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Russian visa
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Russian visa Reply with quote

I'm currently located in Taiwan and looking at going to Russia next after I finish my contract here. However, from what I understand you need a visa to even enter russia as a tourist or whatever.

My question is - if I'm in Taiwan, how do I go about applying for a visa to Russia? Do I have to go back to the U.S. to get a visa to enter the country or can I get this from the Russian embassy in Taiwan (Russian "representative" in the case here).

From there, can I simply go to Russia and find a job and turn my tourist visa into a work visa, or do I need to get the work visa first from a sponsor?

Ideally I'd find a job of course, before leaving (this seems like the standard way to go to Russia).
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dunno if you can get a tourist visa from a Russian embassy outside your home country. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. The representative should be able to answer that for you. However, I am almost certain that whatever the case is, you'll need to apply through an agency, which you'll need to get the letter of invitation. Is there a visa agency in your location that deals with Russian visas? Find that out for yourself first.

As for turning a tourist visa into a work visa, the answer is.. maybe, but maybe not. Sorry, but the inner workings of Russian visa applications are a mystery even unto those who issue the visas.
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expatella_girl



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 216
Location: somewhere out there

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Russian visa Reply with quote

Coolguy123 wrote:
I'm currently located in Taiwan and looking at going to Russia next after I finish my contract here. However, from what I understand you need a visa to even enter russia as a tourist or whatever.

My question is - if I'm in Taiwan, how do I go about applying for a visa to Russia? Do I have to go back to the U.S. to get a visa to enter the country or can I get this from the Russian embassy in Taiwan (Russian "representative" in the case here).

From there, can I simply go to Russia and find a job and turn my tourist visa into a work visa, or do I need to get the work visa first from a sponsor?

Ideally I'd find a job of course, before leaving (this seems like the standard way to go to Russia).



--Don't know your citizenship and that can often make a difference--

But as I understand it, to apply for a Russian visa (of any kind) one must apply from one's home country or from a country in which that person has the right to reside for more than 180 days.

Now what that means is, if you have temporary/permanent residence permit good for more than 180 days (6 months) in a country of which you are not a citizen, you may apply from that country. So if you have some residency permit from Taiwan to legally reside there for more than 180 days, you may go to the Russian consulate/embassy in Taiwan, presumably provide the appropriate Taiwanese documents, and apply for the Russian visa right there in Taiwan.

--not knowing the country of citizenship on your passport but presuming from your English that you are likely American----

There have been numerous reports on the internet for years that American travelers in asia have had much success acquiring Russian visas in Hong Kong (with the help of a visa agency). I have seen this on the internet many times and I have an eagle eye looking out for such loopholes. On the other side of the border, American travelers seem to have good success getting Russian visas in Kiev.

However, I have seen a TON of questions on the web lately from prospective language teachers looking to go to Russia, who are being romanced by private persons and 'schools' with lucrative online offers, except that the position came with no visa support, and the teacher was being advised to acquire a business visa on their own and then come to teach in Russia.

This is not just risky, it is foolhardy (and potentially expensive). These people are not offering visa support--because it cannot be had. The Russians completely revamped their visa regulations in 2008 installing quotas, and quota place applications, and qualifications for hardship employment vacancies, and all kinds of bureaucratic blockades to foreigner hiring.

Hope this helps..... Rolling Eyes
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

" These people are not offering visa support--because it cannot be had." Not quite. It is difficult and you need to be a fully legitimate school even to start with. But it is not impossible and there are schools that do it.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 149
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Dunno if you can get a tourist visa from a Russian embassy outside your home country. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. The representative should be able to answer that for you. However, I am almost certain that whatever the case is, you'll need to apply through an agency, which you'll need to get the letter of invitation. Is there a visa agency in your location that deals with Russian visas? Find that out for yourself first.


I would have to say that in my experience there is no problem getting a Russian visa from another country. I have done it several times and had no issues what so ever.
As for applying through an agency, this is also something I have never done.

A letter of invitation can be provided by a hostel you are staying at (for a fee), or from one of the many companies you can find online who provide you with what can only really be considered 'fake' invitations.

Actually, I have NEVER met anyone who went through an agency to get a Russian visa. All my friends and the people I met got invitations for tourist visas from hostels and companies.

The Russian embassy in Shanghai even has special application forms for British citizens (we have to fill out a different and longer form to everyone else) So that goes to show that it's not unusual to apply for a Russian visa from a country which isn't your own.


Of course, I can only speak of my experiences as a British citizen. Things may well be very different for an American, Canadian or whatever.
But as I said, I have never had trouble applying for a Russian tourist visa from outside the UK.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paying for a hotel in Moscow will probably be as expensive as going through an agency. Sure, there are hostels that can do this too, but dunno too much about that. Docs still need to DHLed to the applicant, so that's part of the fee.

Coming over on a tourist visa is usually never a good idea, as it nearly always entails leaving the country again in order to apply for a proper visa. Costs mount up fairly fast. Apart from the illegality of it.

Just curious, but what companies are these that issue invitations? Fake or otherwise. Are they different from visa agencies?
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used an agency to sort out the invitation letter etc. I agree with Sashadroogie: the hotel method is likely to cost more.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 149
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Paying for a hotel in Moscow will probably be as expensive as going through an agency. Sure, there are hostels that can do this too, but dunno too much about that. Docs still need to DHLed to the applicant, so that's part of the fee.


Just curious, but what companies are these that issue invitations? Fake or otherwise. Are they different from visa agencies?


My mistake. When you said 'agency' I thought you meant travel agent.
As for having it sent DHL, I have never had this done. It was emailed to me and each time the embassy accepted the email print out.

Even my 3 month teaching invitation was accepted as a printed email. They didn't require any original documents.

I think you're assuming that the average staff member of the embassy actually gives a shit.

Jesus, my grammar is awful today. Vodka doesn't help with my grammatical ability...although it does help with the majority of other things in life.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did say 'visa agency' originally. Drink some more vodka, will ya! : )

Interesting - email print-outs. I've always had to have the original invitation, whether for tourist or work visas.

In my experience of embassy officials, though, they always cared enough to return any docs that they said were not up to snuff. Just because... they had the power, and they could.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 149
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must be very lucky to get utterly indifferent officials. Perhaps they just pity me and let me in.
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, that's good to know that I need to get an invitation before I can get a visa.

Yeah, I'm an American and currently have a work permit in Taiwan, so legal to reside here for at least 1 year. So from what you're saying, I should be good to apply from here (hopefully).

That's a little disappointing to know that it's difficult to get a work visa vs. a business visa. Are you saying that it might be difficult to find a job online or something from a school that will be willing to sponsor a work visa?

From what I understood it seemed like the standard was that if you were offered a position, a school should offer you visa support, airfare allowance, and housing. Has it changed in regard to visas? Definitely don't want to come on a tourist visa.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9038
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A school, or any other company, should be able to offer full visa support. But there are all sorts of complications, e.g. quotas restricting the numbers of foreigners that can work in any one company. There are all sorts of ways for schools to deal with this, but some shady places seem to prefer enticing unsuspecting outsiders to come over on a tourist or business visa. Though this is strictly speaking illegal, schools can sometimes 'convert' an initial visa into a proper work visa later on. It is all very murky, so it is better to ask upfront about how a prospective employer plans on dealing with this.

Remember that you'll have no legal recourse whatsoever if your employer does the dirty, and you are here on anything other than a proper work permit/visa.

This is why it is just easier to throw your lot in with a crappy chain school for the first time out. They are equipped to handle all the paperwork far better than first-timers to Russia. Should be easy enough to organise an online job application with them.

Good luck.
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Coolguy123



Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, more clear now. That's the plan - go with a chain school, sounds like it would make things much smoother.
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Shelby



Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 46
Location: Russia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in a small school and we have recently obtained status as an Institution of Additional Education (or something like that). It was a lot of hassle but now we don't have to deal with quotas, we can employ as many foreign teachers as we want.
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stozi



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:21 am    Post subject: No in ROC yes elswehere Reply with quote

The agency you have to go through wouldn't let me apply in Taiwan as I had no ARC but I've applied in Riga and Tallinn no problem
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