I always wanted to travel to Belarus, but the complicated visa process put me off for years. When I finally decided nothing was going to stop me, I was surprised by how (relatively) painless the whole process was. Here I’ll explain how to apply for the Belarus visa in London, but I guess the process is pretty much the same at every consulate around the world.
Having said that, I strongly recommend you double-check these things with your local consulate, for I am not a consular representative and I’m only sharing MY experience, hoping to help others. 😉
WHAT YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR THE BELARUSIAN VISA
When you apply for the Belarus visa, bear in mind they have a few peculiarities. You can apply in person at the Consulate of Belarus in London or by post and each has a different procedure.
As much as I’d love to be able to help with all kinds of visas, I applied for a short-term single-entry visa (less than 90 days) and that is the one I’ll talk about.
What documents are required to apply for a Belarusian visa?
1) A VALID PASSPORT
Yes, I know this one seems to be very obvious but, believe me, most people have no idea of when their passport will expire. So, in order to get a Belarusian visa, your passport must be valid for at least 90 days after the day you want to depart from the country.
Your passport must have two consecutive blank pages – no point in having one in the middle and another in the end!
2) PRINTED COPY OF YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY
That’s correct, you must have travel insurance valid for the period of your trip and it must specifically say VALID IN EUROPE, VALID WORLDWIDE or INCLUDING BELARUS.
Your policy also has to show that you’re covered for at least 10,000 euros (or 12,000 US dollars) for medical insurance.
3) A RECENT PASSPORT PICTURE
The picture must be recent, in colour, high resolution and approximately 35x45mm.
4) VISA SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
This is the point that most annoy people – including me. By “travel support document”, they mean a letter of invitation from a Belarusian travel company, a Belarusian national who invited you or a hotel. Confirmations from internet agencies such as Booking.com is not accepted. Also, not all hotels are accredited to issue letters.
I booked Hotel Yubileiny on the internet, because of the great location and good price, but it’s quite plain. Then I contacted the hotel directly to ask for their official confirmation – I gave all details of my reservation, including Booking.com’s confirmation number. They sent it to me on the same day, no questions asked.
Otherwise, you can just book on their website and ask for their confirmation with the manager’s signature.
5) VISA FORM FULLY COMPLETED
Last but not least, you’ll have to fill in the visa application form. The visa form comes in Belarusian and English and you can download the visa form from this link.
I HAVE ALL DOCUMENTS… WHAT NOW?
If you’re applying in person in London, you have to pay in euros (yes, you read it right, in euros, even though you’re in the UK!). The amount is currently 65 euros.
If you’re applying by post you’ll have to include a return self-addressed envelope and an extra 15 euros. The bank account details are available here.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PROCESS THE BELARUSIAN VISA?
Well, that was all, guys. Even though it seems a bit much price-wise and with the insurance and travel documents, it’s worth the effort.
Belarus is an amazing country, people are friendly in their own way, food is great and it’s a very inexpensive destination.
Please remember that consular rules change constantly, so it’s important to check with the actual consulates or on their websites. You can see how to apply for the Belarus visa on these websites for UK residents, USA residents, United Arab Emirates and German residents.
So, have you ever been to Belarus? Would you consider a trip there?
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