What do you need to know before going to Belarus for the first time?

Яна Гончарова
11 December 2018

Get ready all documents for trip to Belarus in advance

Check if your country is included in the list of countries the citizens of which are allowed to stay in Belarus visa-free for 30 days. The list is published at the website of Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bear in mind that if you are arriving in Belarus using 30 days visa-free regime you can only arrive at and depart from Minsk National Airport. The visa-free regime does not apply if:

  • You have arrived from Russia;
  • You are planning to fly to Russia from Belarus;
  • You are going to Belarus for work, business or study.

NB! In order to come to Belarus, your passport must be valid for at least 90 days after the planned departure date.
You also need to have a medical insurance valid for the whole period of stay in Belarus. The insurance has to be valid in Belarus and the insurance amount has to be at least 10 000 euro.
Border control officers may also inquire you as to whether you have enough money for each day of stay in Belarus. The minimum sum of money you must hold is 2 basic amounts. As of November 2018 1 basic amount equals 24,5 Belarusian rubles or, approximately 10 EUR.

Visas and visa-free regime in Belarus

You may arrive in Belarus visa-free if your country and Belarus have concluded a special agreement on visa-free regime. You may find the list of countries with which such agreements have been concluded at the website of Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the rest of cases, you must obtain a Belarusian visa at the Belarusian embassy or consulate in your home state. You may also obtain a visa upon arrival at Minsk National Airport having provided visa support documents to at least two days prior to the trip. The documents must confirm the purposes and conditions of the trip. For instance, you must hold an invitation indicating that your accommodation has been paid for. These documents must be provided to the Department on foreign citizens’ entry of the Main consulate department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. It is stationed in Minsk National Airport. Please note that you will also be obliged to pay a consular fee.

There are the following entry visa types in Belarus:

  • B — transit, valid for 2 days;
  • C — short-term, valid for up to 90 days;
  • D — long-term, valid for up to 1 year with a maximum period of stay of up to 90 days.

The visa type depends on the purpose of your visit to Belarus. If you are a tourist, a short-visa will suffice. Visas may be single-entry, two-entry or multi-entry. It depends on how many times you are planning to enter and leave Belarus while the visa is valid.

Visa support documents
The exact list of documents required to apply for a visa must be inquired at the Belarusian embassy or consulate before submitting the documents. Normally the following list of documents is required:

Other visa support documents, depending on the purpose of the visit or visa type. An agreement with a travel agency or invitation from relatives or friends may serve as visa support documents. The invitation must be sent by Belarusian citizens as well as foreigners and stateless persons officially living in Belarus. In order to make an invitation, the person drafting it must go to the Citizenship and Migration Department with a passport, special application and confirmation of payment of state fee. As of November 2018 a state fee equals 2 basic amounts 49 BYN (≈ 20 EUR) for a single-time invitation, or 6 basic amounts 147 BYN (≈ 60 EUR) for a multi-entry invitation. A person inviting you to Belarus must send you an original of the invitation in advance.
You must enclose it to other visa support documents.

Customs

When visiting Belarus, you should also check your luggage. Some items may be allowed to be brought to Belarus in limited amounts, while others may be prohibited. The luggage must not weigh more than 50 kg and cost more than 1 500 euro.
From 1 January 2019 on, the luggage must not weigh more than 25 kg or cost more than 500 euro. The rule is quite vague but you are unlikely to be asked to pay extra if you are traveling with your MacBook or iPhone.

If you are going to Belarus by plane you may bring luggage that costs no more than 10 000 euro and weighs no more than 50 kg. Also, your luggage must comprise of items for personal use. If, for instance, 10 identical phones are found in your luggage, Belarusian customs officers may have questions as to why you need that many. If you exceed the limits you will have to pay a customs fee. The customs fee is 30% from the exceeding amount but at least 4 EUR per 1 kg. You may bring up to 200 cigarettes and 3 liters of alcohol drinks to Belarus. You have more than 10 000 US Dollars in cash with you, you will also have to declare that at the border and pay a respective duty.

! It is prohibited to bring firearms, military equipment, including antiques, drugs (in any doses), poisons, radioactive and explosive substances.

If you are planning to stay in a place other than the hotel, hostel or health resort, you will have to register with the Citizenship and Migration Department within 5 days from the moment of your arrival. You may read more about the way of doing that in our
instruction.

If you have questions left you may apply to our legal assistance office via e-mail legalhumanconstanta@gmail.com or phone +375 44 562 38 42.

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