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Ukraine – Immigration and Travel Policies Instituted to Combat COVID-19

Ukraine – Immigration/Travel Policies Instituted

On 14 March 2020, the government of Ukraine put in place restrictive measures to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on Ukrainian soil. The restrictions were initially introduced through 3 April 2020, and have now been extended through 24 April 2020. Starting from 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine of foreign nationals and stateless persons has been suspended, except for persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence in the territory of Ukraine, and in some other cases. Starting from 17 March 2020, border crossing checkpoints are closed for aviation, rail, and bus services.

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On 14 March 2020, the government of Ukraine put in place restrictive measures to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on Ukrainian soil. The restrictions were initially introduced through 3 April 2020, and later extended through 24 April 2020.

Starting from 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine of foreign nationals and stateless persons has been suspended, except for persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence in the territory of Ukraine, and in some other cases.

Starting from 17 March 2020, border crossing checkpoints are closed for aviation, rail, and bus services.  Currently the country’s transportation infrastructure is open for private/commercial transport.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The fast spreading coronavirus COVID-19 has become a global challenge for humanity. Countries all over the world are taking emergency measures to stop the virus from spreading and to protect their population from the disease.

With no vaccine for the coronavirus yet available, quarantine and restrictions of movement are believed to be the most efficient measures against the pandemic.  The Ukrainian government has taken several steps to regulate the movement of people across its borders. This is going to have some impact for the mobility of a company’s international workforce.

Individuals who were planning to travel to Ukraine to take up work and/or residence, are advised to discuss their situations and plans with their global mobility professionals and/or qualified immigration counsel as soon as possible.              

The changes will require employers to re-consider their personnel and work arrangements due to travel limitations and quarantine policies. 

Restrictions When Coming to / Departing Ukraine

Starting from 16 March 2020, entry into the territory of Ukraine of foreign nationals and stateless persons has been suspended, except:

  • foreign nationals with a temporary or permanent residence permits;
  • spouses and children of Ukrainian citizens;
  • employees of foreign embassies and consular institutions accredited in Ukraine, offices of international missions, and organisations accredited in Ukraine, and their families;
  • drivers and support staff for transport vehicles (freight), and members of their crews;

In other cases, entry into Ukraine should be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Foreign Ministry

Ukraine has not introduced any restrictions on leaving the country.  However, the destination country may have restrictions on entering.

As decided by the government, 123 checkpoints will continue to operate at the country’s border, while 107 checkpoints will be closed.  The full list of checkpoints in operation or closed is available via the Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers.

All checkpoints at the country’s border will have special medical teams.  When returning from countries with (according to WHO information) higher pandemic risks, such people will be screened and appropriate measures taken – a person will either be directed to isolate himself or herself at home for 14 days or, if necessary, transported to a health-care institution.

Other Points of Restrictions in Ukraine

  • A total ban on rail, air, and bus inter-city and inter-regional passenger transport services, as well as the suspension of the underground metro.
  • A ban on domestic inter-city and inter-regional carriage of passengers by motor transport and a limit of passengers traveling on trams, trolley-buses, and road transport on intra-city routes.
  • All mass gatherings (cultural, entertainment, sports, social, religious, advertising, and other) involving more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping, and entertainment centers, fitness centers, and cultural establishments must close.      
  • All educational institutions are closed. 

KPMG NOTE

The initial restrictions were introduced for the period ending 3 April 2020.

On 25 March 2020, the government introduced an ‘emergency situation’ regime and a quarantine extension to the entire territory of Ukraine until 24 April 2020.2  Therefore, the restrictions noted above will be also prolonged for the period up through 24 April 2020.

Closures and Reduced Services from State Agencies / Offices

Some of the state authorities/state service centers are currently closed for the period of the quarantine.  Those that are still open may be providing a reduced menu of services and working reduced hours.

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine and State Migration Service of Ukraine announced that foreign citizens who have not been able to prolong the period of their stay in Ukraine or to renew their residence permits, will not be penalized for violations occurring during the period of quarantine.  For more information, click here and here.

FOOTNOTES

1  For information on border closures, travel restrictions and other measures the government is taking to combat COVID-19, see:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at:  https://mfa.gov.ua/en .

The Ministry of Health website at: https://en.moz.gov.ua/ .

Also, see the website of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (in English and Ukrainian). 

More information on the coronavirus can be found on this Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers website (in Ukrainian and English) at: https://covid19.com.ua .

For some information on measures taken by the Ukrainian government to combat COVID-19, see this website of the Embassy of the United States in Ukraine.

2  For information on the extension of restrictions and policies put in place by Ukraine’s government see this webpage of the Embassy of the United States in Ukraine.

*  Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.   

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ukraine.

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