World news story

Changes in visa application and decision-making process in Minsk

The Visa Section at the Embassy in Minsk will close and a Visa Application Centre (VAC) will be open from March/April 2014.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Since 2007 UKVisas & Immigration (UKVI), formerly the UK Border Agency, has closed many of its smaller visa sections and has created a number of larger decision-making hubs across the world. At the same time as reducing the number of places where decisions are made, the number of places where an application can be made has been increased. In 2007 there were approximately 150 places accepting applications and making decisions. Currently there are over 300 Visa Application Centres (VACs), the vast majority of which are run by our commercial partners, with over 30 “hubs” making decisions

As part of this process, UKVI is moving the decision-making for applications submitted by residents of Belarus from the small visa section in Minsk, to the large visa processing hub at the British Embassy in Moscow. The Visa Section in the embassy will close and a Visa Application Centre (VAC), run by UKVI’s commercial partner, will be open from March/April 2014. From that date visa applicants from Belarus should apply for a UK visa at the VAC in Minsk. We are working in consultation with the Belarusian authorities over this change. We will announce more details early next year.

Published 20 December 2013