How to apply for an asylum in Belarus?

You can apply at any office of the migration authority in Belrus. An asylum-seeker in Belarus is an individual who applied for international protection – who say they are a refugee, but whose claim has not yet been definitely evaluated.

How to apply for an asylum in Belarus?

You can apply for asylum in Belarus in different places dependending on your situation. It does not matter how you have come to Belarus or how long have you been in Belarus. As it does not matter if the migration authorities of Belarus consider your staying in Belarus irregular, or not legal.

In Belarus

You can apply at the office of the migration authority in Minsk city, Minsk, Brest, Homieĺ, Hrodna, Mahilioŭ, or Viciebsk regions.

At the border of Belarus

You can apply to border guards upon arrival, by any mode of transportation, in Belarus.

In detention

If you are detected crossing the border unlawfully or residing in Belarus illegally, you will be detained by border guards or the police.

In all situations, it is preferable to indicate openly that you wish to seek for asylum in Belarus, as this will force state officials to accept your application. It is strongly advised that you apply for asylum as soon as possible.

The main steps in the asylum application process 

  1. Application for protection and submission of the claim
  2. Interview for asylum, it might be conducted more than once
  3. A decision is issued by the state migration authority

The denial of protection by the migration authorities can be challenged in court.

Who applies for asylum in Belarus? 

Foreigners who are not citizens of Belarus who are outside their nation of origin, as well as stateless people who are outside their prior permanent residency countries.

People who are frightened to return to their native nation because they will face a major risk. People’s ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinions, or participation in a particular social group may pose a major risk or fear of persecution.

What happens to an asylum seeker? 

There are various alternatives available. What might happen to asylum seekers in Belarus:

  • They will be granted refugee status;
  • they will be granted additional protection;
  • they will be protected from deportation;
  • and their protection application will be denied.

Where can an asylum seeker stay? 

Asylum seekers are entitled to assistance with lodging in one of the Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) regardless of the final decision on any individual application.

Since 2001, three temporary accommodation centres (TACs) for asylum seekers have been erected or renovated in Belarus, with a total capacity of up to 70 people. TACs are only used to house asylum seekers. It means that once a claimant has been granted asylum or refused, he or she should leave the TAC and take care of their own lodging. The lodging is dormitory-style, however there are rooms with varying capacities, such as for smaller and larger families. These TACs are in Viciebsk, Homieĺ and Brest. 

Find out more on how to apply for asylum at UNHCR Belarus

The above cover image is a photo by Reiseuhu on Unsplash