An overview of the temporary residence process
Nowadays, tourists arriving to the Republic of Belarus are impressed with the rate of economic and cultural growth in the country. The wide avenues, modern buildings, beautiful parks and churches certainly do not leave anyone indifferent to the country. Large-scale construction projects also justify that the Republic of Belarus as a tempting country for investors and foreign businesses. Moreover, it is increasingly noticeable that the government does its best to guarantee high standards of living, set up new workplaces and provide a quality health care system. All of this makes Belarus an attractive country to live in.
Furthermore, according to statistics, for the last three years Belarus has taken the leading position among C.I.S countries (Commonwealth of Independent States) for the amount of immigrants moving to the country.
Therefore it is unsurprising that the procedure to obtain permission for temporary residence, is a concern for the growing number of foreigners looking forward to (or considering) working, studying or setting up a business in Belarus.
Firstly, it is worth clarifying the meaning of the term “temporary residence”. According to Article Number 46 of the Statute “On the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons”; temporary residence means staying within the territory of the Republic of Belarus for more than 90 days but not more than one year. Upon the expiration of one year the foreigner is obliged to leave the country or; to obtain a new temporary or permanent residence permit.
Article Number 48 of the Statute of the Republic of Belarus states “On the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons” the official scenarios in which foreigners may receive a temporary residency permit.
- if they arrived in the country for educational purposes – for a period of study, no longer than one year;
- if they are close relatives (parents, adoptive parents, children, adopted as sons (adopted as daughters), full brothers and sisters, grandmother, grandfather, grandchildren) of citizens of the Republic of Belarus;
- if they are close relatives of foreigners permanently residing in the Republic of Belarus;
- if they are spouses of citizens of the Republic of Belarus;
- if they arrived in the country to obtain a job; if they are ethnic Belorussians or their blood relatives in the direct line of descent: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, who were born outside of the contemporary territory of the Republic of Belarus;
- if they have grounds to acquire citizenship of the Republic of Belarus;
- if they formerly were citizens of the Republic of Belarus;
- if they own residential premises in the Republic of Belarus;
- if they have applied for refugee status or additional protection in the Republic of Belarus;
- if they are granted refugee status in the Republic of Belarus;
- if they are given additional protection in the Republic of Belarus;
- if they receive medical care as in-patient in a public health care organizations of the Republic of Belarus;
- and also on the other grounds provided by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, including international treaties.
It should also be noted that the list of grounds allowing foreigners to gain a temporary residence permit is quite vast and non-exhaustive. Therefore, almost every foreigner willing to get a temporary residence permit has an opportunity to obtain it. Moreover, a temporary residence permit may be issued to the family members (husband, wife, children, children adopted under the age of eighteen years) of a foreigner, who has already received a temporary residence permit.
To obtain a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Belarus, the foreigner should submit the following documents to the Department of the citizenship and migration at the place of the intended living:
- valid passport for travelling abroad;
- the completed standard application form approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (the samples can be found at the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus http://www.mvd.gov.by);
- the documents justifying the presence of the grounds to obtain a temporary residence permit (vary according to the ground of issuing permit for temporary stay, for instance, certificate of marriage, certificate of birth, tuition contract, identity card for refugee, certificate of canceling a citizenship of the Republic of Belarus and others);
- migration card;
- medical insurance (except from the citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Austria, Albania, Algeria, Brazil, Britain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Canada, China, Colombia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russia, Republic of Cuba, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Mexico, Mongolia and Ukraine). Make sure your medical insurance policy: meets the required coverage of 5000 Dollars; contains the name, the current location and the bank account of an insurance organization, is valid on the territory of the Republic of Belarus during one year, covers such cases as a disorders of health as a result of sudden illnesses or accidents.
- documents confirming the right to stay at the place of registration (leasing contract);
- documents confirming the availability of funds to cover the costs of temporary staying in the country (certificate of employment, work-record book, pensioners certificate, deposit accounts, certificate of inheritance).
- a confirmation of the processing fee paid.
The temporary residence permit processing procedure takes 15 business days. The resolution is usually sent to the applicant by post. Nevertheless receiving a temporary residence permit demands foreigner’s personal attendance in most cases.
It is worth restating that a temporary residence permit is valid for the period of one year. Leaving the country or obtaining a new temporary or permanent residence permit upon the expiration of this period is obligatory. Changing a place of temporary residence requires notifying the Department of citizenship and migration of the new place of temporary residence within five days. It is also important to highlight that the number of agencies providing registration services for foreigners has significantly increased in the last four years. So in the case of wanting to ease the stresses of an application, these services are available for a nominal fee.
Acknowledging some of the complexities in the process, I trust the article has helped to clarify some aspects of obtaining a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Belarus and inspired you to further travelling.