Belarus to introduce biometric passports in 2019


Belarus to introduce biometric passports in 2019

Belarus is going to introduce biometric passports by 2019. Personal data of the passport owner - fingerprints, electronic signature and photo - will be stored in an electronic chip. This will simplify the visa obtaining process and shorten time spent during border control.

An ID card will become an internal document proving identity of Belarusians. It will also store a digital signature, and this will greatly enhance the owner's capabilities. For example, a person will be able to make payments through it. The new documents will be introduced on January 1, 2019.

Alexei Begun, Head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration, Ministry of Internal Affairs:
The so-called transition period is envisaged, when both passports will be effective. That is, it will be possible to obtain an ID card and use an old passport solely for traveling abroad if there are Schengen visas there, or if for some reason a citizen needs to keep it for some time.

From January 1, 2018, the cost of a Schengen visa for Belarusians may be reduced by almost half. If the parties sign the relevant agreement before the end of 2017, Belarusians will receive a visa for 35 euros instead of the current 60 euros.