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I agreed to teach in Russia, but it's looking sketchy
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pasterios



Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject: I agreed to teach in Russia, but it's looking sketchy Reply with quote

To save her money, my contact in Russia wants me to lie to the Russian Consulate to get a business visa and state that I am doing business in cities and living in a hotel I will spend no time in. If I do this, the Russian government will not know where I am. I've had a skype interview with this woman, read her travel blog, visited her language school website, and found the father of the family I will be staying with.
Does this sound like it could be sketchy to anyone else?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it does. What are the plans longer term? Does your contact intend to 'convert' the business visa into proper work docs? Or does she expect you to continue this deception indefinitely?

Unless, there's is a concrete plan to convert internally, then avoid. Even then, this is very dubious, though many schools do it. But remember you'll be the one breaking the law, not the school. You'll be the one carrying all the risks. And for what? To save HER money? Forget it.
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 58
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, this sounds very sketchy, especially if you're in a rural area without the option to find other work if things fall through w/ the school.
You won't need to worry about the authorities. Once you have your docs in order, they probably won't hassle you (some, in other areas outside of Moscow, might state otherwise), but there's no guarantee the school will follow through with their guarantees. That's where the risk lies.
BTW The school would also be breaking the law if they hired you w/out a proper visa. If caught (which is very unlikely) you'd pay a small fine and might have your visa canceled (in this case, you could still get another visa in the future, i.e. you wouldn't be deported and banned from reentering). But the school would pay a very large fine and could lose its license.
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expatella_girl



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 211
Location: somewhere out there

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without a proper work visa and work contract, how can you be sure that these people will pay you according to agreement? What if they failed to pay you at all, what then would your recourse be?

Who is responsible for transportation costs to/from your home country?

There are time restrictions on a Russian business visa. Who is going to be responsible for the costs of you leaving the country every 90 days? I believe business visas are 90 days in and 90 days out, with no more than 180 days per year in Russia. I'm betting the 'school' knows this but isn't telling you.

These people are absolutely sketchy. But it isn't entirely their fault because the government has imposed so many restrictions on foreigner work permits it is almost impossible for them to properly hire and support a teacher legally. So they're doing it any way they can, and if things go wrong, the teacher pays the price.

No teacher with experience and credentials would touch an employer with so little to legitimately offer.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1818

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This employer can't be bothered to sort out the visa obligations. Can't you find somebody better?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foma87, I am not at all sure about the accuracy of of what you have written. I hear tell, admittedly not reliably, that visa offenders have been banned for periods of up to 5 years. And fined, but I have no hard facts on this.

As to the school breaking the law, while this is true, it is more a question of proving it. Schools could disavow all knowledge of a foreigner who is not registered as their employee - short of the FMS raiding the classroom while one is going full EFL blast. So, if a foreigner on a business visa is in trouble for any reason with the authorities over their visa, or registration etc., I wouldn't bet on a dishonest employer 'fessing up, or aiding in any way.

Bottom line is this is a risky strategy, and most certainly illegal. Not to be recommended.
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 58
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Repeated visa offenders (within a period of 3 years) can be banned for 5 years. Actually this rule applies to all administrative offenses, of which not complying with the visa regime is one of many. This is the 'bukva zakona' so to speak. I myself have a visa-related offense on my record (from Spring 2011). Which means once Spring comes, I'll be free to do things like not pay for public transportation, jaywalk, etc. w/out fear Wink
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 58
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Expat if the OP is American he can get a 3-year biz visa and leave the country (theoretically for just one day) every 6 months and still be in compliance with the visa regime. For American citizens the 90/180 Rule (which is not enforced anyway, computerization notwithstanding) does not apply in this case. BTW registration rules can be very easily 'dealt with' via the right travel agency.
@ Sash how would somebody be caught for working illegally w/out evidence that he was employed (by someone presumably) illegally?. The way I see it, the two go hand in hand. The risk is mutual. This works in the employee's favor as far as receiving payment etc. is concerned.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working in a company class, off-site, perhaps. Just walking down the street with Cutting Edge in your bag. Getting stopped on the metro for a random passport check and blurting out under duress that you do in fact work. Policeman at your flat door demanding to know why you are living there, and not in your hotel.

The list goes on. Yes, few scenarios are very likely, but still the main point remains: why put yourself in that situation only to save money for a school? Pointless risk-taking I think.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Add to Sasha's list any situation in which you might need medical care...
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 58
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the hypotheticals could go one forever…
medical care is free for many non-Russian citizens (at state clinics), private clinics are very cheap (and many private insurance plans cover medical expenses abroad)...
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1818

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foma87 wrote:
@ Expat if the OP is American he can get a 3-year biz visa and leave the country (theoretically for just one day) every 6 months and still be in compliance with the visa regime. For American citizens the 90/180 Rule (which is not enforced anyway, computerization notwithstanding) does not apply in this case. BTW registration rules can be very easily 'dealt with' via the right travel agency.
@ Sash how would somebody be caught for working illegally w/out evidence that he was employed (by someone presumably) illegally?. The way I see it, the two go hand in hand. The risk is mutual. This works in the employee's favor as far as receiving payment etc. is concerned.

My experience is that Russian visa law is very well enforced (and what makes you think that the laws differentiate between the workers' countries of origin?). I do not believe that the 90/180 rule does not apply. As for myself, my visas are scrutinised with great enthusiasm by various officials, including those registering me at my accommodation.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am familiar with subsidized medical services; my point is that the paperwork needed by any facility is likely to uncover that someone is working/living illegally in the country.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1818

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some countries have exchange agreements for emergency care, where it certainly would be free, but other care is provided on a different basis, either because your company has insurance for you or because you pay privately (either at a private clinic or by passing prezzies to a doctor in a public hospital).
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8612
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Private clinics are cheap?! Please list a few of them for me!!!
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