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Ukraine Visa and Residency Guide

Last update: April 2014 (new material)


Regulations and practices governing foreigners' stay in Ukraine can seem complicated and often undergo revision. This section will help foreign visitors to Ukraine figure out what applies to them and what steps they need to take to remain within the law (or current practical implementation of law).

Do you need a visa to enter Ukraine?

Use this chart to help figure out if you need a Ukrainian visa or not.

  PURPOSE OF VISIT
APPLICANT'S CITIZENSHIP visiting friends or family, travel, personal business employment, university studies, diplomatic service, church mission, permanent residency, immigration
country with visa-free privileges (see list) no visa required for visits of up to 90 days; visa required for stays of more than 90 days in a row or for more than 90 days total out of any 180 consecutive days visa required
country without visa-free privileges visa required visa required

Further reading:
Getting a visa to Ukraine

What to expect when crossing the Ukrainian border
Ukrainian consulates near Ukraine

Do you need to register with the OVIR in Ukraine?

Once in Ukraine, some categories of foreigners may need to register with the city OVIR. Use this chart to figure out whether you need to register or not.

VISA TYPE
no visa no registration required or possible (must leave country within 90 days of entry to avoid fine)
private, business, tourism registration required only for stays of more than 90 days continuously in Ukraine; registration avoidable through "border runs"; registration process must be begun near end of 90 day period from most recent border crossing
immigration, employment, study periodic registration required regardless of time of last border crossing; registration can be begun any time within first 90 days from first arrival in Ukraine with visa

Further reading:
More on registration and the OVIR

Can you obtain permanent residency in Ukraine?

There are only a few categories of foreign citizens who may obtain permanent residency in Ukraine:

  • you are the descendent of a Ukrainian(s)
  • you have a close relative (e.g. spouse) who is a Ukrainian citizen
  • you become the guardian of a Ukrainian citizen (e.g. a disabled
  • or elderly person)
  • you are a famous person or well-known scientist, artist, etc.
  • you have paid $100,000 USD as a kind of "investment" in the economy of Ukraine

There is no "Green Card" route or its equivalent. You cannot hope to get permanent residency just by spending years studying or working in Ukraine. Only the above listed routes are available, as well as shady routes that involve substantial sums of money paid to lawyers with government connections. If none of these routes are available, you'll have to keep getting visas and going through standard paperwork no matter how many years you've been in Ukraine (read the author's commentary on Ukraine's immigration policy).



2003-2016 Richard DeLong. All rights reserved.