Non-visa stay in Ukraine

Nowadays, Ukrainians enjoy a visa-free regime for traveling to the EU, which has become a prominent event for the Ukrainian society a while ago. From the other side, Ukraine grants a right to the nationals of the European Union member countries and many other countries for visa-free entry. Please check the list of visa-free states here.

At the same time, oftener stories and more questions occur related to troubles of foreigners violating the laws of Ukraine in the sphere of border crossing , due to misinformation. Let us make a sense of it.

Ukrainian guests are getting concerned that they will be banned from entering Ukraine because of the so-called “overstay”. These difficulties are related to the requirements of the EU, the Security Service of Ukraine in order to guarantee that the foreigner stays in Ukraine legally and is not dangerous neither to Ukraine nor to its EU-partners. Therefore, more foreigners are being denied entry or even banned to enter Ukraine. The establishment of entry regulations for Russian nationals is a vivid example of the Ukrainian government seeking to tighten control over the Ukrainian border.

1. What is an overstay and how it occurs?

According to Ukrainian legislation, the citizens of many countries have a right to stay within the territory of Ukraine without obtaining a visa for 90 days within 180 days. How is it calculated? The officials take a specific date and count down 180 days back. After that, they check whether you have used 90 “visa-free” days within this term. If so and you are still in Ukraine it means you have violated the law and “overstayed”. You can easily check your “number of days” here.

2. What happens if the foreigner has overstayed?


This information is easily checked at the border control. Please take note, nowadays the border control system allows combining information on foreigners using two passports of the same country. According to article 203 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine, the foreigner will be fined 1700-5100 UAH for it.

The overstay is not covered by the fine, therefore, the foreigner will have to wait 90 days before re-entering Ukraine. Moreover, a foreigner may also be banned from entering Ukraine.

3. How to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days?


As per Ukrainian legislation, there are several ways to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days for non-Ukrainian citizens:

1) get a temporary residency;
2) get a permanent residency;
3) extend a stay in Ukraine up to 180 days.

More about residency in Ukraine.

Using one of the given ways a foreigner may enter and leave Ukraine legally (for some period or constantly) with no limitations. For those who consider obtaining one of the aforementioned statuses without breaching border rules before applying, it is also worth noting, that you will have to cross the border before getting one of them.

4. What to expect in the future?


The border crossing regime is not getting easier. We expect new rules to be introduced for Russian citizens visiting Ukraine. More foreigners are currently seeking legal status in Ukraine due to the political situation in the neighboring countries. The situation in the East of Ukraine though makes the issue more complicated as well as the requirement of EU policies that Ukraine has undertaken to perform.

Vasyl Cherednichenko