Just cos you’re in Europe doesn’t mean backpacking is always easy. I’ve been fighting for visas across the world for years, and getting a visa for Belarus is no different. You can get your Belarus visa in Estonia though, here’s how:
1) Things you need:
1 passport photo
1 filled in application form (available at the embassy)
– A name, address and phone number of a friend in Belarus*
– A letter of invitation (you get this online for various companies, costs around $100)*
– Hotel bookings for 10 days in Belarus, complete with printed out confirmation#
*If you have a friend in Belarus OR you have the letter of invitation, you’re entitled to a tourist visa of 30 days.
#If you have the hotel bookings, you’re entitled to a 10 day tourist visa BUT you don’t have the hassle of having to get the invitation
Where is the Belarus Embassy in Tallinn, Estonia:
It’s south of the city, about a 30 minute walk from the old town or you can take a tram, or bus number 5. Here’s the map:
How much does a Belarus visa cost?
Quite a lot, mine cots 175 Euros ($225) but that’s because, despite being Irish, I use a british passport. Both British and US passport holders pay more. Normally the cost is 120 Euro ($155) for other nationalites.
Those prices are for express visas, available that day or the next day. If you can wait a week for your visa, you pay about 50 Euro less.
To pay for the visa, you apply at the embassy, they give you a bill, you then walk about 15 minutes to the nearest Swedbank and give them the bill, and pay them in cash, in Euros. There are ATMs outside the bank.
I turned up at the embassy at 9.30 am with just a passport photo and passport with no idea about what to expect. I tried to apply but the lady told me I needed a letter of invitation. I know how long that can take, and how expensive it can be, with my past experiences in Sudan and Russia so it wasn’t something I wanted to try to organize again.
I asked if there was another way, she told me if I had friends in the country they could vouch for me, but I didn’t so that wasn’t much help. She also said if I book hotels for 10 days I bypass the invitation protocol but will only get a 10 day visa .
That was the option for me! I didn’t want to go and find a cheap hotel or hostel, book it, print it out, come back the next day and waste a day SOOO I used my iphone, walked around some flats outside until I found wifi and booked a place on hostelworld, then went to a random office and begged them to print it out for me.
The look of a desperate, backpacking Irishman must have worked, they printed it out, I brought it back to the embassy before 1pm and still lodged my application that day. I went to the bank to pay my extortionate 175 Euro and came back the same day at 3pm with my visa prepared and ready. Bham. Job done!
I know you guys might think im crazy for spending so much for a short visa to a country most people couldn’t put on a map, but that’s half the reason. With the headache and expense of the visa, I’m hoping I’m almost gonna have the country to myself! It’s gonna be ‘real’ traveling again, and I can’t wait. Happy travels!
Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!
I use HeyMondo. You get INSTANT quotes. Super cheap, they actually pay out, AND they cover almost everywhere, where most insurance companies don't (even places like Central African Republic etc!). You can sign-up here. PS You even get 5% off if you use MY LINK! You can even sign up if you're already overseas and traveling, pretty cool.
Also, if you want to start a blog...I CAN HELP YOU!
Also, if you want to start a blog, and start to change your life, I'd love to help you! Email me on email@example.com. In the meantime, check out my super easy blog post on how to start a travel blog in under 30 minutes, here! And if you just want to get cracking, use BlueHost at a discount, through me.
Also, (if you're like me, and awful with tech-stuff) email me and my team can get a blog up and running for you, designed and everything, for $699 - email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Do you work remotely? Are you a digital nomad/blogger etc? You need to be insured too.
I use SafetyWing for my digital nomad insurance. It covers me while I live overseas. It's just $10 a week, and it's amazing! No upfront fees, you just pay week by week, and you can sign up just for a week if you want, then switch it off and on whenever. You can read my review here, and you can sign-up here!