Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Lay of the Land

The work visa situation is still completely fucked -- teachers are employed on student visas, completely illegally, but at least those last 9 months -- other teachers have to work on business or cultural visas that only last 3 months, meaning they'll have to leave the country again. (While some schools will probably continue to foot the bill for these visa runs, the potential to get fucked over on the money, obviously, is high.)

Compounding these difficulties are the fact that embassies in different countries have different rules about how long it will take to get the visa, or even if it's possible to give you one at all. Some insist that foreigners can only get a Russian visa in their own country. Some ask for HIV tests, some don't.

I got a business visa to come visit Russia -- valid for three months, compared to a tourist visa which is only valid for one month. I got it in America, and did it by mail -- this ended up costing me a total of $450. $50 for an invitation, which I got from a company in Moscow -- $250 for the visa itself, $100 to get it in 3 days, and then $50 for postage.

Then of course you have to "register" in the area where you are living -- that costs a few bucks, also, depending how long you stay. (I think it was 2 rubles per day, and we had to sit around the office a few hours waiting, too.)

In addition to a Byzantine quota system for the number of visas that a company can issue, there are also some strange rules about registrations -- as a result, one of the guys I know who works here in Vodkaberg is going to have to make a trip to a different city to register.

To sum up: Russia could not possibly make it any more difficult to legally work now, and even visiting is a massive expensive pain in the ass.

When and if all the visa stuff for teachers get sorted, Russia will undoubtedly join the lengthy list of countries which demand certified (apostiled) copies of diplomas and criminal background checks for English teachers.

So -- miss alcohol and women? Sure. (The crippling hangovers, not so much.) Sorry I left for the Middle East? Nope.


Anonymous said...

It's all a huge fucking pain in the ass, though at least there'll (hopefully) be a holiday to Latvia/Ukraine in the works out of it. Paid or unpaid, it sure will beat teaching these fuckers.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing how many (dumb ass, clueless idiots) oops I mean TEFL professionals still want to go to Russia or most other countries that treat you worse than a Mexican dishwasher in hell's kitchen. I fortunately (or unfortunately) have been teaching in the same country in the CIS for the last 11 years and work for a school that treats me well and fairly, built up contacts etc. And under no circumstances would I ever reveal which country, or school to anyone!

Unless of course they end up screwing me over, then it's all over the internet........

Anonymous said...

Ha, this law was long overdue! Its just about time to kick out incompetent morons who are here only to fuck any hole that wears high heels...