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Entry to Ukraine for foreigners in 2023: answers to the most frequently asked questions from Visit Ukraine lawyers

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Entry to Ukraine for foreigners in 2023: answers to the most frequently asked questions from Visit Ukraine lawyers

When planning a trip to Ukraine, foreigners face a lot of questions about the rules of entry and stay in the country. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions from our team of migration lawyers

Get legal advice on migration to Ukraine from a qualified lawyer
Get legal advice on migration to Ukraine from a qualified lawyer
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Despite the declared martial law and a considerable number of risks associated with russia's armed aggression, many foreign citizens come to Ukraine both for work and tourist purposes. In this regard, the Visit Ukraine hotline receives many inquiries from foreigners who have encountered certain problems when planning a trip.

To make your trip easier and more convenient, our team of migration lawyers has prepared answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the rules of entry and stay in Ukraine during martial law.


Is it possible to enter Ukraine during the war?


Yes. During the war, Ukraine's borders remain open. Air traffic in Ukraine is suspended, but entry and exit of foreign citizens by land is allowed. Checkpoints on the borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova were opened. 

Meanwhile, the checkpoints with russia, Belarus and Transnistria are closed. The rules for crossing the border are unchanged for foreigners, except for citizens of the aggressor country


How can I check if I have a ban on entering Ukraine? What can I do to challenge the ban?


The most reliable way to check the ban on entry to Ukraine is to send a corresponding appeal (request) to the Main Center for Processing Special Information of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. The application (request) must be submitted in writing with the following details: surname, name and patronymic, place of residence (place of stay), details of the document certifying the person submitting the application (request) (for an individual applicant), and in case of an application by a representative of an individual - with the written consent of the person in respect of whom the information is requested. The procedure for filing an application (request) regarding a decision on entry ban that may be applied to a foreigner or stateless person is regulated by the Law of Ukraine "On Personal Data Protection".

Requests on the above issues must be submitted in person and/or sent in writing (sealed in an envelope) to the address of the Main Center for Processing Special Information of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.

A ban on entry to Ukraine may be appealed within 30 days from the date when the person learned or could have learned of such a decision. The appeal may be filed either through the regional office of the State Border Guard Service or through the court. The decision is valid and enforceable while the appeal is pending. After the decision to lift the ban on entry to Ukraine comes into force, the person will be able to cross the border of Ukraine.


Do I need a PCR to travel to Ukraine?


A PCR test and proof of vaccination are no longer required to enter Ukraine. This is due to the fact that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a resolution that canceled the covid restrictions and the state of emergency in the country. Since July 1, 2023, all covid restrictions and quarantine measures have been canceled on the territory of Ukraine.


Do I need a visa to enter Ukraine?


The first step for foreigners who wish to visit Ukraine and are not citizens of visa-free countries is to obtain an entry visa.

Entry visas to Ukraine are issued by Ukrainian consulates located abroad. Starting from 2019, citizens of certain countries can obtain an E-visa to travel to Ukraine under a simplified procedure, which is valid for 30 days and is intended for one entry only.

Currently, Ukraine has a visa regime with 119 countries. 

You can find a list of countries with which Ukraine currently has a visa-free regime on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in the tab "Regime of entry of foreigners to Ukraine by state".


How do I confirm the purpose of my trip?


To confirm the purpose of the trip, a foreigner must provide documents confirming the purpose of staying in Ukraine. This may include: a travel reservation, a return ticket, documents confirming the presence of relatives in Ukraine, study, internship or employment in Ukraine, etc.



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For how long do I need to take out an insurance policy?


To obtain a visa to Ukraine and a temporary or permanent residence permit, health insurance for foreigners is a mandatory document. The policy is also recommended for foreign citizens entering Ukraine for tourist purposes. Since Ukraine is currently engaged in hostilities and there is a daily danger of missile attacks, it is a must for a foreigner to obtain an insurance policy. The insurance policy is issued for the entire period of stay in Ukraine. 


How many days can I stay in Ukraine without a residence permit?


A visa-free regime allows a foreigner to stay in Ukraine for up to 90 days within 180 days. With a visa, it is the visa that determines the number of days of stay in Ukraine. Usually, the period is also 90 days, unless otherwise provided by international agreements.  In other words, a foreigner or stateless person may temporarily stay in Ukraine for the period of stay allowed by the visa, but not more than until the last day of the visa's validity.


What is the difference between a temporary and a permanent residence permit, and who needs to apply for it? 


There are two types of residence permits in Ukraine: permanent and temporary.

A temporary and permanent residence permit is an official confirmation of the right to reside in Ukraine and is a certificate for a foreigner. The main difference between the documents is the validity period of these documents.

Thus, a temporary residence permit is valid for 6 months to 3 years. A permanent residence permit in Ukraine is valid for 10 years.

Another difference between the permits is that, having obtained a permanent residence permit in Ukraine, a person can officially find a job. Whereas a temporary residence permit in Ukraine does not give the right to work without obtaining a work permit. The grounds for obtaining these documents also differ from each other.

A foreigner should pay attention to the categories of persons who are eligible for a permanent or temporary residence permit. The procedure and grounds for obtaining a temporary or permanent residence permit are regulated by the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons", as well as other regulatory legal acts.


Is it possible to obtain Ukrainian citizenship now and where to apply?


In accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine", a foreigner or a stateless person may be admitted to Ukrainian citizenship upon their application, however, there are mandatory conditions that a foreigner must have to obtain citizenship, namely

— recognition of and compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine;

— submission of a declaration on the absence of foreign citizenship (for stateless persons) or an obligation to terminate foreign citizenship (for foreigners);

— continuous legal residence in Ukraine for the last five years.

— obtaining an immigration permit;

— knowledge of the state language or its understanding to the extent sufficient for communication.

— availability of legal sources of subsistence. 


The procedure for applying for Ukrainian citizenship is as follows:

1. Collect the necessary documents;

2. Apply to the territorial unit of the SMS of Ukraine at the place of residence;

3. Submit an application together with the necessary documents;

4. Obtain a certificate of registration of a person as a citizen of Ukraine (which is the basis for issuing a passport of a citizen of Ukraine) at the territorial body or subdivision of the SMS of Ukraine at the place of residence.

5. The result of obtaining citizenship is the issuance of a Decree of the President of Ukraine on admission to Ukrainian citizenship.


However, there are grounds on which a person will not be able to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. A person who:

— committed a crime against humanity or genocide;

— has been sentenced in Ukraine to imprisonment for a grave or particularly grave crime (until the conviction is expunged or removed), taking into account the level of threat to the national security of the state

— has committed an act on the territory of another state that is recognized by the legislation of Ukraine as a serious or especially serious crime.

— failure to fulfill the conditions for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship.

— non-compliance of the submitted documents with the requirements of the legislation of Ukraine.


Migration lawyer: who may need the services of a specialist?


Visit Ukraine's legal department works to help foreigners who are planning a trip or move to Ukraine. A team of highly qualified specialists is ready to advise foreigners on the rules of entry into Ukraine, border crossing procedures, document collection, visa issuance, submission of applications to Ukrainian state authorities, analysis of Ukrainian legislation and other migration issues.


In addition, with a lawyer in Ukraine you: 

- Avoid the risks of missing any of the mandatory requirements;

- reinsure yourself in advance, because in case of refusal from state authorities it will be more difficult to obtain authorization in the future; 

- significantly speed up communication with state authorities and submission of documents.


To order a legal consultation, please follow the link.


We remind you! Ukraine has updated the rules for joining the International Legion. Read about the current requirements for candidates and how to apply for membership under the simplified procedure in our previous article.


Photo: Depositphotos




You may be interested in:


Visit Ukraine Donation - make a good deed and an important contribution to the Victory of Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Tours - the largest online database of tours to Ukraine for every taste;

Visit Ukraine Merch - choose patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery;

Visit Ukraine News - get the latest news and updates in our Telegram channel;

Cooperation - cooperation and advertising integrations with Visit Ukraine and Visit World projects.




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