Filling in Belarus visa application
Important: for those flying into Belarus and out, the stay for up to 30 days is visa-free (with the citizenship of an allowed country).
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. Forms can be filled online and saved as a PDF file. Please, don't hand-fill the applications - use a PC). Many customers mess up numbers and dates in the form when using a MAC computer - try using a Windows 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.
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 NONE or NO only once in line 1) if a box has multiple lines (Box 25).
In the address boxes except for your home and work addresses, (e.g. in Box 19/20) 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 region for any city in Gomel Region, etc.
Box 14. 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. Self-employed people, housewives and retired put their home address or none at all.
Boxes 15-19: unless you tour in a group, you can normally apply for an individual short-term (tourist visa is never over 30 days long, CANNOT be extended) 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 often must be supported by hotel and transportation bookings.
Boxes 18-21. If I am arranging your Belarus visa support, please, use the information below).
If you are staying at my farmstay Forest Inn, the details in Box 19-20 will look this way:
222673 (index = ZIP code), Minsk Region,
Building 12, street - Centralnaya Street,
Forest Inn Farmstay.
Box 20. Most customers stumble upon this one: unless you're staying at my farmstay, put the address of a hotel that's already been confirmed in any way (directly or through an agency). Or the hotel where you are going to spend more time while in Belarus.
Box 21. 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 may lead to visa rejection (private visits are on private visas).
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 to be submitted while the date can be added shortly prior to that. Also, if you are booking my tours or staying at my farmstay using my Belarus visa support, specify what's your employer's line of business (required for the invitation) additionally in your email.
To save that form as a PDF file you have to press the Save button (or the Disk icon on top of the page) or select Print but select the Save as PDF instead of your printer.
If you still have questions on Belarus visa application, please, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or via Minsk Guide on Facebook.
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