How to apply for a Schengen visa from Belarus
Published on: 23 September 2021

The Schengen area is an entirely European space, which contains 26 of the major European countries, including France, Germany, and Italy. However, not all countries in Europe are Schengen Member States; some, like Belarus, are outside of the zone, despite being physically part of Europe. Because Belarus is not a member of the Schengen area, Belarusian citizens and residents will need a Schengen visa in order to enter any of the Schengen countries. If you are considering traveling to Europe from Belarus, today’s blog will teach you how to apply for a Schengen visa for Belarusian citizens and residents in 2021. Learn everything you need to know about applying for a short-stay Schengen visa in Belarus, including where to apply, how to submit your application, and all relevant visa-fees, below. 

How to apply for a Schengen visa from Belarus

  • 1. Determine when to travel
    • Begin the Schengen visa application process by thinking about when you want to travel. 
    • Keep in mind that while you do not need to know exactly when you want to go on your trip, you should plan ahead so that you have at least two weeks within which to submit your Schengen visa application (the processing period for Schengen visas is usually 15 days).    
  • 2. Determine your Schengen visa “type”
    • There are a number of different “types” of Schengen visas available to Belarusian citizens and residents. Some of the most popular include Tourist, Medical, and Business; to see the complete list, click here.
    • Your Schengen visa type should reflect your primary reason for travel. For example, if you are journeying to the Schengen area simply for touristic purposes, you should apply for a Schengen Tourist visa. Alternatively, if you are applying for a visa in order to conduct business, you should apply for a Schengen Business visa. 
  • 3. Determine your Schengen visa “entry category”
    • After selecting the “type” of Schengen visa you need, you should then select your “entry category,” which will determine the number of times you can enter and exit the Schengen area while on your Schengen visa. 
    • Schengen visas are available in single, double, and multiple entry categories.
    • A single-entry Schengen visa will allow you one entry to the zone; a double entry will allow you two; a multiple entry will allow you unlimited entries. 
    • For example, if you have a single-entry Schengen visa from Belarus, you can enter the Schengen area and stay there for up to 90 days. However, if you leave the zone at all, for any reason during that period, you will not be allowed back into the area—even if you still have time left on your visa. 
    • If you have double-entry Schengen visa from Belarus, you will be able to enter the Schengen area twice—this means that you can enter the Schengen area, exit it, and return to it one final time before ultimately being denied re-entry a third time. 
    • If you have a multiple-entry Schengen visa from Belarus, you will be able to enter the Schengen area as many times as you want, meaning you could theoretically fly back and forth between Belarus and the Schengen zone however much you needed to throughout your visa validity period. 
  • 4. Determine what Schengen country to apply to
    • How to apply for a Schengen visa from Belarus will depend significantly on what country you are applying to in the Schengen area. Therefore, Step 4 of the Schengen visa application process is to figure out what Schengen country to apply to. 
    • Determine what Schengen country to apply to by identifying which Schengen country you will spend the most time in while on your trip. For example, if you will be visiting both France and Spain, but you will be spending 30 days in France vs. 15 days in Spain, you should apply for a French Schengen visa from Belarus. 
    • If you are spending an equal amount of time in both France and Spain, you will apply for your visa from the country that represents your first entry into the Schengen area. So, if you entered the Schengen area by flying directly from Minsk to Madrid, you will apply for Spanish Schengen visa from Belarus—even if you are spending an equal amount of time in France. 
  • 5. Determine where in Belarus to apply
    • Once you know what Schengen country you are applying to, you can begin applying for a short-stay Schengen visa in Belarus by identifying that country’s embassy, consulate, or visa application center responsible for processing Schengen visa applications (this is where you will ultimately submit your completed Schengen visa application). 
    • The majority of the above entities will be located in the capital (Minsk). For example, if you are applying for a German Schengen visa from Belarus, you will apply through the German Embassy in Minsk. 
    • Because not all Schengen countries have consular presences in Belarus, sometimes larger Schengen countries will represent the consular interests of smaller ones (meaning that you could theoretically apply for a Schengen visa through the embassy/consulate of a different country from the one that is your primary destination in the zone). 
    • For example, the German embassy in Minsk traditionally is responsible for processing Schengen visas to Germany as well as those to the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. This means that if you are applying for a Schengen visa to Austria, you would usually apply through the German Embassy in Minsk, rather than through the Austrian Embassy there. 
  • 6. Gather your required documents
    • One of the most important elements of how to apply for a Schengen visa from Belarus is assembling your required documents and materials, as your failure to submit the correct documents will result in you being denied a Schengen visa. 
    • The following documents and materials are key components of the Schengen visa application:
      • Belarusian passport (or other valid country passport).
      • Passport photos (2).
      • Schengen visa application form.
      • Proof of subsistence (i.e. that you can afford your trip).
      • Proof of accommodation (i.e. that you have a place to stay in the zone).
      • Proof of return (i.e. that you have evidence that you will ultimately exit the zone).
      • Proof of travel medical insurance (i.e. that you have obtained coverage for any medical emergency).
    • In addition to the above Schengen visa requirements for Belarusian citizens and residents, applicants will also have to submit a number of supplemental documents, which will depend on the “type” of Schengen visa that they apply for. For example, if you are applying for a Business Schengen visa, you will be asked to submit a letter inviting you to do business in the Schengen area. 
    • For more information on Schengen visa requirements, please click here.
  • 7. Access your Schengen visa application
    • The universal Schengen visa application form is available here.
    • Applicants who use the above form should download, print out, sign, and submit it along with the rest of their application documents. 
    • While most countries will accept the above form, some countries may prefer that you apply online through their country-specific visa portal. For example, if you are applying for a French Schengen visa from Belarus, you should apply via this link.
    • Keep in mind that many countries have language requirements for submitted documents, meaning that, while you can theoretically submit documents in a language other than English or that of the country you are applying to, you will likely have to submit them alongside an official translation into one of those languages (in order for them to be accepted).
    • For example, if you submit an invitation letter (a supplemental document required for “Visiting Family and Friends” visa types), which is written in Russian, you may need to have it translated into the language of the Schengen country you are applying to (or English) in order for it to be accepted. 
  • 8. Schedule your Schengen visa appointment
    • Belarusian applicants will need to attend a Schengen visa appointment as part of their application. As most embassies/consulates will not allow applicants to simply show up unannounced, this is something they should schedule in advance. 
    • If you submitted your Schengen visa form online, you will likely be able to schedule your visa appointment through the portal you applied through; if you applied using the universal form, you should contact your application destination directly to find out the requirements for making a Schengen visa appointment. 
  • 9. Attend your Schengen visa appointment
    • The final step toward fulfilling your Schengen visa requirements for Belarusian citizens and residents is the attendance of your visa appointment. 
    • Your Schengen visa appointment is where you will hand in your complete application, submit your Schengen visa fees for Belarusian citizens and residents (unless you have already paid them online), have your biometric information collected, and attend a short visa interview. 
    • While the standard Schengen visa fees for Belarusian citizens and residents are 80 EUR, certain applicants, such as most students, may be exempt from paying the full amount. For more information about Schengen visa fees, click here
    • Please note that the biometric data collection requirement refers to your fingerprints and photos, which all applicants (except those who have submitted biometrics within the past 5-years on a previous Schengen visa application) must submit for security and identification purposes. 
  • 10. Await your decision
    • Once you attend your Schengen visa appointment, there is nothing else for you to do but await a decision on your application. 
    • Most Schengen visa decisions are rendered within two weeks (15 days) although certain applications may take 30-60 days to be processed. 
    • If your application is accepted, you will receive a notification informing you of how to pick up your Belarusian passport (containing your new Schengen visa), which will allow you to proceed with your trip.  
    • If you are rejected for a Schengen visa for Belarusian citizens and residents in 2021, you can take steps to appeal the decision. 
    • Click here for a general overview of the Schengen visa appeal process.

If you have any additional questions about how to apply for a Schengen visa from Belarus, please contact us here.

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