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05 Jul. 2023

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Military leave: can a serviceman go abroad?

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Military leave: can a serviceman go abroad?

Military personnel can go abroad on vacation to visit family during martial law. Find out under what circumstances a serviceman will be allowed to travel abroad and what is required

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Book bus, train, and plane tickets to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world
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The war has separated millions of families, and women with children have been forced to go abroad, many of them wives of military personnel who are defending the territorial integrity of Ukraine. And because men of military age, including military personnel, are not allowed to leave the country during martial law, families keep in touch only by phone and video. However, today there is a legal opportunity for servicemen to travel abroad during their leave. We will tell you what circumstances are the grounds for traveling and what is required for this.


Military leave during martial law: changes in legislation


In June of this year, the Ukrainian authorities adopted a bill that allowed to increase the duration of leave for the military. As of December 2022, the military was allowed to take only 10 days of vacation once a year and 10 days of family leave, which was granted upon the birth of a child, marriage or death of a close relative. Starting in June 2023, servicemen and women can take leave three times a year. The total duration of such leave has been increased to 30 days, and a 10-day family leave is still available. That is, a soldier can take a total of 40 days of vacation per year. 


Please note that no more than 30% of the unit can be on vacation at any one time. That is, the vacation plan is formed in advance and adjusted only in case of need for family leave for valid reasons.


What does a serviceman need to go abroad during his vacation?


According to the Ministry of Defense, the decision to travel abroad is made on an individual basis. 

First of all, a serviceman must write and submit a request for leave to the commander of the military unit. Additionally, the report must include:

● dates of departure and return 

● city and address of stay

● the type of transport and the checkpoint through which the departure from Ukraine will be made.


Along with the report, the serviceman must provide documents that will confirm the purpose of the trip. Such documents include marriage and birth certificates of children, as well as certificates of temporary protection of family members abroad. In other words, the legal basis for traveling is a meeting with family members who have temporarily left Ukraine.

It should be noted that the law allows for additional days to be added to the vacation for traveling.


Based on the submitted documents, the commander of the military unit must decide whether to allow the serviceman to leave. If such leave is approved, the commander must issue an order granting the right to leave. In addition, the permission to leave must be indicated on the leave ticket.

In case of a refusal to leave, it is almost impossible to appeal the decision, as there are not many levers of influence in this situation.




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Documents required for military personnel to travel abroad to visit family


In order for representatives of the border guard services to release a serviceman from Ukraine, the following documents must be collected:

● A valid foreign passport;

● Military identity document (military ID card, officer ID card, etc.);

● Leave ticket, which must indicate the place of stay of the serviceman during the leave and the permission to leave from an authorized person;

● An extract from the order of the relevant authorized person who made the decision to grant the military leave and the right to travel.


Security issues when traveling abroad


One of the prerequisites for staying in some countries is the availability of health insurance. However, even if you are planning to travel to a country where insurance is not mandatory, an insurance policy will not only guarantee the safety of you and your family in the event of an accident or illness, but will also help protect your money. After all, thanks to insurance, you will be able to receive high-quality medical care without having to pay for it. And, as you know, treatment and hospitalization for foreigners in any country in the world is very expensive.


Therefore, before traveling abroad, we recommend that you take out reliable health insurance with a level of coverage that suits you. You can buy insurance online in a few clicks here. A ready-made insurance policy will be sent to your email in a few minutes.


Reasons for refusal to cross the border: why you may not be allowed to leave Ukraine


The two most common reasons for refusing to allow military personnel to leave Ukraine are:

● Existence of travel bans, in particular: court decisions, or unpaid fines or alimony;

● the serviceman has received permission to take a vacation, but the vacation ticket and order do not specify permission to travel abroad.


If a serviceman has received all the necessary permits and has no other travel restrictions, but is not allowed to leave the country, it is recommended to call the helpline at 0445276363 or 1598.


We remind you that a good foreign vacation for Ukrainians consists of several criteria: quality service, beautiful nature, a delicious buffet and the absence of citizens of the aggressor country. We told you where Ukrainians can spend a relaxing vacation without russians this year in our previous article.




Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




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