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Thread: 12 month Business visa?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Question 12 month Business visa?

    Hi there, I have a question that is very hard to find an answer to.

    I'm from Australia, and hoping that myself, my wife and 4 children can move to Russia to join the operations of a registered Russian business/charity.

    We've been told several different stories about how we can (or how it'll be almost impossible to) get long-term visas.

    One source says that we would enter on a multi-entry business visa and immediately begin the process of applying for a 3 year Temporary Residency visa. We'd have 3 months to get the visa application done THEN if it wasn't completed in time, we'd have to leave the country for around 3 days, then come back into the country for another 3 months while we continue to wait for approval.

    ANOTHER source tells us that we have to leave for 3 MONTHS, not just 3 days.

    Will it really be this difficult? Is there a better way?

    I also heard that there is a "Bridging Visa" that you can apply for while you are in the country waiting for them to process your Temporary Residency visa, which makes you exempt from having to leave the country at the end of 6 months.

    We are looking at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin Island.

    Thanks so much for your advice.

  2. #2
    Подающий надежды оратор Neilan's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Paisley, Scotland
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    Well, I'll start by saying that the situation with visas - especially if you are planning to go for a long period of time is a nightmare!!

    Firstly you need to work out what kind of visa you need and, more importantly, what type of visa will allow you to spend the required amount of time in Russia. In all honesty - be prepared for a horrendous amount of complications. A business visa will NOT work for you.

    The rules surrounding business visas are the same for all nationalities: a multi-entry business visa (which can be used for the purpose of visiting organisations, tourism for longer periods of time, research - basically anything at all except WORKING - you can not officially earn money whilst on a business visa. A business visa and a working visa are entirely seperate)
    A business visa can be issued for multiple entries for 12 months however you can NOT spend more than 90 days in a 180 day period. Therefore the source who told you that you would need to leave for 3 months is correct. There are certain loopholes however I do not know them and they are not official. Many language schools use these loopholes by sending their workers out of Russia for a week or so to neighbouring countries such as Latvia then they apply for a completely new seperate visa which I believe is the loophole. Once the initial visa is cancelled and you obtain another business visa the 180 day rule does not apply because it is an entirely new visa. (I think that is the loop hole). The idea of going to Latvia or Lithuania (for Moscow based foreigners) only works, I think, for EU citizens. Due to the fact the baltics are in the EU, EU citizens are free to apply for visas in Russian consulates there.

    As for going down the temporary residence route I believe you need to have been living/working in Russia for a certain number of years before you can apply for that or marry a Russian national or maybe be an illegal immigrant/asylum seeker(don't quote me on the latter). In order to get permanent residence in Russia you first must have temporary residence - after 3 years (i think it is three years) you can apply for permanent residence. It is issued for 5 years at a time but can be renewed as many times as you want. Both temporary residence and permanent residence give you the right to work and earn money however they are notoriously difficult to obtain. The ''bridge-visa'' you are talking about I believe is called ''разрешение на временное проживание'' however you can not work officially with this visa. It does mean however you do not need to leave the country but to be eligible for this, I imagine you have to fall into the category of eligibility for the temporary and permanent residence(временный вид на жительство и постоянный вид на жительство). I have a friend, an Italian national, who married a Russian man - they have bought a flat in the outskirts of Moscow, she does private language lessons unofficially, and her husband, a Russian works. She has been living there now for 1.5 years and still has no right to work there. She still has the bridge visa as there is a time scale of over a year to wait from having the bridge-visa to being able to apply for the temporary residence.

    They only other option for having the ability to spend as much time in Russia as you want and work there officially is to receive a working Visa (рабочая виза). The reason these are so difficult to come by is because they are extremely difficult to process and take a lot of time and paperwork. Of course, a company with a good HR department and connections in the right place can speed this up quickly. There are several agencies in Russia which process these on behalf of companies. These agencies obviously have the contacts in the right places. I don't know full details on the working visa but what I know is that the company need to officially invite you, they have to pay some money to the immigration service, they will supply you with a list of documents you need (contracts etc) and then you will have to arrange a meeting at a Russian embassy to start the process.. I really don't know the full extent of how the working visa works but I know that it is extremely time consuming and costly for the company - the company also have to take full responsibility for you and well, unless you have been offered a big job with an important role, most companies will not even consider processing this type of visa. A company also has to show that they can not find the right staff in Russia for that job as part of the application for a working visa. That said, there are some language schools who do it (which surprised me) but if the job is something which isn't likely to last more than 2 years then a company would usually just try and pay you in cash with no tax and use some type of business visa with the loop holes in place. If you are joining this company/charity they should be able to issue a working visa because all registered companies in Russia can do so but if they haven't mentioned it already, they are unlikely to do it.

    I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but the Russian immigration service is a nightmare and it really is almost impossible to 'move and work' there. The only way around it, in my eyes, is either to try and get a working visa. A business visa will do you if you can afford to leave the country for three months at a time but you also have to remember if you are travelling with children they are all subject to the immigration rules as well.

    I wish you good luck!

    What I would recommend is speaking with the company about these issues and then asking them, if they are not willing to help, to put you in contact with an agency who might be able to use their connections to secure you some kind of visa that will give you what you're looking for. If they can, it will cost you though and as for opening a bank account, registering your kids in schools, you need the documents to be securely in place.

    It will be problematic. Do you have any Russian family? A Russian husband? or any link to Russia? If so, you may be able to apply for the residence permit but I don't know the exceptions to the standard rules.

    Good luck!

    Any questions or anything don't hesitate to contact me

  3. #3
    Подающий надежды оратор Neilan's Avatar
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    Damn! I just realised how old this post was

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