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Visa Watch
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Haft(Reloaded)



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:56 am    Post subject: Visa Watch Reply with quote

Hey Everyone,

MOD EDIT
so I am making a new one which focuses SPECIFICALLY on the repercussions for getting/renewing visas while in your home country, while in Russia, while in a country which neighbors (or has preferential relations with) Russia, and so forth...

MOD EDIT
until a diplomatic resolution is achieved between Russia and the major Western powers. The thing is that some of us (namely me) need to get a visa in the next two months, because a personal friend of mine is basically offering a job in Vladimir... practically serving up a golden opportunity on a silver platter... singlehandedly making a big dream of mine come true... I have got to know whether this is something that needs to happen by next month, next week, maybe tomorrow...


Guiding principles for the thread:

1.) Post news from credible sources regarding incidents where potential belligerents make threats to each other, and yes the threats are very open-ended and non-specific, but the path to visa bans is what we are watching for... so when either Obama or Putin uses code language about what they're gonna do ('cause shit, it's sure not us regular people all around the world), experienced professionals/posters are invited to post to give a warm/cold reading on the matter...

2.) Please include a link to the source with your update.

3.) Refrain from grandiose political commentary/theorizing, which might get our thread locked.

4.) REFRAIN from grandiose political commentary and/or theorizing!!!

5.) Keep the thread up-to-date until the matter is resolved and there is no longer a possibility of visa bans.

Savvy?

- Haft
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expatella_girl



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 224
Location: somewhere out there

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course your absolute scrupulouness regarding forum guidelines is commendable.

Superb that someone with just ONE post on this forum should have such great concern for Russian visa issues and forum standards.

Wecome.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 189
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone can possible post in this thread whilst following the rules you've set down.

What I am about to say would be considered 'theorizing' since I work for neither the US nor Russian governments and thus have no inside information.

My theory is that as long as Russia doesn't leap into Ukraine 'proper' it will be business as usual.
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Haft(Reloaded)



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The USA has deployed troops and jets to Poland:

http://news.yahoo.com/us-deploys-fighter-jets-poland-lithuania-200314022.html

On the one hand, this could be seen as a bold move which will drastically escalate tensions between the USA and Russia.

On the other hand, the fighter planes are old, their number is small, and it seems to be an essentially token gesture towards allies which are not currently facing hostilities.

Threat to our visas: minimal.

And I'll leave it there for today!

Teacher X states he's not an expert, and neither am I.

Now hopefully someone with more wisdom will start to post, and it should be about specific, current responses between the USA and Russia...

We don't need to know about Putin/Russia wanting the Crimea... maybe all of Ukraine... that's a given... we don't need to know why... we don't need to know why war might be inevitable between the USA and Russia as an abstract historical phenomenon... just whether it will screw up our visa applications...

This whole thread is premised on the possibility of general visa bans as a form of economic sanction, by the way.

I will keep posting until this incident is past us... even if I get my visa... the thread keeps going until it's done.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 189
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke to an American colleague this morning and she seems to think that the US embassy is banning Russians from getting visas for the US.
I don't know if there is any truth to this since I haven't seen it mentioned on any news source, but if it is indeed true, you can expect Russia to do the same for Americans.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9499
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
(CNN) -- The United States on Thursday expanded a visa ban and set the groundwork for sanctions against Russians and others over the crisis in Ukraine, while Europe also threatened similar action if the matter cannot be resolved diplomatically.


http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/06/politics/us-ukraine-sanctions/index.html?iref=allsearch

Still not entirely clear exactly what is happening, but looks like something is....
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Haft(Reloaded)



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post Spiral78!

You have provided a source for an observation made by Teacher X: that visa bans could be used as a form of economic sanction against Russia, and in your link we see that they have already been considered by the U.S. against specific members of the Russian leadership, although not for ordinary civilians (so no general retaliation yet).

This source here indicates that the U.S. will indeed attempt to put pressure on elite members of the Russian government in precisely that way, with an actual list yet to be decided: http://news.yahoo.com/russia-holds-war-games-near-ukraine-merkel-warns-003811476.html

This source indicates that the E.U. will engage in a similar action, and mentions in passing that the U.S. is a "minor trade partner" to Russia: http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-appeals-west-crimea-turns-russia-034247899--sector.html

Currently a referendum is being held in the Crimea to give people there the opportunity to vote their peninsula into the Russian Federation (see above link).

(I don't know how to attach a picture, but there is a diagram out there which indicates language groups within Ukraine, and both the Crimea and a sliver on the eastern border have the highest percentages of Russian speakers.)

The U.S. and E.U. are threatening the aforementioned sanctions, partly in order to to stop this from happening, but also partly (in their minds, anyways) to slow down any further incursions.

Teacher X observed in an earlier post to this thread that if Russia does not invade Ukraine beyond the Crimea, then things will carry on for the rest of us.

Putin himself has more or less indicated that his intentions are limited to the Crimea, though the Russian military has repeatedly made threatening (though non-lethal) actions towards some foreign observers and the Ukrainian military: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/04/uk-ukraine-idUKBREA1H0EM20140304

My contact in Russia was brought up to speed (finally) by their own media yesterday.

I just put down money to get my invitation letter, I am using Visa Link.

As an American who has never gotten a visa to Russia before, I discovered that I needed to go through INVISA Logistics Services.

I made a call to them a couple of days ago, and asked in passing about the possibility of visa/travel bans.

The person answering the phone said they did not have that information on hand...
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be unprecedented for the Department of State or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to instate a general visa ban.
For what it's worth the people who take care of my visa at my Moscow uni say I have absolutely nothing to worry about (I need to prolong my study visa, which will be glued into my American passport, within the next month or so).
Please spare us links to the latest news regarding the events unfolding in the Crimea and your unfounded doubts surrounding your visa application process. Get on with your business and if you must let us know how everything turns out.
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GF



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
Posts: 191
Location: Tallinn

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In any case, it looks like everyone will have to really behave or potentially face a serious consequence.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-13/putin-deports-executives-for-speeding-as-sanctions-loom.html

And then there is the strange case of what happened to all the foreign teachers at the Atlantic International School.
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Haft(Reloaded)



Joined: 03 Mar 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for this interesting contribution GF!

This is precisely the kind of information we are looking for...

If the purpose of this thread is unclear to anyone, it is for ANY visa which a foreigner may need to earn a living in Russia, and which may be impacted by diplomatic relations.

I was about to post in response to Foma87, happy to take his comment (if credible) as the definitive answer and cure to my own ignorance, but he further specified that he was a student.

He also used the word "unprecedented," which I'm sure we can all agree is not synonymous with "impossible" in any standard dialect of English.

Here's our scorecard so far:

1.) working visas = increased risk
2.) business visas = unknown?
3.) student visas = untouchable

By the way, GF, what happened to the foreign teachers at Atlantic International School? Do tell...

Keep 'em coming...
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GF



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
Posts: 191
Location: Tallinn

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome. From what I read last week, about 40 teachers at Atlantic (the entire foreign element on staff) were suddenly told by the authorities that they had to leave Russia and renew their visas. Once they were out of the country and trying to renew, they were all told they had 5-year bans on re-entering Russia. No explanation was given.
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the Bloomberg article that GF posted or what happened at Atlantic is in any way related to the conflict over Crimea.
Yes, the 2-administrative-offences-within-a-three-year-period rule is rather ridiculous, as evinced by people being banned from entering Russia for speeding tickets, but the this rule's been in effect since 2011 and there's no evidence that it's being more strictly enforced.
From what I've heard only a few of the teachers from Atlantic received 5-year bans. This seems to be a case of mismanagement on the part of the school. Evidently they took many liberties when dealing with their foreign teachers' visas. The probe was probably initiated by a rival school or a dissatisfied chinovnik, but most likely not as a general policy on the part of the authorities.
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GF



Joined: 08 Jun 2003
Posts: 191
Location: Tallinn

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one here has linked either of the two stories to the Crimean situation. Regarding the Atlantic school issue, see the link below to the original article. It states 'more than 40 foreign teachers' in the first paragraph.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/private-school-in-moscow-loses-all-foreign-staff/495543.html
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Foma87



Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 62
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@GF then why post them? for general info? isn't this thread about how the conflict in Ukraine may or may not influence the visa situation?
Re Atlantic, I read on a different forum that only a handful of the 40 teachers expelled from Russia received 5-year bans. Although they broke the story, Moscow Times is a notoriously dodgy news source BTW.
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RussianWinter



Joined: 22 Oct 2013
Posts: 18
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So do you think it's likely that our working visas might be affected? Or is it the kind of thing where you'd need a crystal ball? I'm supposed to leave Moscow in June, not sure what kind of plans to make...
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