Every year tens of thousands of foreign citizens come to work in the Republic of Belarus. The general rule is that in order to work legally in the Republic of Belarus all foreign citizens must obtain a work permit (the official name – “Special work permit in the Republic of Belarus”).

There are some countries with which the Republic of Belarus has special agreements; the citizens of these countries do not need a work permit. The list of such countries includes:

  • Russian Federation;
  • Kazakhstan;
  • Armenia;
  • Kyrgyzstan.

It should be noted that there are special legal regimes for the activities of companies, when in fact they do not need to obtain a work permit in Belarus to hire a foreign employee. So, employees of the High Technologies Park companies do not need work permits. A work permit is also not required if a foreign citizen has a residence permit in the Republic of Belarus.


Order of obtaining a work permit

At first, you need to decide on what position a foreign citizen will work. If the foreign citizen will work as a director of the organization and at the same time he is the founder of the organization, a period of obtaining a work permit will be 15 days. This situation will save you from having to apply to the labour exchange and submit there the information about the availability of vacancies.

If the director of the company is not its founder or a foreign employee is hired to work for any other position in the company, obtaining a work permit will take about 30-35 days.

The first step to obtaining a work permit in Belarus is to submit information to the local Department of Labor and Social Protection that your company is in search of employees. This information must be in this organization (it will publish it in the job bank) within 3 weeks.

The next step is the submission of the documents to the Department of Citizenship and Migration. An application and a copy of the translation of the foreigner’s passport, as well as confirmation of payment of the state fee (approximately USD 60), are submitted to this office.

As a rule, a work permit in Belarus is issued for a period of 1 year. If there is a recruitment of highly qualified personnel, the issuance of a work permit can be made for 2 years at once. After issuing a work permit, an employment contract must be concluded with a foreign employee. This employment contract is subject to MANDATORY registration in the Department of Citizenship and Migration, which issued a work permit. In case of failure to submit the contract for registration, the organization will pay a fine.

Companies have the right to prolong work permits for their employees. To do this, they must also apply to the Department of Citizenship and Migration a month before the expiration of the work permit.

If the employee ceases to work in the company, the work permit must be immediately returned to the Department of Citizenship and Migration. In case of failure to pass the work permit, the organization will pay a fine.

Obtaining a work permit and concluding an employment contract with a foreign citizen will allow the foreign citizen to obtain a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Belarus, which will allow him to stay in the Republic of Belarus for the entire period of the work permit.


For work permit the following documents are to be submitted:

  • one duly completed visa application form;
  • one photograph, which meets the following requirements:
    not older than 6 months
    size 35×45 mm
    full face (70-80 % of the picture) without sunglasses, hat or other head covering unless for ethnic or religious reasons;
    plain, evenly lit and light background;

A valid original passport or travel document which contains a photograph of the owner has at least two blank pages intended for visas is valid for at least 90 days after the expected departure date from the Republic of Belarus is not dubious in terms of authenticity or ownership contains no torn pages, marks, entries, erasures and corrections that are not certified by the issuing authorities of the respective foreign state;

A certified copy of a special employment permit of a migrant in the Republic of Belarus issued by the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Directorate of Internal Affairs of Minsk City Executive Committee, Department of Internal Affairs of a Regional Executive Committee.


Additional documents:

  • if the applicant is under 28 years old – a copy of Birth Certificate and copies of passports of the applicant’s parents (legal representatives);
  • if the applicant previously had USSR or Belarusian citizenship, a document certifying the loss of the USSR or Belarusian citizenship must be submitted to the Embassy.

When getting employed for a position requiring special qualifications, a foreigner, like any other candidate, must confirm that he/she has the qualifications or education required (for instance, by providing a diploma on finishing the university). If you have the required document that was not issued in Belarus, you would have to get a certificate on the document’s recognition and equivalence (conformity) to a Belarusian diploma. Such certificates are issued by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus on the basis of the expert opinion of State educational entity “Republican higher education institute”.

If your company is planning a Belarusian expansion, you’ll need to put together a talented team of employees. Before they can begin working in the country, however, you’ll have to make sure they have the proper visas and permits to do so legally.

In Belarus, an employment contract can be terminated in the following circumstances:

  • if both parties agree;
  • if the contract’s term expires except when neither of the parties wants the employment relations terminated;
  • if initiated by any party – the employer or the employee;
  • if the employee agrees to be transferred to another employer or gets transferred to an elective position;
  • if the employee disagrees with moving to another location to follow the employer, if the employee disagrees with new labour conditions, a new owner or re-organization of the company;
  • in circumstances independent of the will of the parties;
  • if the contract is terminated after a probationary period.