Is PBH over?  The Polish Embassy in Minsk confirms it

In the morning in PBH chats there was a message from one of the users that he was asked to pick up the documents, which he submitted in the morning in the VC in Gomel. The VC referred to the decision of the Polish state authorities, which had been in force since January 26. The information was confirmed to the IT specialist at the Minsk embassy.

According to the information from IT-specialists, today in Belarus stopped accepting documents for PBH visa. The VC asked me to pick up the documents.

The Polish embassy in Minsk confirmed that the acceptance of documents for PBH is closed and probably won't be resumed - "the PBH program is closed. They recommended to apply for a regular work visa by invitation.

According to the media, applications that have reached the consulate as of January 24, 2024 will be processed in due course.

There are no announcements on the VFS Global website on the topic, nor on the PBH program page on

According to Rzeczpospolita, from 2020 to September 30, 2023, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued 93,512 RVN visas. Of these, 88,529 were granted to Belarusians, 2,524 to Russians, and 1,471 to Ukrainians. At the same time, the Office for Foreigners previously reported that only Belarusians Poland issued almost 114 thousand visas for three years. 

In 2023, the number of PBH visas issued by Poland decreased with each quarter. This is evidenced by the statistics of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

- In the first quarter of 2023, 15.1 thousand visas were issued;

- in the second quarter - 6.5 thousand.

- In the third quarter - 4.8 thousand.

- In the fourth quarter - 1.6 thousand.

Experts call it a consequence of the "visa scandal", due to which the checks of applicants have become stricter and the number of refusals has increased. 

"Due to doubts about the provision of work and stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland of foreigners who are participants of the program "Poland.Business.Harbour", as well as in the context of extensive verification procedures in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, suspended the transfer of visa recommendations to the Polish Agency for Investment and Trade (PAIH) to the consulates of the Republic of Poland," - quotes the spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry DGP.

The visa scandal erupted against the backdrop of the election campaign for late summer 2023. Polish media wrote about the involvement of the country's Foreign Ministry and the Indian company VFS Global, through whose website the registration of slots for Polish visas took place. The scams were primarily sought in Africa and the Middle East, but Belarus was also involved.

The Poland Business Harbour program helps IT professionals, startups and entire companies to relocate to Poland. The program is coordinated by the Ministry of Development, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, GovTech Polska, the Office of the President of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development and the Startup Hub Poland Foundation.

The program includes issuance of a D23 national visa, legal support during relocation, assistance in contacts with local governments, FEZs, investors, and grants.