To the best of our knowledge, travelling, whatever romantic concept it might be, originally has to do with such pragmatic things as boundaries and therefore visas. The controversies about the irrelevance and artificiality of visas have been numerously debated. Still what matters here is that in the present state of things there’s little we can do but follow the established rules.
That’s why in case you choose The Republic of Belarus as your destination you surely should be aware of the visa regime established in the country.
First though check out the list of countries who don’t need a visa to enter to Belarus. As a matter of fact those are the countries with which Belarus holds solid economic and diplomatic relationship. First in the list for sure will be the members of the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) but for Turkmenistan. Venezuelan citizens are allowed to stay within the Republic of Belarus visa free for up to 90 days. Residents of Cuba are privileged to stay in Belarus without a visa for up to 30 days. The same rule comes for Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Mongolia, Moldova, Turkey provided that there’s a private invitation or tourist voucher. Recently Belarusian visas have been abolished for citizens of Israel.
There are also exceptions for diplomatic passport holders of Argentina, Brazil, Chinese People’s Republic, Hungary, India, Iran, Romania, Slovakia, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
All other countries are required to obtain visas to be allowed into Belarus. So as long as your country is not on the list, you can go on reading about the further details concerning the visa.
First of all, it’ll be beneficial for you to know what the types of visas are provided in Belarus so that you could choose the one according to the purpose of your visit. All in all there are 3 main types which are:
• B – transit visa
term of validity must comply with the term of stay in the country of final destination; period of stay is up to 48 hours
• C – short-term visa
term of validity and period are up to 90 days
• D – long-term visa
term of validity is up to 1 year; period of stay is up to 90 days
It’s also vital to note that B (transit visa) and C (short-term visa) can be single, double or multiple entry. The most popular is the C (short-term) visa.
A passport should have at least two blank visa pages and should be valid for at least 90 days upon conclusion of your trip.
• A completed application form. You can download it from the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Republic of Belarus http://www.mfa.gov.by/en/visa/
• 1 photograph. Note that the photo must meet certain requirements as well:
1) size 35×45 mm
2) in colour
3) full face
4) against an even light background
5) high resolution
6) 70 — 80 percent of the picture placed vertically
7) taken within the last 6 months
• Medical insurance
Medical insurance is a compulsory document. Applicants missing this document will systematically have their visa denied. Note that a photocopy of insurance card will not be accepted. It means you need to submit the original form of the document.
Make sure your medical insurance
a) is valid for Belarus or worldwide.
b) coincides with the with the period of travel or temporary residence in Belarus
c) meets the required coverage of minimum 10 000 Euro
Moreover you will be compulsory to have the original of the medical insurance with you during your whole stay in Belarus.
• a confirmation of the consular fee paid (you receive it in the Embassy, Consular Section or any other institution responsible for issuing visas after handing in all the documents and paying the fixed fee)
• supporting documents
Supporting documents may vary according to the type of visa
For type B Belarusian transit visa:
You will need the visa of the country of the final destination. If a visa to enter a third country is not required you’ll have to submit copy of the ticket, booking confirmation, itinerary from your travel agency or any other document confirming your trip to the appropriate country.
For type C Belarusian short-term visa:
You will have to enclose an invitation letter from the inviting party. As a matter of fact there are fixed samples for these letters or the so-called application forms. They vary from the type of activity you are going to be engaged in (business, sports, cultural activities, religious reasons, study, tourism, private purposes). The samples can be found at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus http://www.mfa.gov.by/en/visa/ and are to be filled in by the inviting party.
Thereby your supporting document will be provided according to the purpose of your visit which can be the following:
– making a business/ participating in sports or cultural activities
(an original application sealed by the legal entity with the full name of the entity, its location and telephone number)
( the original invitation from an organization, which, in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Belarus, is entitled to issue such invitations, coordinated with the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs)
* On arrival in Belarus with a short-term student visa a foreign citizen shall seek to receive a sojourn permit and, if necessary, — a multiple exit-entry visa.
( an application with the full name of the religious association, its location and telephone number sealed by the religious association and approved by the Commissioner for Religious and Ethnic Affairs)
(an invitation letter sealed by the tourist company with the full name of the tourist company, its location and telephone number.)
Note that a tourist short-term visa can be for up to 30 days only. Also you can obtain this type of visa on your own by submitting a copy hotel booking confirmation (with a prior agreement of Consul) . The point is the term of such a booking cannot exceed 10 days and respectively visa will be issued for 10 days only)
-for private purposes
(an application prepared by a citizen of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with a specified form (by the prior consent of the consul);
an original document confirming the ownership of the real estate property in Belarus for processing a visa to the owner of that property and to his or her family members;
official confirmation (such as physician certified report or death certificate) on serious illness or death of a close relative or spouse)
For type D Belarusian long-term visa:
For this type of visa you will need quite the same type of supporting documents as for the type C short-term visa. The main remark concerns business visa. In addition to the original letter of invitation you’ll also have to enclose authenticated copy of contract between Belarusian company and you or company where you work; a document certifying that you are employed by that company.
• Other documents stipulated by the Consular office
For example, if applicant is a child under 18 years of age, a copy of child’s birth certificate and copies of parents’ passport main information pages (with passport number, expiration date, photo etc.) have to be submitted.
All the documents mentioned above you must submit to the Consulate of Belarus in your country with a visa fee receipt. Usually the visa processing procedure takes 5 business days. You can get on the nest business day if you double-pay though .Here you can check if there’s a Consulate of Belarus in your country http://belembassy.org/index_eng.html
In case there’s no visa-issuing authority in your country, you can receive a visa at MSQ Consulate upon landing in Minsk National Airport. The important thing is that before arrival you are supposed to submit the documents to the Foreign Admissions Division (FAD) of the Consular Directorate of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Belarus, which is located at the airport.
Note that this procedure should be done in advance. In particular not later than 3 business days before the expected arrival date for short-term visas and not later than 5 business days for long-term visas.
It’s also vital to know that visa support documents may be submitted by the inviting party (company, organization, travel agency or person) or by post taking into account the delivery time.
So far there’s no universal fee charged for a Belarusian visa. In fact it depends on the type or visa and the nationality of the applicant. For instance, a US citizen will have to pay 160$ for a transit visa or a short-term visa with a single entry, 190$ for short-term multiple visa, 270$ for a long-term visa. While consular fees for citizens of Hungary, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic stand at €60 for single-entry and for multiple-entry short-term visas, at €150 – for the long-term visa. For citizens of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Estonia the consular fee is only as little as €25 for single-entry short-term visas and €60 for multiple-entry short-term visas. At the same time visas for Serbia (for 30 days and over) and Japan citizens are completely free!
Sure is that before going you should check the list of consular fees provided and regularly updated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. This information can be found on the official web-site of the Ministry http://mfa.gov.by/en/visa/
Take note of the fact that visas processed at Minsk National Airport usually cost double the standard tariff.
To crown it all we hopefully believe that this article has helped you understand the process of obtaining a Belarusian visa better. Even more though we hope your enthusiasm to visit Belarus won’t be influenced by rather annoying bureaucracy. After all “the forbidden fruit is the sweetest”. So let’s say the challenges on the way will only escalate the final delight!
For any additional information, please, check our forum section – Visa to Belarus — where most recent information is availble. Feel free to search topics or create your own one.
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