Ukraine Entry Restrictions

ukraine entry restrictions

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.

There are also certain regions of Ukraine that require special permission to visit.

Due to the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), Ukraine has tightened its entry restrictions, affecting travel to the whole country for all foreign travelers.

Coronavirus Travel Restrictions for Ukraine

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, was first identified in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. It has since spread to many countries around the world, including Ukraine.

On March 15, Ukraine introduced a travel ban for all foreign nationals apart from those who are official residents of the country. The National Security Council announced that the borders will remain closed to overseas travelers until March 29 at the earliest.

All foreign nationals with either temporary or permanent residency permits are excluded from ths travel ban and will still be allowed to return home to Ukraine.

The ban also exempts international cargo operations, meaning that freight and emergency supplies will be allowed to cross the Ukrainian border. However, the drivers themselves may be prohibited from entering.

Ukrainian citizens are permitted to return to Ukraine during the travel ban. Those returning from heavily affected areas will have to be monitored to ensure that they are not infected with coronavirus.

All commercial air travel to and from Ukraine has been suspended as of March 17, meaning that Ukrainian nationals and foreign residents who wish to return to the country must do so by other means.

What Other Measures Has Ukraine Taken Against Coronavirus?

Ukraine has reported over 150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far. It has taken 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.

Ukrain recently ordered all businesses to close temporarily, with the exception of pharmacies, banks, and supermarkets.

Events and gatherings with over 200 people have been 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 have 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
  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Belarus
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Dominica
  • Ecuador
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Paraguay
  • Panama
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • 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:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Uzbekistan

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:

  • Crimea
  • Donetsk
  • Luhansk

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.