A brief overview of the process of getting a short term visa
This year the number of foreign citizens and persons without citizenship visiting the Republic of Belarus increased significantly. According to data provided by the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the most commonly issued Visa has been the short-term (Visa class C). It is valid for up to 90 days and can be issued for the purpose of making a business trip, studying, employment, tourism, participating in sports or cultural activities, private purposes, religious reasons, journalism, cemetery visits and humanitarian programs.
Short-term visas can be single, double or multiple entry, depending on your circumstances . The procedure of obtaining a short-term visa and documents required is stated below.
Belarus short-term visa issuing authorities:
It is possible to obtain a short-term visa in the Embassy or Consulate of the Republic of Belarus in the country of which you hold citizenship, if there is non; it can be obtained at the Minsk International Airport. A Belorussian diplomatic mission of each foreign country is established on the following web-site: www.belembassy.org
Belarus short-term visa documents: general information
To apply for a short term visa, the following documents should be submitted:
– a passport with at least 3 months validitiy after the date of your departure from Belarus, passport must have at least two blank visa pages;
– passport size photo;
– medical insurance contract;
– completed application forms;
– supporting documents depending on the nature of your visit ( invitation letter, or confirmation of the apartment reservation),
– confirmation of visa fee payment.
The detailed information concerning documents to obtain a Belorussian visa are available on our web-site under the “Visa” section (http://minskherald.com/belarus-visa/).
Tips for completing a Belorussian short-term visa application form
While completing a short term visa application form, take note that all information should be in block letters in legible handwriting or typing in either English, Russian or Belorussian. Answer all questions truthfully, or to the best of your knowledge. Failure to do so is considered a criminal offence, and you may be liable to prosecution and detainment upon entrance.
If you find that a question does not apply to you or is irrelevant to your trip; ensure to fill in the blank spaces as Not Applicable (N/A). Incomplete forms or spaces left blank will see forms returned to the applicants unprocessed. Take your time when filling in the application form; as not to miss anything. The application should be signed by the applicant personally; failure to observe this requirement may result in refusal of the application.
Make sure that when completing the application form the name of the host person, business or hotel where you will be staying is recorded. Even if an invitation letter is not required and the intended stay in Belarus is less than 30 days.
Belarus short-term visa supporting documents
Other than the prerequisites mentioned above, a foreign citizen needs to submit some additional documents to confirm the purpose of his or her visit.
For instance, to obtain a short-term visa for TOURISM a foreign traveler should submit one of the following documents:
– a letter of confirmation from a Belorussian tourist company. The letter head should have the name of the tourist company, its full address and contact phone number. The letter should state the tourist companies commitment to ensure that the visitor will abide the laws of the Republic of Belarus; and should be signed and stamped at the bottom.
– an application confirmed by a health organization treating or planning to treat the applicant. The letter head should contain the organizations full name, address, telephone number, purpose, period of stay, the services provided, confirmation of the reservation and proof of full or partial prepayment for the services, as well as a commitment of the treatment center that the foreigner will comply with the rules and laws of Belarus.
– an application of a rural tourist business with its name and address, purpose, period of stay of the foreign citizen, the services provided and the commitment of the rural tourist business that the foreign citizen shall comply with the rules of stay in the Republic of Belarus and copies of the documents confirming the right to provide its services in the sphere of rural tourism.
A short-term TOURIST VISA is issued for no more than 30 days in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
For the purpose of entering an EDUCATIONAL institution in the Republic of Belarus the original invitation letter from a university, college, school, technical school or secondary school coordinated with the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is needed to be attached. The study Visa is issued for the period up to 90 days. Take note, that upon the expiry of this visa a foreign student has to obtain a bridging visa from the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus to extend their stay within the country.
A short term visa for EMPLOYMENT requires submission of one of the following documents:
-a notary certified copy of a special employment permit of a migrant in the Republic of Belarus issued by the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Directorate of Internal Affairs of Minsk City Executive Committee, Department of Internal Affairs of a Regional Executive Committee;
-an original application of a commercial organization with foreign investments, issued on the letter-head with the full name of the commercial organization, its location and telephone number, and the commitment of the commercial organization that the foreign citizen shall comply with the rules of stay in the Republic of Belarus, sealed by the commercial organization, and certified copies of the articles of incorporation or appointment orders for the founders and managers of commercial organizations with foreign investments.
Short-term working visa is also issued for up to 90 days and after expiry of this term employees have to obtain a bridging visa permit from the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus to extend their stay within the country.
For the purpose of STARTING A BUSINESS a short term visa is issued in a case of providing an original application of a legal entity, issued on the letter-head with the full name of the entity, its location and telephone number, and the commitment of the legal entity that the foreigner shall comply with the rules of stay in the Republic of Belarus, sealed by the legal entity should be submitted. If it is necessary to exercise control over the work of a representative office of a foreign enterprise in the Republic of Belarus or to undertake other activities directly related to the work of this office, managers and employees of this office or a foreign enterprise (organization), which has established this office, can be granted a short-term business visa on the basis of the original application of a foreign enterprise office in the Republic of Belarus issued on the letter-head with its full name, location and telephone number, and the commitment of the representative office that the foreigner shall comply with the rules of stay in the Republic of Belarus, sealed by the representative office.
Visa for business trip is issued for up to 90 days.
A short term visa can also be issued for PRIVATE PURPOSE, for this reason one of the following documents should be supplied:
– an original invitation issued by the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus;
– official confirmation (such as physician certified report or death certificate) on a serious illness or death of a close relative or spouse who has either fallen ill or passed away on the territory of the Republic of Belarus;
– a subpoena, including one received by facsimile or other means of communication;
– an original document confirming the ownership of real estate in Belarus;
– petition made by a Belorussian healthcare institution or contract for medical services with Belorussian healthcare services prepared in accordance with Belorussian legislation – for processing a visa to a foreigner who needs to receive medical care in Belarus as well as their carer if required.
A short-term visa for JOURNALISTS is issued to mass media representatives of foreign states in connection with their temporary accreditation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.
If a short term visa is opened for RELIGIOUS REASONS, an invitation from a religious association is required. Issued on the letter-head should be the full name of the religious association, its location and telephone number. A commitment from the religious association that the foreign citizen shall comply with the rules of stay in the Republic of Belarus, sealed by the religious association and approved by the Commissioner for Religious and Ethnic Affairs should be attached. The Visa is valid for up to 90 days.
In the case of applying for a short term visa for the purpose of making a VISIT to CEMETERIES, an original certificate of a local executive committee confirming the fact of burial in the Republic of Belarus and the maintenance of the graves of close relatives or spouse of a foreign citizen should be attached.
For IMPLEMENTATION OF HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMS it is necessary to submit an application to the Humanitarian Activities Department of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Belarus.
Other useful information
The processing time for visa applications does not usually exceed 5 business days.
Visa applications may be processed within 2 business days for an extra fee.
It is important to note, that upon arrival to the Republic of Belarus, a foreigner needs to register at the local citizenship and migration office of the Ministry of Interior of Belarus within 5 business days.
For obtaining more detailed information, please, send your request in a free form for our e-mail.
Names and links to appropriate laws:
-Visa regulations of the Republic of Belarus, approved by the decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of July 15, 2010 No. 1065 – http://www.pravo.by/pdf/2010-186/2010-186(006-059).pdf.
-The Law of the Republic of Belarus № 15 of January 20, 2010 “On the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Republic of Belarus” – http://www.pravo.by/pdf/2010-15/2010-15(028-086).pdf