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New rules to enter Ukraine

Change in Ukrainian Immigration Regulations

New rules to enter Ukraine for AmericansU.S. Embassy Kyiv Warden

On May 20 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine issued Resolution #445, introducing significant changes to the “Rules of Entry, Exit and Transit Through the Territory of Ukraine for Foreigners and Stateless Persons”.

American citizens traveling or staying in Ukraine need to know that effective May 20, 2009, these regulations introduce the following (below you can find an unofficial translation of the document taken from the US Embassy website):

“Foreigners or stateless persons, who enter Ukraine legally may temporarily stay in the country based on a passport registered in compliance with these rules.

A foreigner or a stateless person must submit his or her passport for registration to the border control official at the border check point. Registration is done for a period of a short-term stay. For foreigners and stateless persons from countries that require visas to come to Ukraine – registration is made for the period of visa validity, but not to exceed 90 days within 180 days from the first entry date, unless a different term is stipulated by international treaties. For foreigners and stateless persons from visa-free regime countries – registration is made for a period of 90 days within 180 days from the first entry date, unless otherwise stipulated by international treaties. Foreigners and stateless persons may be exempted from the requirement to register their passport on the basis of reciprocal international treaties with Ukraine. “

The Embassy notes that the new rules remove completely the former provision allowing citizens of WTO-member countries to remain in the country for a period of 180 days within 360 days from entry into Ukraine. The Embassy confirmed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Ukraine that from now on American citizens coming to Ukraine with or without a visa are allowed to stay for 90 days within 180 days from the date of the first entry to Ukraine. According to the MFA, the changes to the law are not retroactive and should not affect American citizens who entered Ukraine before May 20, 2009.  However, it has been reported that the State Border Guards may be operating under a different interpretation of these regulations.  The Embassy is working to clarify this matter.  Extensions of stays are done through local Citizenship, Immigration and Registration Office (a.k.a. OVIR office). The Embassy understands that such an extension is valid only for continued presence in Ukraine, and that it is not possible to depart Ukraine and return on an extension, or to make an adjustment of visa status while within the country. No changes have been implemented to “OVIR” registration procedures.

The Embassy encourages American citizens who intend to stay in Ukraine longer than 90 days to personally check with Ukrainian immigration authorities or competent legal counsel if they need to officially extend their stay.

The Embassy will continue to monitor developments related to Ukrainian registration requirements and their impact on American citizens living and traveling in Ukraine.  The Embassy will inform the American community of additional information via the wardens system as we receive it.


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