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Author Topic: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....  (Read 8343 times)

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Offline Jerash

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2016, 01:53:36 AM »
Good luck!

Thanks Markje. This is a big decision for me, and not one I'm taking lightly. In other words, I know that there's a lot of things I don't know.

Thanks Andrew and Ste.

In preparation for my move, I've been liquidating my meagre assets, so most is converted to cash right now. I had asked about the advisability of bringing some USD cash into Russia, because that's what I want to do. I have my own reasons.

I appreciate all the comments and advice!


.

I've been liquidating my meagre assets  Fair play to you! I have two friends from the US who sold every thing to live in Russia , house,car,clothes the lot!

Im sure after sorting yourself out you will not regret it.. :thumbsup:

Steve, thanks!  I have always admired your optimism and I find it infectious)

I sold it all, furniture to knick knacks.  Working on the car, I still need it)

House is bolloxed. Everything else bolloxed.  I'm setting it all up now to start new in a place I want to be!

Online Steveboy

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2016, 02:03:57 AM »
Good luck!

Thanks Markje. This is a big decision for me, and not one I'm taking lightly. In other words, I know that there's a lot of things I don't know.

Thanks Andrew and Ste.

In preparation for my move, I've been liquidating my meagre assets, so most is converted to cash right now. I had asked about the advisability of bringing some USD cash into Russia, because that's what I want to do. I have my own reasons.

I appreciate all the comments and advice!


.

I've been liquidating my meagre assets  Fair play to you! I have two friends from the US who sold every thing to live in Russia , house,car,clothes the lot!

Im sure after sorting yourself out you will not regret it.. :thumbsup:

Steve, thanks!  I have always admired your optimism and I find it infectious)

I sold it all, furniture to knick knacks.  Working on the car, I still need it)

House is bolloxed. Everything else bolloxed.  I'm setting it all up now to start new in a place I want to be!


I would not worry about anything! Once your there Im sure some how you will solve things. Positive mental attitude its all it takes.
A long time back I was even thinking of working on the roads with some kazi workers just to get by.. :laugh:
I have a Russian friend who has a construction business, just didn't fancy working outside in the winter -20  :(


I support no government anywhere, ever, never. No institution, No religion!!

Online andrewfi

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2016, 02:04:54 AM »
Just as long as you are not running away from something but moving toward something. There's a difference and it makes a big difference.
"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus


Offline Jerash

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2016, 02:12:25 AM »
Just as long as you are not running away from something but moving toward something. There's a difference and it makes a big difference.

100% agree.  I've thought that through and I know I'm not running.  I'm moving towards something yes.  Let's see where it goes.  Maybe I'll be working construction for Steve's friend. Afterall, I'm Canadian and I can tolerate the cold! :)

Offline Danchik

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2016, 03:58:42 AM »
Russia..Yes
Moscow...No..

Here is the Russian customs law regarding the importation of cash monies...

•Cash over $3000
You are entitled to import/export up to $10000 USD in cash into Russia, but sums over $3000 should be declared at customs. This applies to all foreign currencies and to roubles, with the exact quantities varying slightly from currency to currency. The most important reason for doing this (apart from your legal obligation) is to ensure that you will be able to take your money out of the country unimpeded. If you try to leave Russia with more than $3000 in cash and no stamped customs declaration, you are likely to run into difficulties unless you have official documentation proving that the money has legally been earned by you in Russia.
There is no obligation to show evidence of acquisition up to this amount, anything over and above this amount must be supported by verifiable evidence of ownership. 

Many Atm's will only give you a cash extraction hit of 20,000r, some much less, Currently Sberbank will only process 10,000r each hit, however, if you so wish, you can make several withdrawals one after another (at the same cash machine/same time) up to your cards limit. (this is my personal experience outside of the big Pelmani), within Moscow, I cannot say..

Once you have your first work visa, (obtained in your own country), you can obtain renewals within a few days in various other countries, E.g. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, which will be much cheaper than constantly travelling back to your homeland....

HTH

Couple of things; I have left Russia many times with $10K (and have told any agent whom asked me how much cash I had that I was carrying this amount without a problem) and you do not need any declarations for this 100%. This was the case a few years ago, but has changed. The old way was $3K.

I have never brought in more than a few grand, so I'm not 100% sure about this, but since Russia usually reciprocates its actions, I don't think it will be a problem. Declare it if asked to, but the bottom line is up to 10K is not going to be a problem either way.

Secondly, once you obtain your first work visa, you do not have to leave the country for any subsequent work visas. All other visas, yes you must leave the country.

Yes you're right, they have raised the insured limit from 750 to 1.2 mil (it was 750 when I had an account speaking of outdated info). I know we all think that the Russian government will just steal your money if the bank you deal with goes tits up.

As most know, Russia has been going through a banking crisis over the last few years where many banks have failed. A friend of mine recently had a problem with her bank and had close to a million roubles in her account. Of course when news broke of the failure, customers raced down to try and secure their money. Low and behold, and it might surprise you, the bank returned all her money to her as she closed her account.
When it is dark enough, men see the stars.

Offline Gipsy

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2016, 05:20:47 AM »
Russia..Yes
Moscow...No..

Here is the Russian customs law regarding the importation of cash monies...

•Cash over $3000
You are entitled to import/export up to $10000 USD in cash into Russia, but sums over $3000 should be declared at customs. This applies to all foreign currencies and to roubles, with the exact quantities varying slightly from currency to currency. The most important reason for doing this (apart from your legal obligation) is to ensure that you will be able to take your money out of the country unimpeded. If you try to leave Russia with more than $3000 in cash and no stamped customs declaration, you are likely to run into difficulties unless you have official documentation proving that the money has legally been earned by you in Russia.
There is no obligation to show evidence of acquisition up to this amount, anything over and above this amount must be supported by verifiable evidence of ownership. 

Many Atm's will only give you a cash extraction hit of 20,000r, some much less, Currently Sberbank will only process 10,000r each hit, however, if you so wish, you can make several withdrawals one after another (at the same cash machine/same time) up to your cards limit. (this is my personal experience outside of the big Pelmani), within Moscow, I cannot say..

Once you have your first work visa, (obtained in your own country), you can obtain renewals within a few days in various other countries, E.g. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, which will be much cheaper than constantly travelling back to your homeland....

HTH

Couple of things; I have left Russia many times with $10K (and have told any agent whom asked me how much cash I had that I was carrying this amount without a problem) and you do not need any declarations for this 100%. This was the case a few years ago, but has changed. The old way was $3K.

I have never brought in more than a few grand, so I'm not 100% sure about this, but since Russia usually reciprocates its actions, I don't think it will be a problem. Declare it if asked to, but the bottom line is up to 10K is not going to be a problem either way.

Secondly, once you obtain your first work visa, you do not have to leave the country for any subsequent work visas. All other visas, yes you must leave the country.

Yes you're right, they have raised the insured limit from 750 to 1.2 mil (it was 750 when I had an account speaking of outdated info). I know we all think that the Russian government will just steal your money if the bank you deal with goes tits up.

As most know, Russia has been going through a banking crisis over the last few years where many banks have failed. A friend of mine recently had a problem with her bank and had close to a million roubles in her account. Of course when news broke of the failure, customers raced down to try and secure their money. Low and behold, and it might surprise you, the bank returned all her money to her as she closed her account.

 :thumbsup:
Bridge is a lot like sex, either you need a good partner, or a decent hand... Woody Allen

Offline Confederate

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2016, 11:45:56 AM »
Good luck!

Thanks Markje. This is a big decision for me, and not one I'm taking lightly. In other words, I know that there's a lot of things I don't know.

Thanks Andrew and Ste.

In preparation for my move, I've been liquidating my meagre assets, so most is converted to cash right now. I had asked about the advisability of bringing some USD cash into Russia, because that's what I want to do. I have my own reasons.

I appreciate all the comments and advice!


.

I've been liquidating my meagre assets  Fair play to you! I have two friends from the US who sold every thing to live in Russia , house,car,clothes the lot!

Im sure after sorting yourself out you will not regret it.. :thumbsup:

Steve, thanks!  I have always admired your optimism and I find it infectious)

I sold it all, furniture to knick knacks.  Working on the car, I still need it)

House is bolloxed. Everything else bolloxed.  I'm setting it all up now to start new in a place I want to be!

What does it mean, house is "bolloxed"?
To coexist with communism on the same planet is impossible. Either it will spread, cancer-like, to destroy mankind, or else mankind will have to rid itself of communism (and even then face lengthy treatment for secondary tumors).
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Offline Ste

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2016, 12:03:19 PM »
Good luck!

Thanks Markje. This is a big decision for me, and not one I'm taking lightly. In other words, I know that there's a lot of things I don't know.

Thanks Andrew and Ste.

In preparation for my move, I've been liquidating my meagre assets, so most is converted to cash right now. I had asked about the advisability of bringing some USD cash into Russia, because that's what I want to do. I have my own reasons.

I appreciate all the comments and advice!


.

I've been liquidating my meagre assets  Fair play to you! I have two friends from the US who sold every thing to live in Russia , house,car,clothes the lot!

Im sure after sorting yourself out you will not regret it.. :thumbsup:

Steve, thanks!  I have always admired your optimism and I find it infectious)

I sold it all, furniture to knick knacks.  Working on the car, I still need it)

House is bolloxed. Everything else bolloxed.  I'm setting it all up now to start new in a place I want to be!

What does it mean, house is "bolloxed"?

Bolloxed aka bollocksed means, well basically fooked....
O pointy birds, o pointy pointy, Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

Offline Jerash

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2016, 02:36:52 PM »
Good luck!

Thanks Markje. This is a big decision for me, and not one I'm taking lightly. In other words, I know that there's a lot of things I don't know.

Thanks Andrew and Ste.

In preparation for my move, I've been liquidating my meagre assets, so most is converted to cash right now. I had asked about the advisability of bringing some USD cash into Russia, because that's what I want to do. I have my own reasons.

I appreciate all the comments and advice!


.

I've been liquidating my meagre assets  Fair play to you! I have two friends from the US who sold every thing to live in Russia , house,car,clothes the lot!

Im sure after sorting yourself out you will not regret it.. :thumbsup:

Steve, thanks!  I have always admired your optimism and I find it infectious)

I sold it all, furniture to knick knacks.  Working on the car, I still need it)

House is bolloxed. Everything else bolloxed.  I'm setting it all up now to start new in a place I want to be!

What does it mean, house is "bolloxed"?

Bolloxed aka bollocksed means, well basically fooked....

Yes, basically this. Actually the house is gone and not my concern. I'm starting fresh with only a few bucks and gonna make a go of it in Moscow.


.

Offline Jerash

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2016, 01:06:38 AM »
I have an update to add to this thread now.

1) I've decided to bring something in the neighbourhood of $4990USD with me into Russia.  The reason for this is that enroute to Moscow, I'll be having a holiday over the New Year in Istanbul.  And I'll be meeting a very lovely Russian girl there.  We'll see how it goes, but it's been very positive over the two months we've been communicating.  Anyway, Turkey allows you to export $5000USD without declaration, so that seals the deal for me.  I'll put the rest into a Canadian bank account.

2) I booked an open-jaw flight last week that arrives in Istanbul and then departs from Moscow in early August.  It made no sense to book a one-way flight as the price is almost the same.  I have no idea when I will get vacation, so I figured that picking an early August date, which will be the dog days of summer in Moscow, was as good a guess as any.  At the end of the day, I'll be charged an additional $300CAD plus any difference in flight cost to change it, but at least I can change it.

3) I realized that I ideally needed some flexibility with accommodation.  While the course I'll be attending every day for a month is a stone's throw from Red Square, I have absolutely no idea what satellite location I will be posted to when I begin working for the school (they have about 30 locations).  So I didn't want to lock in to something longterm from the outset, only to find that I have a nightmare of a commute once I begin working.  Really, what I need at the beginning is a flexible situation that I can change relatively easily if needed once the course ends and I know where I'll be working. 

The school would put me up in shared accommodation for the duration of the course at 1,500RU/day, which works out to 45,000RU/mth.  Given that I won't be earning anything during this period, and at that price I could probably find a reasonably decent non-share option, and that my salary will only be 50,000RU/mth + 12,000RU accommodation supplement if I organize my own housing, I balked at this offer.  Once I have feet on the ground and start getting the lay of the land, I hope to develop a private clientele, but in the meantime, the only thing I know is that I may land a contract for 62,000RU/mth, so that has to be my reference point when I consider what I can spend on housing.

As of tonight, I have secured my accommodation over the first month and a bit.  I think I lucked out on AirBNB, finding a nice, well-reviewed room in a shared flat in the Nagatinsky Zaton District, metro Kolomenskaya.  4 stops, no transfers to where I need to be everyday for the first month.  I am super excited now as it all starts to get real.  I can now scope out my neighbourhood on google maps  :party0031: :king:

I would have loved to have been able to find a place in Moscow that I could enter for the first time and know that it is home for the foreseeable future and then start settling in in earnest.  But it just didn't make sense to go that route at this time, given I don't know what part of the city I'll be working in after the course ends.

Now, trying to figure out how to fit up a new life into 1 checked bag, 1 carry-on case, and a back pack.  Wish me luck!!

Offline Jerash

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2016, 01:26:36 AM »
I forgot to add that, thanks to an Airbnb glitch, I'm paying about 22,000RU for just over a month. Apparently it should have been about 28,500, still a decent rate.  If it's Airbnb's mistake, I'm pretty sure they'll compensate the flat owner.


.

Offline Danchik

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2016, 03:45:50 AM »
I have an update to add to this thread now.

1) I've decided to bring something in the neighbourhood of $4990USD with me into Russia.  The reason for this is that enroute to Moscow, I'll be having a holiday over the New Year in Istanbul.  And I'll be meeting a very lovely Russian girl there.  We'll see how it goes, but it's been very positive over the two months we've been communicating.  Anyway, Turkey allows you to export $5000USD without declaration, so that seals the deal for me.  I'll put the rest into a Canadian bank account.
Sounds good.

2) I booked an open-jaw flight last week that arrives in Istanbul and then departs from Moscow in early August.  It made no sense to book a one-way flight as the price is almost the same.  I have no idea when I will get vacation, so I figured that picking an early August date, which will be the dog days of summer in Moscow, was as good a guess as any.  At the end of the day, I'll be charged an additional $300CAD plus any difference in flight cost to change it, but at least I can change it.
The two slowest times of the year are January and August.

January because of the New Year holidays and August because everyone is on vacation, or enjoying the relatively few "dog" days of summer.

Speaking of which, you have about 2 1/2 months of nice weather a year, so there will be no "dog days". Now winter is a different story. :)

3) I realized that I ideally needed some flexibility with accommodation.  While the course I'll be attending every day for a month is a stone's throw from Red Square, I have absolutely no idea what satellite location I will be posted to when I begin working for the school (they have about 30 locations).  So I didn't want to lock in to something longterm from the outset, only to find that I have a nightmare of a commute once I begin working.  Really, what I need at the beginning is a flexible situation that I can change relatively easily if needed once the course ends and I know where I'll be working. 

The school would put me up in shared accommodation for the duration of the course at 1,500RU/day, which works out to 45,000RU/mth.  Given that I won't be earning anything during this period, and at that price I could probably find a reasonably decent non-share option, and that my salary will only be 50,000RU/mth + 12,000RU accommodation supplement if I organize my own housing, I balked at this offer.  Once I have feet on the ground and start getting the lay of the land, I hope to develop a private clientele, but in the meantime, the only thing I know is that I may land a contract for 62,000RU/mth, so that has to be my reference point when I consider what I can spend on housing.

As of tonight, I have secured my accommodation over the first month and a bit.  I think I lucked out on AirBNB, finding a nice, well-reviewed room in a shared flat in the Nagatinsky Zaton District, metro Kolomenskaya.  4 stops, no transfers to where I need to be everyday for the first month.  I am super excited now as it all starts to get real.  I can now scope out my neighbourhood on google maps  :party0031: :king:

I would have loved to have been able to find a place in Moscow that I could enter for the first time and know that it is home for the foreseeable future and then start settling in in earnest.  But it just didn't make sense to go that route at this time, given I don't know what part of the city I'll be working in after the course ends.
Really, your work location can and usually changes, and after you start to pick up some privates, you'll be moving around more. Plus, with privates, you have a better chance of having them come over to your place if you're centrally located than out in the sticks.

What I would suggest is to find a place centrally located (inside the 3 ring, or a couple of stops past at most) and not worry about it. If you're centrally located, getting to most places will be less than an hour, with most under 30 minutes; ideal for a city like Moscow. Instead of getting acquainted with your neighborhood, get better acquainted with the metro. The metro will quickly become your new best friend until you get on your feet and taxi's/uber become an option (very affordable in Moscow compared to other big cities).

Also, get used to walking (I love it now). I walk, according to my tracker, on average 9000 steps a day and love the physical activity. This is on top of my workout routine. RW love it too. :)

When I'm in the States, I walk much more than I used to when I lived there, which seems a little strange to most of the locals, including my family.

Now, trying to figure out how to fit up a new life into 1 checked bag, 1 carry-on case, and a back pack.  Wish me luck!!
I brought only what I needed and then adjusted, i.e. brought back more things on my next couple of trips back to the States. Because of the devaluation of the ruble, some things are actually cheaper here than in Canada/U.S..

Pack lightly.

Jerash, you're going to go backwards before you move forward. Keep this in mind. It took me about 1 1/2 years to make as much money as I was spending, and then things really took off.

One thing to alert you to is that you are coming at a much different time than I did. When I came, Russia, especially Moscow was booming. Now there's a bit of a crisis, so people tend to prioritize their spending. The market for English is still good, but no where near what it was 10 years ago.

The good news is I think the worst is over. Also, because expats tend to leave town when things get rough, you'll have less competition for what's available.

Good luck.
When it is dark enough, men see the stars.

Offline Jerash

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2016, 03:53:20 PM »
Thank you for your wishes Danchik. I need them now. An unexpected turn of events. Following news yesterday, and $800 later, I am at the airport awaiting my flight to attend a visa interview at the Russian Embassy tomorrow. I fly to Turkey in 7 days. 


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Offline Jerash

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2017, 09:37:28 AM »
Hello!  I want to provide an update and seek advice.  I had visa problems when I applied for the Russian work visa.  The embassy kept asking for more and increasingly difficult/impossible to obtain documents until the point where I had to ask for my passport back, so as to not mess up a bunch of other things.

I had made arrangements for a meeting with a nice Russian girl in Istanbul prior to going up to Moscow.  As I had an open jaw flight to Istanbul and returning from Moscow in August, I went ahead with the travel to Istanbul.  Most importantly, this girl had made all her travel arrangements to meet me here in Istanbul as well, so I did not want to cancel on her.  Aside from the weather, we had a really nice time here.

She's gone now and I'm still here in Istanbul.  Very early tomorrow I have a flight up to London, with 24 hours to kill before onward travel to Canada.

The school I am working with in Moscow (BKC-IH) was only able to provide the old version paper invitations for a work visa, not a telex.  However, they can provide me a telex invitation for a business visa through a partner (the visa agent I've been working with in Canada says that the telex invitation is much more desirable and the fact that the school cannot provide me with telex invitation for a work visa is bizarre and that they don't understand why the school is "messing" with me).

That's all more or less background.  Now comes the urgent bits:

When I asked the school if the business visa means that I will need to return to Canada (where I am legally resident) to apply for the work visa after completing my training, they said that, yes, most likely I will.  However, they also told me: "you can also contact the Russian Consulate in Riga, Latvia and check if it is possible for you to apply there. Generally, you have to be either a citizen of the country where you are applying for the visa or have a residence/work permit of that country, but our experience shows that the Russian Consulate in Riga seems to be more flexible about this."  Does anyone have any additional information on this?

Furthermore, they have now wrote me to say that after being in touch with their partner agency that can arrange the business visa invitation, that the partner agency advises that: "the visa agency that is going to arrange an invitation say that the Russian Consulate in Ottawa is indeed notorious for inviting visa applicants to interviews and has a higher than usual rate of visa rejections. The agency highly recommends that you avoid applying to that Consulate again. Instead, based on the agency’s experience with Canadian citizens, they suggest that you apply  to the Russian Consulate in Vilnius, Lithuania. They usually offer 1-day and 3-day visa processing, but you better double-check this with the Consulate directly."

So, now I am advised to avoid re-applying to the embassy in Ottawa.  And instead, it is recommended that I apply in Vilnius (again, a country where I am not resident).  Does anyone here have any advice or insight on this situation?

I am still in a position to cancel my flight to Canada and hop a cheap flight to Vilnius.  Is this advisable???  My timelines are short....

Offline Gipsy

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Re: Trepidatiously Moscow Bound....
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2017, 09:46:46 AM »
Hello!  I want to provide an update and seek advice.  I had visa problems when I applied for the Russian work visa.  The embassy kept asking for more and increasingly difficult/impossible to obtain documents until the point where I had to ask for my passport back, so as to not mess up a bunch of other things.

I had made arrangements for a meeting with a nice Russian girl in Istanbul prior to going up to Moscow.  As I had an open jaw flight to Istanbul and returning from Moscow in August, I went ahead with the travel to Istanbul.  Most importantly, this girl had made all her travel arrangements to meet me here in Istanbul as well, so I did not want to cancel on her.  Aside from the weather, we had a really nice time here.

She's gone now and I'm still here in Istanbul.  Very early tomorrow I have a flight up to London, with 24 hours to kill before onward travel to Canada.

The school I am working with in Moscow (BKC-IH) was only able to provide the old version paper invitations for a work visa, not a telex.  However, they can provide me a telex invitation for a business visa through a partner (the visa agent I've been working with in Canada says that the telex invitation is much more desirable and the fact that the school cannot provide me with telex invitation for a work visa is bizarre and that they don't understand why the school is "messing" with me).

That's all more or less background.  Now comes the urgent bits:

When I asked the school if the business visa means that I will need to return to Canada (where I am legally resident) to apply for the work visa after completing my training, they said that, yes, most likely I will.  However, they also told me: "you can also contact the Russian Consulate in Riga, Latvia and check if it is possible for you to apply there. Generally, you have to be either a citizen of the country where you are applying for the visa or have a residence/work permit of that country, but our experience shows that the Russian Consulate in Riga seems to be more flexible about this."  Does anyone have any additional information on this?

Furthermore, they have now wrote me to say that after being in touch with their partner agency that can arrange the business visa invitation, that the partner agency advises that: "the visa agency that is going to arrange an invitation say that the Russian Consulate in Ottawa is indeed notorious for inviting visa applicants to interviews and has a higher than usual rate of visa rejections. The agency highly recommends that you avoid applying to that Consulate again. Instead, based on the agency’s experience with Canadian citizens, they suggest that you apply  to the Russian Consulate in Vilnius, Lithuania. They usually offer 1-day and 3-day visa processing, but you better double-check this with the Consulate directly."

So, now I am advised to avoid re-applying to the embassy in Ottawa.  And instead, it is recommended that I apply in Vilnius (again, a country where I am not resident).  Does anyone here have any advice or insight on this situation?

I am still in a position to cancel my flight to Canada and hop a cheap flight to Vilnius.  Is this advisable???  My timelines are short....

There is an agent somewhere in either Latvia or Lithuania who is called Vladim, just off the top of my head, but exactly where he is I cannot say, I would need to ask a colleague of mine who is not in Russia at the moment, but time is needed..

Do you wish me to try ??
Bridge is a lot like sex, either you need a good partner, or a decent hand... Woody Allen