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LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

On Immigration

Adopted by the House of Representatives December 16, 1998

Approved by the Council of the Republic December 18, 1998

This Law provides a legal framework for immigration in the Republic of Belarus, establishes the procedure for foreign nationals and stateless persons (hereinafter aliens) to obtain permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, sets rules for the departure of illegal migrants from the Republic of Belarus, and regulates other legal relations that arise in connection with immigration.

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions

Article 1. Legislation of the Republic of Belarus on Immigration

Immigration in the Republic of Belarus is regulated by the Consitution of the Republic of Belarus, this Law, the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals and Stateless Persons in the Republic of Belarus", by other acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus, and by international agreements of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 2. International Agreements

If rules other than the ones prescribed by this Law, are established by an international agreement of the Republic of Belarus that has been ratified and has come into force, then the rules of the international agreement shall apply.

Article 3. Basic Concepts Used in the Present Law

The following basic concepts are used for the purposes of the present Law:

Article 4. Refugees

The legal framework for entry into and presence in the Republic of Belarus of aliens who have applied for refugee status, and of refugees shall be defined by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on refugees.

CHAPTER 2. Terms of Reference of Government Authorities in Controlling Immigration Processes

Article 5. The Republican Government Authority for Migration

The republican government authority for migration shall:

Article 6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, diplomatic missions and consular institutions of the Republic of Belarus shall:

Article 7. The Border Troops of the Republic of Belarus

The border troops of the Republic of Belarus shall:

Article 8. The Authorities of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus

The authorities of the interior of the Republic of Belarus shall:

Article 9. The Authorities of State Security of the Republic of Belarus

The authorities of state security of the Republic of Belarus shall:

Article 10. Republican Government Authorities, Local Executive and Managing Authorities

Republican government authorities, local executive and managing authorities:

CHAPTER 3. Obtaining Permission to Reside Permanently in the Republic of Belarus

Article 11. Determining an Immigration Quota

To secure government regulation of the process of immigration in the Republic of Belarus, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, at the representation of the republican government authority for migration, may determine an immigration quota. The immigration quota shall be determined separately for each state.

The President of the Republic of Belarus shall have the right to decide on admitting more immigrants to the Republic of Belarus above the set immigration quota.

Article 12. The Procedure for Obtaining Permission to Reside Permanently in the Republic of Belarus

An alien who resides outside of the Republic of Belarus and who wishes to obtain permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, shall file documents as mentioned in part four of this article, with a diplomatic mission or a consular institution of the Republic of Belarus.

The diplomatic mission or consular institution of the Republic of Belarus shall accept the application and documents presented by the alien applying for permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, and refer them, in accordance with the established order, to an appropriate authority of the interior of the Republic of Belarus.

An alien who resides temporarily in the Republic of Belarus and wishes to obtain permission to reside in the Republic of Belarus permanently, shall file documents as mentioned in part four of this article, with the authority of the interior of the Republic of Belarus at the place of his intended residence.

To obtain permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, an alien shall present:

An application for permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus shall only be accepted after a state duty or consular fee has been paid, the procedure for payment and the size of which are to be established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

A decision concerning the application for permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus shall be taken by an appropriate authority of the interior of the Republic of Belarus within three months of receipt of the application along with all the necessary materials.

Article 13. The Right to Obtain Permission to Reside Permanently in the Republic of Belarus Granted to Certain Categories of Aliens

The right to obtain permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus shall be granted to aliens who have lived in the Republic of Belarus for at least seven years, provided they are:

The right to obtain permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus regardless of the residence in the Republic of Belarus shall be granted to such aliens as:

A decision concerning the obtaining by the aliens listed in this article of permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus shall be taken by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus at the representation of relevant government authorities, with due regard for immigration quotas.

Article 14. Grounds for Denying Permission to Reside Permanently in the Republic of Belarus

An alien may be denied permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, if:

The list of diseases that preclude entry into the territory of the Republic of Belarus shall be determined by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus and approved by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 15. Cancellation of Permission to Reside Permanently in the Republic of Belarus

Permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus may be cancelled if:

The decision to cancel permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus in the instances mentioned in paragraphs two, three and four of part one of this article, shall be taken by the authority of the interior that has taken the decision to grant the alien permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, either on its own initiative or at the representation by competent government authorities.

The decision to cancel permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus in instances mentioned in paragraphs five and six of part one of this article shall be taken through a court procedure.

The decision to cancel permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, within five days of taking it, shall be dispatched to the immigrant, as well as to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

The immigrant in respect of whom a decision has been taken to cancel permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, shall have the right to appeal against this decision through a court procedure within one month of being familiarised with the decision.

CHAPTER 4. The Procedure for Entry into the Republic of Belarus

Article 16. Entry into the Republic of Belarus

Aliens shall only enter the Republic of Belarus for permanent residence under valid passports or papers that are passport substitutes, provided they have an immigration visa issued in accordance with the established procedure.

Article 17. Immigration Visa

An alien who has been granted permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus, shall be issued with an immigration visa by a diplomatic mission or consular institution of the Republic of Belarus.

The immigration visa shall be valid for entry into the Republic of Belarus within one year of its issue. If the alien, after receiving an immigration visa, failed to enter the Republic of Belarus within a year, and retains his right to an immigration visa, a new immigration visa may be issued to him in accordance with the established procedure.

Article 18. Unused Immigration Visas

The immigration visa of an alien who has been denied entry into the Republic of Belarus, or an immigration visa whose period of validity has expired whereas the alien failed to apply for its extension within the established period of time, shall be deemed unused.

Article 19. Registration of Aliens Who Arrive in the Republic of Belarus for Permanent Residence

An alien who arrives in the Republic of Belarus for permanent residence must, within three days, register himself with the authorised registration authority at the place of his actual residence. The alien must inform the authorities of the interior of the Republic of Belarus, within ten days, of all changes in his place of residence

Article 20. Medical Examination of Aliens

Aliens may be subjected to forced medical examination if there are sufficient grounds to believe that they have diseases that are on the list of dangerous diseases, or if it has been established that they have arrived in the Republic of Belarus from an area of massive epidemics of dangerous human or animal diseases.

A medical examination of aliens in the instances provided for in part one of this article, shall be performed by doctors who are staff members of regional health institutions, following a decision of health institutions with the approval by the prosecutor.

The periods of examination (check-up) of aliens shall be determined by medical indications.

Article 21. Residence Permit

Aliens who have been granted permission to reside permanently in the Republic of Belarus shall be issued with an appropriate residence permit of the Republic of Belarus.

The procedure for the issue of the residence permit of the Republic of Belarus shall be established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 22. Travel Document

The travel document shall be issued to certain categories of aliens permanently residing in the Republic of Belarus, for exit from and entry into the Republic of Belarus, for a period that shall not exceed the validity of the residence permit.

The procedure for the issue of the travel document shall be established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

CHAPTER 5. Reunification of Family

Article 23. The Right to Reunification of Family

The right to reunification of the family shall be enjoyed by the spouse, minor children and other children who have not been married, having an invitation, respectively, from the spouse or parents who are citizens of the Republic of Belarus or immigrants.

Article 24. Special Cases of Reunification of Family

In some instances the right to reunification of the family may be granted to other close relatives of citizens of the Republic of Belarus or immigrants, provided the inviting person has adequate housing conditions and a lawful source of income to secure a minimum of subsistence for himself and members of his family.

A decision concerning special cases of reunification of the family shall be taken by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with the procedure to be established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 22. Burden of Proof of the Right to Reunification of Family

In all instances of entry for the purpose of reunification of the family, the alien who wishes to enter the Republic of Belarus or the persons receiving him shall present documentary proof of the right to reunification of the family.

CHAPTER 6. Liability for Violating Legislation of the Republic of Belarus on Immigration

Article 26. Liability for Violating Legislation of the Republic of Belarus on Immigration

Violation of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on immigration shall entail liability in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus in the event of:

Article 27. Collection of Fines and Reimbursement of Expenses

Fines exacted for violating the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on immigration shall be transferred to the republican budget.

Fines may be paid in freely convertible currency at an exchange rate to be set by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus as at the date of payment of the fine.

The procedure for the payment of fines and reimbursement of expenses related to the consideration of cases of infringement of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on immigration shall be determined by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

CHAPTER 7. Deportation

Article 28. Aliens to Be Deported

The following aliens are to be deported:

Article 29. Deportation Procedure

Decisions to deport aliens mentioned in article 28 of this Law shall be taken by the appropriate authorities of the interior or state security of the Republic of Belarus.

Before the decision to deport is taken, the appropriate authorities of the interior or state security of the Republic of Belarus shall send a notice to the alien in question, indicating the reasons for deportation, the place and time of the examination of the matter, and explaining the right of the alien to be present in person at the hearings. Should the alien fail to appear at the hearings, the issue of deportation can be considered in his absence.

The decision of deportation can be appealed against in court in accordance with the established procedure.

A note of the alien's deportation shall be made in the alien's passport or in the document which is a substitute for the passport.

Ten years after the date of deportation, aliens deported from the Republic of Belarus can apply to appropriate authorities for permission to enter the Republic of Belarus.

Article 30. Detention of Aliens

After the decision to deport an alien has been taken, appropriate authorities of the interior or state security of the Republic of Belarus shall take measures to detain him, with the prosecutor's approval, for the period of time necessary to deport him, if there are reasons to believe that the alien in question may evade fulfilling the deportation decision.

The procedure for setting up temporary detention centres for aliens to be deported from the Republic of Belarus shall be established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

If the alien has lodged a complaint with a court of law requesting review of the deportation decision, he may be remanded on bail in accordance with the procedure established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 31. Suspension of Deportation

The procedure of deportation may be suspended, if:

Article 32. Voluntary Departure of Alien

An alien with respect to whom the procedure of deportation has been started, can declare his willingness to leave the Republic of Belarus voluntarily and at his own expense. The issue of the alien’s voluntary departure shall be decided upon by the authorities of the interior of the Republic of Belarus.

An alien leaving the Republic of Belarus voluntarily shall be entitled to choose the country to which he would like to go.

Voluntary departure of the alien shall not be allowed, if the issue of his deportation has been raised because of his illegal activities or activities aimed at subverting national security of the Republic of Belarus, or because of other activities constituting public menace for the Republic of Belarus.

An alien who has left the Republic of Belarus voluntarily, may in five-years’ time after departure apply to the relevant authorities for permission to enter the Republic of Belarus.

Article 33. The State to which an Alien Is Deported

An alien in respect of whom a decision of deportation has been taken, shall be deported to the state of his nationality or to the state from which he had arrived in the Republic of Belarus.

If the alien is threatened with persecution unrelated to measures of criminal law in the state from which he has arrived in the Republic of Belarus, or if there is a fear that he may be expelled from that state to another state where he might be threatened with such persecution, a decision may be taken to deport this alien to a third state which will express its agreement to receive him.

Escorting of the alien being deported shall be carried out by the authorities of the interior of the Republic of Belarus up to the border crossing point, and it shall be terminated after the alien has crossed the State Border of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 34. Costs of the Deportation Procedure

All the costs of the deportation procedure, including investigation and trial in court, shall be covered by the alien in question or by the legal entities or natural persons of the Republic of Belarus that have solicited for his entry.

In certain instances, if it is impossible to have the costs covered by the alien, the deportation procedure shall be carried out at the expense of the budget of the Republic of Belarus, or at the expense of the budget of the state seeking extradition of the alien.

SECTION V. Concluding Provisions

Article 35. Entry into Force of the Present Law

This Law shall enter into force six months after the date of its publication.

Article 36. Bringing Acts of Legislation in Agreement with the Present Law

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, within three months of the entry into force of the present Law, shall take measures to bring the legislation of the Republic of Belarus in agreement with the present Law.

President of the Republic of Belarus

A. Lukashenko