How to Apply
We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to the decision by the Belarusian government in 2008 requiring the U.S. Embassy to reduce its diplomatic staff from 35 Americans to 5, the Embassy was technically forced to suspended full visa processing services indefinitely. Currently, U.S. Embassy Minsk is only able to accept the following limited categories of nonimmigrant visa applications:
• Diplomatic visas (A and G categories),
• Guest of embassy visitor’s visas (relatives of Belarusian diplomats serving at the Belarusian diplomatic missions in the U.S.),
• Family & medical emergencies requiring urgent travel,
• U.S. Government-sponsored travel and programs,
• Visa applications of senior citizens (over 70 years old).
We offer interviews for visa applicants falling under the above categories on Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Appointments can be made by e-mail only at ConsularMinsk@state.gov. In your e-mail, please state why you believe that your application falls under one of the above categories. We will inform you of your appointment time and date by phone or e-mail, or, if your request for an appointment is declined, we will explain why. Normally, you will receive a response within 2-3 days.
Residents of Belarus whose applications do not fall under the above categories should make arrangements to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at another post. While applicants may apply in person at any U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate where they have an appointment, suggested posts for residents of Belarus are below. Each of these suggested posts have additional information for non-resident applicants on their websites.
U.S. Embassy Moscow: http://moscow.usembassy.gov
U.S. Consulate St. Petersburg: http://stpetersburg.usconsulate.gov
U.S. Embassy Kyiv: http://kiev.usembassy.gov
U.S. Embassy Warsaw: http://poland.usembassy.gov
U.S. Embassy Vilnius: http://vilnius.usembassy.gov/belarusians.html
Please be aware that at some nearby posts, particularly at U.S. Embassies Vilnius, Tallinn and Riga, the number of visa appointments available for non-residents is extremely limited, and interviews may have to be conducted in English. Applicants who would like to interview in Russian may prefer to interview at U.S. Embassies or Consulates located in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Kyiv, as staff there are able to speak and translate Russian as needed.
If you were granted a visa appointment in Minsk, please read the following.
We recommend that applicants schedule their visa interviews at least one month before they intend to travel. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that there is enough time to complete the visa application process before traveling to the United States. Processing wait time DOES NOT include the time required for additional administrative processing or special requirements. In such cases, processing wait time will vary based on the individual circumstances of each application.
If you apply for a visitor’s visa (B1/B2 – Visitor of Business/Pleasure), please bring the following documents to the Consular Section at the appointed date and time:
- $160 non-refundable visa application fee, payable in U.S. dollars [Please note: non-refundable visa application fee when applying for petition based visas (Categories: H, L, O, P, Q, R) - see Temporary Workers page for more information about the categories – is $190]
- your passport (valid at least another 6 months from intended date of departure from the U.S.)
- bio data confirmation page with a barcode of visa Application Form DS-160
- if you were unable to upload a digital photo to your application (see digital photo requirements here), please bring 1 unmounted 5 x 5 cm, full face color photograph (see example photo)
- proof of your economic, social, family and other ties to Belarus
The visa application form (DS-160) can be downloaded and completed at the following link, where you can also find instructions on how to use the form. NOTE: as of March 1, 2010 ALL visa applicants applying at the Embassy of the United States of America in Belarus must apply only after filling out an on-line DS-160 Visa Application Form. This form has replaced DS-160, DS-157 and DS-158 Visa Application Forms. No visa applications prepared using other application forms will be accepted.
- Invitations are NOT required for business or private trips.
- If you choose to present an invitation or letter from your relative, friend, or business contact in the U.S., please bring it with you on the day of your interview. Please do not send invitations or letters directly to the Embassy.
- Since invitations are not required documents, they may be presented in any format, such as email or fax. There is no need to notarize an invitation, and there is no standard format.
There is no single document that will qualify an applicant for a visa. Consular Officers will consider all information presented and supporting documents will be returned to the applicant at the end of the interview.
WE REQUEST THAT ALL APPLICANTS BRING $160 (or $190 if applying for a petition based visa) IN EXACT CHANGE. OTHERWISE, IN CASE WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH BILLS OF SMALL DENOMINATION TO GIVE CHANGE, WE MAY ASK YOU TO COME ON A LATER DATE TO COMPLETE YOUR VISA APPLICATION.
Each applicant should apply personally for a visa. The exception is children under the age of 14, whose personal appearance for an interview is at their parents’ discretion.
Applications of children under 16 traveling alone or with one parent should be presented to the Embassy by both parents. If the physical presence of one of the parents is not possible, for example if one parent is deceased, the application procedure should be agreed upon in advance with the Consular Section of the Embassy. Additionally, such applications should include child’s birth certificate and both parents’ passports.
In most cases, applicants who are qualified for visas may pick up their passports with the visa on the following working day between 4:00 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. Those who cannot pick up their passports on the following working day will be able to do it on any other working day at the same time. Due to many additional factors, some visas can take up to 3 weeks or more to process; please plan accordingly. Please note that listed processing times are averages and timing may vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.
The following fees are applicable to Belarusian citizens:
- Single entry business/tourist/visitor/student visa -$160 application fee applies with no additional fee
- Multiple entry one-year business/tourist/visitor/student - $160 application fee plus US$ 100 reciprocity visa fee
- Multiple entry one-year work visa - $190 application fee plus US$ 300 reciprocity visa fee
- Transit visa - $160 application fee with no additional fee
Claims made by persons or private groups claiming they can guarantee U.S Visas are fraudulent. Also, any person who presents false documents or misleading information to the embassy can be permanently disqualified from entering the United States.