Location: Places >> Europe >> Belarus
Login for full access to Couchsurfing Groups. Not a member yet? Join our community!

Registration question
Posted February 19th, 2013 - 5:32 pm by from Singapore, Singapore (Permalink)
Greetings!

I will travel to Belarus in the last 10 days of April and the first days of May. It will be an exciting trip which I've been waiting for some years. I already got the visa information from the embassy and all is clear (and fortunately simple for Romanian citizens).

I am concerned however about the registration. As I've been told foreign visitors have to report at police in every city they travel to, in less than 5 days after arrival. I am curious about the CS host experiences and perspectives on this matter.

1. Do I get a registration paper marking each date/period of my trip in Belarus? Do I have to show this when exiting the country? Is it any problem if I don't register?

2. Does registration require the presence of the Belorussian host? I am asking about this because I imagine the police office is open only during work days during office hours. I don't want to disturb any of my hosts from work, not to mention the potential time and patience consuming bureaucratic process. If the answer to this question is YES then I wonder how do active hosts manage this aspect?

3. Do I really have to register in every place I spend a night in? Or I can register in one or two cities only. For instance register 7 days in Minsk but actually stay 4 only in Minsk and 3 days in the next city.

Depending on answers 1-3 and how easy or complicated is the registration I may have to reconsider the length of my trip in Belarus. Also I'll have an idea where exactly I need help from my hosts and how much. I don't like bothering people.

Thanks a lot for enlightening me,
Horia


Posted February 20th, 2013 - 1:38 pm by from Singapore, Singapore (Permalink)

I have asked this question on the Lonely Planet forum and a Belarus guide there has explained me that normally registration is required in less than 5 days in a visited city. So in a Belarus trip of about 10 days, I should register two times, for example in day 3 and day 7 of my trip. He also told me that one registration is enough usually.

Which means that someone willing to travel 10-12 days using Couchsurfing will may have to bother once or twice his local hosts to help him with the registration, if they have the time and the patience. Any other solutions?

How fast does the registration go from your experience? What should I expect?

Thank you.

Posted February 21st, 2013 - 10:51 am by from Minsk, Belarus (Permalink)
Hi Horia!

Answering your questions one by one:

1. When entering Belarus you will get a Belarusian migration card, which you fill out before you passing through the border control. That's the one and the only one that you are getting and you need to keep it safe until you leave the country. On the way back they take this card from you, checking the registration. (Registration is basically a stamp on the back of this bit of paper with the days of your stay.) If you loose it - you pay fine. If you don't register and stay in Belarus over 5 working days - you pay fine. (I have no idea how much it is.)

2. There are two options for you to register:
- You can be automatically registered at a hotel (if you stay there even one day).
- You can register at a Citizenship & Migration office where your host is registered himself.
The first option in many cases is not suitable, so, if you go with the second one - the host has to be present. Working hours of this office differ, depending on the day. I think on some days it is open until 7 or 8 pm.

3. Basically, you need to register once. If you are doing it with a host, just ask him to register you for the whole period of your stay in Belarus (it a matter of writing down the dates in the application, you won't pay more for registering for a longer period). For example, you are planning to stay with this host for three days, but you can ask him to register you for two weeks.
But even if you register for those three days once, it's not necessary to register again somewhere else. At the border they don't usually ask questions once they see that you were registered.

The process of registration:
- your host fills out the application (it's given for free at the Citizenship and Migration office or can be found online) with his and your passport details, the dates of your stay, address, etc.
- you go to the bank (not always the bank is nearby) to pay for the registration. I believe it's 50.000 BYR now (people, correct me if I'm wrong), that's less than 5 EUR.
- you (with your host) present your passport, migration card, your Belarusian insurance which they usually make you buy when you enter the country (if not you need to buy it before going to register), application, receipts from the bank and possibly your host's passport to the official, the do the magic, enter all details to their database, stamp your migration card, write down the dates, and voila - you are registered)))))

I'd say all in all it shouldn't take more that an hour, but it depends.

So, yeah... we care for our visitors' safety))))))))))))))
The process is not as scary as it might seem.

Welcome to Belarus! =)

Katya

Posted February 21st, 2013 - 7:17 pm by from Singapore, Singapore (Permalink)

Katya you are very kind. Finally someone that nailed it down and made everything clear. I also pasted your answer to the Lonely Planet forum to help other travelers to Belarus.

I have nothing to add for now, but I feel more relaxed about visiting Belarus and dealing with this registration.

I'll get back now to this group with some general travel questions :)

Posted February 21st, 2013 - 11:27 pm by from Saint-Ouen-l'Aumone, France (Permalink)
Salut Horia
Ce mai faci ? ;) Thanks/merci for your question as actually I I had the same , as I've heard so many different things about all this process :) Before comin' to Belarus , I hope I'll be back in your wonderful country !
And of course , spasibo bolchoï to U Katya :)
Poka
Carlos , french ( and still by accident :)

Posted February 22nd, 2013 - 7:15 pm by from Minsk, Belarus (Permalink)
You are welcome =)
Happy to help!

Posted March 8th, 2013 - 11:02 pm from Amerongen, Netherlands
This member has chosen to allow only Couchsurfing members to see their group posts. To see this full converstion, sign up or log in.