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Ukraine
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Last Updated: April 28, 2017

Embassy Messages

Kyiv

 

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kyiv

4 A.I. Sikorsky St. (formerly Tankova)
04112 Kyiv, Ukraine

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Must be valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays less than 90 days within a 180-day period

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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Anything over €10,000 or foreign currency equivalent must be declared in writing

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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Same as restrictions for entry

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U.S. Embassy Kyiv

4 A.I. Sikorsky St. (formerly Tankova)

04112 Kyiv, Ukraine

Telephone: +38 (044) 521-5566

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +38 (044) 521-5000

Fax: +38 (044) 521-5544

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ukraine for information on U.S. - Ukraine relations.

  • You do not need a visa to enter Ukraine for visits of up to 90 days in any 180 day period, but must be able to provide proof of valid health insurance and sufficient funds for the duration of your stay.
  • No vaccinations are required for entry, but you must be up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations.
  • A visa and residency permit is required for stays over 90 days. You must receive the visa in advance at a Ukrainian embassy or consulate. You cannot get a Ukrainian visa at the airport or at the border. For information regarding visa requirements and to find the nearest Ukrainian embassy or consulate, visit the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S.
  • You must apply with the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMS) for a residency permit within 45 days from your entry date.  Once you have a residency permit you can reside in Ukraine for as long as it remains valid.  More information is available at the SMS website (Ukrainian language only).

Crimea: The Crimean Peninsula remains part of Ukraine despite Russia’s purported annexation and occupation.  Follow the guidance in our Travel Warning for Ukraine and defer all travel to Crimea.  If you choose to travel to Crimea, you should be aware:

  • The U.S. Embassy has severely restricted the travel of U.S. government personnel to Crimea. 
  • The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including responding to emergencies to U.S. citizens, is extremely limited.
  • Time spent in Crimea counts against the 90 days allowed in Ukraine without a visa. 
  • You may only enter Crimea from mainland Ukraine.
  • Entrance into Crimea by air or sea is illegal and you will be denied entry into mainland Ukraine and banned from Ukraine for five years.  

Eastern Ukraine - nongovernment-controlled territory: Russian-backed separatists continue to control areas in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts - areas known as the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) zone in Ukraine - where violent clashes have occurred.  Follow the guidance in our Travel Warning for Ukraine and defer all travel to these regions.  If you choose to travel to these areas, know:

  • The U.S. Embassy restricts the travel of U.S. government personnel in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and prohibits any travel into ATO territory. 
  • The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including responding to emergencies to U.S. citizens, is extremely limited.
  • U.S. citizens who enter Ukraine through ATO territory along the Russian border will not be allowed to pass through government checkpoints to government of Ukraine-controlled territory.
  • Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU)  procedures at entry/exit points requires that permit applications be submitted and approved electronically prior to travel in the ATO zone. For a comprehensive list of the requirements for a permit to enter the ATO zone, please visit the official SBU website.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions:  The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ukraine.  However, anyone with tuberculosis cannot get permanent residency in Ukraine. There are no waivers or exceptions to this rule.

Information about customs rules can be found on the Ukrainian State Customs Service website and on our Customs Information page.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Terrorism Activity: Credible information indicates that terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

Small-scale bombings continue to occur throughout Ukraine. While most attacks are at night and appear intended to cause property damage and incite fear, some attacks were fatal, targeting populated areas during daylight hours

Please read the Travel Warning for Ukraine before traveling.

  • You should carry travel documents with you at all times.
  • You leave behind U.S. support systems, emergency service capabilities, and medical facilities when abroad.
  • We will do what we can to help US citizens overseas, but there are legal and practical limitations. See our general travel tips.
  • Enroll in STEP to receive safety and security announcements while you are abroad.

Potential for civil disturbances: Large-scale protests have occurred from time to time in cities throughout Ukraine.

  • You should avoid large gatherings or protests and adjacent areas.
  • In the past, some protests have turned violent and resulted in deaths and injuries. 
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news media.
  • The Embassy will post information about sizeable planned protests on the Embassy website.

Crimea: The Russian Federation is likely to take further actions in Crimea as part of its illegal occupation of this part of Ukraine.  The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize this purported annexation.

  • Extensive Russian Federation military presence is prevalent in Crimea.
  • There are continuing abuses against the local population by the de facto authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.
  • You should be aware the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services is extremely limited to U.S. citizens who enter or reside on the Crimean peninsula.

Eastern Ukraine: The Department of State also warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts where Russian-backed separatists continue to control some areas.

  • U.S. citizens have been specifically targeted by gunmen representing the self-proclaimed authorities and threatened, detained, or kidnapped for hours or days.
  • The Government of Ukraine has been unable to provide some government services in many parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
  • Shortages of water, power, medicine, and food supplies have also been reported in separatist-controlled territory, and widespread disorder and looting has been confirmed in these areas. You should be aware the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens is extremely limited in these regions.

Crime: Tourists may be targeted due to perceived wealth.  The police are poorly paid and historically known for corruption and soliciting bribes.  The situation has vastly improved after the implementation of a new professional and well-trained police force (Patrol Police), but corruption remains an issue.

  • Criminal activity, including burglaries, robberies, and street crimes, including muggings and pickpocketing, is increasingly a problem in Ukraine.
  • Law enforcement and emergency officials rarely speak English, and interpreters are not readily available.
  • Muggings, attacks, armed robberies, harassment, or the drugging of unsuspecting victims at nightspots (who are then robbed and/or assaulted) have been reported.
  • Cases of assaults in apartment building corridors, elevators, and stairwells, as well as armed break-ins and crimes involving firearms, have also been reported.
  • Many incidents of criminal activity occur on the public transport system, including the metro. When riding on public transportation or moving in crowded areas, keep your purse, bag, or backpack tightly under your arm and/or in front of your body. 

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victim of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy. Report crimes to the local police at 102 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +38 (044) 521-5566 during business hours, or +38 (044) 521-5000 after hours. 

Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find temporary accommodation and arrange flights home in cases of destitution
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

The general quality of healthcare in Ukraine does not meet American standards, and, as a result, many applied therapies are ineffective.

  • Fees at government clinics and hospitals are lower than those at private clinics, but due to low wages many doctors request bribes or additional payments before treating patients.
  • Private physicians and private hospitals charge fees for services, and some do not accept local health insurance. 
  • Public facilities only accept cash payments, while most private clinics accept credit cards.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medication: If traveling with prescription medication, check with the State Register of Medicines (Ukrainian language only) to ensure the medication is legal to bring into the country, as many medications that are legal in the United States are prohibited in Ukraine.  Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevalent in Ukraine:

  • Influenza
  • Tuberculosis

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

  • If you are arrested, you can face extended periods, even years, in pre-trial detention.
  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs are severe, and if convicted you can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Furthermore, some violations of laws in Ukraine are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrests:  When in a foreign country, you are subject to all that country’s laws, even if they seem harsh by U.S. standards.  If you violate local laws, the U.S. government cannot get you out of jail, and your U.S. passport will not protect you. .  

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our webpage for further information.

  • Ukrainian law permits police to stop you for any reason and check your identification documents.
  • You are required to carry your passport at all times, police may check to verify your legal presence in Ukraine.
  • Police are permitted to detain you for up to 72 hours without formal charges.
  • You should have the numbers for the U.S. Embassy handy. If stopped by the police for an unclear reason, call the U.S. Embassy at +38 (044) 521 5566 within working hours or +38 (044) 521 5000 after hours.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report and the following webpages for details

LGBTI Travelers: Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a problem in Ukraine, as LGBT individuals have been the target of harassment, threats, and acts of violence.  For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Ukraine, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Right Practices for 2016. For further information on LGBT travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section six of our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Accessibility is an issue in Ukraine.  Public transport systems are not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Some newer buildings feature ramps and elevators, but older buildings do not.  You should check ahead with your hotel/destination to learn more about options to accommodate disabled traveler needs before visiting Ukraine.  See our Traveling with Disabilities page.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • Generally, roads outside major urban areas are in poor condition and poorly lit.
  • U.S. drivers licenses are not valid in Ukraine as their vehicle categories do not meet the standards enumerated in the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic (as amended in 2011).  Travelers who do not have a foreign drivers license that meets these requirements must obtain either a Ukrainian driver’s license or an International Driving Permit.
  • You should drive defensively at all times.
  • Drivers are often poorly trained; many drive without a valid driver's license.
  • Drivers can also be dangerously aggressive; often do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings; and sometimes drive on the sidewalks.
  • Many cars, including some taxis, do not meet U.S. safety standards.

In case of accidents:

  • Emergency number: Dial 102. Ambulance crews do not respond quickly and do not often include trained paramedics.
  • Notify the police immediately. By law, police must be notified in the event of an accident. Remain at the scene until the police arrive to conduct an investigation.
  • It is a criminal offense to move the vehicle from the site of the accident unless it presents a clear safety concern (causing a traffic jam is not considered a safety concern). In practice, this even includes moving a vehicle to the side of the road.
  • You must wait until the police arrive and complete their report; often this can take several hours.
  • The police will decide responsibility, take the drivers’ personal information, and file an accident report. In the vast majority of cases, the police will not speak English.

Traffic Laws:   

  • Ukraine has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Violations may result in fines, imprisonment, and/or deportation.
  • Non-payment of traffic or parking fines may result in travel bans, which means you cannot leave the country until the fines (plus penalties) are paid.
  • Using a cell telephone or texting while driving is illegal.
  • Do not turn right on a red light, unless there is a special green arrow sign attached to the stoplight.
  • Front seat belts are mandatory.

Public Transportation:

  • Only use marked taxis.  Fares are given in advance when you order a taxi by phone, but prices are typically negotiated with the driver in advance if hailing a cab in the street.
  • Do not sit in the front seat of the taxi, enter a taxi with unknown passengers, or travel to unfamiliar areas.
  • Buses and trams are widely used.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ukraine’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ukraine’s air carrier operations. You can find further information on the FAA website at the FAA safety assessment page

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Ukraine should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci.  Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

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