Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

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olmo
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Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby olmo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:24 pm

Well, not exactly the Silk Road yet, but to get there you may want to cross Belarus. Once again you can go visa free thanks to an international competition (European Games 2019)!

The tickets have just gone on sale December 1 and the cheapest ones go for just 7 BYR (less than EUR 3). Anyone with a ticket can enter Belarus visa free between June 10 and July 10, 2019. As in the past this should be valid for all international borders. Be aware that there may not be a proper border check when continuing towards Russia, which would be an issue if you need to enter Russia offically -but I'm not up to date on the situation.

Press release: http://indonesia.mfa.gov.by/en/consular ... sas/euro2/

Tickets: https://www.en.minsk2019.ticketpro.by/

Oh, and in case you are wondering: The regular 30 day visa free that is available all the time only applies when flying into Minsk.
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby Milad » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:19 pm

Be aware that there may not be a proper border check when continuing towards Russia, which would be an issue if you need to enter Russia offically -but I'm not up to date on the situation.


Currently, it's a huge problem and people do get in trouble with the FSB regularly. Currently, you cannot cross the Belarus-Russia border legally if you are not a Belarussian or Russian citizen, the only exception are through trains from Western Europe to Moscow if you get on the train not later than in Terespol (Poland) and do not get off before Smolensk (Russia). Russia and Belarus are currently negotiating something and there are rumours that Russia wants to open an international border crossing at the Minsk-Moscow highway, so it might be resolved by June.

In the opposite direction, it appears to be less of a problem as Belarus seems to be fine with people entering from Russia without control as long as you have a visa and the FSB does not care about you once you left Russia, although I cannot give a guarantee that everything will be fine here either.
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby olmo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:44 pm

Milad wrote:
Be aware that there may not be a proper border check when continuing towards Russia, which would be an issue if you need to enter Russia offically -but I'm not up to date on the situation.


Currently, it's a huge problem and people do get in trouble with the FSB regularly. Currently, you cannot cross the Belarus-Russia border legally if you are not a Belarussian or Russian citizen, the only exception are through trains from Western Europe to Moscow if you get on the train not later than in Terespol (Poland) and do not get off before Smolensk (Russia). Russia and Belarus are currently negotiating something and there are rumours that Russia wants to open an international border crossing at the Minsk-Moscow highway, so it might be resolved by June.

In the opposite direction, it appears to be less of a problem as Belarus seems to be fine with people entering from Russia without control as long as you have a visa and the FSB does not care about you once you left Russia, although I cannot give a guarantee that everything will be fine here either.


Thanks for the update! Let's see how this plays out ...

According to https://eng.belta.by/politics/view/bela ... 7011-2018/ there may even be a chance to continue visa free into Russia (Belarus did the same thing for the 2018 Olympics). Oh and I just noticed some of the earlier events (like cycling) can be bought for even less, just 5 BYR.
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby steven » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:13 am

So in short the only difference between this and the regular visa-free regime is that you will be able to enter visa-free overland. Is this certain by the way? I did not find any explicit reference in the Indonesian embassy announcement.
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby olmo » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:42 am

steven wrote:So in short the only difference between this and the regular visa-free regime is that you will be able to enter visa-free overland. Is this certain by the way? I did not find any explicit reference in the Indonesian embassy announcement.


Hej Steven,

yep that's it. Unless you're visiting Belarus explicitly for us it doesn't make any sense to fly there, trains and buses (and cycling, autostop ...) are cheap and easy. And last time I checked the tourist visa required actual hotel stays, the personal visa the help of a local friend.

The agreeement is mentioned at several official places like here: https://www.belarus.by/en/press-center/ ... 83201.html or here https://eng.belta.by/president/view/bel ... 3555-2018/. They did the same a couple years back http://mfa.gov.by/print/en/hockey/docs/ ... 40574.html for the hockey championship, so I think it's fairly safe to say this is going to work.

"To this effect, Belarus and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement on 30 May under which Russia will provide visa-free transit and stay in its territory for foreign fans travelling to Minsk for the 2nd European Games." (https://minsk2019.by/en/news/509) That'd make it a pretty cool deal. Could go for a trip Poland-Belarus-St. Petersburg-Baltics.
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby steven » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:10 am

Cool! I now found what I was looking for: https://euroradio.fm/en/belarus-allow-v ... pean-games
I am also of course anti-flying, that is part of the reason Caravanistan got started in the first place.

I have always wanted to visit Belarus, my uncle-in-law used to work there, always sings the praises of Belarus. I have to agree, so far I only met the most pleasant people from there.

The visa-free thing into Russia is not likely to happen, though: http://belarusfeed.com/belarus-russia-v ... ion-rules/
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby EASTLEIGH33 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:36 pm

Thankyou so much guys for posting this. I have followed your instructions and got a ticket for 5 Rubles....Always wanted to have a look at Belarus but been put off....and also have friends over the border in Smolensk who can nip over the border to see me whilst in Belarus. Happy...
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby olmo » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:10 pm

Visa Agreement signed!
https://eng.belta.by/society/view/russi ... 8619-2019/

Containing more words than facts as usual, I still can't conclude anything but that anyone with a European Games ticket will be allowed in Russian territory as well, at least through any Belarus-Russia border! :) Given that those borders are still not "international" I think it's safe to say this may or may not include some discussion, though will most likely be ok.

Probably also any other border crossings on the way to or from Minsk - will they let you transit Kaliningrad for example? I doubt there'll be an answer until someone tries in June. Our plan is to try to continue from BY towards St. Petersburg ...

Cited: "In accordance with the agreement, foreign nationals and stateless persons traveling to attend international sporting events in one of the two states can enter, exist, stay and transit through the territory of the other state without visas on an authentic ID and a document to attend such international sports events. The agreement played an important role during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Fans traveled to Russia freely via Belarus. Russia, on its part, will let fans through the Russian-Belarusian border without visas during the 2nd European Games which are due in Minsk on 21-30 June 2019, Grigory Karasin said. The agreement will be valid through 10 July 2019. According to Grigory Karasin, Belarus and Russia are currently working on a visa recognition agreement. “I hope the agreement will be signed in the near future,” he said."

Oh, the last sentence IMO refers to the general mutual visa recognition agreement which has been postponed a couple of times now!
Last edited by olmo on Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:00 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby Milad » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:04 pm

This is the same as during the world cup and everyone with a ticket will be allowed into Belarus, Russia and allowed to cross the border freely. E.g. Russian border guards in the Far East might not know this, but a phone call to Moscow should solve such a situation easily.

The general recognition agreement seems to be a dead duck for now, as Belarus would have to terminate the "30-day visa-free via Minsk International Airport" program, which they are not going to do.
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Re: Belarus Visa Free June 10 to July 10 in 2019

Postby mmelleme » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:16 am

May this make it possible to travel to Russia visa-free during the European Games, even if you don’t ever go to Belarus? I guess in theory you could just buy a ticket for some event and fly into Moscow, stay there for one week and leave again without never entering Belarus. Or could this probably cause problems if someone finds out, by asking for onward tickets, checking my passports for lack of Belarussian stamp or something like that?
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