Belarus waives visas for short-term visitors from 80 countries

Alyaksandr Lukashenka, by his January 9 presidential edict, abolished the visa requirement for citizens of 80 countries who arrive in Belarus through Minsk National Airport and stay in the country for no more than five days.

The visa waiver applies to 39 European countries, including all member states of the European Union, as well as Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, the United States and some other countries, particularly countries with low immigration risks, Belarus' strategic partners, and countries that have scrapped the visa requirement for Belarusian citizens, said the presidential press office. Latvian residents who have the status of "non-citizen" and holders of an Estonian Alien's Passport also qualify for the visa exemption.

Citizens of China, Gambia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa and Vietnam will be entitled to the exemption if they produce a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa or an EU member state's valid national multiple-entry visa and plane tickets confirming their departure from Belarus within five days.

The waiver will not apply to holders of diplomatic or service passports, or to travelers arriving at Minsk National Airport on a flight from Russia.

The edict will come into force one month after it is officially published.