration paperwork, we have made good progress learning the language, and the telephone and social media help us keep in touch with our family.

The good news is, now that we have done these things successfully, we are able to help others know how to do it too. When things are explained simply, one step at a time, the paperwork is not so difficult. And after trying many different options, we have come across a method for learning Russian that works wonders. If you come to the Rostov Veliky area, then whether you are working on your immigration paperwork, or whether you are learning the beautiful Russian language, you’ll have a whole community of native English speakers nearby, happy to help with the process. You won’t be doing things alone.

I am planning to write an extended series of articles, deep-diving into all these topics, both good and bad, whether encouraging or intimidating. If you want to move to Russia, or you just want to know more about what it’s like to live in Russia, then this corner of the internet is just for you. People curious about Russia will find the topics interesting, and those actually planning to move to Russia may find the information indispensable.

For those serious souls firmly committed to make the move, personalized consulting is available. Let me know your particular situation, and I can provide the best information I have, to help you know what hoops you’ll need to jump through if you want to legally immigrate to Russia.

To Russia, for Freedom!