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08 Jul. 2023

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Will a young man under 18 be allowed to go abroad to study if he comes to Ukraine for a vacation?

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Will a young man under 18 be allowed to go abroad to study if he comes to Ukraine for a vacation?

Martial law in Ukraine restricts the right to travel for men of military age (18 to 60 years old). Find out under what circumstances a minor studying abroad may not be allowed to leave Ukraine

Issuing a Green Card policy for traveling abroad by car
Issuing a Green Card policy for traveling abroad by car
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Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave Ukraine during martial law, except certain categories of citizens. In addition, the country has introduced several programs that allow men to temporarily leave the country, in particular, military personnel whose families are abroad. For more details on the conditions and necessary documents for a serviceman to leave Ukraine during his leave, please see here

At the same time, there are no restrictions on travel for underage students studying abroad, but many boys are afraid to go on vacation to Ukraine because they may not be allowed to leave the country again. Let's find out under what circumstances a minor may not be allowed to cross the border to study.


Can students from foreign universities leave Ukraine to study?


When assessing the prospects for a minor student's repeated departure to study abroad, both theoretical and practical aspects should be taken into account. 

The law "On Military Duty and Military Service" covers citizens from 18 to 60 years of age, but according to the current legislation, they are divided into the following categories


● Conscripts - citizens of Ukraine who are assigned to certain recruiting stations;

● persons liable for military service - persons in the reserve who may be called up to man battalions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or other military formations in peacetime and wartime, as well as to perform other work related to the defense of the state;

● reservists - persons who are in the military reserve and are intended for manning military formations both in peacetime and during martial law.


Thus, reservists and persons liable for military service who are in the reserve and not booked for the period of mobilization may be called up for military service during mobilization. In other words, conscripts do not fall under the category of citizens who may be called up for military service during mobilization measures.


At the same time, the procedure for traveling abroad is regulated by the CMU Resolution "On Approval of the Rules for Crossing the State Border by Citizens of Ukraine", which provides that during the period of introduction of a state of emergency or martial law in Ukraine, other persons liable for military service who are not subject to call-up for military service during mobilization have the right to cross the border.


Thus, in theory, underage students who have been studying at foreign universities or schools for a year or more can freely leave Ukraine. But in practice, the Border Guard Service may not let them go abroad on certain grounds.


Why an underage student may not be allowed to leave Ukraine: reasons


Border crossing issues are also regulated by the provisions of the Law on Border Control. Thus, an underage student may be refused to leave Ukraine due to the lack of documents required to travel to the country of destination or transit.


Ukrainian legislation defines several categories of persons over the age of 16 who have the right to leave the country during martial law. The documents confirming that a person belongs to such a category differ depending on the specific legal relationship (e.g., confirmation that they are not liable for military service or have the right to deferment of conscription during mobilization). Therefore, at the border, they may deny the right to leave without explaining which document is missing.




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Is a temporary residence permit the basis for a student to travel abroad?


A temporary residence permit in another country, such as a "residence card" in Poland, is not a sufficient basis for crossing the border during martial law in Ukraine. In other words, a minor over 16 years of age who has a temporary residence permit in another country must still provide a document confirming that he belongs to the categories of persons entitled to cross the state border during martial law.


Will an adult student of a foreign university be allowed to study in Ukraine?


Male students over the age of 18 studying at foreign universities are not subject to conscription during martial law, but are not entitled to travel abroad. That is, students of vocational (vocational-technical), professional, pre-university and higher education, trainee assistants, postgraduate students and doctoral students enrolled in full-time or dual form of education will not be allowed to go abroad during martial law.


We remind you, during martial law, children may leave Ukraine accompanied by third parties. However, the State Border Guard Service clarifies that some of the rules for leaving have changed. In our previous article, we explained what documents are required for minors to travel abroad under the new rules.




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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