What is the change? Belarus is offering visa-free travel for soccer fans traveling to Russia to attend 2018 FIFA World Cup matches.

What does the change mean? To be eligible for visa-free travel, foreign nationals must present a valid travel passport and a Fan ID (electronic or paper) at the Belarus border checkpoint. When entering Belarus (e.g., from Poland), foreign nationals must hold a health insurance policy that is valid in Belarus and obtain a migration card, which is mandatory for staying and registering in Russia. Multiple visa-free entries are available until July 15 and visa-free exits are available until July 25. There are no international checkpoints at the Belarus-Russia border, according to the Union State agreement between the two countries.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing until July 15. July 25 is the last day for a visa-free exit from Belarus.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals with a 2018 FIFA World Cup Fan ID traveling through Belarus to attend World Cup matches in Russia.
  • Impact on processing times: Visa-free travel for soccer fans may speed processing times at border crossings into Belarus when traveling to Russia.
  • Business impact: Business travelers should note that the visa-free travel option is only available to foreign nationals attending FIFA World Cup matches.

Additional information: Soccer fans taking advantage of the visa-free travel through Belarus must follow the routes below when they cross the physical border between Belarus and Russia.

  • M-1 Highway (Minsk – Moscow)
  • P-23 Highway (Kiev – Saint-Petersburg)
  • A-240 Highway (Gomel – Bryansk)
  • Railway lines between Minsk – Smolensk, Vitebsk – Pskov, and Gomel – Bryansk

BAL Analysis: The new visa-free option for soccer fans will ease travel to Russia through Belarus to attend 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer matches.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Russia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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