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Rent and Visa in St. Petersburg?
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Milo



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 6:25 pm    Post subject: Rent and Visa in St. Petersburg? Reply with quote

Hello,
What is a reasonable rent in SPb for an ESL teacher? How difficult is it to find something for less than $300 USD a month within 4 or 5 stops from the center?

Are 90 day tourist visas still available? Is it reasonable and still required to go to Helsinki every few months to renew?

Thank You!

Milo
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dostogirl



Joined: 22 Sep 2004
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Very Happy
Unfortunately, it'll be very difficult to find an apartment for less than $300 a month. Definitely not in the center, unless you don't mind tiny, dirty studio-like places. We've rented an apartment in Kupchino, which is 45 minutes away from the center, partly furnished....it was $300 a month. Sad
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Castro



Joined: 14 May 2003
Posts: 57
Location: still Russia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Milo. Very Happy

As for a reasonable rent in SPb for an ESL teacher:

yes, you can find something not far from down town for less than 300 $. But it's usually crappy flat or nice one but without improvements (such as laundry washer). But, actually, it depends on you or your friends. If you have time for search you can try to find something "good" for this price.
If I were you I would call some school you can work for. One of my friends is off contract. He is working for some different schools in St. Peter and has private students too. Well, one of the schools helped him to find it. Just write to piter@bkc.ru and they give you phone of real estate agent who works for them. Sometimes, schools have some flat they donít need at the moment and can lease it for you for 300 $. Just check.

As for Visa stuff:

seems like you just mixed up. Confused
Tourist visa is the cheapest and the easiest to get (just next day). But a Tourist visa is valid for one entry (in some cases it's possible to get a double-entry Russian visa). Period of stay in Russia: up to 30 days. Extension is not possible!
http://www.visahouse.com/touristvisa.asp
Except for special cases (such as visas for diplomats, sailors and students, for humanitarian and religious purposes, member of the family etc.) there are 4 types of Russian visa - Tourist, Private, Transit and Business. Private visa is for those who have relatives or friends in Russia able to get a Private Invitation, but it is valid for one entry only.
If you need to renew it I guess you mean business visa. It is valid from one day to one year. Single-entry or double-entry Russian visas can be valid for one or three months. Multiple-entry visas can be valid for 3, 6, and 12 months.
Yes, if you have 1 month visa you have to leave Russia and get another one (if you still want to).
But if you have 12 month business visa you still have to leave Russia but in 6 month to renew it. And you don't have to go Helsinki. You can go Tallinn for example. Nice City!!! Cool

P.S. sorry for this style. Embarassed
It is not because I'm a pedant
I just want to help. Wink

GOOD LUCK !!!
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Milo



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for your responses.

Yes, Castro, I was mixed up regarding the tourist visa. I spent the summer of '99 in Piter on a 90 day single entry tourist visa. Many things have changed since then.

It is as I suspected regarding an apartment. When I visited in '99 a local friend went with me to several agencies before she decided the apartments available were too expensive. She let me rent her apartment for $125 USD a month for the summer, as she and her family planned to spend all their time at their dacha Smile

It pays to have friends.
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bobs12



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 310
Location: Saint Petersburg

PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a flat at Primorskaya for less than £300 a month, but as far as I understand, it's an exception. It is sometimes possible to find people who will let you stay rent-free or for minimal rent in their homes in return for some English lessons, but these may be on the decline now.

Visas- maximum is 12 month multi-entry and if you're planning spending a lot of time here then it's well worth the extortionate cost. There's definitely something wrong with that statement, but never mind.

I use the 12-month visa. Theoretically you have to leave (by crossing any border you like- choose a border, any border...) every three months to renew and re-register your immigration card, not to renew the visa itself. That's to avoid problems with police in the city and on the border when you leave.

I generally just happened to be crossing the border regularly enough not to have to schedule special trips, but I also managed to extend an old registration (but you can only do that safely before it runs out) without leaving. It depends a lot on the people you are registering with Wink

If the above sounds a bit upside-down and convoluted, it is, and it's not even the beginning. The rules change often and border guards sometimes don't even look at your immigration card on the way out, never mind take it away from you. Sometimes they argue with you even when it's in perfect order. Depends on the day of the week and the time of the month, I guess.

I can recommend a good visa service in the city, both for invitations and for registration. It's the one I've made my last two multi-entries with, and I've also used it several times to get invitations for others. They've been 100% reliable with me. PM if you're interested.

The types of visa and processing prices available are on some consulate sites but finding them is always a pain in the neck.

In any case, Castro is right about Tallin- it's a much better option than Helsinki. It's cheaper, costs very little to go there and back by bus, and much, much nicer than Helsinki.

If you want to keep up with your three-monthly immigration card runs, you can go anywhere you like; Riga and Vilnius are both cheap and not too far away. If you're set on Finland, I recommend not going to Helsinki- go to Porvoo instead. I know a nice college with classy accommodation there for about 20 emus a night.

Where are you arriving from?

My God, I have to stop writing on forums late at night, I ramble on far too much.

All the best,

Bob
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What immigration card are you talking about?
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I guess he's talking about *the* immigration card.. the one you 'receive' (i.e. have to fight to get) when you enter and that you must keep with you at all times, along with your passport and visa, and *on* which they put the registration stamp, and which you have to give back on leaving the country.
However, I have never heard of the necessity for re-registration every 3 months. Everywhere I've read has stated that each registration is valid for a maximum of SIX months. Mine certainly was. Which means if you get a 12month ME and you want to just stay in one city, you need to leave the country and come back just for them to sign that f*!@#**$ form again.
I know this information is correct since I just checked it in the chicken entrails and tea leaves.

Dobro pozhalovat' n all that.
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bobs12



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 310
Location: Saint Petersburg

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmm... where do you register for six months? OVIR itself? I can only get registration for three months at a time via a hotel where I'm supposedly living but have never seen in my life, but then my visa is a bit BLue Peter (anyone remember that? Very Happy )

The immiration card is supposedly super-important.
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rulezz22



Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobs12 wrote:
I have a flat at Primorskaya for less than £300 a month... Bob


I'm a newbie here, so please forgive me for anything that might not comply with the rules, but I have lived for 18 years near Primorskaya - this is my "home" home Smile Although I live in US for about 7 years now, I miss that place, but that's just me - I grew up there. What makes you move to Russia? It should be pretty darn difficult to get used to new lifestyle, especially when country is going thorough such difficult time?
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Milo



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobs12 wrote:

Where are you arriving from?


That is a loaded question Wink

Geographically, from the depths of middle America.
Professionally, it will be a career change for me. I have spent the last 5 years in a network computer support position for a large international pharmaceutical company. While the technical aspects of my position came easily to me, what allowed me to excel was the ability to quickly and easily communicate with my customers, whether they were computer geeks, vice presidents, or marketing managers from South America.

Prior to that I was in the US Army for 8 years. My Russian language training was a benefit of that. I spent a couple of years in the former Yugoslavia with the UN and US Army, my job was working with the native translators to deal with local suppliers and regulatory agencies.

I left the University to join the army, 75% of the way through an English Literature degree.

My plan is to attend CELTA training, probably in Mexico but maybe in Moscow, and then seek freelance work in Russia. I would much prefer to work in St. Petersburg, but I might go to Moscow if the job prospects look too scarce in Piter.

I'm not a teacher now, but I think I can become one. And better yet, I think I would enjoy helping people achieve their goals. I know it will be difficult sometimes, but that is the nature of life.

I think I will make an excellent teacher. I wouldn't consider attempting it if I thought otherwise. I also think I will find it rewarding and fun, at least some of the time.

I want to freelance, as opposed to signing a contract at a school, for several reasons. I want to believe in my students. Working for a school I would not get to choose who I get to teach. Starting out I will not have the freedom to pick and choose, but down the road I will.
I want to be sure the student gets what they pay for. As a freelancer, that is within my power.
I want to earn what I am worth.

I am setting myself up for a sink or swim situation, especially so because I will close my apartment and sell most of my belongings in the USA before I take my CELTA course.

Wish me luck!

Milo
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Milo



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rulezz22 wrote:
What makes you move to Russia? It should be pretty darn difficult to get used to new lifestyle, especially when country is going thorough such difficult time?


Getting used to the new lifestyle is half the fun. But understand, the difficulties a foreigner faces are not the same difficulties a Russian faces. Most visitors come from secure countries, and if the situation in Russia gets bad, as it was in the early 1990's, they can return to their home countries.
The fact that Russia is going through so many changes is also important. The Russia I knew in 1998 is not quite the same Russia of today, and what will it be in 10 years? I want to experience it before it is lost (changed?) forever.

The USA will always be my home, I plan to spend my retirement there. But while I am young I want to see the rest of the world. One of my most favorite memories is walking across an ancient bridge in Skopje, Macedonia. The air was full of foreign words in 3 different languages, of which I could understand 10%. Nobody knew or cared that I was American, it was just a moment in time when I was surrounded by something that nobody from my small USA town would likely ever experience. Somebody said 'Variety is the spice of life'. I'd like my life spicy, please.

We live in such an incredible age. We can get on an airplane and take a journey in 8 hours that would have taken months or years just 100 years ago.


Milo
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rulezz22



Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milo wrote:
But while I am young I want to see the rest of the world. ... 'Variety is the spice of life'. I'd like my life spicy, please.
Milo


I absolutely agree with you. I've moved to USA myself, because I wanted to see the world. But looks like I'm stuck now. That is absolutely not what I expected. I can go back to Russia any time I want (I'm a citizen of both countries), but material load is heavier than I thought... financial responsibilities... How to overcome all that? I still hope to be able to move freely. I just don't know when and how. Sad Smile
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Milo



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rulezz22 wrote:
but material load is heavier than I thought... financial responsibilities... How to overcome all that? I still hope to be able to move freely. I just don't know when and how. Sad Smile


You got sucked into the American dream. I'm there, trying to climb out. We can do it! If we set our mind to it and work for it.
Throw away the credit cards and drive a car you can afford.
Credit is the way America creates their 'Serfs'.


Milo
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rulezz22



Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milo wrote:
rulezz22 wrote:
but material load is heavier than I thought... financial responsibilities... How to overcome all that? I still hope to be able to move freely. I just don't know when and how. Sad Smile


You got sucked into the American dream. I'm there, trying to climb out. We can do it! If we set our mind to it and work for it.
Throw away the credit cards and drive a car you can afford.
Credit is the way America creates their 'Serfs'.


Milo


Yes, I know. Car loans are not the worst that can happen - house is what everyone needs. I will pay for it 28 more years. Maybe Laughing
BTW, how to file taxes living abroad?
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misteradventure



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:47 am    Post subject: us taxes abroad Reply with quote

US Tax info is available on www.irs.treas.gov

The general rule of thumb is that, after 2 years, your worldwide income up to $80,000 is tax-free so long as it is reported.

But I'd get that in writing from the leeches themselves.
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