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26 Okt. 2023


Joining the International Legion of Ukraine: the most common problems and reasons for rejection

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Joining the International Legion of Ukraine: the most common problems and reasons for rejection

Every month a large number of foreigners apply to join the Foreign Legion. However, despite the fact that the application procedure has been simplified, foreigners continue to face a number of problems. Find out how to avoid common difficulties and what are the most common reasons for rejection

Take care of insurance for safe entry to Ukraine
Take care of insurance for safe entry to Ukraine

At the beginning of the full-scale invasion of russia, a large number of foreign citizens expressed a desire to join the Ukrainian resistance and defend Ukraine and international security together with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

Today, the procedure for applying to join the International Legion has been simplified, so that foreigners no longer need to visit embassies and obtain permits. However, there are still a number of difficulties that foreign nationals continue to face when applying for membership and coming to Ukraine.

To talk about the most common problems and ways to solve them, Visit Ukraine spoke with Oleksandr Shahuri, an officer of the Foreigners Coordination Department at the Land Forces Command Headquarters. 

The most common reasons for rejections and problems faced by foreigners in Ukraine are described in the article below.

Read more about the updated rules for joining the International Legion and how to apply here.

What countries do foreigners from most often apply to the International Legion?

According to Oleksandr Shaguri, this information is "restricted" and could not be disclosed even if desired. However, the officer adds that we "can only say that there are three big continents: North America, South America and Europe, are represented evenly and ahead of other continents".

At the same time, foreigners' requests come mainly from Western Ukraine. Mr. Shaguri explains this by the fact that Ukrainian skies are closed to civilian aircraft and "this is the region where they come from in the absence of air travel." 

At the same time, the International Legion's website notes that there is no need to travel to Ukraine to apply for membership and that it is better to do so online, from the comfort of your home. Moreover, foreigners are warned that the shortest and most correct way to apply is through an online application, as a personal application does not provide advantages for the applicant and does not reduce the time for consideration of the application, but only complicates the work of local recruitment centers. 

The most common reasons for rejections when joining the International Legion

According to Oleksandr Shahuri, the first most common reason for refusal to join the International Legion is the inability of foreigners to obtain a visa, in particular a transit visa through Europe. 

Transit visa through Europe: what is the difficulty and how to obtain it?

As a rule, in order to obtain a transit visa through Europe, a foreigner must provide sufficient evidence to confirm his or her intention to continue traveling to another country (for example, valid tickets for further travel). 

The foreigner must also submit

– a valid foreign passport;

– a completed and signed application form;

– photographs;

– insurance policy.

In some cases, a foreigner must submit a bank account statement or a salary certificate.

However, the difficulty lies in the fact that such a visa is granted only for 24 hours, meaning that the foreigner must reach Ukraine within a certain period of time, which is often impossible due to complications in the form of the sky being closed for flights over Ukraine. 

The solution to this issue may be a flight to one of the airports located near the Ukrainian border. After landing in the EU, the foreigner will be able to quickly transfer to a land-based mode of transportation (train or bus) and continue their journey to Ukraine.

Please note! The Visit Ukraine website offers the most convenient routes to Ukraine from many countries around the world. If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get to Ukraine, choose the country you need and follow the link.

How to get to Ukraine from:

USA Canada Poland Germany Slovakia Hungary Italy France NetherlandsCzech RepublicLithuania SwitzerlandSweden Turkey Austria Denmark PortugalGeorgia Bulgaria IndiaGreeceCroatia Estonia Finland Latvia Belgium Slovenia Moldova Ireland Norway Spain russia ●  United Kingdom Romania Armenia

You can also order a legal consultation on migration and entry to Ukraine on the Visit Ukraine website. Our team consists of qualified specialists who can answer all questions related to crossing the Ukrainian border and help you with obtaining a visa, residence permit or other documents required to enter and stay in Ukraine.

You can order a one-time consultation or full legal support by following the link.

Read more about how to obtain a visa to Ukraine here.

Visit Ukraine on social media: Telegram | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | TikTok

Can I join the Foreign Legion without knowing Ukrainian?

According to an officer of the International Legion, the second most popular reason for rejection is lack of knowledge of English. That is, it is not necessary to speak Ukrainian to join the ranks of the Armed Forces, but knowledge of English is mandatory for foreigners who want to fight in Ukraine against the russian invaders.

In addition, according to Mr. Shaguri, the number of officers in Ukraine who speak Spanish, French or Portuguese is very limited, and therefore the International Legion cannot recruit all those who wish to represent these language regions. 

At the same time, lack of knowledge of Ukrainian is a common problem faced by foreigners in Ukraine. However, it is not primarily related to joining the International Legion, but rather to everyday issues that have to be solved after arrival in Ukraine.

What problems do foreigners most often face in Ukraine?

According to a representative of the Foreign Legion, in addition to not knowing the Ukrainian language, foreigners face difficulties in Ukraine due to the lack of duplication of many services and information, at least in English, and bureaucracy. 

In other words, foreigners in Ukraine often cannot receive services that are quite familiar to Ukrainians, in part because of the lack of translation. For example, a Ukrainian does not think about how to rent a house or pay for utilities, but for a foreigner this is often a big problem that should ultimately be solved at the national level.

However, foreigners can get answers to the most common questions on the Visit Ukraine portal:

– Diia application for foreigners: how to get an e-permit, apply for e-residency, and other services.

– How a foreigner can get a residence permit in Ukraine.

– How a foreigner can rent an apartment or a car in Ukraine.

– How a foreigner can get a driver's license in Ukraine.

– How a foreigner can obtain a qualified electronic signature (QES) in Ukraine.

– How a foreigner can obtain or renew an identification code in Ukraine.

– How a foreigner can get married in Ukraine.

– How foreigners can get a job in Ukraine.

– How a foreigner can enter Ukrainian universities.

If you have any questions about the rules of entry to Ukraine or the necessary documents to cross the Ukrainian border, please contact our hotline from 08:00 to 02:00 (Kyiv time).

We remind you! Ukrainians, foreign citizens and stateless persons may freely enter the territory of Ukraine during the war, but subject to certain restrictions. Read all about the current rules for crossing the Ukrainian border and the documents required for this in our previous article.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.

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