As far as entry requirements are concerned, there's nothing you need to do before your flight.
When you arrive at the airport, you and your fellow passengers will be led to the passport control area, where some migration officers sit in small booths. I forget how the "lanes" are labeled, but you will want a lane for foreigners (there will be some reserved for citizens of Ukraine).
Just stay behind the line on the floor (a few feet away from the booths) until the last person in front of you has gone out the gate or turnstile, then go to the booth and hand your passport to the officer. If you're wearing a hat or cap, take it off while you're at the booth. In less than a minute, the officer will return your passport, and off you go to baggage claim. That's it!
It has happened once or twice that the migration officer asked my where I would stay during my visit, so I keep a printed sheet with the address of the apartment or hotel I reserved.
IMPORTANT: I forget how this works for Ukraine specifically, but many countries won't admit a person (or grant them a visa) if their passport is close to expiring. If your passport expiration date is in 2016 or later, no worries. But if it will expire in 2015, get it renewed now.
The expiration date of the passport is very important and you should not travel with one that has only a few months left on it. My uncle nearly got stranded overseas when he went to another region on a whim (separate visa needed) and then could not get back to the original visiting country because his passport had only a few months left on it and the country would not issue him a new entry visa. He was forced to go the US Consulate to get a temporary extension to the passport before a new entry visa was issued.
I found the article about necessary funds for travel to Ukraine on the State Dept. website.
"Upon entry to Ukraine, foreign travelers need to show proof of sufficient funds for the period of their stay in Ukraine. This equals the subsistence level amount (which is currently 1,176.00 UAH per month) multiplied by 20, i.e. 23,520 UAH (about $2,350.00) for one month stay. If a traveler is coming for a shorter or longer period, the monthly amount is divided by 30 (average number of days per month) and multiplied by the actual number of days the traveler is planning to stay, plus 5 additional days.
For instance, for a 40-day stay, a traveler would need to be able to demonstrate access to the following amount:
(1,176 x 20) / 30 x (40+5) = 35,280.00 UAH (about $3, 530.00)
For a 1-day trip, a traveler would need to have:
(1,176 x 20) / 30 x (1+5) = 4,704.00 UAH (about $470.00)
PLEASE NOTE: The subsistence level changes throughout the year and will be as high as 1,256.00 UAH by the end of 2014. U.S. travelers may wish to use 1,300 UAH as a default to calculate the required amount. The exchange rate of U.S. dollar to Ukrainian hryvnya changes as well.
Travelers should be ready to demonstrate the required amount by showing bank statements, ATM receipts, credit card limits, cash, or a letter of support from an inviting party.
Ukrainian law requires visitors to have valid health insurance.
We don't Brandon's citizenship. If he's from a western country such as US, Canada or Europe he doesn't need a visa to visit Ukraine provided he stays no longer than 90 days per 180 days.
"I am planning to visit my girlfriend"
What makes you think she's your girlfriend Brandon? She's not your girlfriend till you've met her in person and have entered into a relationship with her. Right now she is an internet acquaintance and not more.
If you wish to provide further details on your acquaintance and how you met there are those of us in here that would be happy to provide helpful advice with your trip to Ukraine.
I am an American. I have been to Ukraine eight times. No need for a separate visa. Just bring your passport. No need to prove that you have money to travel. I have never been asked by a customs officer where I plan to stay.
Dc,,,, did you find anything on the maximum amounts you can bring in?? Back in 2009,,, Russia and Ukraine had a 5,000 and a 7,000USD amount limit. I forget which was which,,, but remember being over both. With trying to fit 4 cities into one trip,,, I brought along enough to pay for it on various means.
On that same trip I purchased short day trip insurance via the travel agency,,,, then found out that health care is almost free in Ukraine. I only paid the ďĒcustomaryĒĒ or suggested tip,,, which could have been a scam,, but it was only 90usd.
Iíve never needed to show anything coming into Ukraine,,, other than visa.
The website says that Ukraine permits up to 10,000 Euros or equivalent for entry and exit in/out of the country. If over, you have to declare it. With the currency devaluation of the Euro, not sure if that changes the limits.
Over the last 5 years I have been asked several times which place I'm staying at. I think it has to do with tit for tat. When you go through US customs they ask where you're staying.
Recently though I've not been asked.
This reminds me of the case of Cary Dolego, an American who ended up homeless in Ukraine. What happened was he was renting an apartment in Chernivtsi and the landlord booted him out for some reason. He could not access his funds so he ended sleeping in the train station.
you might want to keep quiet about how much money you have so customs will not want a bribe as they need to eat also. after baggage pickup you might have to have your bags scanned or be questioned by an official looking for a few dollars, Odessa comes to mind for this scam but Kyiv not so much. I was asked once how much I had on me when I was leaving for the states.
dcguy that article is bogus. I can't imagine needing that much funds. My hotel room with all modern furniture is $17/day. The taxi ride I just took was $1.27. I am going out for dinner this evening and my bill will be under $8 for a steak and a beer.
The state department is out of touch with current prices.
The passport control agents had ask me on various occasions.
Where are staying,
From where did you came from...in Europe you get stamped in /out or out/ in of the country keep your Harding passes.
What is the porpoise of your visit.
For how long is your visit.
How many times had you previously enter this country.
Regardless of luow tiresome, irritated or inhibriated you had been ... Don't joke or said any thing stupid.
Your bags could be scrutinized for..... Travel light. Leave those expensive gifts back home.
Dc,,, youíre right,,, passport, not visa. Good catch.
About the max money for the trip,,, in 2009 it was 5,000 and 7,000USD, but Iím not sure where I read it,,, just remember thinking: Oh sh!t,,,, and keeping my mouth shut.
For that 2009 trip, it was to DME to Tverí to SVO to KBP to ODS to Nikolaev, to ODS to KBP to whatever Luhansk is to KBP to DME. At DME they asked and counted my money. I asked why he needed to know,,, but donít recall an answer. What are they really worried about??
One thing that I would do when traveling back to Ukraine,,, is to keep one change of cloths just for the trip home. Iíve had my laundry washed by housekeeping at the hotels before my departure,,,, and twice it came back smelling 5x worse than when it went out. To this day, I still do not know why. Possibilities are,,,, bad water and/or not enough detergent, too hot a setting on the drier,,, old or bad water in the iron,,,, or my clothes were put in with other laundry??
The state department information could be outdated. I am sure they do not update it based on currency exchange rate fluctuations. Cost of living expenses changes from year to year.
Is someone going to visit Flipper? ;-)
All countries have currency limits for you to bring in or take out. Not exactly sure why they need to know, but maybe have to do with you being some kind of "money launderer/courier" or economic disruptor to the country?
Water quality can vary from region to region. I lived in a rural village that used a well septic system to manage the water supply. I developed itchy hives after several weeks living there. The water had a very metallic taste to it.
as dcguy wrote above, you should always have proof of funds papers, just in case. Ive never been asked for it but one should always be prepared.
a bank statement of credit card statement showing a sufficient level for duration of your stay is enough.
Health insurance IS required and every so often they DO ask but it is cheap and you can get a year for only 50 bucks from several online places. Travel
insurance is also recommended. As a general rule, cash payment is required of foreigners seeking medical care in Ukraine as "free" healthcare is not for foreigners
and in reality it isnt free anyway(if you want actual care)
regarding actual costs, Tom is correct about dining prices in most lower and mid prices places. I took our staff out for a dinner party several weeks ago and for
10 of us it was about $110.00 and that included lots of food, including steak and drinks till we were drunk and beyond.
housing currently ranges from a daily low of about $15 for decent places to $35-50 for higher end places with lots of amenities.
2 stage pricing is common with higher price for English speakers vs native speakers for both accommodations and taxis.
And as others have already mentioned, SHE IS NOT YOUR GIRLFRIEND!!! You possibly may end up in a relationship with her AFTER you meet but the odds are very much against it so be prepared for that very real possibility and have a backup plan or 2. Dont spend too much on her but also dont be cheap. No expensive gifts until you know that it is going somewhere
and she is genuine.
Finally, STUDY THE LANGUAGE AND CUSTOMS/TRADITIONS BEFORE YOU GO!!! you are less likely to be taken advantage of if you make the effort to understand our country and girls
like it that you have made such an effort. Things like Hello, please, thank you, goodbye, nice to meet you and other basic phrases are very easy to learn and remember