Belarus relaxes rules of stay for visitors
Amendments to the law on the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons will come into force on 1 July. People who enter the country and intend to stay for up to ten days will no longer have to get registered with the police or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the Belarusian Internal Affairs Ministry told BelTA.
According to the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Internal Affairs Ministry, the amendments are designed to bolster the country's tourism and investment appeal. At present foreigners can stay in Belarus without registration for up to five days at most. The requirement does not apply to Russians and citizens of some other neighboring countries Belarus has signed the relevant intergovernmental agreements with.
Hotels, sanatoriums, resorts, and farm stays will no longer have to take care of the registration of foreign visitors. These hospitality industry outlets will have to directly inform police via a dedicated website or by other means.
The list of reasons to grant temporary residence permits to visitors, who come to Belarus for education, has been expanded. The measure is expected to allow Belarusian universities to attract more foreign students, increase the export of education services, and address some issues with refresher courses before admission to university.
Highly qualified foreign specialists will be able to get temporary residence permits for a period of up to two years. The time such foreigners are required to temporarily stay in Belarus in order to get permanent residence permits has been reduced from seven to three years. The temporary residence period required to get permanent residence permits has been reduced from seven to five years.
If a foreigner invests in Belarus, he or she may also be granted a permanent residence permit. The minimum investment used to be €150,000. The new limit is 15,000 base amounts (Br405,000 at present).
The procedure for competent authorities to grant or deny visas or entry to foreigners has been streamlined. As of 1 July foreigners can request information, including via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, about why and for how long they have been added to the list of persons, whose entry to Belarus is forbidden or unwelcome.