Russian citizens restricted from traveling on domestic (internal) passports

6 Feb 15



What is the change? Ukraine will suspend travel for all Russian citizens who hold only domestic identification known as internal passports as well as for Russian children under 14 who hold only birth certificates.

What does the change mean? All Russian nationals, including children, must hold international passports to enter Ukraine.

  • Implementation timeframe:The official implementation date is March 1, but border officials could begin to carry it out immediately on their own.
  • Visas/permits affected:Internal passports; birth certificates for children under 14.
  • Who is affected:Russian nationals traveling to or from Ukraine, including those currently in Ukraine.
  • Business impact:Russian nationals accustomed to traveling to Ukraine with only domestic (internal) passports may be refused entry at Ukraine’s borders.
  • Next steps:Russian employees and assignees in Ukraine or planning to travel to Ukraine should only do so with a Russian international passport, not domestic (internal) passports.

Background: A bilateral treaty allows travel between the two countries using domestic passports (for all Russian citizens) and birth certificates (for Russian children under 14). On Jan. 30, Ukraine’s prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, signed a resolution suspending that provision, announcing that the restriction would increase border security and reciprocate Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for Ukrainian citizens to use only international passports when crossing the border.

Fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine has recently surged despite a September ceasefire in a conflict that began last April, following the ouster of Ukraine’s president. More than 5,300 people have been killed and more than one million displaced, according to new United Nations statistics.

Travelers holding diplomatic and official passports are not affected by the new restrictions.

BAL Analysis: While the official implementation date is March 1, Russian citizens should expect that border officials may enforce the travel restrictions at any time.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Ukraine. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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