Travel to Belarus for Children with Dual Citizenship
Author: Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova
The laws of the Belarus allow children under 16 years old to have a dual citizenship. When a child of a Belarusian citizen is born abroad, he or she automatically becomes a Belarusian citizen as well.
When traveling to Belarus the first time after the child’s birth, parents should know certain requirements and particularities that would help to avoid issues at the Belarusian/Russian border.
To wit, a Belarusian citizen child may return to Belarus using a document called “Permission to Return to the Motherland.” The permission gives the child a right to come to Belarus ONCE. The child will not be able to exit the country using the same document or his/her foreign passport, if that passport did not contain a Belarusian visa.
The only possible way the child will be able to exist Belarus if the child will hold a Belarusian passport. It means that while planning a trip to Belarus, the parents must also take with them child’s birth certificate with apostile. The apostile is a necessary attachment to the birth certificate, with it the Belarusian authorities will not consider the certificate. Further, upon arrival, the birth certificate and apostile must be translated and notarized.
The procedure of applying for the child’s Belarusian passport in Belarus starts with the child’s registration at the place of residence in Belarus; further an application form with passport photos must be submitted. If the parents would like to speed up the process of passport issuance, they will need to pay a small fee, otherwise, children receive passports in Belarus free of charge.
When the child reaches 16 years old, he/she will need to choose the citizen of which country he/she would like to remain.
Another important fact is that if the child travels to Belarus with one parent, the Belarusian authorities will need to see a notarized permission from the other parent allowing the child to be crossing the Belarusian border while leaving the country. Such a permission may be obtained in the Belarusian consulate abroad.