Starting from September 4, 2023, Edict of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 278 "On the Procedure for Issuing Documents and Performing Actions" has come into effect, which limits the authority of Belarusian embassies and consulates concerning Belarusian citizens.
The Edict outlines administrative procedures that can only be performed within Belarus in person by the citizen or their authorized representative with a power of attorney certified in Belarus. Among these procedures, the following can be highlighted:
- issuing duplicate civil status registration certificates (excluding duplicate death certificates);
- issuing duplicates of educational documents and their supplements;
- legalizing official documents in Belarus;
- state registration of:
- vehicles (excluding tractors, trailers, and semi-trailers);
- land plots;
- residential houses or isolated residential premises;
- capital buildings, isolated premises, and parking spaces;
- unfinished and preserved capital buildings.
In addition, three specific types of civil contracts require notarial certification and/or state registration only when a Belarusian citizen or their representative with a power of attorney certified in Belarus applies in person:
- contracts involving the sale or mortgage of real estate (e.g., real estate sales contracts);
- contracts related to the sale of mechanical vehicles, trailers, or self-propelled machines subject to state registration and accounting (e.g., vehicle donation contracts);
- other contracts or transactions for the alienation of property, executed in notarial form and/or subject to state registration (including mortgage contracts and contracts for the transfer of ownership rights to an apartment, marriage (prenuptial) agreements).
As before, non-compliance with the requirements of the form of the contract or its state registration will result in it being considered null and void.
Embassies (consulates) of the Republic of Belarus cannot notarize powers of attorney for Belarusian citizens, but they can notarize wills, consents (refusals), confirm the fact that a citizen is alive, authenticate signatures on documents, and more.
Starting from September 7, 2023, Belarusian citizens can apply for the issuance or exchange of passports only to the internal affairs authorities located within the territory of Belarus. If a citizen resides in Belarus, they must contact the migration and citizenship department at their place of residence. If a citizen permanently resides abroad, they still need to contact the migration and citizenship department at their last place of residence in Belarus.
Please note that the Edict does not affect foreign citizens, stateless persons, and legal entities, regardless of their place of registration.
You can review the full text of the Edict via the following link
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.