In order to obtain a visa to visit Russia, a foreign citizen must submit the original invitation or provide the number of the Telex invitation when applying at the Consulate. Original invitation is a state prescribed form issued by the Federal Migration Service of Russia or the Russian Foreign Ministry. It is printed on a special yellow-brown colored paper. Telex is an instruction to grant a visa that is transmitted by the Telex communication channel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the particular Embassy or Consulate of the Russian Federation.
This article discusses the following topics:
To obtain a visa at the Embassy or Consulate it is required that the original invitation be presented. For that, the inviting party, located in Russia, must execute it and then send it by express mail delivery. Processing the original invitation takes longer than the Telex one.
In order to obtain a visa, it is necessary to submit a visa application with the number of invitation indicated in it. This is why the inviting party should first send a copy to the foreign citizen by e-mail, so that he/she can submit an application and then forward the original invitation to him/her. Keep in mind that international delivery services deliver documents in 1-5 business days.
Telex instruction to grant a visa will be sent following the approval of the request, filed by the authorized body of the territorial or federal authorities to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Telex invitations in support of visa will be forwarded to the Consulate in 2-13 working days. Lengthy processing of Telex invitations prior to their shipment to the Consulate is due to multiple checks that are routinely made against various databases in which the foreign visa seeker may be included.
Telex invitations arrive at the Embassy or Consulate in the time period from 9 am to 5 pm Moscow time on working days as they are sent directly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Typically, in Russian consulates the visa application documents are taken before lunchtime. This is why it is advised to apply for a visa at the Consulate the next day after receiving the Telex invitation (it will most certainly be accepted by that time).
Telex communication does not serve the interests of non-State actors, this is why the territorial or federal authorities are expected to act as the inviting party when preparing a Telex invitation. To foreigners, who are invited by Telex, a 6-digit number shall be informed (by phone, e-mail or fax). If all the properties of the requested visa are similar, the number can be identical for a number of persons.