Belarus as a centre of EU Visa-Free Hub 2023

In 2023, a total of 377,935 citizens from Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia have utilised Belarus' visa-waiver program, with Lithuanian residents comprising the majority at 228,688, followed by Latvians at 112,897 and Polish citizens at 36,350.

Belarus as a centre of EU Visa-Free Hub 2023

Robust Participation in Visa-Waiver Program

Belarus' visa-waiver program has been successful in attracting visitors from neighbouring countries, with a total of over 762,921 visitors since its inception.

Visitation from Lithuania

  • Lithuania has been the largest source of visitors under the visa-waiver program, with over 476,951 citizens entering Belarus.
  • A significant number of non-citizens from Lithuania have also visited Belarus under the visa-waiver program, totaling 53,283.

Visitation from Latvia

  • Latvia has also been a major contributor to the visa-waiver program, with over 174,627 citizens visiting Belarus.

Visitation from Poland

  • Poland has provided a steady stream of visitors to Belarus under the visa-waiver program, with over 58,060 citizens entering the country.

Economic Impact

  • The visa-waiver program has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the Belarusian economy, as it has facilitated increased tourism and business activity.

Cultural Exchange

  • The visa-waiver program has also fostered cultural exchange between Belarus and its neighbouring countries, as it has enabled more people to experience each other's cultures and traditions.





Lithuania (Non-Citizens)






The data above shows that Lithuania is the largest source of visitors under the visa-waiver program, with over 476,951 citizens entering Belarus. Latvia and Poland are also major contributors to the program, with over 174,627 and 58,060 citizens entering Belarus, respectively.

Overall, the visa-waiver program has been a success for Belarus, attracting over 762,921 visitors from neighbouring countries since its inception.

Gradual Implementation of Visa-Free Entry

Belarus adopted a phased approach to visa-free entry, first extending the privilege to Lithuanian and Latvian citizens on April 15, 2022, and later to Polish citizens on July 1, 2022. This strategic approach allowed for a smoother transition and enabled the country to assess the impact of the program before expanding it further.

Unrestricted Entry for Eligible Individuals

  • Under the visa-waiver program, eligible individuals from Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland can enter Belarus without visas for an unlimited number of times until December 31, 2023. This flexibility encourages frequent travel and promotes deeper cultural and economic ties between Belarus and its neighbouring countries.

Duration of Stay

  • Visitors from eligible countries are permitted to stay in Belarus for up to 90 days within a calendar year. This generous time frame allows visitors to explore the country's rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and thriving cities at their own pace.

Varied Registration Timelines for Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland Citizens

Navigating differing registration deadlines, citizens from Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland must adhere to specific timelines when participating in Belarus' visa-waiver program, ensuring compliance during their visits. This regulatory aspect adds a layer of procedural intricacy to the travel experience for individuals from these countries.

Registration Requirements for Visa-Waiver Beneficiaries

  • Polish citizens visiting Belarus must register within ten daysat their place of temporary stay. This requirement is intended to ensure that the Belarusian authorities are aware of the whereabouts of Polish visitors and can effectively manage their stay in the country.
  • Lithuanian and Latvian citizens, on the other hand, have a more generous 30-day registration time frame. This difference in registration requirements may reflect Belarus's closer ties with Lithuania and Latvia compared to Poland.

Common Travel Documents Required

  • Regardless of their nationality, all visa-waiver beneficiaries must hold valid travel documents, specifically passports, when entering Belarus. These documents serve as proof of identity and nationality and are essential for border control purposes.

Additional Travel Requirements for Car Travel

  • Those travelling by car must also possess a green card, an international insurance document that provides third-party liability coverage for drivers in foreign countries. This insurance is mandatory to ensure that visitors are adequately covered in case of accidents or other incidents while driving in Belarus.

Medical Insurance Coverage

  • All visa-waiver beneficiaries are also required to have medical insurance with a minimum coverage. This insurance ensures that visitors have access to necessary medical care in case of illness or injury during their stay in Belarus.

Belarus Visa-Waiver Resilience Amid EU Sanctions and Restrictions

Against the backdrop of EU sanctions and restrictions, Belarus' visa-waiver program demonstrates resilience, providing a notable avenue for cross-border travel despite geopolitical challenges in the region. This initiative showcases the adaptability of Belarus in fostering international connections amid external pressures.

Enduring Cross-Border Travel Despite EU Sanctions

  • Despite the imposition of sanctions by the European Union, including travel bans, Belarus continues to experience significant cross-border travel. This indicates that the visa-waiver program has remained resilient and continues to attract visitors from neighbouring countries.

Impact of EU Sanctions

  • The EU's sanctions against Belarus, implemented in response to its involvement in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have had a significant impact on the country's economy and political landscape. However, the visa-waiver program appears to have been largely unaffected by these sanctions.

Factors Contributing to Program Resilience

  • Several factors may contribute to the resilience of the visa-waiver program amidst the EU's sanctions:
  • Economic benefits: The visa-waiver program has brought substantial economic benefits to Belarus, boosting tourism and business activity.
  • Cultural exchange: The program has fostered cultural exchange and understanding between Belarus and its neighbouring countries.
  • Political considerations: The continued participation in the program may reflect a desire on the part of neighbouring countries to maintain open channels of communication with Belarus.


Why is Belarus considered a hotspot for EU visa-free travel in 2023? 

Belarus is gaining attention as a hotspot for EU visa-free travel in 2023 due to its recent agreements, allowing travellers to explore European Union countries without the need for a visa.

How does the EU visa-free travel arrangement work for Belarusians? 

Belarusians can benefit from visa-free travel to EU countries based on bilateral agreements. This allows them to visit specified EU destinations for a certain period without undergoing the traditional visa application process.

Which EU countries are accessible under this visa-free travel arrangement? 

The specific EU countries accessible to Belarusians under the visa-free travel arrangement can vary. Travellers should refer to the official agreements and check the list of participating countries to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.

Are there any limitations or conditions for visa-free travel to the EU from Belarus? 

While visa-free travel offers convenience, there may be limitations on the duration of stay, purpose of visit, or specific entry requirements for each EU country. Travellers are advised to thoroughly review the terms and conditions to comply with regulations.

How long is the visa-free period for Belarusian travellers to the EU? 

The duration of the visa-free period can vary by agreement and destination. Travellers should check the specific terms outlined in the agreements between Belarus and each EU country to understand the allowed length of stay.

Are there any recent developments or changes in the visa-free travel arrangement? 

Visa-free travel arrangements can be subject to changes or updates. Travellers are encouraged to stay informed about any recent developments, policy adjustments, or new agreements between Belarus and EU countries to ensure accurate and current information before planning their trips.

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