The numbers may surprise you, but an estimated 14.5 million people have gone for a Ukraine trip in 2017. And while the purpose of their travel may have differed wildly, we’re proud to say that each of them likely fell in love with everything the nation has to offer. The history. The architecture. The food. The nightlife. And the people.

Ukraine isn’t like other Eastern European nations. In fact, it’s not like any other country in Europe at all. Certain regions (Crimea, in particular) require a visa for entry, even for short periods of time. This can place visitors in a bit of a predicament. While many of these regulated areas can only be entered through Russia, Ukranian officials bar visitors from entering on a Russian visa, a result of ongoing border disputes. 

Visas for even non-restricted points in Ukraine can be difficult to navigate. For many casual travelers visiting Ukraine for the purpose of a brief stay, no more than a few days, a passport is sufficient for the most part. But if you’re planning on an extended stay, either for work or personal reasons, you’re going to need more. Significantly more.

Visas, Ukranian Law And The Purpose Of Your Travel

For many travelers from the EU, the United States and Canada, a visa isn’t required to enter Ukraine if you’re planning on staying no more than 90 days during a six month period. However, a valid passport is necessary.  Most casual visits are going to be less than three months and typically you’ll find Ukranian officials to be fairly accommodating to tourists—contrary to public misconception.

The process of applying for a visa in Ukraine isn’t quite as simple as applying for a passport. Not only are different visas issued for different purposes, but the duration of your stay, your right to re-enter and even your travel to and from Ukraine are subject to the particular terms of each visa.

Work Visas

Ukraine continues to be a hub of international trade, particularly in manufacturing, chemicals and technology sectors. As a result, many businesses are more than eager to assist in obtaining a work visa.  Unfortunately, the majority of business visas are only valid for anywhere from 90 days up to a year. Extensions can be granted for short term work visas (sometimes known as type C visas) with sufficient reason and advance notice within fourteen days of expiration. Your employer or contractor will likely be able to help you file an extension if you need to stay longer than three months. 

Resident Visas

If you’re planning on staying in Ukraine indefinitely, a resident permit is necessary. And while resident permits can be granted to both foreign workers, students, and private citizens, you will need to prove sufficient grounds for both temporary (over a year) and permanent stay.  The documentation needed will vary with the purpose of each application, but must include at least:

  • Both a passport, proof of citizenship of your country and a photo ID
  • A document certifying the authority of a person to act as a legal representative
  • A Ukrainian translation of your passport of a foreigner or ID document containing personal 
  • Proof of a valid medical insurance policy;
  • A payment slip confirming tax payments or exemptions to your country of origin 
  • 4 separate 35mm x 45mm photographs
  • Your completed application.

For more information about obtaining a residence permit in Ukraine, please visit the Ukranian State Migration Service’s page on issuance here.

Tourist Visas

Unlike work and residence visas in Ukraine, tourist visas are relatively easy to obtain. Tourist visas, however, are valid only for travelers planning on staying no more than 30 days past their initial three-month visit. They can’t be combined with a work or student visa, and only allow you two trips outside the country during that period. You can obtain one with a Ukranian tourist voucher permit, although it is recommended you also provide confirmation of your hotel booking while in the Ukraine. Please contact your local embassy about obtaining a tourist voucher.

Student Visas

Documentation from your school detailing your purposes for studying or teaching in Ukraine as well as a notarized invitation must accompany your student visa application. Student visas are valid from 90 days up to a full year and costs will vary according to your length of stay.

Private Visas

If you’ve received a direct invitation from a Ukranian host, your embassy can issue a private visa valid for 90 days. Your host must be a legal Ukranian citizen and an official notarized letter of invitation will need to be obtained from the host and presented prior to issuance of the visa. However, a private visa only allows you to travel within the city of the host you’ll be residing with. 

Exemptions And Other Documentation

Only citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan can stay in Ukraine indefinitely without a visa. Some countries have specific entrance requirements even for short term travel for leisure purposes under 90 days. Please see the Ukranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs site located here for information about foreign entry requirements.

As of 2019, entry into Ukraine is no longer permitted with a “visa on arrival” at airports.  Official approval and documentation must be provided prior to your visit. Citizens of the following countries can apply for an e-visa online:

Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bahrain, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Oman, Palau, Peru, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Please note that laws concerning travel to Ukraine as well as obtaining a Ukrainian visa will also vary from country to country. To find out more, please contact your local Ukranian embassy or contact the Ukranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A list of foreign embassies to Ukraine can be found here.


Want to know more about traveling in Ukraine or other destinations in Eastern Europe? We’re always happy to help! Visit us today at Simply Travel for more information