Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Hrodna to become first Belarusian city for temporary visa-free travel

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In two months, foreign tourists will be able to visit Belarus the Auhustauski Canal, the adjacent districts of the Hrodna region and Hrodna itself without a visa.

This information was confirmed by the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus. The regulations of the visa-free entry to these areas are contained in Decree #318 of 23th August 2016.

According to the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, foreign tourists will be able to visit without visas Hrodna, Auhustauski Canal and surrounding areas upon confirmation of entry for tourism purposes. Decree #38 states that it is possible to be without a visa in Hrodna and Auhustauski Canal for five days.

Representatives of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism are currently clarifying the regulations on visa-free entry, which will be submitted for discussion in the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus. Decree #318 “On Establishment of Visa-free Entry and Exit of Foreign Nationals” will take effect two months from the date of its official publication, that is on 23 October 2016.

Visa-free travel procedure covers foreign citizens crossing the state border of Belarus with Poland through the checkpoints Lyasnaya and Bruzgi, with Lithuania through border crossing points Švendubrė and Raigardas.

The decree is valid until 31 December 2017 with an option to extend for an indefinite period.

This scheme works for visa-free entry of foreigners who want to visit the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest.

How does it work? Foreigners come to the park on the basis of:

– A valid passport or other document which it replaces, designed for traveling abroad and issued by the appropriate authority of the State of nationality or usual place of alien residence or an international organization (hereinafter – the document for traveling abroad);

– A document which gives a foreigner the right to visit the National Park.