How to Get Ukrainian Visa
Having decided to visit Ukraine, many people start to think whether they need a visa to Ukraine. In order to boost tourism and attract foreign capital, Ukraine is easing the visa regime for many countries, whose citizens may visit Ukraine for 30-90 days (depending on the country of citizenship). For some nationals, visa is stamped in the airport, while for the others visa-free entrance is provided. To understand whether you need a visa for visiting Ukraine, check Ukraine visa policy.
If you see that you do need a visa for entering Ukraine, the second task is to understand the type of visa. There are 15 types of different visas issued by the Ukrainian diplomatic missions abroad. However, the practice shows that the most frequent types of visa to Ukraine are tourist, private and business visas.
Finding the right embassy or consulate
In order to get a visa to Ukraine, your first task is to determine the location of the nearest Ukrainian diplomatic or consular mission. Unfortunately, in some countries there are no Ukrainian missions or consulates. In this case, it will be necessary to go to the nearest embassy or consulate of Ukraine in one of the neighboring countries. For example, there is no Ukrainian mission in Côte d’Ivoire. The Embassy is in Senegal, and the citizens of Côte d’Ivoire may file their visa applications there. The locations of Ukrainian embassies and consulate institutions may be checked on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
At the same time, the fact a Ukrainian embassy or consulate is the nearest to your country geographically does not necessarily mean that you may file your visa application in that institution. Therefore, make sure to visit the website of this embassy/consulate and check “the boundaries of the consular district.” There you will find the list of countries, whose nationals may apply for visas in that embassy/consulate. For example, the Embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria accepts visa applications from the citizens of Ghana, Gambia, Cameroon, Sierra Leona, Benin and Togo. In case you apply to the wrong embassy/consulate (i.e., to the one, which consular boundaries do not cover your country), your application will not be considered.
Many consulting agencies will never tell you about one crucial aspect – an embassy/consulate may reject your visa application even if all documents are correct. That is why you should be especially cautious if someone guarantees 100% visa approval. An embassy/consulate may deny a visa to anyone without explaining the grounds. We are not pumping the atmosphere – we just want to inform you that getting 100% visa approval is impossible. Still, it is possible to make your chances as high as 99.9% by arranging your visa application documents in a proper way and preparing for the interview in the embassy/consulate.
The time of visa application
Under the existing rules, all visa applicants should submit their visa applications no earlier than three months before the intended visit. Currently, almost all embassies/consulates of Ukraine provide an option to schedule your visit from the website. However, in case this option is not available in certain embassies/consulates, you should visit it personally and schedule an appointment. Under exceptional circumstances (e.g., illness), your appointment may be scheduled at an earlier date than offered by the embassy/consulate staff. However, supporting documents are required for this scenario.
Visa is not the guarantee of successful entry to Ukraine
The practice shows that visa to Ukraine should never be seen simply as a stamp in your passport, which will magically allow you to enter Ukraine. In other words, even with a valid visa in your passport, entry to Ukraine is not 100% guaranteed.
Thus, to enter Ukraine successfully, make sure to complete these steps:
- Determine the type of visa required for your visit. Depending on the type of visa you are interested in, specific documents should be collected;
- Prepare the documents and submit them to the right embassy or consulate in a proper way, then attend the interview, and answer the questions of the interviewer correctly;
- Give correct answers to the questions of Ukrainian border guards.
In the articles below we tried to provide comprehensive instructions on what should be done at each stage for each type of visa.