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Entry restrictions to Ukraine: Lawyer reveals key reasons

Entry restrictions to Ukraine: Lawyer reveals key reasons Ukrainian crossing border (Photo: Getty Images)

When crossing the Ukrainian border, there is a possibility that a person may be denied entry into the country. However, according to Ukrainian laws, this applies only to foreigners, as Ukrainian citizens cannot be denied entry to their own country. Kateryna Zatulko, an attorney and senior lawyer at "Expatpro," talked about the main reasons why entry to Ukraine may be prohibited and how to handle such situations.

The reasons for entry bans into Ukraine

In general, an entry ban is a restrictive measure that can only be applied according to the legislation of Ukraine to foreigners and stateless persons. Entry bans are not applied to citizens of Ukraine.

"Entry bans for foreigners can be imposed by the authorities of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the State Migration Service of Ukraine, the National Police of Ukraine, and the Security Service of Ukraine," says the lawyer.

The entry ban is applied

  • In the interest of ensuring Ukraine's national security or maintaining public order, or combating organized crime.
  • To protect the health, rights, and legitimate interests of Ukrainian citizens and other persons residing in Ukraine.
  • If the person provides knowingly false information or forged documents in their application for entry into Ukraine.
  • If the person's passport document or visa is forged, damaged, does not correspond to the established pattern, or belongs to another person.
  • If the person has violated border crossing rules, customs regulations, sanitary norms, or rules, or has failed to comply with lawful demands of the State Border Guard and/or Customs Service officials.
  • If, in the past, the foreigner or stateless person failed to comply with court decisions or decisions of state authorities authorized to impose administrative penalties, or if the person has other outstanding financial obligations to the state, individuals, or legal entities.
  • In cases where the person has violated the established Ukrainian legislation by entering the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine or the area of the anti-terrorist operation or attempting to enter or exit these territories through unauthorized checkpoints.

Note that these reasons may be grounds for imposing an entry ban to Ukraine for foreigners and stateless individuals, but Ukrainian citizens are exempt from such bans.

Entry restrictions to Ukraine: Lawyer reveals key reasons

Photo: According to the laws, citizens of Ukraine cannot be prohibited from entering their native country (Photo: Getty Images)

According to the interlocutor, a ban on entry can be imposed for a period of 1, 3, 5, or 10 years, depending on the grounds for its imposition.

"However, it is important to distinguish between the decision on the ban on entry and the decision on refusal of entry. These are different things," notes Katerina Zatulko.

A ban on entry is an administrative measure that is applied for a certain period (1, 3, 5, or 10 years) based on the grounds provided by the legislation.

Refusal of entry is a one-time administrative measure that is applied when a foreigner cannot confirm the purpose of their visit, lacks sufficient funds for their stay in Ukraine, or crosses the border after being previously banned from entry.

"If the refusal of entry is not based on a ban from crossing the border, then the person can work on their documents that confirm the purpose of their visit and financial means (for example, obtain additional invitation for entry or get a new bank statement or guarantee letter from the receiving party) and try to cross the border an unlimited number of times at a different checkpoint and time," explains the lawyer.

The decision on the ban on entry can be appealed administratively to an authority higher than the one that made the decision or through the court. During the appeal period, the person will not have the right to enter the territory of Ukraine.

"The administrative procedure for appeal is faster than the judicial one – usually, complaints are considered within a month. The judicial appeal can take several months or even a year, depending on the court's workload. However, the judicial appeal is more effective than the administrative one because courts more often decide in favor of the person," adds the expert.