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Brest And Grodno 10 Days Visa-Free Regime. All You Need To Know

Starting 1 January the visa-free travel time for foreign citizens was extended up to ten days in several areas of Brest Oblast and Grodno Oblast.

There is all you should know about visa-free travel to Brest and Grodno!

Let’s find out how entry regulations in Brest and Grodno differ from each other and those that are active for foreigners coming to Belarus for 5 days by plane through the “Minsk National Airport”.

1. What are visa-free regions in Grodno and Brest?

Check out a map of visa-free territories and checkpoints.

The tourist-recreational zone Brest became visa-free.

The zone includes:

  • Brest,
  • Kamenets, Brest and Pruzhany districts of Brest region,
  • Svisloch district of Grodno region.

Besides, a tourist-recreational park the “Augustow Canal” along with Grodno and Grodno district also fall under new regulations.

2. Where foreigners can cross the borders visa-free?

There are 12 checkpoints:

Brest: Brest (Terespol), Domachevo (Slovatichi), Peschatka (Polovtsy), Pererov (Belovezha), the Brest railway checkpoint (“Terespol”), the checkpoint “Brest Airport”.

Grodno region: “Bruzgi” (“Kuznitsa Bialostokskaya”), “Privalka” (“Raigardas”), “Lesnaya” (Rudavka), “Privalka” (“Shvyandubre”), the railway checkpoint “Grodno”, the checkpoint “Grodno Airport”.

3. What documents are necessary?

Required: passport, medical insurance, tourist permit, migration card (it is issued when a foreigner enters the country).

A tourist permit is the most important document which gives a foreigner a right to private (group) visit to the tourist-recreational zone “Brest” or to the tourist-recreational park “Augustow Canal”.

In fact, foreigners will be able to come to Belarus visa-free only via a Belarusian travel agency.

Moreover, the agency, should have a special certificate of conformity and the right to issue documents for a visa-free visit.

Read also: Visa-free year results! Up to 80,000 tourists visit Belarus in 2017

In the near future, Brest will launch a site similar to Grodno’s grodnovisafree.by.

Here tourists can choose a tour operator and specify their wishes on a tour program.

As soon as the tourist pays for a tour and signs a contract with the tour operator, he will be sent a confirmation of the right to enter the country without a visa and receive booked tourist services.

There is no fee for filling and issuance of documents for the right to visit our country.

4. Who can visit Belarus without a visa?

According to Presidential Decree No. 462, citizens of 77 countries, including Hong Kong, which is a special administrative district of the People’s Republic of China, as well as persons with a non-citizen status in Latvia and stateless persons permanently residing in Estonia, can visit Belarus without visas.

  1. Australia
  2. The Republic of Austria
  3. The Republic of Albania
  4. Principality of Andorra
  5. Antigua and Barbuda
  6. Barbados
  7. Kingdom of Bahrain
  8. The Kingdom of Belgium
  9. The Republic of Bulgaria
  10. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  11. The Republic of Vanuatu
  12. The Vatican City State
  13. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  14. Hungary
  15. Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  16. The Republic of Haiti
  17. The Islamic Republic of the Gambia
  18. The Federal Republic of Germany
  19. The Republic of Honduras
  20. Hong Kong (Hong Kong) – special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. *
  21. The Hellenic Republic
  22. The Kingdom of Denmark
  23. Commonwealth of Dominica
  24. The Republic of India
  25. The Republic of Indonesia
  26. Ireland
  27. The Republic of Iceland
  28. The Kingdom of Spain
  29. The Italian Republic
  30. Canada
  31. The Republic of Cyprus
  32. The People’s Republic of China
  33. Republic of Korea
  34. The State of Kuwait
  35. The Republic of Latvia**
  36. Lebanese Republic
  37. The Republic of Lithuania
  1. The Principality of Liechtenstein
  2. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  3. The Republic of Macedonia
  4. Malaysia
  5. The Republic of Malta
  6. The Order of Malta *
  7. The Mexican United States
  8. The Federated States of Micronesia
  9. ​​Principality of Monaco
  10. Republic of Namibia
  11. Kingdom of the Netherlands
  12. Republic of Nicaragua
  13. New Zealand
  14. Kingdom of Norway
  15. The Sultanate of Oman
  16. Republic of Panama
  17. Republic of Peru
  18. The Republic of Poland
  19. The Portuguese Republic
  20. Romania
  21. Independent State of Samoa
  22. The Republic of San Marino
  23. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  24. The Republic of Seychelles
  25. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  26. The Republic of Singapore
  27. Slovak Republic
  28. The Republic of Slovenia
  29. United States of America
  30. Eastern Republic of Uruguay
  31. The Republic of Finland
  32. The French Republic
  33. The Republic of Croatia
  34. Czech Republic
  35. The Republic of Chile
  36. Swiss Confederation
  37. The Kingdom of Sweden
  38. El Salvador
  39. The Republic of Estonia ***
  40.  Japan

5. Is it necessary to register at the local migration departments?

Yes. Foreigners who arrive in Grodno or Brest on a visa-free basis will have to register within five days.

Usually the registration issues are resolved by the hotels or farm guest houses where foreigners stay.

Read also: Belarus-Russia unified visa regime. How will it work?

By the way, those who arrive via a visa-free program in Minsk, don’t have to undergo the registration.

6. Can a visa-free tourist who comes to Brest to visit Grodno as well?

No. It is forbidden for a visa-free tourist who comes to Brest to leave the tourist-recreational zone “Brest”.

However, if a foreigner has ordered a tour only to the Brest territory, he can visit other visa-free areas of the tourist-recreational zone “Brest”.

7. Can a tourist develop his own travel program for the Augustow Canal or Brest?

It is controversial question. A tourist can make an individual program, but only with the help of a local tour operator.

Based on the client wishes, the tour operator develops a visit program. Mind that the term of the individual program should not exceed ten days.

8. Should a visa-free tourist prove that he has enough money?

When entering Belarus the foreigner should possess not less than two basic units for each day of stay.

Read also: Visa-free stay in Belarus may be extended to 30 days

By 2018, the size of the basic unit is BYN 24.5 (~12.34), that means BYN49 (~$24.69 ) per day.

9. For how long a visa-free tourist can stay in Brest or Grodno?

A foreigner can stay in the visa-free zone for the entire term of the tour that has been bought from the tour operator.

While purchasing additional tourist services, the period of stay can be extended.

The total period of stay for a foreigner in a visa-free zone should not exceed 10 days, regardless of the number of tours purchased.

10. What can stop a visa-free tourist from leaving Brest and visiting Minsk?

Nothing. There will be no checkpoints at the borders of visa-free travel territories.

However, if the visa-free tourist is stopped by the police at the Minsk territory, he will face liability under Article 23.55 of the Code of Belarus on Administrative Offenses “Violation of the Rules of Stay in the Republic of Belarus”.

The sanction provides for a warning with deportation or without deportation or imposition of a fine of up to twenty basic units (BYN 490/~$246.35) with deportation or without deportation.

Read also: Visa-free tourist from India spent 2.5 hours at border check as he had no printed ticket

According to the law hotels, health centers, guest houses, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs who provide rental services are obliged to provide information about their guests, including their personal data, to the police within three hours after the “registration” of the foreigner.

11. What else changed in the visa-free legislation?

Today visa-free tourists can’t stay at their friends or acquaintances’ places.

They are obliged to book rooms in hotels, health centers, guest houses or officially rented flats.

This doesn’t apply for the so-called excursionists who come to Belarus just for one day.

12. Will Brest become a popular tourist destination starting 1 January?

Time will tell.

At the moment Brest tour operators who can arrange tours for visa-free tourists need to register on a site that does not work yet.

Potential tourists will not be able to contact local tour operators without this site.

Meanwhile, Grodno tour operators temporarily stopped the reception and registration of visa-free tourists.

Read also: Fast checks and little time to explore Belarus. 6 visa-free tourists share their travel experience

They explained it by too many controversial questions about the practical application of the decree.

They still are waiting for the repsonse from the relevant authorities.

Also, the system for registration of visa-free tourists on the Grodno site grodnovisafree.by does not work yet.

Source: TUT.BY