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LongTelegram
22-03-2008, 23:41
Hello,

I have some questions about whether or not I am in a state of indentured servitude. I was wondering if anyone here has experienced anything similar. I am currently working as a journalist for a state-funded agency. I have a work permit, a work visa (rabochaya viza) good through October and all of my registration for where I live is through the company. They provided my invitation to Russia. I am an American citizen.

The thing is, I want to quit my job. I don't make much money, and I've been offered a new job for an American news service where I can make twice as much. They want me to start as soon as possible. Here are my questions:

If I quit my current job, is my visa automatically cut off? Is there a grace period?

Does my work permit grease any wheels in this situation?

If it does cancel my visa, what would happen if I didn't leave the country?

I feel like I'm completely tied to my low-paying, awful job. I have signed a contract through October, but it says I can quit. I just don't know about the visa.

Does anyone have any advice or know who I could contact to ask?

Thanks!

J.D.
23-03-2008, 08:07
Indentured servitude is a contractual position entered into voluntarily. Did you sign a contract? If so read it.

As to your visa, it will only be canceled if your sponsor has it canceled. Only they know if they will do that.

Keep in mind that you proabably cannot legally work for another company on your current visa.

What do you think would happen if you stayed here on a canceled visa? In addition to that you can't even leave the country without a valid visa.

SilverBullet
23-03-2008, 10:52
What you are describing is what legal foreign workers are experiencing in the USA with the so called H1B visa. In the US that visa is only valid for working at the sponsoring company. If you leave the company, you will have no visa and will have to leave the USA. Needless to say, US companies have been exploiting this "slave contract" by paying lower wages than for US workers.

I am not an expert on Russian visa system but I would expect that Russian visa rules are similar to the USA for foreign workers. E.g. you might have to leave the country if you quit your job. Your new employer will have to do the paper work for a new visa. Since your new employer has already promised you a job, why are they not assisting you in this matter? Can't they hire a Russian laywer to take care of the visa situation for you?

Wish you good luck. The Russian visa system is similar to the American one :10241:

alekto
28-03-2008, 05:32
I was in that situation but actually, it is workable. At least, it was a year ago.

What you need to do is "transfer" your visa. As long as the company you are heading to has the right to employ you legally, then they should be able to arrange the transfer. You don't have to leave the country, but they do need to take your papers, some photos etc...and if I remember correctly, a letter from your former employers stating you will no longer work for them - so in effect, they can make a new visa for you with their company on it.

I really can't give more details then that, but it's worth asking your potential employers if they can do that. It's not a common proceedure, so be prepared for a blank look at first, but if they do work visas/permits, make sure they check whether or not they can initiate a transfer.

Otherwise, the grace period is 10 days...or (again) it was, about a year ago.