A number of travel restrictions exist for Ukraine. Travelers of certain nationalities are not permitted to enter the country without the correct documentation, i.e. a visa. The type of visa required depends on the nationality of the traveler.
There are also certain regions of Ukraine that require special permission to visit.
Due to the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), Ukraine tightened, for a time, its entry restrictions, affecting travel to the whole country for all foreign travelers. The travel ban has now been lifted.
Coronavirus Travel Restrictions for Ukraine
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, was first identified at the end of 2019. It has since spread to many countries around the world, including Ukraine. It has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
On March 15, Ukraine introduced a travel ban for all foreign nationals apart from those who are official residents of the country.
Foreign citizens were barred from entering Ukraine, however, Ukrainian citizens were permitted to return to the country.
The travel ban was extended until September 28, 2020 and is therefore no longer valid. Foreigners can now follow the same rule as Ukrainians when crossing the border.
Individuals entering Ukraine from an area with a “significant spread” of COVID-19 (any nation that has had higher numbers of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days than Ukraine itself) must:
- Self-quarantine for 14 days at an agreed location or take a PCR test upon arrival
- Install the “Dii Vdoma” app
- Hold a valid insurance policy
It is important that international travelers stay up to date with the latest developments in case new restrictions are enforced in the future.
What other Measures Has Ukraine Taken Against Coronavirus?
Ukraine took a number of steps to reduce the spread of the virus in addition to its travel restrictions. Some of these may affect those already in the country.
In the early days of the pandemic, the country ordered all businesses to close temporarily, with the exception of pharmacies, banks, and supermarkets.
Events and gatherings with over 200 people were banned, with the exception of parliamentary meetings and other events deemed to be of “state necessity”. Some sporting events continue, but with no spectators.
Schools and other educational institutions have been closed since March 12.
Producers of personal protection equipment in Ukraine pledged to provide items such as masks and hand sanitizer to the public.
General Ukraine Travel Restrictions
There are certain restrictions on visiting Ukraine at any time. Under normal circumstances, nationals of many countries need a visa to enter the country.
Various nationalities need to apply for an electronic visa or eVisa for Ukraine. This type of visa can be obtained online, without needing to go to a Ukrainian embassy as with a traditional consular visa.
The online Ukraine visa application form is streamlined and simple, usually taking a matter of minutes to complete.
Check who requires an online visa for Ukraine to see if you are eligible.
Travelers from certain other countries, including the majority of African states, India, Pakistan, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea, among others, are not eligible for the Ukraine eVisa. Nationals of these sovereign states must apply for a consular visa in person at an embassy.
A number of nationalities enjoy visa exemption for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, including those from the following sovereign states:
- All European Union member states
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Hong Kong
- North Macedonia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
The only restriction these travelers face is that for stays of longer than 90 days or to live and/or work in Ukraine, they will need to obtain the relevant visa and permits from a Ukrainian embassy.
Only citizens of 5 countries enjoy unrestricted access to Ukraine:
Learn more about the different types of Ukraine tourist visas.
Travel Advisory for Ukraine
It is generally advised to avoid traveling to 3 parts of Ukraine:
These 3 areas are not under the control of Ukrainian authorities. Crimea is currently occupied by Russia, while Donetsk and Luhansk are controlled by separatist factions backed by Russia. The volatile situation mean that there is sometimes conflict in the regions.
Ukraine maintains border controls and passport checks with these regions.
While it is not completely forbidden for foreign nationals to visit Donetsk and Luhansk, they must present their passports upon entering the regions and explain the purpose of their visit.
If a foreign national enters these regions from Russia, this would be considered illegal by Ukraine and the traveler would not be permitted to visit any other part of the country.
Access to Crimea is heavily restricted. Foreign nationals can only enter Crimea from mainland Ukraine with special permission, which is rarely granted.
Although it is possible to enter Crimea from Russia, this would be a breach of Ukrainian law. Foreign nationals discovered to have visited Crimea by crossing the border from Russia may be punished by Ukrainian authorities with an entry ban or even imprisonment.
Before visiting these regions, it is a good idea to check Ukraine’s safety and travel advice.