I'm on a world tour and planning to cycle down from Lithuania to Kyiv via Belarus. Needless to say, the paperwork for a tourist visa in Belarus is proving quite problematic. I am a UK citizen and believe I can get a 14 day tourist visa but I will need to book all hotels in advance. As I intend to camp and not stay long in any cities, this will not be possible. The visa information site for the UK (http://uk.mfa.gov.by/en/consular_issues/visas/) states that there is a simplified Visa procedure available if you have an invitation from a Belarusian citizen. Does anybody have any experience of cycling in Belarus or obtaining a visa? If it is not possible to get a visa easily, I will have to take a big detour through Poland.
Thanks in advance,
He's from Belarus he stayed with me last week in Thailand.
I'm sure he'd be able to help you with suggestions.
Maybe a way for fix the hotel problem would be to get letters of invitation for some Belarusians that you're staying at their places (surely some lovely warm shower people would be happy to supply something like that)... if they wrote 2-3 days in their letter and you had 4-5 invitation that could cover your trip.
Just a thought.
Paul and Natt
"Maybe a way for fix the hotel problem would be to get letters of invitation for some Belarusians that you're staying at their places (surely some lovely warm shower people would be happy to supply something like that)"
The private invitation system in former Soviet countries usually requires that the local spend hours queuing at the local OVIR (immigration) office in order to get the required stamps on the invitation letter. It is an unpleasant procedure, and it is not something most locals are willing to do for complete strangers.
Never know until you ask.
Enjoy your trip!
"Never know until you ask."
If you knew what people had to go to for the sake of getting a private invitation drawn up, you'd understand that even asking strangers is inappropriate. It’s one thing if you already have close friends in the country, but forget about random WS hosts.
Westerners on hospex platforms are annoyed by people from developing countries writing out of the blue to ask for visa invitations. What makes you think that people are any more welcoming of such requests in the other direction?
You are facing with European hospitality.
I mean, When citizens of Belarus (and Ukraine) visit the European Union, they have exactly the same problems with hotels and even more.
As you sow, so shall you reap.
I'm not sure, but couldn't you get your visa through an visa agency? This works okay for Russia, they also provide "invitation letters" for you. It also saves you a lot of hassle. For Russia, it costs something like 80 € for EU citizens (30 days, single entry)
This is what I wrote in my blog 2011.
Entering Belarus is easy when at the border. The problem is to get a visa. How to get a visa you can read on other Internet pages. In my case, i have a business friend who works with Belarus. His contact in Minsk signed the invitation letter for me. Therefore I got a Business visa. Next thing to remember it that you have to report to the police your address within 5 working days. But if you do that then you have to report all changes as well. Since I did not have any hotel booked this was a problem for me to solve.
Day after Vera helped med taking care of my passport problems. We went to a local police station, but no help there either. Policemen was very friendly and helpful. Helpful in the way he explained the rules. But he could not do anything. The rule is you have to register at a hotel or a police station. You have to give an address to the police. No exceptions for cyclists who wants to camp. Only solution is to use those five days to quickly cycle through Belarus.
I Spent 7 days in Belarus. Stayed two night in that unofficial hostel (two room apartment) . Spent five nights camping before I entered Ukraine.