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13 February 2017, 09:03

Belarus introduces visa-free travel for 80 countries

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 13 February (BelTA) – Belarus introduced a five-day visa-free travel for citizens of 80 countries on 12 February, BelTA has learned.

Citizens of 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, and also Brazil, Indonesia, the United States, Japan and other states now can visit Belarus visa-free. First of all, these are favorable countries in terms of migration, Belarus' strategic partners which have introduced visa-free rules for Belarusian citizens on a unilateral basis. New regulations also apply to the non-citizens of Latvia and stateless persons of Estonia.

Visa-free travel is granted provided tourists cross the state border in the Minsk National Airport. 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.

People visiting Belarus visa-free will not have to get registered with the interior bodies.

The citizens of Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, Honduras, India, China, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa should have a valid multi-visa to the EU states or the Schengen Area with a stamp 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).

There will be no restrictions on the number of trips to Belarus once the new visa regulations come into effect.

The Sports and Tourism Ministry forecasts a 20% increase in tourist numbers after the introduction of visa-free entry to Belarus. The ministry first orients on the countries of Europe, Northern America, and the Persian Gulf. The UNWTO has expressed its full support to the decision of the Government of Belarus to launch the 5-day visa-free policy. The measure is aimed at advancing seamless travel and attracting visitors, particularly those in business trips, the UNWTO said. Visa facilitation is among the most effective strategies to induce tourism development in a region or in a country, so the UNWTO is sure that the tourism sector will experience a positive shift in Belarus.

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