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Ukraine - Exercise a high degree of cautionThere is no nationwide advisory in effect for Ukraine. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to the prevalence of crimes of opportunity.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Street crime (pickpocketing and scamming) is common, particularly in crowded places, in tourist areas, in bars and nightclubs and on public transportation. Pickpocketing has increased on the Kyiv metro.
Armed robbery can also occur, especially in the larger cities. Racially motivated violence and harassment occur without corrective action by local authorities.
Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Daily demonstrations have been occurring throughout Ukraine since the end of November 2013, following the Ukrainian government’s decision to suspend preparations for the signing of an agreement with the European Union. Demonstrations and marches are taking place in the center of Kyiv, including, but not limited to, Independence Square, Kreshchatyk Street, Instytutska Street and in front government buildings in the downtown area. They have also been reported in other cities. Clashes between demonstrators and the police have been occurring throughout the center of Kyiv, intensifying during the early hours of December 11. Increased police presence may lead to further confrontations between police and demonstrators. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Fraud and scams
Debit and credit card fraud occurs. Pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others during payment processing. The use of on-street automated banking machines (ABMs) is not recommended.
One common scam involves a person dropping a wallet or a bundle of money in front of a tourist, hoping the tourist will pick it up. The scam artist then accuses the tourist of stealing some of the money. These scams can involve several crooks, some posing as police officers. Should this happen to you, do not pick up the dropped items; simply walk away without engaging in conversation.
Be aware of potential Internet fraud by persons claiming to live in Ukraine who offer goods for sale or profess companionship, romantic interest or marriage proposals. Neither the Embassy of Canada nor Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada is in a position to help recover lost funds or property in such cases.
See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Travel by road can be hazardous. Most roads outside major cities are poorly maintained. Drivers are often aggressive and have little regard for traffic regulations. Pedestrians should be particularly careful.
Avoid driving after dark outside major cities, as limited road visibility, poor vehicle maintenance and intoxicated drivers pose threats.
Motorists should not stop or camp overnight in isolated areas.
While roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are increasingly common, they remain inadequate.
Buses are usually overcrowded and in poor condition. Vehicles can be rented at rental agencies in major cities and at some major hotels in Kyiv. Only use officially marked taxis and do not share them with strangers.
Exercise caution on trains, particularly at night, due to the risk of robbery and muggings. Store personal belongings and travel documents in a safe place and do not leave the compartment unattended. Ensure that the door is secured from the inside. Avoid travelling alone.
The main ports for sea travel are Izmail, on the Danube Delta, and Odessa. Ferry service is available to the Russian Federation as well as to a number of cities on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. A ferry service connects Sevastopol and Istanbul, Turkey.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
General safety information
Exercise a high degree of caution in all places. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Tourist facilities outside the major centres of Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa are not highly developed. Mobile phone coverage outside major cities is unpredictable.
Dial 101 to reach firefighters, 102 for police and 103 for an ambulance.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Ukrainian authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of Ukraine or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Ukraine. It is recommended that the passport be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized, which may limit the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular services. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days per six-month period
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days per six-month period
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days per six-month period
Work permit: Required
If you intend to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days, you must obtain a visa prior to entering the country. You may also have to purchase medical insurance issued by the state-owned company Ukrainmedstrakh upon arrival. For further details on visas and work permits, please contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. Please consult our Children page for more information.
Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination before allowing entry. Consult the World Health Organization’s country list to obtain information on this country’s requirements.
The Agency strongly recommends that you consult with a travel medicine clinic or health care provider preferably six weeks before departure.
The Agency publishes travel health advice for Ukraine.
Medical facilities are limited. Shortages of basic medical supplies are common. The medical insurance policy provided by the state-owned company Ukrainmedstrakh covers all expenses for medical care and provides medical supplies in case of emergency.
Laws & Culture
Laws & Culture
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention FAQ for more information.
A serious violation may lead to a jail sentence. The sentence will be served in local prisons.
Carry adequate identification at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.
Local police may ask to see your passport and visa at any time. Always cooperate with local authorities. Be aware that you may be detained for up to three hours while your identification documents are being verified. Racially motivated mistreatment or harassment by Ukrainian authorities occurs.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
An International Driving Permit or a Ukrainian driver's licence is required, and car insurance is mandatory.
There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police are permitted to fine you on the spot.
The currency is the hryvnia (UAH).
The economy operates primarily on a cash basis. However, credit cards are accepted in most major cities. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, hotels and licensed exchange booths. Carry crisp bills, as well-worn or used U.S. banknotes may not be accepted. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are available, but new bank cards with a microchip cannot be used.
There are strict customs regulations and procedures regarding the export of antiquities and items of historical interest.
Natural Disasters & Climate
Natural Disasters & Climate
Forest fires can occur in eastern and southern Ukraine during the hottest summer months of July and August. In the event of a major fire, stay away from affected areas, follow the advice of local emergency services personnel, and monitor local media for up-to-date information. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke and affect travellers with respiratory ailments. For assistance, contact the Embassy of Canada in Kyiv.
Kyiv - Embassy of Canada
Lviv - Consulate of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the Embassy of Canada in Kyiv and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 00-1-613-996-8885.