New Job, New Visa

So, I’ve started my new job and it seems to be going well, aside from the fact that I am now expected to do some serious work.  I have gone from working for an oil company to working for an engineering services contractor, which is a bit like going from captain to cabin boy.  Oil companies do not make their money from utilising peoples’ time so generally their time management is appalling.  I have taken part in discussions involving a dozen people across multiple meetings dragging out over months on a matter worth only a few thousand dollars.  I’ve seen three departments together take a month to decide on the expenditure of a hundred dollars.  By contrast, engineering service contractors make their money by selling peoples’ time hence every minute must be accounted for, and very little is unproductive or wasted.  If I cannot demonstrate that every minute I have spent has gone towards the progress of a defined task, my boss is going to twist my ear and demand to know what I have been doing.  I seem to get along with my new boss thus far, but I am in no doubt that should he become displeased for any reason he will adopt the personality of a rottweiller that knows its about to be speyed. For the past week I have felt like somebody who has been eating Big Macs in front of the telly for a year and has woken one morning to find a bergen on his back, army boots on, and a sergeant major bellowing in his ear pointing towards a distant hill.  I’m sure I’ll be back to fighting fitness soon enough.

Anyway, a new company means a new visa and for that reason I am in Kuala Lumpur getting one sorted out.  As usual, the rules have all changed so I’m relying on the chaps who have done the same trip recently to brief me up on what to do.  The form you download from the Russian embassy’s website is the wrong one, and you get given a different one containing the exact same questions only in a slightly different layout.  The website and almost everybody you speak to says that there is a same-day service available, which there isn’t.  The embassy is open for visas on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays both for document submission and collection, and so without a same-day service it means you have to wait a couple of days.  The price paid for this by my colleage a couple of weeks ago was 840RM.  Today, Monday, I handed in my documents, and was told they would be ready only on Thursday.  Everybody had told me that the consular section wasn’t open on Thursdays, including the sign on the wall outside.  But they insisted that it would be ready on Thursday and I should come then for collection.  I was told the price would be 840RM “or maybe more” about a minute before being charged 480RM.  This must be the first time in recorded history that anyone has paid less than the listed price for an official document in Russia.  I will go back on Thursday and see what I have been issued, and whether it will get me into Russia.


Visa obtained.  Now begins the journey back to Sakhalin…


15 thoughts on “New Job, New Visa

  1. I was told that the RF Embassy in San Francisco stopped offering express visa services, which does not mean a thing of course.

    New visa requirements are also affecting those that emigrated from the USSR around 89-91. RF visa services now ask for some proof that they actually went through emigratioin process. This is creating problems for those that long ago tossed their Israeli visas or invitations or whatnot and took time getting the naturalization process going after getting Green Cards. Hopefully, I was advised that a copy of an early 1990-s (pre-1992) driver license or an affidavit from the Social Security office that SS record was created before 1992 should help.

    I am at a loss to why would RF authorities seem to make lots of steps to make travelling to Russia or working there (and spending money) more and more difficult. Unless it is all comes from the old principle of bureaucracy expanding to fill in the space created by expanding bureaucracy.

  2. Hong-Kong and Russia abolish visas for 14-day travellers this Friday.
    Looks like Asians are not that prissy as Weasterners. 🙂

  3. David,

    Second world. I can’t laugh too much though, Britain is closing the gap fast from the other direction.


    UK citizens get 6 months in Hong Kong without a visa, and have done for a decade or so. Most westerners get 90 days. I guess Hong Kong classes Russia as Asian. 🙂

  4. I am at a loss to why would RF authorities seem to make lots of steps to make travelling to Russia or working there (and spending money) more and more difficult. Unless it is all comes from the old principle of bureaucracy expanding to fill in the space created by expanding bureaucracy.

    That’s pretty much it, in my opinion: job creation.

  5. Moscow is the first world, Yuzhno is the second world, tundra is the third world with shady ravines being the fourth.
    BTW, democratic, pro-western Ukranians have no free access to Hong Kong. What a pity.

  6. BTW, democratic, pro-western Ukranians have no free access to Hong Kong. What a pity.

    I think you’re over-emphasising the significance of Russia’s 14-day visa-free entry into Hong Kong. Such mighty nations as Suriname, Niger, Mozambique and Mongolia get the same 14-days. Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Botswana and Egypt get 90 days. Even Bolivians get 30 days.

    Still, interesting to see what Russians consider to be noteworthy progress!

  7. Yes, visas is an interesting point at the beginning of the summer and not only for Russians. I wonder why visa abolishment in Hong Kong is valid for just two weeks. Taking a short trip from there to China and back removes the obstacle at once.
    I wouldn’t have started the talk on the issue if during, say, 3 years the list of contries hasn’t been widening so rapidly specifically by ones in Asia and S.America.

  8. Cyrill is right; my LJ’ circle is full of complaints of people experiencing difficulties with entrance visas to their motherland. All of a sudden, we are reminded that in the eyes of Russian authorities our American citizenships worth nothing; we are still considered Russian serfs, and our sons who had misfortune to be born there-subjects to military draft.

    A friend of mine, who landed in JFK being 8-months pregnant and thus her son can not even nominally be considered Russian citizen, decided to show him the city of her birth; to get him an entrance visa to Moscow she and her husband had to weave through ridiculous process that included them simultaneously, in presence of 2 embassy officials, solemnly swear that their teenage son willfully hands back his supposed Russian citizenship.

    Luckily, mine doesn’t express any curiosity towards the country of his birth.

  9. Surely, saying something SI-MUL-TANE-OUS-LY is the worst humilitaion ever conceived for liberated westerner.
    BTW, Israel also has draft and free-visa regime with Russia for 30(?) days travels. The US-Israel relations are not so highly priveleged.:-)

  10. Dude from Khabarovsk: no, saying something simultaneously (you have a problem with my spelling?) is not what we find most humiliating in this procedure. I doubt you can get it, though.
    I don’t see how Israel/Russia visa regime can be tied with my comment, even with a “BTW” qualifier.

  11. I got the impression, that misfortunes of the Israelis perplexed you more, baby, sometimes a way more than that of the Russians. Maybe, you have to apply your feelings to a different motherland. 😉

  12. “Perplexed”? “misfortunes of Israelis”? You are engaged in fantasies, my far-away ex-compatriot, on all counts.
    First, nowhere here in this thread I mentioned Israelis, at all. Second, if some Israeli could not visit Russia due to unavailability of Russian visa I would, in all sincerity, consider it A GOOD FORTUNE.
    Third, misfortunes of Russians concern me not a slightest bit – and I never claimed they did. I’m concerned about Americans, my fellow American citizens that had a true misfortune to be born in your country.

    Forth, let me assure you – there is no need to put so much effort in HINTING that I am Jew: it is a fact I totally don’t hide. A fact nobody in a free world (i.e.: here, in USofA) considers a “dirty little secret”, something to whisper about or be apologetic of, as is customary in your anti-Semitic and thoroughly racist land.
    Which does not mean that my allegiances are with any country in the world other than mine: the only country I love with all my heart, United States of America, the best country on Earth. I know, for you it must be totally incomprehensible, just take my word on it.

  13. As someone who has to bill out his time in the engineering field, I know where you are coming from on the efficiency thing. It took me a few months to get used to it and find a ways to slack off at work and still be ethically billable.

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