Filling in Belarus visa application
Important: for those flying into Belarus after 9 February 2017 the stay for 5 days is visa-free.
Just in case you still have these questions - my answers are: yes, I would love to scrap visas for migration-secure countries, yes, the visa form could have been shorter and yes, you do have to be attentive with your visa paperwork as per the crib below. :)
The application form for a visa to Belarus has become digital and you can save and send it as a PDF file. It is only a 2-page document that is available online from many resources, e.g. from the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. Try to avoid the colorful-looking websites that have a similar name to a consulate website. All consulate websites of Belarus are listed here. It would seem that pdfescape.com is a fabulous website to fill and save a PDF file of the application (no registration required). Please, don't hand-fill the applications - use a PC).
The form is short enough (compared to the 4-page forms we have to fill to get a Schengen visa) and is not so complicated, but tourists often ask me questions about the same boxes. Let's go through the form and check the unclear boxes, assuming you are applying for a short-term tourist visa to Belarus.
First, on top of the page comes the warning that the form is to be filled in BLOCK LETTERS. That means please, use CAPITAL LETTERS for all answers including NO or N/A. Please, do)
Never did that myself as a travel agent but let's not upset the consular people. The photograph must be the original passport-size color photo (a customer recently brought a black and white one - the consulate clerks asked her to come to the airport and supply the new color one!), cut out and stapled or glued to the form when it's complete. Please, no tricks with your digital photo attached and printed out in color.
When filling date boxes, e.g. passport issue and expiry dates, use one small box for 1 digit (don't put the whole date into one box). Use NONE or N/A for something you cannot provide, e.g. hotel room number or previous visits to Belarus. Use only once in line 1) if a box has multiple lines.
In the address boxes except for your home and work addresses, (e.g. in Box 21) Region is the region of Belarus to which your city of visit belongs. There are six regional centers in Belarus, so if you are staying in Minsk, you specify MINSK in the Region line, GOMEL for any city in Gomel Region, etc.
Box 15. Please, note, that journalists and other kinds of media people have to be accredited by the Foreign Affairs Ministry if on active duty. If you work for yourself, please put SELF-EMPLOYED.
Boxes 16-19: unless you tour in a group, you can normally apply for an individual short-term single-entry visa to Belarus. If you need to go to Russia or Poland and then re-enter Belarus again, e.g. to fly back to your country of origin from Minsk, apply for a double-entry visa. But these moves must be supported by hotel and transportation bookings.
Boxes 20-21. The name of a travel agency and its address in Minsk. If I organize your visit, please additionally specify your company's field of business in the email.
Box 22. Most customers stumble upon this one: put the address of a hotel that's already been confirmed in any way (by itself or by the local agency). Or the hotel where you are going to spend more time.
Box 23. Be brief and to the point about the purpose of visit, e.g. tourism, sightseeing. Note, that such things as sightseeing or family research trip are quite legitimately explained as "tourism". Note, that applying on a tourist visa you can not be visiting friends by definition - such a discrepancy will lead to visa rejection (private visits are on private visas).
Box 30. Itinerary. Simple: Paris-Minsk-Grodno-Vilnius or London-Minsk-London.
Box 32. The worst point) People have already picked it on the forums that they have to have a Belarusian insurance policy (now including the UK passport holders) without which they will not be allowed into the country (or even to apply for a visa).
Since not so long ago one must buy a medical policy that says it covers Belarus. Read more about getting a local insurance policy online in Belarus here. Please, enclose a confirmation from your insurance company that it covers Belarus (or the copy of the Belarusian policy I am providing) with the rest of the papers when applying. If you are opting for an insurance policy that I am providing, please put the company name:
Eximgarant of Belarus
2 Melnikaite Str., Minsk 220004
Tel. +375 17 209 40 28
Fax +375 17 209 40 67
Well, this seems to be it - if you are using an invitation from my partners, send me the PDF without signature or photo. Signature is added when the form is printed out while the date can be typed in shortly prior to that. If you are booking my tours using my partner's visa support, specify additionally in an email with the form attached as a PDF file what's your employer's line of business (required for the invitation).
If you still have questions on Belarus visa application, please, contact me directly.
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