Ukraine - Consular Information Sheet
July 26, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Ukraine is a nation undergoing profound
political and economic change as it moves to a market economy
and integrates into Western institutions. Tourist facilities are
not highly developed, and many of the goods and services taken
for granted in other countries are not yet available. Travel within
Ukraine is unrestricted, but travelers must register with Ukrainian
authorities upon arrival (please see paragraph on Entry Requirements).
Travelers may also be asked to present their passport and visa
on demand by local police. Crime is a serious problem in Ukraine
and a number of racially motivated assaults and incidents of harassment
have been reported.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport valid for sixth months
beyond date of travel and a valid single or multiple entry visa
is required. Visas may be obtained in advance from the Embassy
of Ukraine, located at 3350 M. St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007,
tel. (202) 333-0606 or 333-7507. Visas can also be obtained from
the Ukrainian Consulate in Chicago, located at 10 E. Huron St.,
60611, tel. (312) 642-4388 or the Ukrainian Consulate in New York,
located at 240 E. 49th St., New York, NY 10017, tel. (212) 371-5690.
A copy of the visa application for Ukraine can be obtained on
Embassy's Internet site http://www.ukremb.com/.
Note: Travelers who intend to visit Russia from Ukraine
must also have a Russian visa. The Russian Embassy in Ukraine
is located at Prospekt Kutuzova 8, Kiev, tel: (38) (044) 294-7797
or (38) (044) 294-6816.
DUAL NATIONALITY: Ukraine does not recognize dual nationality.
American citizens entering Ukraine with a Ukrainian passport will
be treated as Ukrainian citizens by the local authorities. This
may include being required to perform mandatory national service.
Also, Ukrainians who have immigrated to the U.S. without obtaining
the proper exit visa from Ukrainian authorities may be subject
to civil or criminal penalties and will be required to obtain
an exit visa before returning to the U.S. For additional information,
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Reports of racially-motivated incidents
against foreigners and persons of color have increased in Ukraine.
Groups with a history of targeting persons of African or Asian
descent are known to gather in areas around the U.S. Embassy,
including Unification Park, the site of two attacks against American
citizens. In addition to incidents of assault, persons of African
or Asian heritage may be subject to various types of harassment,
such as being stopped on the street by both civilians and police
Harassment directed towards foreign business personnel has been
reported and has included physical threats, arbitrary termination
of business licenses, delay of payment and delay in delivery of
To minimize the risk of an incident with local law enforcement
authorities, Americans should carry photocopies of their passports
at all times. Under Ukrainian law, individuals may be detained
for up to three hours while their identity documents are being
verified. If stopped and detained, Americans should attempt to
comply with all instructions from law enforcement officers but
also make it clear that they are American citizens and that they
wish to contact the American Embassy. Any incidents should be
reported to the Embassy immediately.
CRIME: Ukraine has a high rate of crime and it is on the
increase. Due to economic circumstances, Western visitors, especially
short-term visitors such as tourists and students, are the primary
foreign targets. The majority of street crime is non-violent,
but there has been a notable increase in the use of small caliber
firearms during burglaries and robberies. Street crimes range
from pick-pocketing and purse snatching to muggings, armed robbery,
shootings, drugging and robbing unsuspecting victims at nightspots
The most significant threat to long-term residents is burglary
of apartments and vehicles. Although few cars are actually stolen,
vehicular break-in and vandalism are becoming more common.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or
Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's
Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a more trouble-free
journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care in Ukraine is limited.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a short list of English-speaking physicians
and a list of pharmacies that offer American and Western European
supplies and medicines. The availability of basic medical supplies,
including disposable needles, anesthetics and antibiotics, still
does not meet expectations. Elderly travelers and those with existing
health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior
to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas
and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs
incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage
is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance
plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including
emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require
payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical
evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme
difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your
trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare
provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses
you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202)
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's
Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Ukraine is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Roads in Ukraine are in generally poor condition. Travel between
cities at night and in winter can become extremely treacherous.
Carjackings of western-made or foreign-registered cars are on
the rise. There has been an increase in the number of documented
reports of criminal acts occurring on trains, including gassings
and robberies. Major roads, however, are drivable during daylight
hours. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities
are becoming more common but remain inadequate. Travelers should
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed Ukraine's civil aviation authority as Category
1 - in compliance with international aviation safety standards
for oversight of Ukraine's air carrier operations. For further
information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation
within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at (618) 256-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Travelers must declare all cash and
jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Any undeclared
items are subject to confiscation. Under customs regulations travelers
may bring up to 10,000 U.S. dollars into Ukraine without special
permission. More than 10,000 U.S. dollars requires a written statement
by the traveler. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ukraine
in Washington or one of Ukraine's consulates in the United States
for specific information regarding customs requirements.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Ukrainian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Ukraine are strict and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Ukraine is a cash economy. When
bringing U.S. dollars into Ukraine, ensure that bills are in good
condition because those that are worn, torn or written on may
not be accepted. Credit cards and traveler's checks are gaining
wider acceptance in larger cities. American Express traveler's
checks may be cashed at some Ukrainian banks. Credit card and
ATM fraud is becoming more prevalent and money scams are rampant.
It is highly recommended that visitors and permanent residents
refrain from using personal checks, credit cards or ATM cards
if at all possible. If a credit card is needed, usage is permitted
in better hotels, Western-style restaurants, international airlines
and selected stores. Customs regulations prohibit sending cash,
traveler's checks, personal checks, credit cards, or passports
through the international mail system. Customs authorities regularly
confiscate these items as contraband. Changing U.S. dollars for
Ukrainian hryvnia or another currency is legal only at banks,
currency exchange desks at hotels and licensed exchange booths.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children, international
parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement
issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or
visiting Ukraine are encouraged to register at the Consular section
of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev and obtain updated information on
travel and security within Ukraine. The Consular Section of the
U.S. Embassy is located at #6, Pimonenko St., tel. (380) (44)
490-4422, fax 236-4892. The U.S. Embassy is located at 10 Vulitsa
Yuria Kotsubinskoho, 254053 Kiev 53, tel. (380) (44) 490-4000;
after-hours 240-0856; fax 244-7350. Mail using U.S. domestic postage
should be addressed to U.S. Embassy Kiev, U.S. Department of State,
Washington, D.C. 20521-5850. Visit the
Embassy's Internet home page at http://www.usemb.kiev.ua.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated January 7,
2000 to update information on Entry Requirements, Safety and Security,
Crime, Medical Insurance, Aviation Safety Oversight, Customs Regulations
and Special Circumstances.