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Belarus introduces five-day visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries

President 09.01.2017 | 17:12

MINSK, 9 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 8 “On the introduction of the visa-free entry and departure for foreign citizens” on 9 January, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

The document introduces the visa-free entry through the border checkpoint at the Minsk National Airport and the visa-free stay in Belarus for up to 5 days for the citizens of 80 states.

These are 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan, and other countries.

First of all, these are favorable countries in terms of migration, Belarus' strategic partners which have introduced visa-free regimes for Belarusian citizens on a unilateral basis. New regulations also apply to the non-citizens of Latvia and stateless persons of Estonia.

The document aims to raise the number of business trips, tourism and private visits of people with regular passports and will not apply to foreigners on official trips with diplomatic, service, special and similar passports.

A valid passport or other document permitting foreign travels, money (equivalent to at least two base amounts for each day of stay in the foreign currency or Belarusian rubles), medical insurance in the amount of at least €10,000 operational in Belarus will be needed for the visa-free entry.

The citizens of Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, Honduras, India, China, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa should also have a valid multi-visa to the EU states or the Schengen Area with a mark confirming the entry to their territory, plane tickets with a confirmation of the departure from the Minsk National Airport within 5 days after the date of the entry.

The visa-free regime does not apply to people arriving to Belarus by plane from Russia and planning to go to the airports of Russia (these are internal flights with no border control).

The decree will enter into force in a month after its official publication.

No extra formalities for visiting Belarus for five days without visas
Citizens of 80 countries will be able to enter via the Minsk National Airport and stay in Belarus for at most five days. The countries are Belarus' main partners. The number includes all the European countries, developed economies all over the world, and major developing nations.

Foreigners coming to Belarus via Russian airports still need visasForeigners coming to Belarus via Russian airports still need visas
“It is important to remember that the five-day rule for visa-free travels does not apply to persons, who arrive in Belarus from airports of the Russian Federation or intend to fly to a Russian airport. Such flights are considered domestic and are not subject to border control,” said Igor Fisenko.

Fines, warning for breaking five-day rule during visa-free stay in BelarusFines, warning for breaking five-day rule during visa-free stay in Belarus
Such actions will be classified as a violation of the legislation on the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons. Such violations are punishable by a fine or a warning with or without deportation. The relevant civil servant will decide which punishment to use, explained Alexei Begun.

State Border Committee: No limit on number of visa-free entries to BelarusState Border Committee: No limit on number of visa-free entries to Belarus
Foreign citizens can use this opportunity to visit our beautiful country as many times as they want, provided they follow the established rules, Oleg Lyashuk said.

Five-day visa-free regime to enter into force in Belarus on 12 February 2017Five-day visa-free regime to enter into force in Belarus on 12 February 2017
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko's decree No. 8 “On the introduction of the visa-free entry and departure for foreign citizens” was officially published on the National Legal Internet Portal on 11 January. The citizens of 80 countries will be able to start using its benefits in the middle of February.

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