The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
All British national passport holders (except those entering on a diplomatic or official passport) can now enter Belarus for a maximum of 5 days without a visa (the day you arrive counts as day one, regardless of arrival time). Entry and exit will only be allowed at Minsk International Airport and you’ll need to show documentary evidence of medical insurance to the value of 10,000 euros and funds equivalent to 25 euros per day. This can be in the form of cash, credit card or travellers cheques in any currency.
If you’re travelling immediately from/to a Russian airport or entering Belarus at any other border point other than Minsk International Airport, this visa-free arrangement doesn’t apply and you’ll need a visa. A maximum of 90 days stay in one calendar year is permitted. You can find more information at the website of the Belarus embassy.
If you wish to stay longer than 5 days, or plan to enter on a diplomatic or official passport, you’ll need a visa.
You don’t need a visa to transit Belarus by air, but the maximum period you can transit and remain airside is 24 hours. You must get a transit visa in all other circumstances including if you’re travelling by train on popular routes such as Warsaw-Moscow and St Petersburg-Kiev.
If you attempt to transit Belarus in other circumstances without a visa, the border authorities will send you to Minsk to obtain the appropriate visa. You may also have to pay a fine of up to $300 and face deportation. There is a Belarus Embassy in London.
Since 1 January 2018, it’s possible to visit the areas of Avgustov Canal, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Brest or Grodno for short periods without a visa. More information can be found at Grodno visa free and regulations for foreign citizens visiting the national park. This must be done through a registered tour operator and through assigned border checkpoints. The areas can’t be visited on an independent basis and you aren’t permitted to leave these zones and travel to other cities or regions. Failure to follow these rules could result in a fine and you could face deportation.
The rules connected to the 5 day visa free regime via Minsk International Airport and the 10 Day visa free regime in Grodno and Brest are separate, with different requirements. Make sure you check with the nearest Embassy of Belarus before you travel.
If you intend to work as a journalist in Belarus, make sure you receive accreditation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus before you travel and that you’re clearly identifiable at all times.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Belarus.
Travelling between Russia and Belarus
The Russian government has informed the UK government that there are no legal grounds for foreigners (including British nationals) to cross the Russia-Belarus state border. If you’re planning on entering Russia by road, you’ll need to take an alternative route through a different country.
If you’re planning on travelling by rail between the two countries, you should contact your train or tour operator to seek their advice. You should also consider contacting your nearest Russian Embassy for advice on the latest situation for rail travellers.
The UK government isn’t aware of any difficulties for British nationals when travelling by air between the 2 countries. Make sure you have all the necessary visas for the duration of your travel to Russia. You can find more information on the Russian Embassy website.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry into Belarus. However, ETDs are accepted for exit from Belarus.
You’ll also need a Belarusian exit visa which can be obtained from the local Immigration Offices (OVIR). The process may take up to 3 days.
Anyone staying for more than 5 days in Belarus must register with the local police office (OVIR) in the district in which they are staying. Registration will normally be arranged by your hotel. If you are not staying in a hotel registration must be organised by your host. There are fines for not registering in time. If you arrive at the weekend, the earliest you will be able to register is Monday (but offices are only open until 1pm).
Declaration of currency and goods
If you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash or travellers cheques you must complete a currency and goods declaration form on entering and exiting Belarus. This must be stamped by a Customs Officer. Upon exit from Belarus you will not be allowed to take out more currency than you originally declared on the currency declaration form upon entry. You should keep these forms for the duration of your visit. When leaving Belarus you will have to complete a new form, but you should also have the original form to hand. If you do not, your journey may be delayed and you may be fined.
Travelling with children
Children under 16, whose parent or parents hold a Belarusian passport and who aren’t themselves Belarusian passport holders, must have a Belarusian Embassy or Consulate issued travel certificate to travel to Belarus. This is regardless of where they were born or any other nationality they may have. Parents of children entering on this document should liaise with the Belarusian authorities to ensure their children also have the relevant documentation to exit Belarus.