14

What is the status with the Russia/Belarus border? I am guessing there is still passport control. If there isn't, what does a traveller need to do after crossing the border?

For my case, I am Turkish, I don't need a visa for either country, but I might need to have my passport stamped at some point to show I've entered the other country.

  • 3
    @AndreyChernyakhovskiy please make this an answer so the OP can accept and we can canonicalize this question, thanks. – Gayot Fow Oct 5 '15 at 18:45
13

There is no passport control between Russia and Belarus. When entering either country, you'll be given a migration card which is valid for both. Still, there may be arbitrary check by immigration authorities on train (I myself never saw that happen even though BCh train tickets bear no name) or upon arrival by plane (came across that on one occasion), presumably to check that everyone who needs a visa has one.

Updated in December 2017:

The answer above was written in 2015 and seems to be no longer valid.

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    Confirmed. There is a checkpoint with a stop sign and transport control, at least on the P21/A141, but no passport control. Google maps satellite view shows a long line of trucks which was one reason I was having doubts. At time of crossing, there was no line. – tanerkay Oct 11 '15 at 4:59
6

Russia and Belarus together form The Union State.

There is no passport control between the borders.

However, the countries still don't recognise each other's visas, as per http://ria.ru/world/20151001/1294534717.html via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Russia, as such, although you could easily cross the border (similarly to The Schengen Area), you may (or may not) get in trouble should a random document check reveal that you don't have a valid visa for the country you're in (although I guess the migration card might (or might not) be enough, as the blanks are valid for both countries).

5

I've put a video on the issue — my trip to Moscow by land and return to Minsk by air (BY passport). Main points:

  • foreigners can only fly into Russia or Belarus and backwards to pass international checkpoints that are unavailable for buses or trains;
  • bus tickets are unavailable to foreigners in Minsk but train tickets are, and though trains aren't checked 100 per cent, it's illegal to take one into Russia even on a Russian visa;
  • flights to or from Russia aren't domestic any more - there is passports control from the Russian side;
  • visiting both countries keep your migration card you got in Russia until you leave Belarus.
-1

There are land border checkpoints. The Belarus side mostly doesn't check a thing, however the Russian side has started to perform checks, due to Belarus' new "5 days visa-free" rule.

Russia and Belarus do not recognize each others visas and do not have uniform immigration law. Even more so, those land checkpoints are not considered "international" checkpoints and crossing the land border is technically off-limits for international (as in not citizens of either Russia or Belarus) travelers even if they do have both visas. One land checkpoint does have "international" status, and that is the one that's located on the edge of three borders (Russia, Belarus and Ukraine).

Otherwise, travelling by air seems to be the only legal way to do it.

Since you don't need visas for either country, you might (or might not) be totally fine pulling that off though.

  • What about transitting by train? – alamar Dec 13 '17 at 11:51
  • @alamar Not sure about the current state of things with those trains. Before, they were only for Russians and Belarussians and frankly, I've heard nothing that could indicate they were even considering a change. Besides, taking a plane is quite likely to be cheaper or the same price as taking a train. – user4551 Dec 14 '17 at 0:11
  • "taking a plane is quite likely to be cheaper or the same price". Taking plane is also cheaper than doing ocean cruise. So what!? I'm totally not sure that trains ever "were only" for Russians. So you are saying French could never travel on Paris-Moscow train? What's the point of having it then? Also, numerous people taking Transsib recount entering Russia by train. – alamar Dec 14 '17 at 9:56
  • @alamar Any trains transiting outside the Russia-Belarus territory are international routes and this restriciton does not apply to them. – user4551 Dec 14 '17 at 15:54
  • That's good to hear, do you have sources? – alamar Dec 14 '17 at 16:12
-3

Certainly there is passport control. Russian passport holders skipped most checks including customs, that was all.

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    Are you absolutely sure of your statement and can you maybe back it up by some reference? From what I have heard from friends and just googled (e.g. lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/…) there is not passport control at the border, same as in the Schengen area. – dirkk Oct 5 '15 at 12:29
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    I hope you will double check this answer – Gayot Fow Oct 5 '15 at 16:51
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    Downvoted because this statement is not factually accurate. – JonathanReez Oct 5 '15 at 17:55
  • @JonathanReez worth explaining WHY you feel it's not factually accurate. – Mark Mayo Oct 6 '15 at 7:15

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