How to leave Ukraine: first departure or repeated evacuation
Learn more about current border crossing rules, required documents for adults and children, evacuation routes and renewal of temporary protection status in EU countries
The leadership of Ukraine does not rule out the possibility of a repeated attack by Belarus on the northern regions of our country and Kyiv. These days, in an interview with The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny shared the relevant forecasts.
The opening of the second front, the unstable situation in Ukraine's energy system and the severe winter may contribute to a new wave of refugees to Europe.
In this article, we have collected all the necessary information about current border crossing rules, necessary documents for adults and children, evacuation routes and renewal of temporary protection status in EU countries.
The list of countries that are ready to accept a new wave of refugees is collected at the link.
Rules for leaving Ukraine to the EU in December 2022
The State Border Service of Ukraine reports that the right to cross the border with EU countries has been extended for Ukrainians who evacuated from the war zone, based on internal documents:
• for an adult - an internal passport of a citizen of Ukraine;
• for children – birth certificates or passports.
Pay attention! The first departure from Ukraine without a foreign passport is possible, it is enough to prove that you are leaving for a humanitarian purpose in search of asylum (that is, for the purpose of temporary or international protection).
If you have already crossed the border with an internal document, re-exit even if you have valid temporary protection in a European country will not be possible.
More details about the rules of traveling with children in our material.
However, the presence of a biometric passport will allow you to move more comfortably through the EU countries, in particular, most air carriers only board the plane using this document. Therefore, we advise you to think about issuing a foreign passport in Ukraine. We talked about the basic conditions for traveling abroad with a biometric passport earlier. The government of Ukraine also made changes to the rules for extending the validity of a foreign passport from November 1, 2022.
Departure of men abroad
According to the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Regime of Martial Law", men aged 18 to 60 and women military personnel cannot leave the territory of Ukraine. However, certain exceptions are established. We remind you that men can leave Ukraine:
• who independently raise a child under the age of 18;
• dependent on three or more minor children;
• who accompany a child with a disability or a child with serious and rare diseases;
• removed from military registration based on the decision of the military medical commission on unfitness for military service;
• who travel to perform work duties;
• men with disabilities;
• servicemen who go for treatment as a result of war injuries.
Read more about the list of eligible citizens and legal ways for men to travel abroad here.
Do you need health insurance for traveling abroad?
Refugees from Ukraine who receive the status of temporary protection can use the services of the medical system of the host country. At the same time, Visit Ukraine recommends taking out medical insurance.
Prepare for the trip
Find out the work schedule, busyness and useful information about checkpoints on the Ukrainian border by following the link.
Any trip abroad requires preparation, especially evacuation, so we advise you to use the following checklist.
If you are planning a trip with a pet, then learn the basic rules for importing animals into Europe.
Evacuation, travel by train and departure by own car
"Ukrzaliznytsia" ended the program of evacuation trains due to a significant decrease in the number of passengers. Currently, you can get from Lviv to Poland free of charge by buses of the Polish Ptakh system, which run to international checkpoints, coordination centers, settlements within the city territorial community and region, and other important locations. Ukrainians from war zones who plan to evacuate to Poland can use the buses.
A humanitarian train also runs from Poland to Germany. Read how to buy a ticket here.
Ukrzaliznytsia offers various international connections.
1. Poland. Warsaw, Chelm and Przemyśl can be reached from Kyiv, Odesa and Zaporozhye;
2. Hungary and Austria. There is a train from Kyiv to Vienna that passes through Budapest;
3. The Czech Republic. There is no direct connection to Prague, but you can change in Przemyśl;
4. Slovakia. Direct trains to Slovakia depart from Chop;
5. Moldova. There is a train from Kyiv to Chisinau.
It is critical to take care of safety at the train station. There are certain items that cannot be taken on the train, and you may be fined or prosecuted for not doing so. Be careful and prepare for the trip in advance.
In your own car
When crossing the border by car, you must have a driver's license, technical passport, number plates marked "UA" and mandatory international insurance Green card. Basic rules for drivers when entering Europe in our material.
Rules of stay in EU countries for Ukrainians
Ukrainians can stay in EU countries in accordance with the rules of the visa-free regime or when applying for temporary protection. European countries have officially extended the temporary protection until 2024.
For those who are evacuating for the first time, everything is quite simple, you can stay in EU countries:
• according to the visa-free rules – 90 days every 180 days (with a biometric passport);
• apply for temporary protection in the country of your stay.
Our Visit Ukraine website contains a lot of information about the rules for issuing temporary protection in different countries. You can find a relevant article in the news using the search, just enter the name of the country where you plan to stay.
Those who plan to evacuate again should check the possible entry conditions:
• If you were in the EU under the visa-free rules – check whether you have not exhausted the allowed period (90 days every 180 days).
• Holders of temporary protection can come to Ukraine without losing their status, but the duration of such a trip is limited. It is determined by the government of each state separately. Please note that in order to leave Ukraine again, you should have or issue a foreign passport, but children will be released with a certificate.
• If the period of stay has been exceeded and your status is no longer valid – you can renew it or issue a new one. For example, how to restore PESEL UKR and the right to financial assistance can be found at the link.
Instructions on how to leave the occupation via Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are available at the link.
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.