How to travel visa free to Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Moldova

Hey! What’s up everybody? So welcome back
to another episode of tip Thursday with me, Conor Clyne, the Language Tsar and
PureVPN. Go check out their link in the description for virtual private networks
and in this episode I’m speaking to you from Brest in Belarus. I’m just here for
a few days on the visa free and that is the topic of this video. A lot of you
have been asking me about the visa-free regimes in this region so that’s gonna
be Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova so let’s get into today’s video! So today I’m speaking to you from the
very appropriately named Sovietskaia Street here in the center of Brest,
Belarus which is on the border with Poland and I’m gonna give you a little
bit of an overview of the visa-free regimes in this region. Now I looked at
my YouTube analytics to see where most of you actually are from, where you’re
residing and I saw that most of you are from North America and Europe so in this
video I’m gonna deal primarily with people who hold those passports and so if
you come from another country that has a different regime so you should go and
look that up yourselves. You probably don’t need as much at times. So just bear
that in mind for the information in this video. The first country I’m gonna start
with is Ukraine and they have a very similar regime to actually identical
basically regime to that of Moldova which is that you can travel with your
passport visa free for 90 days every 180 so that’s in effect 3 months
every 6 months so you don’t have to do anything in advance. You just show up
with your passport as long as you don’t exceed those limits at that limit in
terms of days that’s 90 every 180 you’re fine. You can travel around
wherever you want in the country no restrictions there nothing unusual. So
that’s pretty good. Those two countries out of the four of them are by far the the
best if you have a European passport or a North American passport like Canadian
or American. Now the country that I’m in right now which is Belarus, they have a
more restricted regime but they have been opening things up recently in the
last two years and they have made it easier for you to come
if you hold a European or North American passport. So how it works is that you
will have visa-free if you fly into Minsk Airport. That’s the capital, the
National Airport and you can travel anywhere in Belarus for up to five days
visa free. You don’t have to do much more than just show up with your passport. You do have to have insurance that is valid in the Republic of Belarus and
in reality that just means that you buy it at the airport. I paid six euros. That’s probably around seven, eight US dollars for the
insurance in the airport. It was really smooth. I went straight to the counter. It was
on the left when I arrived in the airport just before I went through
passport control and there I bought the insurance for the five days visa free. Now remember it’s five days that includes the day that you arrive and the
day you leave so in effect it’s four nights that you get visa-free in Belarus
if you fly to Minsk National Airport. Now the other ways to come to Belarus
visa-free are to come to two regions on the border with Poland. Now I’m here in
one of them which is the Brest region so I’m in the town of Brest and we’re
right on the border. In fact the town is basically the border town and you can
come here also for well actually you can come for technically ten days visa-free
to Brest but you cannot leave the designated area around Brest itself so
you cannot go to Minsk. You cannot go to any other part of Belarus. Now in reality
if you come for more than five days then you need to register with the police.
It’s not as simple as flying into Minsk National Airport where you just show up
with your passport and you buy the insurance, you actually have to arrange
some documents in advance to come here to Brest and the reality is that I
could only find one operator online who did it at least simply who had an easy
website to use and they limited it to five days so even though the law says
ten days in reality I could only get five days visa-free and I had to buy a tour
that included a taxi ride in that so that was a little bit more expensive so in
addition to the insurance I actually had to buy … I’m stopping for the red light
because in Belarus you can’t jaywalk. There are fines. It’s strictly enforced.
So yeah I had to buy an addition to the insurance I had to buy some tours and I
got a taxi voucher included in that so the whole thing came to sixty polish
zloty. I paid it in zloty so that’s approximately fifteen euros and that
works out I guess around just a little bit under twenty US dollars. They then
sent me the documents pretty quickly I think I had all the documents within an
hour or so and then I had to present them to the border guards. I
did fill out an immigration card and I’m supposed to keep half of it until I
leave but the second time I actually came on this visa-free regime to Brest, they
did not give me the immigration card back. They said I don’t
need it so that will be interesting for me to conclude with when I leave here
and figure out if that is actually the case and if I can, yeah, exit without a
fine or any problems but they told me with the five-day visa-free regime that
I was saying just for five days and that I didn’t need to present that
immigration card that slip did you fill it on the exit so I said you’re limited
to the Brest region. Now the third option, third way to come visa free
to Belarus is to go to Grodno which is a border town close to Lithuania and
to Poland on the border and that’s pretty similar to here. Technically, it’s
ten days if you stay more than five days you’re got to register with the police
and when I went there I registered. I bought a ticket. I got a tour and I got
similar documents sent to me so that’s all pretty pretty standard in terms of
its consistent basically it’s the same as here in Brest. So they’re the
three ways to come to Belarus visa-free. Now the big country Russia, Mother Russia
so that is by far the most limited in terms of visa free if you are a European
or North American passport holder and that basically only has one option
normally to go visa-free and that’s via a ferry, a passenger ferry at certain ports for example at Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg or Vladivostok you can go for up to 72
hours visa free but you are very limited you have to stay in
accommodation approved by a tour agent and you can only stay for up to 72 hours
and you have to arrive by ferry so obviously you cannot fly into into Russia. Now
there will be a derogation to that of course for the football or soccer World
Cup coming up here in 2018 so for a limited period, about six weeks around at
the time of the tournament if you have a fan ID so you bought a ticket to
some of the games you had all that approved then you can actually go and
visit Russia visa-free for the duration of the tournament and that’s just with
your fan ID and your passport so that’s gonna make a lot easier. So people do
not have need to get a visa if they want to visit Russia for the football World
Cup. Two other tips I want to give you about visa-free with respect to Russia
are firstly if you fly to Minsk here in Belarus and you think okay I’m gonna
arrive by plane and that plane is not direct and it goes via an airport in
Russia, you need to be aware of that you will need to change terminal and or at
least you have to change the planes of course in Moscow and they
will make you change terminal from the international terminal to domestic so
Russia and Belarus have an agreement that it basically counts as a domestic flight and
that means you got to change you got to enter Russia basically if you
fly to Moscow with the intention of coming here and on the visa free and you will not
be allowed into Russia if you do not have a visa and that means that like
what happened my friend, Andy, who’s been in some of these videos that he flew, I
think he was gonna be … just have to change planes in the international terminal
in Moscow and he would not need a visa because for transits it’s fine, he was
told when you arrived in Moscow Airport that he needed a Russian visa in order
to catch his flight to Minsk and they refused him entry and he actually had to
get back on a plane and leave Moscow and not go to Minsk and the next day he had to
fly there so that was really a pain in the ass can we say. So just be aware of
that. The second tip I want to give you about Russia is since Russia annexed
Crimea that can cause some problems if you go there and afterwards you wanna
enter Ukraine. Technically Ukraine views it as de jure
which means legally their territory and that you would have illegally entered
Crimea if you went from Russia, the rest of Russia because Russia de facto
controls Crimea at the moment and they could say that you entered the country
illegally and cause problems. I’ve never heard of anyone actually having that
problem but that could be an issues so just be aware of it if you
go to Crimea. First of all you need to get a Russian visa because the Russians
say that it’s their territory legally. That’s a course in dispute it’s actually
I would say de jure Ukraine but that’s just kind of not worth getting into an
argument about for the purpose of this video and yeah so just be aware of that
that I can cause, might cause problems with Ukraine sometime in the future
the fact that you went to Crimea via the rest of Russia or via Russia and
something that’s up to you. I can’t really advise on it. I haven’t had any
personal experience. I haven’t been back to Crimea since it was annexed by Russia. So that’s my overview of travelling visa-free in this region. I’m here in
Brest in Belarus so that’s giving you an overview if you have a North American
or European passport and you want to travel to say Russia, Belarus, Ukraine
and Moldova. There you go that’s what you need to know. Write me in the comments
section below what you think if you’ve actually travelled here we’ve had any
additional problems. Maybe your passport was better or less favorable in terms of
these are three options to travel around this region. Let me know about your
experiences and yeah I will see you in the next video, the next tip Thursday
next week. I hope you found this video very valuable. At least it’s a good
overview if you’re coming here and ‘до свидания!’ from Brest, Belarus.

18 thoughts on “How to travel visa free to Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Moldova

  1. I'm travelling to Kiev, Ukraine in July for a week. What are the prices like over there compared to Dublin, Ireland? I subbed to your channel a few days ago. Really interesting content man!

  2. The visa to Moldova is a little more complicated. If you go to the Transdniestria region for more than 10 hours, you need to get a visa when you're there.

  3. When are you coming to the Baltics? This Is Andrew, from DC. Remember? I'm based in Tallinn now for a while. You are welcome to visit anytime.

  4. Thank YOU! Welcome to Ukraine! Lets make video together about Bukovel! Mountains – Mukachevo, Uzhgorod,Khust Castle!

  5. Unlike Belarus and Russia, the Ukraine is like a brothel, anyone can just come in without a visa as long as you have money.

  6. I am traveling later this year to Transnistria, which is in Moldova but considers themselves an independent country. I heard there are some issues with going there like that you have to get a registration card when you enter the region, and that if the bus doesnt stop at the border you wont get this card, and that they will not allow you to leave then without a bribe/fine (if you dont have the card), is this true or is it more simple than that? I booked 3 nights at a hotel, I am into odd and alternative travel destinations so I think Transnistria will be my cup of tea. Also going to Belarus this year.

  7. According with the referendum Crimea wants to come back to Russia and according with historical books was always Russia

  8. So according to the way you think Crimea is on dispute and what about Kosovo? Those cities have referendums and their citizens choose what they wanted

  9. Conor, thanks for this wealth of information about travel restrictions to Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. That was crappy your friend got denied entry in Moscow. Thanks for the heads-up.

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