Visa directive telex or Letter of Invitation?

Telex Visa directive or Original Letter of Invitation?

 Visa support for Russia may be provided in  form of a telex or in form of the original invitation.
 We say “Telex” to name a Visa Directive sent  via telex  from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the particular Russian consulate.
 As an Original Invitation to Russia we designate a  specially protected yellow-brown letterhead forms, which are used in the Federal Migration Service of Russia and the Russian Foreign Ministry for issuing Letters of Invitation for Russia.  

 Telexes (visa directives ) for single and double entries visas for the period up to 3 moths arrive  to the specific Russian Consulate within 2 working days, and for multiple-entry visas arriving time for telex is 13 working days.

Pay attention that there is no fixed time for telexes to arrive to the consulate. They are being sent from Ministry in Moscow within the whole working day between 10 and 17 hours ( GMT +3 ). So your telex may arrive any time during the day: at  11, at 2 pm or at 4 pm .

And in the most of Russian consulates the acceptance time for visa applications is in the morning only.

That is why we recommend you to apply for your Russian visa based on a Visa directive,   the day after the telex arrives to the consulate.

 If you  apply for a visa based on telex visa directive, you should remember the following.
Telex channels of the Foreign Ministry may be used only for National purposes and does not serve the interests of non-state bodies.
Therefore,  when a Visa directive, only a Federal or Local government’s body may act  as the host organization & must be specified as the purpose of visit to Russia.

 Another feature of Telex visa invitation fro Russia is that the applicant shall not provide to the Consulate any other Invitation or supporting document except a 6-digit number of his Telex Visa directive.  (In fact, this is the reference assigned to the application at the Foreign Ministry. Therefore, the same number may refer to a few people, if all the features of  the visa are the same,)

Telex Visa directive itself does not exist in paper form untill it arrives to the consulate and is printed out there.

That is why the applicant for a Russian visa   does not need to wait for a original Letter of Invitation with DHL. Only the number of Telex is required, and it may be transmitted by telephone, email, fax, etc.


Original Letters of Invitation are usually processed longer, and the original Letter of Invitation is required at the consulate to obtain a visa for Russia.

That is why, when the Letter of Invitation ready,  it should be shipped to the applicant to attach it to his visa application.

However, you may submit your documents to the consulate only by appointment and after you have filled your on-line visa application. To fill it you will need your Letter of Invitation details.

Therefore, the best option is to send a copy of the Invitations by email, and then ship the original by express mail service. The usual delivery time is 1-2 days between the capitals and major cities in Europe and North America. For other regions delivery time may be up to 5 days.  So, this time you must take into account when planning your entrance date for your travel to Russia.