Thursday, October 25, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request-Dulins

Dear Friends,
Our family would like to inform you and ask you to pray about some major changes that have taken place this past week regarding anyone with a visa in Russia. Under the new rules,they will only let people stay in Russia for up to 180 days of one year, and for no longer than 90 days at a time. If a foreigner stays in Russia for 90 days straight, he or she is then required to leave and not come back until another 90 days have passed. This law makes it impossible to work effectively in Russia. This affects Carrie and I plus all the foreigners with a 1 year business visa. Our visa which is a religious worker visa falls under the business category.
Our current Russian visa expires November 25th so we have to be out of the country before that date. We were planning on doing that in Riga, Latvia. There seems to be some confusion regards to whether the new law means that anyone applying for a Russian visa must return to his/her home country. We have heard contradicting reports. Today, we called several Russian Consulates in Eastern Europe and they said that we can renew our visas now but cannot promise we will be allowed to in a week. We have received our invitations but we are currently waiting on Abigail's exit visa. It should be ready in 8 days. We will continue to check with the Consulates and will make a decision on where to renew our visa in the next couple of weeks . Carrie and I wanted you to be aware of the new visa laws and to pray with us for God's wisdom and direction.
It is always an adventure living in Russia, and this week was no exception. It has now become impossible to live in Russia long term using only a business visa, which is what we have done as a family over the past four years.
There are a couple promising alternatives that we are researching right now:
1. Work visas fall under a different set of laws and would allow us to live in Russia for a year at a time. This option would require us to have a salary in Russia and a proof of income coming from our organization. This would be a bureaucratic nightmare given the fact that the documents for this will take a very long time.
2. The more promising option is a temporary residency permit which would allow us to live in Russia for three years without needing to leave the country. This option would require a lot of paperwork initially, and there is a set number of these permits given out each year. We would also need to find a permanent residence or find someone who would register us in their house for three years.
We will be finding out more information about these and other options over the next weeks, and we will be sure to write more when we find a viable option. After we receive our visa we will be able to stay in Russia for 90 days. We are hoping to start the residency process as soon as possible. Our desire is to persevere through this obstacle because Carrie and I really feel like our time is not finished in Russia. We will be working very hard as a missions base to get this temporary residency.
Please continue to pray that God would give us wisdom. Thank you.
Jon, Carrie ,Caleb and Abigail Dulin

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