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At a Glance
- Significant amendments to
Belarus' immigration laws will take effect July 1, 2020,
including changes to temporary stay registration deadlines; broader
eligibility for obtaining permanent residence permits; amendment to
periods of absence rules affecting permanent residence; and entry
and exit bans.
- Additionally, following numerous
labor code amendments, local and foreign employees now have more
possibilities to work off the premises of the sponsoring
The Belarussian government made significant amendments to
immigration laws, which will enter into force on July 1, 2020.
Additionally, numerous changes were made to the labor code,
effective January 28, 2020, which mostly affect local workers.
A closer look
The below key change to the labor code is currently in
- Off-premises work now
generally available. An amendment to the labor code
broadens options for local and foreign employees to work off the
premises of the sponsoring employer.
- Off-premises work by local or foreign
employees was previously only allowed in strictly defined
circumstances, such as working from home or workers who travel as
part of their work, such as sales representatives and truck
- Foreign and local workers employed by
Belarussian companies now benefit from working in any location,
both in Belarus and abroad – they will not be tied to their
sponsoring company's work location or limited to specific
The below changes will take effect July 1, 2020:
deadline. The deadline for foreign nationals to register
their temporary stay with local department of citizenship and
migration will increase to 10 calendar days of arrival.
- Currently, foreign nationals should
register within five days of arrival (excluding Sundays, public
holidays and other official non-business days).
- The longer registration deadline will
reduce the administrative burden on foreign nationals seeking to
enter Belarus. As before, residence permit holders need not
- Registration waived for stay
under 10 calendar days. Foreign nationals who will stay in
Belarus for less than 10 calendar days no longer need to register
with the authorities starting July 1, 2020.
- Currently, foreign nationals are
exempt from registration for stay up to five days, excluding
Sundays, public holidays and other official non-working days.
- The increased registration waiver
will reduce the administrative burden on foreign nationals for
trips to Belarus under 10 calendar days.
- Registration for change in
place of temporary stay or temporary residence. Foreign
nationals who change their place of temporary stay or temporary
residence must register their new residence within three business
days of moving, calculated from the first day of stay at the new
- Currently, foreign nationals must
register their new residence within five days of moving (excluding
Sundays, public holidays and other official non-business
- Foreign nationals should be aware of
this stricter deadline and take steps to notify the local
department of citizenship and migration in time to avoid penalties
including fines up to BYN 1,350 or deportation. Employers can be
fined up to BYN 540.
- Broader eligibility for
permanent residence. As of July 1, 2020, foreign nationals
will be able to apply for permanent residence after five years of
continuous residence or after three years of continuous residence
for highly-qualified foreign nationals (those with relevant
education and at least five years of relevant work experience,
earning at least BYN 5,625 per month (15 times minimum wage of BYN
- Currently, foreign nationals are
eligible for permanent residence after seven years of continuous
residence in Belarus, with no facilitations for highly-qualified
- Foreign nationals who may be eligible
for permanent residence under the new rules should contact their
immigration professionals for advice on how to initiate the
- Absences affecting permanent
residence eligibility decrease. Under the new rules,
foreign nationals who remain outside Belarus for under 90 days per
calendar year will not have their continuous residence status
affected for purposes of permanent residence.
- Currently, foreign nationals require
seven years of continuous residence to qualify for permanent
residence. No absence rules are defined.
- Starting July 1, 2020, foreign
nationals who seek to become permanent residents in Belarus should
track the time they spend outside of Belarus each year to ensure
that it is less than 90 days.
- Absences for more than one
year. Under the new rules, absences for more than one
consecutive year, counted from the date of last exit, may cause
permanent residence permits to be annulled.
- Currently, absences for more than 183
cumulative days per calendar year could cause permanent residence
permits to be annulled.
- Foreign nationals who seek to
maintain permanent residence in Belarus should ensure that their
absences from Belarus are less than one consecutive year from the
date of last exit to prevent the risk of permanent residence permit
annulment starting July 1, 2020.
- Entry bans for immigration
violations. When refusing entry to a foreign national,
Belarussian authorities will be able to impose an entry ban of six
months up to 30 years for serious national security, public order
and other violations.
- Currently, authorities can impose
entry bans of six months up to five years for relevant
- Foreign nationals should understand
possible consequences of violating laws and regulations in
Overall, these changes seek to modernize and liberalize
immigration and labor laws, while at the same time increasing
protection of national security and citizens' rights.
Immigration in Belarus is relatively stable, with changes mostly
focused on mutual visa waivers and smaller process facilitations
online registration of temporary stay and a
new worksite inspection process, authorizing immigration
officials to inspect personnel files. Changes are typically
carefully developed in practice and allow employers and foreign
nationals to adjust to new policies.
Following the completion of parliamentary elections in November
2019, the new government is expected to continue reviewing measures
to boost Belarus' economic growth by increasing its
attractiveness for tourism, business and foreign investment.
Fragomen will report on relevant developments.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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