On Approval of the Procedure of Invitation of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons to the Republic of Belarus for the Purpose of Carrying out Religious Activity, and on Repealing of Certain Resolutions of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bel

Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus

No. 123 of January 30, 2008

[Amended as of July 9, 2010]

 

On Approval of the Procedure of Invitation of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons to the Republic of Belarus for the Purpose of Carrying out Religious Activity, and on Repealing of Certain Resolutions of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus

 

In accordance with the article 29 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On freedom of conscience and religious organizations" of December 17, 1992 as amended by the Law of the Republic of Belarus of October 31, 2002, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus DESIDES:

1. To approve the Regulations on the Procedure of Invitation of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons to the Republic of Belarus for the Purpose of Carrying Out Religious Activity (annexed).

2. To repeal:

Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of February 23, 1999 No. 280 “On Approval of the Regulations on Invitation of Foreign Clergymen to the Republic of Belarus and their Activities on its Territory” (National Register of the Republic of Belarus, 1999, N 20, 5/338);

Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of April 4, 2000 No. 463 “On Bringing Amendments to the Regulations on Invitation of Foreign Clergymen to the Republic of Belarus and their Activities on its Territory” (National Register of the Republic of Belarus, 2000, N 36, 5/2932);

Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of August 18, 2000 No. 1313 “On Bringing Amendments to the Regulations on Invitation of Foreign Clergymen to the Republic of Belarus and their Activities on its Territory” (National Register of the Republic of Belarus, 2000, N 81, 5/3915);

Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of February 14, 2001 No. 193 “On Bringing Amendments to the Regulations on Invitation of Foreign Clergymen to the Republic of Belarus and their Activities on its Territory” (National Register of the Republic of Belarus, 2001, N 20, 5/5256);

Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of June 17, 2002 No. 795 “On Bringing Amendments to the Regulations on Invitation of Foreign Clergymen to the Republic of Belarus and their Activities on its Territory” (National Register of the Republic of Belarus, 2002, N 71, 5/10639);

subclause 1.4 of clause 1 of the Resolution of the Republic of Belarus of February 3, 2006 No. 141 “On Bringing Amendments and Alterations to Certain Resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Belarus on the Matters of Staying and Activity on the Territory of the Republic of Foreign Citizens and Persons without Citizenship” (National Register of the Republic of Belarus, 2006, N 24, 5/17228).

3. The Resolution enters into force after its official publication.

Approved

Resolution

of the Council of Ministers

of the Republic of Belarus

No. 123 of January 30, 2008

 

 

 

 

Regulations

on the Procedure of Invitation of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons to the Republic of Belarus for the Purpose of Carrying Out Religious Activity

1. The present Regulations are adopted in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On freedom of conscience and religious organizations" of December 17, 1992 as amended by the Law of the Republic of Belarus of October 31, 2002, the Law of the Republic of Belarus of January 4, 2010 “On Legal Status of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons to the Republic of Belarus”.

The present Regulations establish the order of inviting for the purpose of carrying out religious activity of foreign citizens and stateless persons (hereinafter - foreigners) to the Republic of Belarus by religious associations, registered in the established order on the territory of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter – religious associations), and also the order of their transfer from one religious organization to another.

2. Religious associations are entitled to invite to the Republic of Belarus for the period of no more than 1 year of foreigners for the purpose of carrying out religious activity by agreement with the Commissioner for Religion and Nationalities Affairs (hereinafter – the Commissioner). The specified period may be prolonged or shortened in accordance with the present Regulations.

3. The Commissioner endorses the invitation of foreigners to the Republic of Belarus for the following purpose:

3.1. to execute clergymen obligations in religious organizations;

3.2. to teach in religious educational establishments;

3.3. to establish connections with religious organizations;

3.4. to participate in charitable and other social activities, organized by religious organizations and aimed primarily to satisfy citizens’ religious needs;

3.5. to provide religious education for citizens on the territory of the Republic of Belarus in the established order;

3.6. to acquire religious education in religious educational establishments;

3.7. to support other religious activity of the host religious associations.

4. To comply with the endorsement procedure of invitation of a foreigner for the purpose, specified in clause 3 of the present Regulations, religious associations shall submit to the Commissioner within a month period before the arrival of a foreigner to the Republic of Belarus 2 copies of a written request, which includes information about a foreigner (passport data: surname, first name and patronymic (if any), citizenship, date of birth, passport number, terms of passport issue and validity), a purpose, a term of invitation of a foreigner to the Republic of Belarus, a name of a host religious association, where a foreigner is going to carry out his or her activity, and also the reasons for such invitation. The request is adjoined with copies of relevant pages of a valid passport or another document for exit abroad, issued by the authorized body of a country of citizenship or residence of a foreigner, or by an international organization. 

The request shall be drawn on the official blank of a religious association, and include the obligation of a religious association for a foreigner to abide by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and the present Regulations; the request is signed by the head of a religious association or his or her assistant, and sealed.

5. To comply with the endorsement procedure of invitation of a foreigner for the purpose, specified in subclause 3.1 of clause 3 of the present Regulations, the request referred to in clause 4 of the present Regulations shall be adjoined with:

a copy of a document attesting the religious education of a foreigner and its legalized translation into one of the state languages of the Republic of Belarus;

information of a religious association about the working experience of a foreigner as a clergyman, the name of a religious organization that he or she is represented (in Russian and in English), and a  reference attesting foreigner’s knowledge of the state languages of the Republic of Belarus to the sufficient extent to carry out religious activity.

6. To comply with the endorsement procedure of invitation of a foreigner for the purpose, specified in subclause 3.2 of clause 3 of the present Regulations, the request referred to in clause 4 of the present Regulations shall be adjoined with:

a copy of a document attesting the religious education of a foreigner and its legalized translation into one of the state languages of the Republic of Belarus;

information of a religious association about the working experience of a foreigner as a teacher, and a  reference attesting foreigner’s knowledge of the state languages of the Republic of Belarus to the sufficient extent to carry out religious activity;

a curriculum of a host religious educational establishment covering the period of invitation of a foreigner as a teacher.

7. To comply with the endorsement procedure of invitation of foreigners for the purpose, specified in subclauses 3.3 and 3.4 of clause 3 of the present Regulations, the request referred to in clause 4 of the present Regulations shall be adjoined with a program of their activity in the Republic of Belarus.

8. To comply with the endorsement procedure of invitation of a foreigner for the purpose, specified in subclause 3.5 of clause 3 of the present Regulations, the request referred to in clause 4 of the present Regulations shall be adjoined with:

a copy of a document attesting qualification of a foreigner to provide religious education for citizens, and its legalized translation into one of the state languages of the Republic of Belarus;

information of a religious association about the working experience of a foreigner in the sphere of religious education, and a  reference attesting foreigner’s knowledge of the state languages of the Republic of Belarus to the sufficient extent to carry out religious activity.

9. To comply with the endorsement procedure of invitation of a foreigner for the purpose, specified in subclause 3.6 of clause 3 of the present Regulations, the request referred to in clause 4 of the present Regulations shall be adjoined with a guarantee letter from a host religious educational establishment to admit a foreigner with pointing out sources of funding of foreigner’s education.

10. To comply with the endorsement procedure of invitation of a foreigner for the purpose, specified in subclause 3.7 of clause 3 of the present Regulations, the request referred to in clause 4 of the present Regulations shall be adjoined with a legalized copy of a document attesting a foreigner’s religious education (qualification) or information of a host religious association about the working experience of a foreigner in the sphere of authorized activity of religious organizations, and a reference attesting foreigner’s knowledge of the state languages of the Republic of Belarus to the sufficient extent to carry out religious activity.

11. If the documents specified in clauses 4-10 of the present Regulations are not submitted or not complied with the requirements of the present Regulations, the Commissioner is entitled not to consider such a request, and informs about it a religious association within 5 days from the date of registration of the above request.

12. If all the required by the present Regulations documents are attached to a request, the Commissioner considers such request within 1 month from the date of registration of a request, and sends to a religious association a written answer.

The Commissioner is entitled not to specify in an answer the reasons, he or she refuses to endorse an invitation of a foreigner

According to the Commissioner’s decision an invitation of a foreigner shall be agreed with Departments for Religion and Nationalities Affairs of corresponding Oblast Executive Committees, Minsk City Executive Committee at the place of residence of a host religious organization, where a foreigner is going to carry out religious activity.

13. The Commissioner determines a period of time within which a foreigner has the right to carry out religious activity in the Republic of Belarus. The Commissioner may shorten the period of invitation of a foreigner, provided that the period of invitation indicated in a request is inadequate to terms of accomplishing purposes, a foreigner is invited to realize.

14. The Commissioner’s decision on endorsement of the invitation of a foreigner for the purpose of carrying out religious activity shall be issued in the following forms:

as the Commissioner’s letter on approvement of the invitation of a foreigner with specifying the period of time, within which a foreigner has the right to carry out religious activity in the Republic of Belarus;

as the endorsement of the Commissioner on the request of a religious association with indicating the date of such endorsement, and sealed, provided that the Commissioner has not changed the period of invitation, indicated in the request.

A copy of the Commissioner’s decision is sent to the corresponding Departments for Religion and Nationalities Affairs of the Oblast Executive Committees, Minsk City Executive Committee at the place of residence of a host religious organization, where a foreigner is going to carry out religious activity.

15. The Commissioner’s decision not to endorse the invitation of a foreigner for carrying out religious activity may be taken by the following reasons:

the Commissioner has ascertained in the process of considering the request or agreeing the invitation with a Department for Religion and Nationalities Affairs of the Oblast Executive Committee, Minsk City Executive Committee, that the invitation of a foreigner is not necessary;

documents, submitted by the religious association, contain invalid data, in particular a foreigner does not know one of the state languages to the extent sufficient to carry out religious activity according to the purposes stated in the request of the religious association;

during his or her last visit to the Republic of Belarus a foreigner has been repeatedly (two times and more during the year) charged with administrative offences as an infringer of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus or has been declared persona non grata;

on other grounds, established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

16. After a foreigner has arrived to the Republic of Belarus or changed the place of residence a host religious association shall register a foreigner within 3 days period excluding holydays at the bodies of internal affairs or a hotel, and at the Department for Religion and Nationalities Affairs of the corresponding Oblast Executive Committee, Minsk City Executive Committee at the place of residence of a host religious organization, where a foreigner is going to carry out religious activity, unless otherwise established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Officials of host religious associations shall take measures for a foreigner to register, to receive a permit for temporary residence, to leave the Republic of Belarus after expiration of the prescribed term of invitation, and to abide by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

17. Host religious associations shall assign a foreigner to carry out religious activity only to their structural religious organizations that specified in the Commissioner’s decision.

A foreigner invited to the Republic of Belarus to carry out religious activity shall not carry out such activity on the territory that is not covered by the host religious organization, where a foreigner is entitled to carry out his or her activity.

18. To transfer a foreigner from one religious organization to another within one association or to another religious association a host religious association shall agree such transfer within 1 month period before transfer with:

the Commissioner – if there is a transfer from one region to another, from Minsk to a region and from a region to Minsk;

the Department for Religion and Nationalities of the Oblast Executive Committee, Minsk City Executive Committee – if there is a transfer within the corresponding region or Minsk.

The procedure of endorsement is established in clauses 4-16 of the present Regulations.

19. The Commissioner may prolong the term of the foreigner’s invitation on request of a host religious association which is submitted within 1 month before expiration of the invitation in the order established in clauses 4-16 of the present Regulations. 

20. The bodies of internal affairs register, prolong permits for temporary staying, issue permits for temporary residence in the Republic of Belarus for foreigners which have been invited to the Republic of Belarus to carry out religious activity for the period, prescribed in the Commissioner’s decision, provided that there are no grounds to refuse to execute such actions in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus establishing the legal status of foreigners.

21. A period of validity of the invitation of a foreigner to the Republic of Belarus to carry out religious activity may be shortened by the Commissioner on information of the Departments for Religion and Nationalities Affairs of the Oblast Executive Committees, Minsk City Executive Committee, if a foreigner:

has not entered the Republic of Belarus within 1 month period from the date, prescribed in the Commissioner’s decision;

has not registered within 3 days after arrival to the Republic of Belarus at the Department for Religion and Nationalities Affairs of the Oblast Executive Committees, Minsk City Executive Committee at the place of residence of a host religious organization, where a foreigner is going to carry out religious activity

has been repeatedly (two times and more during the year) charged with administrative offences as an infringer of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus;

has infringed clauses 16 and 17 of the present Regulations and other requirements of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

22. The Commissioner sends a letter about shortening the period of validity of the invitation of a foreigner to carry out religious activity to the bodies of internal affaires, where a foreigner is entitled to carry out his or her religious activity, and to a host religious association.

In the case, prescribed in paragraph 1 of the present clause, the bodies of internal affairs according to the Commissioner’s decision shorten the term of temporary staying of a foreigner, invited to carry out religious activity, annul a permit for temporary residence in the Republic of Belarus or refuse to prolong such permits, and prescribe for a foreigner to leave the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

23. A host religious association shall take measures for a foreigner to leave the territory of the Republic of Belarus in the order, established in the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, if the term of temporary staying of a foreigner invited to carry out religious activity has been shortened, a permit for temporary residence of a foreigner in the Republic of Belarus has been annulled, the term of temporary staying of a foreigner in the Republic of Belarus has not been prolonged or a permit for temporary residence in the Republic of Belarus has not been received.

24. Religious associations that invited foreigners to the Republic of Belarus to carry out religious activity, foreigners, invited to the Republic of Belarus to carry out religious activity, shall abide by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, including the legislation on the legal status of foreigners and the present Regulations.

*unofficial translation*