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Ukraine and Temporary Exception from COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Travelers from Ukraine

Jun 16, 2022 | Raluca Vais-Ottosen

UPDATE 03/15/2022

The Department of Homeland Security posted an Amended National Interest Exception, which extends the COVID-19 vaccine exception to April 1, 2022.  Prior to the amendment, it was set to expire on March 1, 2022.  The exception allows certain individuals traveling from Ukraine to be admitted to the U.S. without proof of COVID-19 vaccination, if they are traveling from Ukraine with a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, and meet all other requirements for the vaccine National Interest Exception from the original order.  

February 24, 2022

Due to the escalation of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Department of State has suspended consular services at the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Kyiv and has ordered the departure of most U.S. direct employees from that embassy.

Can I apply for a nonimmigrant or temporary visa at the U.S. Consulate in Kyiv?

As of the date of this article, the U.S. Consulate in Kyiv is not scheduling any visa interviews for temporary visas.  At this time, visa operations are suspended for interview waiver cases as well.  Therefore, even if the applicant is eligible to obtain the visa without an interview, at this time, the U.S. Consulate in Kyiv is not processing those applications.

Ukrainian citizens seeking to apply for a nonimmigrant or temporary U.S. visa may apply at the U.S. Consulate in any other country where they are physically located, if appointments are available.  Applicants should contact the U.S. consulate in those third countries in advance, to ensure they meet the requirements to apply in that particular country.

Can I apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate in Kyiv?

As of the date of this article, the U.S. Consulate in Kyiv has suspended all immigrant visa processing as well.  Ukrainian citizens who have an immigrant visa case pending before the U.S. Consulate in Ukraine should contact the U.S. Consulate in another country where they can request to have the case transferred.

Can Ukrainian citizens travel to the U.S. if they already have a valid U.S. visa?

Yes, as long as they establish that they are able to comply with the scope and term of the type of visa they have. 

Is COVID vaccination required for Ukrainian citizens wishing to travel to the U.S.?

On October 25, 2021, the U.S. announced that it would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to most non-immigrant status or temporary visa holders before being admitted to the U.S.  That requirement is still in effect. 

However, due to the military crisis in Ukraine, the Department of Homeland Security issued a brief exception to this requirement for certain nonimmigrant travelers coming from Ukraine.  Specifically, nonimmigrants or temporary visa holders who: (1) are traveling with a U.S. or Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder); and (2) who were physically present in Ukraine as of February 10, 2022; and (3) are in possession of a valid travel document permitting travel to the U.S. (such as a valid U.S. visa or other immigration document), will not be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to travel.  Instead, these travelers will have to attest that they have made arrangements to get tested within 3-5 days after arrival, self-quarantine for seven days, and become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arrival if still in the U.S.

As of the date of this article, the temporary exceptions to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements are in effect until March 1, 2022.

All other COVID-19 guidelines for traveling are still in effect, including pre-travel testing requirements.

For any U.S. immigration-related questions, do not hesitate to contact Attorney Raluca (Luca) Vais-Ottosen at or 608-252-9291.