View Full Version : This is terrible. What can I do?

Navajo Joe
10-06-2005, 12:39
My contract ends with my company on 15th June, on which date they will cancel my multi-entry business visa.
I found some new work but it seems the company can`t help me with a Letter of Invitation, needed for a new visa.

From the 15th June I have 10 days to leave the country! Yet I`m told new visas take 15 days minimum to process.

I didn`t know my company would cancel my visa. This leaves me in a really bad situation, I DON`T want to leave Russia yet.

Please, anyone. Some words of wisdom urgently needed.



10-06-2005, 12:46

Don't panic. First off, try to get your employer to leave your visa in place. While they probably should cancel their "sponsorship" of your stay in Russia if you are not working there, my guess is that they really suffer no downside by doing so. If you can do this, you will be sorted.

Alternatively, ask them to hold off on cancellation of your visa until you get a new visa. Then, look into the various companies that provide invitations for visas. You can get a single entry visa invitation very quickly and cheaply and a multi-entry will take more time and money. There are a number of services people use, so look around a bit. I use Visa House to get visas for my clients and they are easy to work with, but they are not the only game in town.

Chubby Hubby
10-06-2005, 13:05
Go to www.visalink.ru - they sell 1 year invites from 3900 rubles.

10-06-2005, 16:24
My contract ends with my company on 15th June, on which date they will cancel my multi-entry business visa.

That's complete nonsense, you must have just misunderstood them. Your company can't "cancel" a visa that's already in your passport. What are they going to do - rip it out of your passport? Deface it with red pen?

Even if your visa was about to expire (which I don't think it is, from what you're saying), you still wouldn't be in any particular difficulty. There are numerous solutions, for example getting a tourist visa until your business visa invitation comes through, or just staying in the country with an expired visa and paying the fine when you leave (180 bucks last time I heard, not a crippling sum).

10-06-2005, 16:26
what's this doing in the lessons folder anyway???

Navajo Joe
13-06-2005, 12:11
ok this was posted in the wrong thread last week, sorry. Thanks for moving it to the right place.

It might seem strange GarryOwen, I don`t know if you know if they have the "legal" right or not to cancel the visa but this is the fact of the case. I have asked them for some time, to hold off for just, say, three weeks, to give me the chance to sort out a new Letter of Invitation, but no, NOT POSSIBLE, "because we are legally obliged to end your visa as we sponsored you to come here and we will be legally responsible for you if you stay in Moscow". Even though I do know cases where some slack has been given, and teachers whose contracts have been terminated but who were not required to present their visas for cancellation.

It did not work out for me with them and the catalyst was a difference of opinion with the Director over some personal issues I was facing back in the UK. I asked for some leave to go and spend some time with my mother who had just come out of Intensive Care after a hit and run car accident. It had been affecting my emotional state and my work. I was told that I could not have my Leave but I could work my month`s notice and kiss goodbye to my job.

The Director contacted me two weeks ago to ask me how I was. I had found some new hours private and in-company. I had no idea two weeks later (and no-one had mentioned it to me) that I would lose my visa as well as my job.

I found it hypocritical that they would end my contract on the basis that my work was suffering because of my emotional state, but expect me to work a month`s notice. I have also found it very hard to work a month`s notice for a company which I feel has treated me so badly. I had no choice but to work this months notice because I needed the flight money, should going home be the only option left to me.

On Friday I was told that unless I presented my passport to my company for visa-cancellation I would not receive my final month`s salary of $600.
So, despite finding some new work and feeling more positive about the prospect of staying in Russia, (my mother`s health also having improved greatly), I will be faced with 10 days to get out of the country.

I am told there is an agency which can give me the necessary Letter of Invitation for $150. But how long does it take to get it? I only have 10 days.

GarryOwen, you say the airport fine for trying to board a plane with an outdated visa is only $180?? Is this a standard thing? Are your sure or is this just urban myth?

My nightmare is a "Midnight Express" scenario of being hauled into a small room, stripped of all my possessions and taken to await "legal process" in a Russian prison cell.

Thanks for listening.


Navajo Joe
13-06-2005, 12:12
sorry for posting in the wrong thread, anyone who was interested in this and wants to follow up my thread please see Passport Control thread, thanks.


13-06-2005, 23:13
check your PM

13-06-2005, 23:15

I'm really sorry for your situation. You have certainly hit a rough stretch of road, but don't panic. You can sort all of this out. My first comment is to go to see your mom, full stop. You can't miss that and you can apply for the new visa while you are there.

As for processing times, check with the consulate in your home country. I would expect you are going to UK to see your mother, so you should check there to see about processing times. I would expect that the processing time at the consulate will be the same period that you had when you got your present visa (but check to be sure). As for the time to get a new visa invitation, check with the visa company.

I also suggest to do what you must to collect your pay from the employer and not to let your visa expire before you leave if you can help it. Having your visa expire will just add cost to you and will not solve any problems for you. Moreover, while you don't face any Midnight Express situation, you also probably don't need the extra hassle and worry. I suggest to get your pay, get your visa invitation working right away and get a new visa.

I know this all sucks right now, but you can work through it.

14-06-2005, 01:30
Joe, send me your e-mail address and I'll put you in touch with an agency who can help you.
Anything for a fellow Mancunian.........

Navajo Joe
14-06-2005, 19:32
thanks all for your replies and help,

Ive tried to pm those who asked, I hope I didn`t miss anyone out.

Today was a good day in terms of hopefully resolving this problem.

First, I had a very helpful conversation with the Head of Recruitment in my present company, who has agreed to wait 10 days before I have to submit my passport and collect my wages. This really was an example of Russians understanding the system they have to work in and being flexible enough to help find a way through the red tape. I was so relieved to speak to her and be given a lifeline.

I immediately went to an agency I`d been recommended and filled out the forms for my Letter of Invitation, this time for a 3 month business visa.

Now, the Letter of Invitation should arrive in 10 days. A 3 month business visa will allow me to stay until my scheduled flight back to UK in September.
My plan is to go back then for 2 weeks, make my Mam a few cups of tea, then get a full year visa and come back to work in Moscow in mid September when the work is flowing.

But...I have NO idea which is the best place NOW for me to obtain my new visa with my Letter of Invitation in 10 days. Riga is cheap to get to, but i have to wait 5 days when there, and it`s not cheap to stay there.

Any ideas?

Can anyone tell me the Consular Fee/cost of a 3 month business visa?

THanks again for letting me pick your brains,


Chubby Hubby
14-06-2005, 23:23
Garry is right - you can't cancel someone's visa. I mean, even if it's technically written in an office somewhere that the visa is no longer valid, you could still

1. Get Registered.
2. Leave the country.

Notice that cops don't carry around personal computers that are connected to some sort of network that says whether or not a visa is valid. BTW, which place do you work for? This is as good a reason as any to drag their name into the mud. :cussing:

15-06-2005, 00:33
this sounds like a scare tactic from the 90s when over confident employers got a bit carried away with their powers,
heard many cases of verbal but have never seen it followed through.
even if you pop down to their office the visa is not theirs to cancel,and even then how are you supposed to leave ,nah sounds fishy
anyway ,there's 2 firms i know of who could give you experienced advice in Moscow
1 gaa
2 liga consulting guys names vadim
do a search here for both
i am guessing your a teacher and your boss is just bullying you around because he knows you may not have the money or the connections to sort this out,so phone the above and my advice is also phone the consul dept at the embassy and they will help you with your visa status ,phone 9567301 and dont be put off ,they can sometimes help and its free
and as some said before once you been paid in full ,name names it is shitty to pull a stunt like that

15-06-2005, 00:39
regarding your visa 'cancellation'. Your employer sounds like a bully.

Navajo Joe
16-06-2005, 13:36
sorry for posting a new question without replying to this yesterday.

Well, two things; i don`t get my salary unless i surrender my passport for visa cancellation. It then comes back in 5 working days with a 10 day exit visa attatched, which leaves me 10 days to leave Russia. The theory goes that I am here under their "sponorship" as they arranged my visa for me and that if something happens to me or I do anything naughty after my contract ends, then they are responsible. I have since discovered that many teachers did not have their visas arranged by the company and therefore are under no obligation to surrender their passports for visa cancellation. If only I`d known...

But, still, I find it hard to believe that just because the company arranged my visa, they are legally responsible for me should anything untoward happen in my name. Surely that would be a matter for me and the "police", whoever, and once my contract ended that would be my connection severed with the company. Surely the contract is the binding document, not the visa?? Or am I naive? To me , it seems churlish and vindictive of an employer, just because things do not work out over a period of months with them, to assume the role of deporter as well as employer. So much of what passes for English teaching here is not in the spirit of teaching, but more like that of a fast food business where the conveyor belt rolls and ONLY cash matters. The overall effect this atmosphere has on teachers is to lower their morale, leave them deflated and discouraged and wondering why they bother. The assumption seems to be that to be in TEFL you have to be a thick-skinned tough nut capable of taking whatever is thrown at you.

My contract was ended yesterday. I have positive plans, but I feel so let down, so betrayed. I think back to the excitement I felt just before Christmas about taking my new job, living in Russia. The new visa plans seem to be working out. The prospect of finding my own work seems sometimes exciting, sometimes terrifying. I`m not in the clear yet though, things can go wrong on expensive visa runs.


See yas.

16-06-2005, 13:42

Best of luck -- you seem to be keeping a good attitude about everything, and I have no doubt you'll find something else upon re-entry.


16-06-2005, 20:32
I bet you're leaving out some significant part of the story Joe. I'm just guessing at who your employer might be, but if I'm right, what your not saying is that you are here as on a diplomatic status, and therefore, the employer wants to clear up the loose ends. Am I right Joe?

16-06-2005, 22:53
Dashinka - I know Joe personally, and I can assure you that he is not a diplomat, nor does he have diplomatic status. I have spoken with him about the situation, and it is exactly as he has described above.

I can also assure you, that when a diplomat (or someone with diplomatic status) is deemed persona non grata by the host country, they don't get time to write about it on expat.ru and ask people about getting exit/new visas etc - they are taken to the airport and ejected from the country (or not let back in if they are already outside).

16-06-2005, 22:59
I bet you're leaving out some significant part of the story Joe. I'm just guessing at who your employer might be, but if I'm right, what your not saying is that you are here as on a diplomatic status, and therefore, the employer wants to clear up the loose ends. Am I right Joe?
rather unpleasant of you to be jabbing accusations at this young lad ,hes been through enough and hes asked simply for help and advice ,i could care what hes done or not done ,no one should be treated like this

Navajo Joe
17-06-2005, 15:03

I did originally study Russian with the starry-eyed idea of being the next Philby or Maclain, when I was young and naive and belived in humanity ;-)
Now I`m just a contract turned freelance teacher looking to survive without the "safety net" of a sponsor organisation behind me. And, to be even more honest, if I`d known then what I know now, I might have done it like this from the start, as that safety net tangles you up and starts to strangle you, and if it feels like it, has the power to stick you in a pan til you fry to a crisp.
If an organisation is small and led by good people, it can create a good atmosphere, like a healthy family where the parents aren`t too oppressive, abusive or controlling. You want to do well for them because they encourage you, seem to care about you as a person, and show understanding. They bring out the best in you.

I feel like a fish thrown back in the water and it`s very liberating. The idea is much scarier than the reality. It`s been a learning curve, and I`d advise any teacher to start with a company contract. Then, when you finally do leave home, you`ll appreciate your freedom even more.

ps: i would just add to that. Working for an organisation where most of your colleagues and daily contacts are English or American means that you never really leave the cosy familiar entourage and immerse yourself in the foreign culture. Let`s face it, we are speaking ENglish most of the time in class and are usually living with an English speaking colleague from the same company.
Even the Russian staff in your company prefer to speak English to you than Russian.
It doesn`t leave much time or even inclination to learn Russian, because we don`t need it, it`s like the cliche of the expat Brits in Spain who all stick together.
Being on your own means you have to reach out to Russians, often your old students, for advice and help. That`s when it gets interesting.