American passport holders are required to have a visa, issued by a Belarusian Embassy or Consulate overseas, to enter Belarus. Please note that even with a visa, you are unlikely to be allowed entry to Belarus over a land border. You are also unlikely to be allowed to exit Belarus over a land border.
Travelling between Russia and Belarus
Car and Train Travel: Belarus and Russia do not have international passport control capabilities at the land border. Therefore, U.S. citizens and other foreigners, even those holding valid visas, may not cross the Belarusian – Russian border by car, train, or on foot. Only Russian and Belarusian passport holders may transit the land border.
Air Travel: U.S. citizens require a visa in order to travel by air between Belarus and Russia. Regulations regarding travel between Russia and Belarus may change unexpectedly. Even if you already hold a visa, before planning a trip we recommend you visit the Embassy of Belarus website and the website of the Embassy of the Russian Federation for the latest information.
All U.S. citizens staying in Belarus for more than five days (not including Sundays or national holidays) are required to register with the local office of the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior (formerly OVIR). This requirement applies to visa holders and those who enter Belarus under the 30-day visa-free regime. Please keep in the mind the following:
- Registration must be completed within five days of arrival (excluding Sundays and national holidays).
- If you are staying in a hotel, the hotel will complete the registration for you.
- If you have a short term rental of an apartment or house, be sure to check with the rental agent; they may be able to assist you.
- If you plan to move to another location after you have registered, you must register anew with the Citizenship and Migration Department office in your new locale before you move.
- If you are staying in a private home, you must complete the registration process yourself.
- If you fail to register or if you remain in Belarus longer than 30 days you will face administrative action which may include a fine of up to €550, deportation, and prohibition from entering Belarus in the future.
- Foreign citizens entering on a tourist or business visa may not stay in Belarus for more than 90 days total during any calendar year, including dates of entry and departure.
Starting January 2, 2019, foreign citizens and stateless persons temporarily staying in the Republic of Belarus can register online through a single portal of electronic services at portal.gov.by, without visiting the internal affairs agency in person. This administrative procedure is free and can be used by foreigners who entered the Republic of Belarus at any checkpoint.
To extend the registration period, a foreigner must visit the Citizenship and Migration Unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs responsible for the place of his/her stay in Belarus.
Foreigners who arrived in the Republic of Belarus through the border with the Russian Federation should apply for registration in person at the Citizenship and Migration Unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs responsible for the place of his/her stay in Belarus.
Visit the Belarusian Embassy web site for the latest information regarding entry requirements for traveling to Belarus.