Belarus visa-free

Every year Belarus becomes more attractive for foreign citizens. But for a long time Belarus has been a secret and untrodden region on the map of Europe: visa-regime, costly visa, strict requirements for obtaining a visa etc. But now country’s government does it’s best to promote Belarus on tourism market and keep up interest to the country. It all started with the introducing 5-days visa-free regime via airport and it was just the first step. Then Belarus opened for visiting some areas in Grodno and Brest regions on the border with Lithuania and Poland but under some regulating rules. But just recently Belarus made a breakthrough and introduced visa-free entry via National Airport Minsk for 30-days! Yes, it is true, you can stay in Belarus without any visa for up to 30 days! Amazing news.

But as any other country, Belarus has some demands for those who are going to visit our country. To avoid some misconceptions, we wrote this article for those who are going to explore our country and who do not want to face some difficulties upon arrival. Here is the list of rules developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our comments on it to make it simple.

{According to the Presidential Decree, effective from July 27, 2018, foreign citizens of 74 countries* can enter Belarus for up to 30 days** and exit from the territory of Belarus only through the State border checkpoint of the Republic of Belarus “Minsk National Airport”.}

*Yes, that is how a good news sounds. But it means that you can enter the country without visa only via airport. E.g. if you buy a tour which includes such countries as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the last point of you tour is Belarus you can enter it only buy plane. If you want to cross the border from Poland, Lithuania or Latvia by train, by car or by bus you do need a visa.

{The given order of visa-free movement through the airport does not extend to persons coming to Belarus by plane from the Russian Federation, as well as to those who intend to fly to the airports of the Russian Federation (such flights are considered as internal ones and do not have border control)}.

*Unfortunately, some of tourists and even foreign tour-operators forget about this crucially important rule. Russia and Belarus have “conventional” border and passport control on flights from Russia to Belarus and vise verse is simplified. It means that there is no chance to fly from Belarus to Russia without visa. Be very attentive.

**As many people faced this problem, I decided to mention it also. As it has been already mentioned Russia and Belarus have “conventional” border and citizens of Belarus can freely enter Russia and the countries almost do not have border control. It means that there is no infrastructure on the border between Belarus and Russia to control the flock of foreign tourists. It means that even you have both visas (Belarusian and Russian visas), you can’t cross the border by train, by car or by bus. If you have visas, you can do it only by plane. Please, do not forget about it, because some tour-operators have tours with bus or train transfer from Russia to Belarus and vice versa, by doing this you are violating laws of 2 states and you may be obliged to pay the fine. Despite the fact that Belarus is considered a country with comparatively law prices, the total of the fine will surprise you, believe me. It’s better to avoid this situation.

And now let’s proceed to the documents you need to enter Belarus visa-free:

1. A valid ordinary passport. The passport must be valid at least 90 days beyond intended date of departure from the Republic of Belarus;

*This point is clear. If you enter the country on the 1st of August and want to leave it on the 30th of August, your passport should be valid up to the 3rd of October.

2. Financial means: amount equivalent to not less than 2 base rates for each day of stay or 50 base rates if the stay is full 30 days, in Belarusian rubles or foreign currency;

*For today you need to have 25$ for each day you plan to stay in Belarus or 625$ if you want to stay for 30 days.

3. A medical insurance policy with coverage for at least 10 000 euros, valid in Belarus during the whole duration of stay.

*You can buy it upon arrival in Minsk International Airport.

If you are a citizen of the following countries (Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, India, China, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa) you are to have a valid multiple Schengen visa with a mark in passport on crossing the border of the EU states and tickets with confirmation of departure from “Minsk National Airport” within 30 days from the date of entry. It is a compulsory additional requirement.

{NB: When staying in Belarus for more than 5 working days, foreign citizens need to register with the local field office of the Department of Citizenship and Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. When staying in hotels, hostels, sanatoriums and other collective accommodation facilities the registration of foreign citizens is carried out by the administrations of such facilities by default upon check-in.}

The term of visa-free stay can not be extended beyond the established 30 days.

Those were some rules and recommendations from Ministry of Foreign Affairs with comments from Belarusian tour-operator “DRANIK-TOUR”. Our company is ready to help you with all issues concerning you staying in Belarus. You can always ask for advice on What’s App, Telegram or Viber (+375296635577) or write us on e-mail info@travelbel.by.

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