Starting 27 July, foreigners can come to Belarus without visas for 30 days. But if you are planning stay in the country for more than five days, you must register in the Department of Citizenship and Migration, hotel, hostel or your friend’s place.
TUT.BY gathered the most frequent questions about registration and tried to give the detailed answers to them.
Wait, what registration?
A foreigner who comes to Belarus must register during 5 business days (except Sunday and public holidays).
You can do that at the local Department of Citizenship and Migration attached to your residence address.
Those staying in hotels, sanatoriums or agricultural guest houses don’t have to come to the Migration Office, they will be registered automatically.
- Who doesn’t need to register?
If you’re a citizen of Russia, or Ukraine, you can relax and stay in Belarus during 30 days without registration.
The same rule applies to those who come to the country for five days or less.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on a bill to extend the registration process to 10 days.
- How much doest it cost?
The registration service is fee-based, it will cost you one basic value, which is BYN24,5 or $12,28
Minors, those who travel via tourist visas, foreigners who applied for refugee status and certain categories of investors are exempt from fees.
Are all hostels and agro guest houses can register a foreigner?
The decree on the 30-day visa-free travel reads that tourists can register at hotels, hostels, sanatoriums and other “accommodation facilities”.
However, not all of them (typically agroecotourism facilities) can do that at the moment.
Some places of stay either don’t have access to the registration system or are in remote corners of the country with unstable internet.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives confirm that the problem exists, and it is being worked on.
What about application forms?
At present, the application forms are duplicated in two languages – Russian and English.
Meanwhile, the Ministry considers a possibility to release the forms in five or six languages.
If you change your residence, then what?
In case you decide to change your place of stay for more than 5 days, you will have to repeat the whole process.
Let’s say, a person arrived to Belarus for 30 days within a visa-free regime. By law, he must register within five days.
Let’s assume he registered in Minsk for 25 days and needs to leave to Vitebsk.
If he stays there for four days and then returns to Minsk, he does not need to register again.
And if he plans to stay in Vitebsk for six, seven, eight days, or until the end of the 30-day period, he will have to register at a new address.
Can I register a foreigner at my place?
Yes, you can. To do that, you don’t even have to be an owner of the apartment. The consent of any adult registered at this address will do as well.
There are two options: you can either accompany a guest to the migartion department or the guest can visit it himself.
A foreigner comes to a migration office, fills in an application form where indicates your address as a place of stay.
After the procedure the owner of the apartment will receive a notification that a foreigner was registered at his address.
Is there any doc issued after registration?
Right now registration is a stamp with your passport data and check-in and check-out dates in a loose leaf.
When a foreigner registers at a hotel or hostel, they put a stamp in a loose leaf by default.
Where registration stamp is checked?
A foreigner should show it at the border when leaving Belarus.
This is to confirm that you, being in the country for more than five days, were indeed registered.
*Who has a right to check whether a foreigner is legal in Belarus?
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Border Committee and the State Security Committee.
What happens if you happen to miss the deadline?
You must register anyway and pay a fee. It’s better to do it while you still in Belarus than at the border.
If it’s the first law offense, you may get away with it with just a warning. But we don’t advise to count on it.
More likely you’ll have to pay a fee 2-10 basic amounts (BYN 49-245). Mind that fee must be paid both by a foreigner and a host.
Actually, the law says up to 50 basic units fee or deportation can be applied to a wrongdoer as a punishement.
What’s the point of it all? Why can’t we cancel it?
“You see what is happening in the European Union. A fairly liberal policy, unfortunately, sometimes leads to negative consequences.
But, believe me, we will strive to extend the term of registration. This is the next step. I think it’s a matter of time.”
This is how the situation is seen by Vadim Zaboronok, the head of the migration department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.