Once part of the Soviet Union, Belarus became independent in 1991. Belarus requires all US citizens to have both a valid passport and the appropriate Belarus visa before they can set foot on Belorussian territory. Before you apply for your visa, you need to consider the purpose of your visit to make sure you apply for the right type of visa.
Belarus offers the following types of visas:
- Tourist visas
- Business visas
- Transit visas (if you will be traveling through Belarus on the way to another destination and will be staying in the country for less than 48 hours)
- Private visit/homestay visas for visitors who will be staying with a friend or family member in Belarus.
- Employment and study visas are available for visitors who want to work or go to school in Belarus, but you need to apply at embassy and will not be able to use the services of an expediting company.
Other fun facts about the Belarus visa system:
If you are a tourist, Belarus prefers that you visit as part of a tour group.
If you want to travel alone, you must make arrangements with an official travel agency. The travel agency will issue you a voucher.
If you are applying for a visa for a private visit, you need an invitation from the Ministry of the Interior if you plan on staying more than 30 days.
If you are staying less than 30 days, generally all you need is a letter from your host. However, at their discretion, the Belarus embassy may ask for a letter of invitation from the Ministry of the Interior, even if your trip is less than 30 days.
Belarus does not issue visas at the border, so you need to apply for your Belarus visa well in advance. RushMyTravelVisa.com can help research the visa requirements for your itinerary and expedite your visa application with the Belarus embassy.