Belarus introduces new 10-day visa-free regime

Travel to Belarus continues to get simpler, because the nation’s president Alexander Lukashenko signed a brand new decree in December 2017 introducing a 10-day visa-free regime for residents of 77 international locations.

Medieval citadel, Mir, Belarus. Photo by: Vicktar Malyshchyts/Shutterstock

The new visa-free regime comes after the 2017 decree which for the primary time launched a visa-free possibility for travellers from 80 international locations, supplied they arrive and go away through Minsk airport and keep within the nation solely as much as 5 days; it additionally utilized for these coming into Belarus by land however provided that visiting the Augustow Canal within the Hrodna area.

The new guidelines apply from 1 January 2018 and permit residents of 77 international locations to spend 10 days and not using a visa solely within the Hrodna and Brest areas.  They can arrive both by automobile, bus or prepare, and may even enter the nation through the native Hrodna airport. For the time being, there are not any adjustments within the guidelines for air travel to Minsk – the visa-free keep continues to be restricted to solely 5 days, however on the plus aspect it permits travellers to go anyplace else in Belarus as properly.

Belarus approves 10-day visa-free regime
Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Minsk. Photo by: Anita Isalska/Lonely Planet

The persevering with liberalisation of the visa regime in certainly one of Europe’s least visited international locations is actually good news for travellers wishing to get off the overwhelmed observe. It’s value noting, although, that there are nonetheless some limitations in observe: international travellers should present a kind on the border proving that they have bought both a tour or lodging from an official travel company. They additionally have to register both at a registration workplace of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an area tourism workplace or at their resort inside 5 days of arrival in Belarus.

The trial of Belarus’ visa-free regime in 2017 had encouraging outcomes, with a noticeable improve in customer numbers notably from neighbouring Poland and Lithuania but additionally from different European international locations. According to official sources, the annual vacationer numbers reached virtually 80,000 (a 12% improve in contrast with the earlier years). It is hoped that Belarus will prolong the present visa-free guidelines to 30 days in 2019, when the nation is about to host the second-ever European Games sports activities event – after Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2015.

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