Immigration

The immigration process at Kiev’s airports (Boryspil and Zhulyany) is relatively fast and efficient. The slow queues and awkward questions of the past are no longer par for the course. Most officials speak a little English.

Visas for Ukraine

Information from this article was obtained from the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine website in July 2014. We update the rules as often as we can but would advise you to double check on the official website before making any travel plans.

We are a travel website and provide advice for tourists only. We do not provide information for those seeking long-term residence in Ukraine. The relevant rules are complicated and require the advice of a professional immigration consultant. Please do not ask questions about long-term residence in the comments section. They will not be approved or answered.

If you notice that any information has changed please let us know by leaving a comment at the end of this article.

Citizens of many countries no longer need a visa to enter Ukraine for short visits. Officially you are supposed to be able to provide proof of health insurance and evidence that you have the financial resources to support yourself throughout your stay. Practically, we’ve never been asked.

The current rules can be summarised as follows:

Citizens of EU countries – 90 days out of 180 days rule

Citizens of EU countries can enter Ukraine as many times as they like provided they don’t stay for more than 90 days in any 180 day period. This means EU citizens can:

  • Stay in Ukraine for 3 months but, if they do, will have wait another 3 months before being allowed back.
  • Stay alternate months. Many people with business and personal interests in Ukraine do this in order to avoid the red tape associated with obtaining a long-term visa.

Until fairly recently Ukrainian border officials didn’t check whether people were adhering to the 90/180 day rule. Effectively this meant that EU citizens (and others) could stay in Ukraine more or less permanently, just by exiting and re-entering the country every 90 days.

This situation is no longer the case. Immigration officials now make checks to see whether visitors have violated the 90 days within 180 days rule.

Other countries – 90 days out of 180 days rule

Citizens of the following countries are subject to the same visa regulations as EU citizens and can also stay for 90 days in any 180 day period:

  • Andorra, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, South Korea, San Marino, Switzerland, and the USA

No visa needed

Citizens of the following countries have no travel restrictions at all:

  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Monaco, Moldova, Russia (see comment in the table below), and Uzbekistan

Other rules

Citizens of countries such as Turkey, Bosnia, and Cuba have special rules (see the table below).

Citizens needing visas

Citizens of all other countries need to obtain a visa from their nearest Ukrainian embassy or consulate. This includes citizens of Australia and New Zealand.

Summary of Ukrainian Immigration and Visa Rules

The table below summarises the visa requirements for citizens of each of the 193 nations that are members of the United Nations. Data was taken from the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine website in July 2014.

Please note no official guidance is available for citizens of around 30 countries.

Additional visa rules are given for citizens of the Vatican (a UN observer state) and Hong Kong (a special administrative region of China).

Country
Visa Required
EU Member
Notes
AfghanistanYes
AlbaniaYes
AlgeriaYes
AndorraNo90 days/180 days
AngolaYes
Antigua and BarbudaYes
ArgentinaNo90 days/365 days
ArmeniaNo
AustraliaYes
AustriaNoYes90 days/180 days
AzerbaijanNo
BahamasYes
BahrainYes
BangladeshYes
BarbadosYes
BelarusNo
BelgiumNoYes90 days/180 days
BelizeYes
BeninYes
BhutanYes
BoliviaYes
Bosnia and HerzegovinaNo30 days/60 days
BotswanaYes
BrazilNo90 days/180 days
Brunei DarussalamNoUp to 30 days
BulgariaNoYes90 days/180 days
Burkina FasoYes
BurundiYes
Cabo VerdeNo Information
CambodiaYes
CameroonYes
CanadaNo90 days/180 days
Central African RepublicYes
ChadYes
ChileYes
ChinaYes
ColombiaYes
ComorosNo Information
CongoYes
Costa RicaYes
Côte d'IvoireYes
CroatiaNoYes90 days/180 days
CubaYesExcept for air and sea crew, and those on medical treatment trips
CyprusNoYes90 days/180 days
Czech RepublicNoYes90 days/180 days
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)Yes
Democratic Republic of the CongYes
DenmarkNoYes90 days/180 days
DjiboutiYes
DominicaYes
Dominican RepublicYes
EcuadorYes
EgyptYes
El SalvadorYes
Equatorial GuineaYes
EritreaYes
EstoniaNoYes90 days/180 days
EthiopiaYes
FijiNo Information
FinlandNoYes90 days/180 days
FranceNoYes90 days/180 days
GabonYes
GambiaYes
GeorgiaNo
GermanyNoYes90 days/180 days
GhanaYes
GreeceNoYes90 days/180 days
GrenadaYes
GuatemalaYes
GuineaYes
Guinea-BissauYes
GuyanaYes
HaitiYes
HondurasYes
Hong KongNoUp to 14 days
HungaryNoYes90 days/180 days
IcelandNo90 days/180 days
IndiaYes
IndonesiaYes
IranYes
IraqYes
IrelandNoYes90 days/180 days
IsraelNo90 days/180 days
ItalyNoYes90 days/180 days
JamaicaYes
JapanNo90 days/180 days
JordanYes
KazakhstanNo90 days/180 days
KenyaYes
KiribatiNo Information
KuwaitYes
KyrgyzstanNo90 days/180 days
Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos)Yes
LatviaNoYes90 days/180 days
LebanonYes
LesothoNo Information
LiberiaYes
LibyaYes
LiechtensteinNo90 days/180 days
LithuaniaNoYes90 days/180 days
LuxembourgNoYes90 days/180 days
MacedoniaNo90 days/180 days (until March 15 2015)
MadagascarYes
MalawiNo Information
MalaysiaYes
MaldivesNo Information
MaliYes
MaltaNoYes90 days/180 days
Marshall IslandsNo Information
MauritaniaYes
MauritiusYes
MexicoYes
Micronesia (Federated States of)No Information
MonacoNo90 days/180 days
MongoliaYesExcept for tourist and private trips but documents certifying the purpose of the trip must be provided
MontenegroNo90 days/180 days
MoroccoYes
MozambiqueNo Information
MyanmarNo Information
NamibiaNo Information
NauruNo Information
NepalYes
NetherlandsNoYes90 days/180 days
New ZealandYes
NicaraguaNo Information
NigerNo Information
NigeriaYes
NorwayNo90 days/180 days
OmanYes
PakistanYes
PalauNo Information
PanamaNo90 days/180 days
Papua New GuineaNo Information
ParaguayNo90 days/180 days
PeruYes
PhilippinesYes
PolandNoYes90 days/180 days
PortugalNoYes90 days/180 days
QatarYes
Republic of Korea (South Korea)No90 days/180 days
Republic of MoldovaNo
RomaniaNoYes90 days/180 days
Russian FederationNoTimatic (the database used by airlines) states that Russians are subject to the 90/180 days rule. There is also an article dated 7 April 2014 on the website of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine that states this rule has been introduced.
RwandaNo Information
Saint Kitts and NevisNo Information
Saint LuciaNo Information
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesNo Information
SamoaNo Information
San MarinoNo90 days/180 days
Sao Tome and PrincipeNo Information
Saudi ArabiaYes
SenegalNo Information
SerbiaNo30 days/60 days
SeychellesNo Information
Sierra LeoneYes
SingaporeYes
SlovakiaNoYes90 days/180 days
SloveniaNoYes90 days/180 days
Solomon IslandsNo Information
SomaliaNo Information
South AfricaYes
South SudanNo Information
SpainNoYes90 days/180 days
Sri LankaYes
SudanYes
SurinameNo Information
SwazilandNo Information
SwedenNoYes90 days/180 days
SwitzerlandNo90 days/180 days
Syrian Arab RepublicYes
TajikistanNo Information
ThailandYes
Timor-LesteNo Information
TogoNo Information
TongaNo Information
Trinidad and TobagoNo Information
TunisiaYes
TurkeyNoUp to 60 days
TurkmenistanYes
TuvaluNo Information
UgandaYes
UkraineN/A
United Arab EmiratesYes
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandNoYes90 days/180 days
United Republic of TanzaniaYes
United States of AmericaNo90 days/180 days
UruguayYes
UzbekistanNo
VanuatuYes
VaticanNo90 days/180 days
VenezuelaYes
VietnamYes
YemenYes
ZambiaYes
ZimbabweYes

Passengers queing at Boryspil International Airport

Comments and Additional Information

  1. Igor says

    If the rules of staying in Ukraine are 180 days total, why someone has to go to the Moldavian border and give bribes? If the rules are “180 DAYS”, why I can’t, after 90 days, go through the Moldavian border (or any other border for that matter), do some shopping in Moldova, and then cross the border back into Ukraine and stay another 90 days. We are talking 180 days total, are we not? So 90 days are not an issue if you leave the Ukraine. So why should a border guard care why and when I am going to use another 90 days? Could you confirm 180 days and if so why in the world I should worry? After 90 days I can travel to see Moscow for a few days and safely and confidently cross the border into Ukraine again to get my magic number 180? Please clarify. Thanks.

    • Editor says

      The rules are not 180 days in total. Citizens of most countries are allowed 90 days in any 180 day period. So if you’ve stayed in Ukraine for 90 days you need to leave and not return for another 90 days.

  2. Damian B says

    I am a American traveling to Ukraine and I will be staying in Kiev for 5 days. I know I won’t need a Visa, but am I required to purchase travel insurance for the duration of my stay? Any help on this matter would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Editor says

      The US Department of State advises that under Ukrainian law all foreign visitors to the country must have valid health insurance. I’ve been unable to find the same information on any Ukrainian government website but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

      I’d say from experience that the law exists but hasn’t been published on a Ukrainian government website.

      I don’t believe they routinely check health insurance coverage at the border/airport. I’ve never been asked and I’ve never heard of anybody else being asked. I suppose if they want to refuse you entry for some reason it could be one of the rules they pull out of the bag. There are also rules that travellers need to show proof of sufficient funding. Again, I’ve never heard of these actually being enforced.

      For what it is worth though, I’d recommend you purchase travel insurance for your trip to Ukraine. You won’t get good treatment in Ukrainian hospitals and in theory would be asked to pay before receiving care. Travel insurance for 5 days in Ukraine will cost you next to nothing.

  3. BALWANT SINGH says

    I have valid visa for Ukraine but my immigration card is not updated. What would be the impact while visiting Ukraine? Can I visit the country without an immigration card?

    • Editor says

      What do you mean by immigration card? What country are you from? You need a passport and the possibly a visa (depending on where you are from).

  4. JV says

    I’m a British citizen and am approaching my limit of 90 days in Ukraine. I’ve been told I can go to the border with Moldova and get a new stamp that will enable me to stay longer if I give them a gift. I love it in Kiev and want to stay. Do you think I can bribe them?

    • Editor says

      I can’t really comment whether a bribe will be accepted. You certainly won’t be allowed back into the country legally. You may as you say be able to bribe the particular guard you will see at the Moldovan border. However, when you eventually leave Ukraine you’re unlikely to see the same guard again, even if you exit at Moldova (which I suspect you won’t).

      They are definitely checking stamps now to see that people aren’t extending their stay above the limits. If you love Ukraine so much I’d just stay within the laws and do something else for a few months. It’s not worth getting banned for.

  5. James T says

    What is passport control like? Are they corrupt?

    • Editor says

      I’ve been through passport control at Boryspil perhaps over 100 times. I’ve never had a problem. They’re very quick. I can’t even recall even being asked a question. It’s nothing to worry about. You won’t be asked to pay a bribe to enter the country.

      I can’t speak about entering by land or via another airport, but I’ve not heard any complaints.

      I think there may be a certain level of corruption at borders but I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s only a problem for those importing goods on a commercial basis.

  6. Lost Canadian says

    I have had numerous extended trips to Ukraine. I find it more civilized than North America where I was born and raised. I am currently working on moving and remaining there. Why? Proper health care, great society, everyone makes you feel at home, it is a comfortable society. The people have to work hard to survive but they enjoy their time off more and enjoy life more than over here.
    Never had any trouble entering and only 1 time leaving did they want to check my bags. They were very open honest and even apologetic about having to do so.

  7. K.B. says

    I’ve been told by grandparents that somewhere down in my heritage I have mostly Hungarian and Ukrainian heritage. Man do I want to visit there and see the places and people. I’ve just started to re-learn the language and hope one day to be able to move there, but I couldn’t move there for work so maybe move to the edge of the Ukraine so I could work in neighbouring area?

  8. R Evans says

    I visited the Ukraine for the first time and I felt at home. The people were so friendly and a pleasure to be around. I made many friends. This is one country I would love to live in.

  9. Trav says

    @Brian I agree with you, Brian. I loved it there. If I made the same money there that I did here, we could both live like kings. It amazed me how affordable everything is. (except housing). 39¢ for the local brand of ketchup, compared to $6 for the w

  10. Brian says

    I visited Ukraine 3 times in 2010 and stayed 2 or 3 weeks each trip. Bought insurance each time and was never asked to show it. Never had a problem at customs each way at all. I love it there, summer or winter. The people are from another place and time. They have a certain quality we have forgotten here in the West. Wish I could live there and make the same money!

  11. Trav says

    I had more trouble leaving the country than I did entering. When I landed in Kiev, there was a desk where the checked your passport, and then there was a hallway with a white line, that basically said "these items are forbidden, if you bring them into the country, you’re in trouble". Nobody searched my bags and nobody even looked at me. I think there were maybe 3 customs officials standing watching people walk by and they never stopped anyone from my entire flight, and it was a fully loaded 767.
    Upon leaving, they x-rayed all my bags, but even still, it was nothing compared to entering the US. When I went through US customs, they opened my bags, and swabbed for drugs and explosives.

  12. David Mann says

    Nov 2009 – This does indeed seem to be the present situation. I even went to my local OVIR office and they said that they couldn’t care less how long EU nationals stay provided they obey the law and don’t work.

  13. M. Beddie says

    I have been to Ukraine 3 times in the last 7 months and found no problems with immigration or customs. Same when leaving.

  14. B Jones says

    As a regular traveller to the Ukraine I have had no problems at all. It is a lot less officious than the UK.

  15. Editor says

    In 2007 the government restricted non-visa stays for residents of the European Union etc. to 90 days within a 180 day period. However the Kyiv Post reported on 13/3/08 that this rule is not being enforced and foreign ‘residents’ of Kiev nearing the 90-day limit are leaving Ukraine for a few hours and re-entering with no problems (aka border runs).

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