Exercise normal safety precautions in Belarus. Use common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources of information for changes to local conditions.
- Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities in recent years. Further attacks are possible, including in Belarus. See
Safety and security
- Large demonstrations occur periodically in Minsk and other cities in Belarus, sometimes with little warning. Avoid demonstrations, rallies and street disturbances, as they may turn violent. See
Safety and security
- Foreigners aren't permitted to cross the land border between Belarus and Russia. Don't enter or exit Belarus by the land border with Russia. Travel between Belarus and Russia by air. See
- Australians are eligible for 30-day visa-free entry into Belarus. The visa-free period is valid for people entering Belarus through Minsk International Airport. Visa-free entry isn't available to travellers arriving from, or intending to travel to, Russia. If you're travelling to Belarus through Russia, you'll need to get a Russian transit visa in addition to your visa for Belarus. See
Entry and exit
- Australia doesn't have an Embassy or Consulate in Belarus. The Australian Embassy in Russia provides consular assistance to Australians in Belarus. See
Where to get help
Entry and exit
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Australian Government cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
Australians are eligible for 30-day visa-free entry into Belarus, with a maximum stay of 90 days in one calendar year. The visa-free regime is valid for people entering through Minsk International Airport. Other entry and exit conditions, such as compulsory medical insurance, still apply. Visa-free entry doesn't apply to travellers arriving from, or travelling to, Russia. If you're travelling to Belarus through Russia, you'll need to get a Russian transit visa. For information on Russian visas, contact the nearest
Embassy of Russia. The five day visa-free arrangement isn't available if you're travelling on a diplomatic or official passport. More information:
State Border Committee of The Republic of Belarus.
Foreigners aren't permitted to cross the land border between Belarus and Russia. Don't enter or exit Belarus by the land border with Russia. Travel between Belarus and Russia by air. Contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and the
Embassy of Russia for up-to-date information.
Australians are also permitted to cross land borders for short visits to the border areas of Avgustov Canal, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Brest or Grodno. Travel with a registered tour operator and enter through assigned border checkpoints. More information at
Grodno Visa Free and
regulations for foreign citizens visiting the national park.
When you enter and exit Belarus, show the original issued visa to border authorities - a photocopy isn't sufficient.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. For up-to-date information, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.
When you enter Belarus or Russia, you need to complete a Migration Card. A single Migration Card covers both countries. As the Migration Card may not be automatically given to passengers coming on flights or trains, ask for a card from border control authorities. Keep the stamped second half of the card to present it when exiting the last country visited.
Medical insurance is compulsory for entry to Belarus. If you arrive without proof of insurance, you'll need to purchase a standard policy upon entry. Contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus
for more information.
Currency and goods declaration
If you arrive with more than US$10,000 worth of currency and/or goods, you'll need to complete a declaration form. Make sure your completed form is stamped by a customs officer on arrival. You must keep it for the duration of your visit, and present it on your departure. Undeclared money may be confiscated on departure from Belarus and you can be fined.
If you plan to stay for more than five days in Belarus, you must register with the local office of the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior within five working days of arrival. If you're staying in a hotel, registration is usually part of the check-in procedure. Confirm with your hotel. If you don't register in time, you can be fined and might face difficulties when departing.
Customs regulations apply to the export of antiques, icons and items of historic significance.
State Customs Authorities of Belarus
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you need to obtain an official police report, a new Australian passport from the
Australian Embassy in Moscow and a new exit visa from Belarusian authorities. You won't be allowed to leave Belarus without an original visa unless you're granted authorisation from the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Interior.
The local currency is the Belarus Ruble (BYN). In July 2016, new BYN notes were introduced, replacing old notes following redenomination at a ratio of 1:10,000.
Only use ATMs inside bank premises and during business hours due to the risk of crime and ATM fraud. If you're a victim of an ATM scam, report it to the local police. Always obtain an official police report for insurance purposes.
Safety and security
Civil unrest and political tension
Large demonstrations occur periodically in Minsk and other cities in Belarus. Past demonstrations have involved violence, including by Belarusian authorities, and large numbers of arrests. Demonstrations and localised street disturbances can occur with little warning.
- Avoid demonstrations, rallies and street disturbances, as they may turn violent.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
Travellers are potential targets for robbery, mugging and pick-pocketing. Incidents have been reported on sleeper trains and in or near bars and hotels catering for foreigners. Drink-spiking, followed by theft when the victim is incapacitated, has also been reported.
There have been reports of harassment, mistreatment and extortion by police and other local officials.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world, including in Europe. In recent years, there have been several terrorist attacks in European cities. Terrorist attacks have occurred in Belarus and more are possible in the future.
Terrorist threat worldwide
Carry your passport, your original visa and migration card with you at all times. Photocopies aren't acceptable.
Limited entry border zones are enforced in a number of border areas in Belarus. To enter these zones, you need a
special permit issued in advance of entry by the
State Border Committee. Limited entry zones are generally sign-posted, and restricted by road barriers and border guard posts. Don't enter limited entry zones without a valid permit.
Some roads outside large cities may be impassable in winter due to ice and snow.
Drivers must be able to produce either an original ownership certificate for their vehicle, rental contract or power of attorney from the owner of the vehicle.
If you drive a foreign vehicle in Belarus, you must pay a fee to use toll roads. You can be fined for non-compliance. Information about the system of toll roads, including a map of toll roads and guidance on payment can be found on the
You must also produce a 'green card' (proof of vehicle insurance) valid for Belarus, or you will have to purchase compulsory car insurance at the border.
Road safety and driving
Foreign drivers must have an International Driving Permit.
The Australian Government doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the
Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Belarus.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our
Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include lengthy prison sentences.
Carrying or using drugs
Carry your passport, original visa and migration card with you at all times. Authorities can request to see identification at any time. If you don't produce identification, you may be detained.
Serious crimes, such as murder, can attract the death penalty.
The following activities are illegal in Belarus:
- driving with a blood alcohol level above zero
- taking photographs of military installations, government buildings, monuments or uniformed officials. Other restrictions or fees to take photographs in public areas can apply
- some religious activities, such as preaching, distributing religious literature and associating with unregistered religious groups.
Same-sex relationships are legal, but are not widely accepted by society.
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you can be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:
- bribery of foreign public officials
- child pornography
- child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- money laundering
Staying within the law
Belarus doesn't recognise dual nationality. Belarusian law requires citizens to enter Belarus on a Belarusian passport. Under Belarusian law, children born to at least one Belarusian parent, whether they were born overseas or in Belarus, are considered Belarusian citizens.
Australian citizens entering Belarus with a Belarusian passport will be treated as Belarusian citizens by local authorities. This may limit the Australian government's ability to provide consular assistance to Australian-Belarusian dual nationals.
Medical insurance is compulsory for entry to Belarus. See
Entry and exit.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government won't pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and aren't covered under your policy
- that you're covered for the whole time you'll be away.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Take enough prescription medicine so you remain in good health. Always carry your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you take and that it's for personal use only.
Before you leave Australia check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to.
Travel in forested areas brings the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis and other tick-borne diseases. Ticks are very common in country areas from spring to autumn.
There is an exclusion zone immediately around the Chernobyl site, which includes the area close to the border with Ukraine in the southeast of Belarus. Access to this part of the country may be limited.
Be careful eating foods like local dairy, forest mushrooms and fruit, which can carry high levels of radiation following the 1986 accident in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
Other diseases and health issues
Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, measles, diphtheria, hepatitis and rabies) are common.
- Boil tap water or drink bottled water.
- Avoid ice cubes.
- Avoid uncooked and undercooked food.
- Avoid unpasteurised dairy products.
Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.
The standard of health care is below that of Australia.
Physicians and hospitals will request insurance details or an up-front payment before commencing treatment.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you will need to be evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
Every \winter, a number of people are injured or killed in snow-related accidents. These include falls, traffic accidents, avalanches, snow falling from roofs and prolonged exposure to extreme cold.
Use common sense and take precautions against severe conditions. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer, or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Emergency phone numbers
- Firefighting and rescue services: 101
- Medical emergencies: 103
- Criminal issues, contact police: 102
For non-urgent criminal issues, contact the local police at the nearest police station. Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an Embassy in Belarus. Contact the Australian Government at the Australian Embassy in Russia for consular assistance.
Australian Embassy, Moscow
10a/2 Podkolokolny Pereulok
Phone: +7 (495) 956-6070
Fax: +7 (495) 956-6170
Check the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you're unable to contact the Embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.