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Humbly nestled between Poland and Russia, the nation of Belarus is not known for its exotic attractions. However, it has many beautiful natural parks, very well preserved medieval castles, and Soviet-era architecture that's sure to spark your attention. Plus, the Belarusians are generally very kind and will make you feel welcomed.
According to the visa policy of Belarus, there are 26 nationalities that can cross its borders without a visa. The length of your stay, however, differs depending on your nationality. For example, citizens of Armenia can stay in Belarus for up to 90 days while Chinese travelers are allowed only 30 days.
At the same time, the visa policy offers visa "exemption" under a regional visa-free provision. This means is that some travelers can enter Belarus without a visa but only if they do so through the Minsk National Airport. The government of Belarus also issues visas on arrival, but you must submit your documentation and request 3 days before arrival.
To learn where you stand regarding Belarus' visa policy, you can either read it online, or you can make things simpler by trying our free Visa Checker Tool. iVisa created this software to help travelers find out quickly what exactly their visa requirements are. Just select your country of origin from the left drag-down menu, and choose Belarus as your destination. In seconds you'll know if you need a visa or not.
If you do in fact require a visa, the Visa Checker provides a list of some embassies that are near you. You must apply for your document at the Belarusian embassy in-person. We recommend that you give them a call ahead of time to find out more specific details.
Momentarily, iVisa cannot assist you with processing a Belarus visa application, however we would like to help you any way we can. This is why we offer a free support service is at your disposal 24/7 to resolve any questions or doubts you may have.
As a general rule, you must hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended date of arrival in Belarus. Also, your passport should contain blank pages for the stamp.
Even though we cannot provide assistance with your Belarus visa application process, we hope that the above information is helpful. As soon as the visa becomes available with us, we will be more than happy to help you process your visa documentation so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Belarus hasn’t historically been a popular destination among tourists, but it’s starting to gain some recognition. It has strong ties with Russia, and not many developments have occurred in the last few years. Even so, if you know where to look, you will find a few fascinating and beautiful places to visit. We are here to provide you with some basic information about tourism in Belarus. You may have to do some further research, but we hope that the info below is enough to get you started.
We will begin with the entry requirements because that is one of the first things you need to know. After all, a visa may be in order. The visa policy of Belarus is not known for its leniency, but you may actually have a chance at skipping a trip to the embassy. The citizens of 27 countries and jurisdictions are exempt from getting a visa if they do not stay for more than the allowed timeframe. While some nationalities can stay in Belarus indefinitely, others can spend from 30 to 90 days in Belarus without a visa, depending on their nationality. It is worth mentioning that the citizens of North Macedonia can enter and stay in Belarus for no more than 30 days only if they hold an invitation letter or a tourist voucher. Apart from a valid passport, all tourists must have travel health insurance.
The visa policy of Belarus also includes regional visa-free provisions. Eligible nationalities can travel to Belarus without a visa if they arrive via the Minsk National Airport. However, the flight cannot depart to or come from Russia. If you find yourself in this category of travelers, you are allowed to stay in Belarus for up to 30 days. However, if you stay for more than 5 days, you need to register your visit. You are to leave the country via the Minsk National Airport as well. You are prohibited from leaving by train or by any other means of transportation. Basically, you must leave the same way you got there.
The Brest – Grodno territory can also be entered without a visa by the same nationalities that can travel via Minsk. You are not allowed to leave the region during your visit. Visas on arrival for Belarus are also available, but under some special circumstances. The government of Belarus announced that an electronic visa will become available in 2020 as well.
All the nationalities that are neither visa-exempt nor want to take advantage of the regional visa-free provisions must go to the nearest consulate or embassy of Belarus and apply for a visa there.
Going back to tourism, there are a few exciting things for you to do in Belarus. After all, about 100 thousand tourists go there every year, and there are many good reasons why. For one thing, Minsk is a beautiful city, especially at night. The locals are quite aware of that, which is why you can take a tour to see Minsk at night. You can explore the beautiful Privokzalnaya square and the City Gates. The Nezavisimosti square, which is the political and administrative center of the city, is also nice. You may also be interested in the House of Government and the Red Catholic Church.
If you want to leave Minsk behind, you should try the Mir Castle and the Niasviz castle. They are both UN heritage sites, and they are gorgeous. In fact, both of them are among the very few well-preserved medieval castles in Belarus. You can go on a tour, take some lovely pictures, and if you are interested, there are a few tour guides that can tell you about their history.
The Khatyn Memorial, together with Mount of Glory and the Brest Fortress are memorials from the Soviet World War II. People believe that they are so incredibly massive only because the Soviets wanted to use them as propaganda objects. Even so, you may find them interesting.
Last but not least, you may want to check out the Stalin Line, which is a museum. It depicts the most extensive defense line that was built before World War II. You will find an impressive collection of weapons that date from the 20th century.
In Belarus, people speak either Russian or Belarusian. They are quite similar, and most people will opt for Russian, so it will be of greater benefit for you to know Russian. English is not widely spoken, especially among people who were born before communism fell. It is taught in school from the age of 7, but since not many English-speaking tourists go to Belarus, people do not really have the chance to practice it. So, it would be best for you to learn a few basic Russian phrases before you travel to Belarus.
We should warn you that if you stay at a hotel in Belarus, please avoid leaving valuable items in your hotel room. It is a known fact that housekeepers may take things for themselves, and things disappear.
As far as safety in Belarus is concerned, you do not have to worry. Even petty crimes are severely punished, which is why the crime rate is very low. Organized crime has been kept at bay by the government's efforts. Drug-related activities are severely punished, so please avoid using recreational drugs, even marijuana, when in Belarus. When it comes to health, one thing that you should do before leaving for Belarus is to get vaccinated for tuberculosis. It is quite common in Baltic countries. But the health system in Belarus is pretty good. If you need access to proper western medical attention, it is best to ask for medical evacuation from the European Union.
While Belarus is often overlooked by western tourists, that is quickly changing. It may not be an exotic vacation destination, but it has a unique charm. The people are friendly, you can learn some Russian, and maybe get to learn a few interesting facts about World War II.