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Thread: Work Permit to Teach English aboad

  1. #1
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    Work Permit to Teach English aboad

    Hello expat.ru, I am new to this forum so let me introduce myself. My name is Kevin Yang and I am a Canadian (born and raised).

    I'm about to embark on a dream of travelling the world to teach English to foreigners. I have a BSc from the University of Toronto and I plan on obtaining my CerTESOL certificate (similar to TEFL) from the Rose of York Language School in London, England. After completing the course, I plan on travelling around Europe(France, Spain, Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Germany, Turkey, etc) for a few months before I land in Russia.

    My first country of choice to teach English is Russia. I plan on coming to Russia around February of 2014 in Sochi to witness the Winter Olympics. After the Olympics are over, I plan on travelling up to Moscow to find a school that is wiling to give me the opportunity to teach English.

    Because I am a Canadian citizen, I need a travel visa to enter Russia. Most likely I will enter russia on a tourist VISA.

    My question is will I need to obtain a work permit when I'm still in Canada or is it possible for me to obtain a work permit while I'm in Russia on a tourist VISA?

    Thank you for your time and I apologize for this long and winded post.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyang8589 View Post
    Most likely I will enter russia on a tourist VISA.
    It is not legal to work on a tourist visa in Russia, some take the chance anyway, your risk is: Out of Russia, not welcome in Russia for some years.
    Employer risk is that he may have to support Putin with a lot of money.

    My question is will I need to obtain a work permit when I'm still in Canada or is it possible for me to obtain a work permit while I'm in Russia on a tourist VISA?
    FWIK You have to apply from outside of Russia, to do so you need: An employer who will/can help you with the correct documents for your application for a work visa/permit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans.KK View Post
    FWIK You have to apply from outside of Russia, to do so you need: An employer who will/can help you with the correct documents for your application for a work visa/permit.
    Does it have to be applied from my home country (in this case Canada) or can it be from another country outside of Russia. In my case, I might lay low in London and get a teaching gig there before I head to Russia.

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    Hi there, I've got some advice for you.

    First, in Russia and Europe, you will probably be teaching children or teenagers, at the beginning in any event. You'll probably need more qualifications for getting a job teaching adults.

    I believe it will be much harder for you to get an English teaching job in Europe than in Russia. In my view, if you want to teach in Russia (especially in Moscow or the Moscow area), you should set up a job with BKC-IH, Language Link, English First and other big schools. They often hire people with a degree and the TESOL qualification (those requirements are for the visa, I think, not for the schools themselves). They will set you up in an apartment, pay you about $1,000 per month and give you the next level of training. (And by the way, Language Link has an internship programme where they take people with a degree and no TEFL qualification and train them.) You won't have to worry about finding a place to live, you'll meet lots of other teachers and get the benefit of some more training.

    If you're interested in going to Siberia or to smaller cities or towns, the schools are a bit more flexible in their requirements.

    If you take a job with BKC-IH, for example, in Russia, you can apply to other IH schools, such as in South Korea. I don't think IH has any schools in Europe.

    As for teaching in Europe, it's difficult to do without European citizenship because there are a lot of people from England looking for teaching jobs in Europe. Look into the programmes for young people to work abroad, and perhaps check out the TEFL ads for Spain (good websites are Tefl.com and Dave's ESL cafe) because I've seen some ads for TEFL programmes in Spain where you're guaranteed a job after taking the course.

    Another point regarding jobs in Europe is that often schools want you to have some ability to speak the native language (e.g. Spanish in Spain, etc.). It comes in handy to know Russian in Russia but it's not a mandatory requirement.

    (Incidentally, Dave's ESL cafe has forums where you can get a lot of information on teaching English.)

    My last recommendation is to get an English grammar book and familiarise yourself with grammar - they don't teach much grammar in the TEFL course and it takes some time to learn.

    Good luck - I'm sure you'll enjoy teaching abroad - I would have loved to have had the opportunity when I was your age.

  5. #5
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    wow thanks celia,

    I was just wondering how long does it take for the whole work visa process to take place. RIght now its September 20 and I don't leave Canada until November 3, do I still have time for things to be set up :S

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    Sorry, I hadn't read your post carefully enough when I answered. So you're doing your TEFL course in London, travelling throughout Europe (I thought you were planning to teach in Europe), going to the Olympics (for which you need a tourist visa anyway?), and finding a job in Moscow.

    I'm not an expert in visa matters, but from what I've read, you can't get a work visa until you have a job. You can get a tourist visa or a business visa from outside Russia and then travel to Russia, but you can't get a work visa until you have a job.

    I believe you can travel to Russia on a tourist visa, look for a job, find a job, then leave the country to get a work visa.

    I assume you need a tourist visa to watch the Olympics anyway? And aren't tourist visas valid for 3 months? So you need a tourist visa for February 2014. I guess your real question is, must I get a tourist visa from my home country, Canada, or can I apply for it in London? And if I want to get it before I leave Canada, is it possible to do so? I have no idea about the answers to these questions (I'm sure someone else will post the answer, or you can call up the Russian Embassy in Canada), but I just wanted to post again to acknowledge that my post was off-topic).

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    Quote Originally Posted by celia View Post
    Sorry, I hadn't read your post carefully enough when I answered. So you're doing your TEFL course in London, travelling throughout Europe (I thought you were planning to teach in Europe), going to the Olympics (for which you need a tourist visa anyway?), and finding a job in Moscow.
    .
    Correct You hit the nail right on the head.


    Quote Originally Posted by celia View Post
    I guess your real question is, must I get a tourist visa from my home country, Canada, or can I apply for it in London? And if I want to get it before I leave Canada, is it possible to do so?
    YUP, that is my main question.

    Also Celia, is it really that difficult for North Americans to get a teaching job in Europe. I would assume Europe is one of the best places to find teaching jobs. If Russia doesn't work out, I wouldn't mind going to Spain, Turkey, or Italy.

  8. #8
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    Go to a language school

    Like one of the ones Celia suggested tell them your plans and ask if they can start your visa a little early to include the time for the Olympics.. otherwise you can have much bigger problems...

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    Actually, I've heard that it is quite easy to get a job in Turkey, even if you don't have any experience, and that people even teach on a tourist visa there (don't personally know anyone who's done it).

    I think it would be very difficult to get a job in Europe, because there are plenty of young people in England who get their TEFL qualification and want to teach in Europe (English people have European passports). However, there are programmes that allow young people from Canada to work in Europe, so I would check those out.

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    On the subject of getting a tourist visa for Russia while you are in another country, my inclination is to say "of course, it must happen all the time that a Canadian who is already in England, say, wants to travel to Russia and so must get a tourist visa from England". But I'm not an expert on visas.

    Before I went to Russia I called up the Russian Consulate in Toronto and asked them all my questions (there are also lots of websites of visa services located in Canada). The person I spoke to at the Consulate was very helpful in explaining the visa system.

  11. #11
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    Hey celia, you've been absolutely helpful in your posts. I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions. Tomorrow morning I'm going to call up the Russian Consulate to answer my questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyang8589 View Post
    wow thanks celia,

    I was just wondering how long does it take for the whole work visa process to take place. RIght now its September 20 and I don't leave Canada until November 3, do I still have time for things to be set up :S
    You have to have a job offer first ... you are putting the horse in front of the cart here.

    Work visas are tied to specific employers. When you are offered a job the employer will arrange for a letter of invitation for you from FMS which takes from 14 to 30 days to be processed. You then must apply at a Russian embassy in the country that you have legal residence in (Canada) for the work visa.

    Now, with the help of some visa agencies (I recommend Liga Consultant) you can likely get the visa in Lithuania or Estonia eliminating the need to return to North America.

    But in any case ... step one - arrange employment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankjohn2 View Post
    You have to have a job offer first ... you are putting the horse in front of the cart here.

    Work visas are tied to specific employers. When you are offered a job the employer will arrange for a letter of invitation for you from FMS which takes from 14 to 30 days to be processed. You then must apply at a Russian embassy in the country that you have legal residence in (Canada) for the work visa.

    Now, with the help of some visa agencies (I recommend Liga Consultant) you can likely get the visa in Lithuania or Estonia eliminating the need to return to North America.

    But in any case ... step one - arrange employment.
    Oh I see.

    So just to reiterate, if I get a job offer as an English teacher in Moscow and all the letter of invitation and processing has been completed, I can apply at a Russian Embassy in Canada or in Lithuania or Estonia??

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    I am wondering...if I am offered a job and the company are sending the work visa, what happens if I cannot wait and go before it arrives?We want to leave on or near November 21st, after that date tickets more than double.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by finnandcork View Post
    I am wondering...if I am offered a job and the company are sending the work visa, what happens if I cannot wait and go before it arrives?We want to leave on or near November 21st, after that date tickets more than double.....
    Do you have another valid visa for Russia? If so, you will have to go to the Baltics to get the work visa issued. The extra costs involved may outweigh the savings on the flights.

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