What is the change? Russia’s Federal Migration Service will switch exclusively to electronic letters of invitation for business and technical visa applications, halting the use of hard-copy letters until further notice.

What does the change mean? Russian authorities will soon issue telex invitation letters for all visa applications that require letters The change  will save time in the visa preparation process because invitation letters will be sent directly to the relevant Russian consulate electronically, rather than included in hard-copy form with visa applications.

  • Implementation timeframe: The change will be implemented for all letters of invitation due to be issued on or after Jan. 9.
  • 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 impact processing times, but will make the visa application process easier.

Background: Russia’s Minstry of Internal Affairs announced that it would switch to telex invitation letters for all applications because of a shortage of hard-copy forms for the letters of invitation. It is not clear how long the Federal Migration Service will issue telex invitation letters exclusively.

BAL Analysis: The service will only issue telex invitation letters until further notice, a change that will save time in the visa application process. BAL will continue to follow this issue and will alert clients to any additional changes, including the possibility that authorities will revert to the use of hard-copy invitation letters in the future.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Russia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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