On Thursday, 5 November, the Saeima in the second and final reading adopted amendments for simplified cross-border travel for the Latvian – Belorussian border area residents.
With the amendments, the term ‘relatives’ is now extended to include cousins. This means that the residents of the border area of both countries will be able to receive border area travel permits for simplified border-crossing to visit relatives, including cousins, or their places of burial in the border area of the other country.
Likewise, the residents of the border area of both countries will be able to receive border area travel permits for simplified border-crossing if they are regularly involved in organising or attending cultural, educational, scientific or sports events. Before the amendments, residents of the border area were only eligible for simplified travel if such events were organised by state or municipal institutions of Latvia or Belarus.
The amendments also revoke the requirement to make relevant remarks on the travelling documents upon crossing the border, and the lists of the residents of the border area will no longer be maintained for issuing of cross-border travelling permits, which further simplifies the procedure for the residents of the border area and reduces the administrative burden.
Furthermore, the requirement for border area residents to hold an insurance policy during their stay across the border is no longer mandatory.
Also, the residents of the Latvian border area will no longer be required to register their stay in the Belorussian border area, if the duration of the stay does not exceed 30 days.
The Law “On the Protocol to the 23 August 2010 Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on Amendments to the Simplified Cross-border Travel Procedures for the residents of the border area of the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Belarus” also specifies the administrative territories to which these procedures apply.
Saeima Press Service