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Ukraine Ultimate Visa Guide: Do You Need a Visa and How to Get One

Do you need a Ukrainian visa: simple answer, tips and information

Survey says that If you are googling “do I need a visa to go to Ukraine”, then you will probably need one!

I would love to live in a world without borders, where anyone can travel anywhere, experience new places and interact with new people. Unfortunately, such a utopia is still far away from today’s world.

As long as borders exist, some countries will require you to obtain an entry permit (visa) before you travel to it.

Almost all European countries and many countries of North and South America do not need any visa to enter Ukraine; as for Asia and Africa, all but a a few countries will need to apply for visa, either online or through Ukraine’s consulates and visa centers around the world.

Now, let us dive in and make sure whether you need a visa or not; and if so, I will tell you how to apply for it successfully.

Do you need a visa to go to Ukraine?

Many countries have a mutual agreement with Ukraine allowing their citizens visa-free entry. Others enjoy light visa requirements, and can apply for it online. As for the rest, they will need to apply and successfully receive a visa from Ukraine’s consular mission in their respective countries, or from the nearest one to them.

Countries who need a visa to travel to Ukraine, and those who need one

Let us start with countries whose citizens will not need to apply for visa to enter Ukraine. There are two groups here:

The first is the citizens of five countries who can enter Ukraine without a visa and with no limitations regarding stay duration. These countries are:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Uzbekistan

As for the second group of countries whose citizens do not need entry visa into Ukraine, but their stay is limited to 90 days after arrival, these countries are:

  • North America: Canada, United States of America
  • All European Union member states
  • Non-European Union members: Albania, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  • Middle East and the rest of Asia: Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
  • Central and South America: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Uruguay

Citizens of which countries need a visa to go to Ukraine?

If you could not find your country in the list above, you will need to apply for an entry visa before you travel to Ukraine, either online (for some countries) or through the consulates of Ukraine.

Do I need a Schengen visa to travel to Ukraine?

Ukraine is not member of the European Union, or Schengen area countries. Therefore, obtaining a Ukrainian visa of any type does not give you the right to travel to any other European country.

Likewise, if you have a valid Schengen visa, you cannot use it to travel to Ukraine and still need to apply for a Ukrainian one.

As for Ukrainian citizens, the agreements between our country and the European Union allow us to travel to all Schengen countries without obtaining an entry visa. This does not extend by proxy to any non-citizens residents or tourists traveling to Ukraine.

Types of Ukrainian visas

There are three types of Ukrainian visas:

  • Transit visa
  • Short term visa
  • Long term visa

As a tourist, you need to apply for a short-term visa. It has a maximum of 90 days stay in Ukraine and can be single or multi entry, depending on which option you chose in your application.

How can I get a Ukraine visa?

Since this website addresses tourists, I will focus only on tourist visas here. But before we go through any details, I would like to highlight that I usually assist my tourists by preparing their application support package that includes: medical travel insurance, tourist voucher, hotel reservations, and tour programs which are all required as part of a tourist visa application.

Ukrainian visa

Currently, there are two options for applying for Ukrainian tourist visa: online and through a consulate. Both are outlined below.

Applying online

While citizens of all countries can apply directly to the consulates of Ukraine, only 52 countries and territories have access to a simpler and faster online processing that is delivered within nine business days. These countries are:

  • Africa: Mauritius, Seychelles
  • Middle East and rest of Asia: Bahrain, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste
  • Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
  • Central and South America: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Kuwait, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago

Online tourist visa process

There are several simple steps to obtain your tourist visa online:

  1. Create a user account in the E-Visa section on Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website by clicking here.
  2. After successfully activating your account, fill in the E-Visa online application form.
  3. You will be requested to upload copies of the following documents:
  • Your travel passport
  • Photo (passport/ID type in official settings)
  • Bank statement or other document proving sufficient funds for travel
  • Copy of travel health insurance, with a coverage not less than 30,000 Euros.
  • Sufficient documents proofing the purpose of your visit to Ukraine. This may include confirmed hotel reservations, tourist voucher, tour programs etc.
  1. Finally, you will need to pay a processing fee in the equivalent of $85 for the online tourist visa application, payable online with credit/debit cards.

After you complete this process successfully, wait for an email with the result of your application.

Applying to the Ukrainian embassy / consulate

If you cannot apply for an online visa, then you will be left with only one option which is to apply the old fashion way by submitting a tourist visa request to the nearest consulate or embassy of Ukraine, or any visa-processing center accredited by Ukrainian authorities.

Embassy/consulate tourist visa process

The process can be simplified to the following steps:

  1. Create a user account on the Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website by clicking here.
  2. After successfully activating your account, fill in the application form, print it out then sign it; this will be the first document in your visa application file.
  3. Prepare the following documents:
  • Your travel passport
  • Passport size photo [size 35×45 mm (~2×2 inches), anything between one and twenty]
  • Bank statement or other document proving sufficient funds for travel
  • Copy of travel health insurance, with a coverage not less than 30,000 Euros
  • Sufficient documents proofing the purpose of your visit to Ukraine. This may include confirmed hotel reservations, tourist voucher, tour programs etc.
  1. Use your account to select an appointment date and time from the available open slots in the nearest embassy/consulate of Ukraine.
  2. After your interview at the embassy/consulate, you will need to pay processing fee, in the equivalent of $65 for a regular tourist visa application through embassies and consulates of Ukraine, payable to the official account of Ukraine embassy/consulate. The cost is doubled if you opt for an expedited visa application process. The fee of the classic visa application may vary in some countries, so make sure to contact the Ukrainian embassy or consulate in your country to confirm these details.

After the payment is made, you will be informed when to expect your answer, via e-mail or call.

If you need help preparing the required documents for a Ukrainian tourist visa, just let me know.

How long does a Ukraine visa take to process?

Visa processing time at the embassies and consulates of Ukraine and their accredited visa application centers varies depending on factors such as the visa type and the place of processing.

As for a tourist visa, an online application can take up to nine business days (or around two weeks in labor terms), before approval.

Applying directly to the embassies or consulates of Ukraine, and visa centers, may result in a waiting time over more than 10 business days. You can expect it to take up to 30 business days for some countries.

From my personal knowledge and observation, I can tell you that for citizens from countries that have no option but to apply to the consulate, it will probably take between two weeks to a month.

How to speed up your visa process

Since its independence, Ukraine has been suffering from illegal immigration through its territory to Europe. Therefore, it is only natural for it to tighten its borders from within and without. This is why visa requirements and procedures are constantly updated and enhanced.

Unfortunately, enhancement comes at a cost, making it more difficult for many tourists to obtain an entry into its territory.

Assuming that you are a Ginuwine tourist-  that is, not planning on any illegal business – there are a couple of things you can do to ease the process:

Apply through a visa application center

The recent partnership between Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the well-known VFS Global visa processing centers, allow for easier and faster process.

They are also flexible with time and schedule; you should consider it an option if you could not find an open appointment slot at the embassy/consulate of Ukraine in your country.

Having a Schengen visa

The fear of illegal migration to the European Union is one of the main reasons why the Ukrainian visa process takes time and has many restrictions. Having a visa-free entry to the Schengen Area, or a valid Schengen visa, will considerably enhance your chances of successfully obtaining a tourist visa to Ukraine in a short time.

Purchase a tourist voucher

A tourist voucher is practically an invitation to Ukraine for tourism purposes. A complete package should include:

  • The voucher itself
  • Full detailed daily tour program
  • Medical travel insurance
  • Confirmed hotel reservation

I provide this service, so just contact me and I will issue one for you within one business day.

To summarize, I understand why preparing your visa application can be intimidating. You might easily get confused with the information provided here and elsewhere (even on Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website) resulting in making a mistake or miss interpreting something, thereby messing up your application.

This is why I simplified the Ukrainian visa information and application process. I hope it will be useful to you, and if you need any help with a tourist invitation (voucher) and insurance, contact me and I will assist you with it.