What is the change? The Russian Federal Migration Service has resumed the issuance of paper invitation letters after a shortage of forms left the agency unable to do so last month. Telex invitation letters are also available.

What does the change mean? Visa applications may now be completed with either hard-copy or telex invitation letters.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Business and technical visas.
  • Who is affected: Visa-required nationals planning travel to Russia.
  • Impact on processing times: The change is not expected to affect processing times, but will provide for an additional option for visa applicants.

Background: As BAL reported in December, Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that it would switch to telex invitation letters for all applications due to a shortage of hard-copy forms for the letters of invitation. Authorities have since confirmed that paper invitation letters are available once again and that visa applications may be completed with either telex or hard-copy letters of invitation.

BAL Analysis: Even though hard-copy invitation letters are again available, the telex option may save time in some cases because telex invitation letters are sent directly to the relevant Russian consulate electronically, rather than included in hard-copy form with visa applications.