You need a valid passport to enter Ukraine. If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need to have a Ukrainian visa as long as you will be in Ukraine for fewer than 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism. You need a visa or valid Ukrainian residency permit for all stays longer than 90 days. You cannot get a Ukrainian visa at the airport or at the border. If you need a visa, please get it in advance at a Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate. Contact information for Ukrainian embassies and consulates outside of the United States is available on the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Check your visa carefully so that you know the validity period. You are responsible for knowing the rules for the type of visa you have. Sometimes U.S. citizens try to come to Ukraine before their visa allows. Remember, in Ukraine the date is written day-month-year. For example, a visa issued on 01/05/13 is good from May 1, 2013, NOT from January 5, 2013. If you come to Ukraine before your visa allows, you can be stopped at the border, not allowed to enter Ukraine, and required to return to your point of origin at your own expense. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv cannot stop this from happening.
If you enter Ukraine without needing a visa (meaning you will be in Ukraine for fewer than 90 days within a 180-day period), you are automatically registered at the border for 90 days. Extensions of stay beyond 90 days are rarely authorized. To apply for an extension, talk to your local office of the Ukrainian State Department of Citizenship, Immigration, and Registration (officially VGIFRO, but still referred to almost universally by its old acronym, “OVIR”) at least three work days before your initial registration expires. Although three days is a minimum, it is in your interest to contact OVIR earlier. Most cities will have several OVIR offices. If you are given an extension, you will be allowed to stay in Ukraine until your new registration expires; however, if you leave Ukraine, you may have to wait 180 days to come back without a visa. If you do not get an extension, you must leave the country and cannot come back until 180 days after your initial entry into Ukraine.
If you enter Ukraine on a long-term (“D”) visa, you must apply with OVIR for a residency permit within 45 days from your entry date. Once you have the residency permit you can reside in Ukraine for as long as it remains valid. To enter and exit the country, you will need your un-expired residency permit and a valid passport. For more details regarding Ukrainian visas and registration procedures, please contact the nearest Embassy of Ukraine or consulate abroad, or the nearest OVIR office within Ukraine.
If you are going to visit Russia from Ukraine, remember you will also need a Russian visa. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, tel.: (380-44) 284-6816, fax: 284-7936, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details, review Country Specific Information for the Russian Federation. Please note that it currently takes at least two weeks for American citizens to receive Russian visas in Kyiv. The U.S. Embassy cannot intervene to expedite Russian visa issuance.
Ukrainian law requires visitors to have valid health insurance. More information on medical insurance is below.
Visit the Embassy of Ukraine’s website for the most current visa information. Also, see the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.