The U.S. State Department has advised U.S. citizens in Ukraine to leave the country immediately and has provided an update to its available consular services at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

Key Points:

  • The State Department updated its “do not travel” warning for Ukraine. The warning had already been in place because of the current instability and COVID-19; however, U.S. citizens are now advised to leave Ukraine immediately through commercial or private means. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that the U.S. government will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine. President Joe Biden has also said Americans should leave Ukraine.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is prioritizing services for U.S. citizens. The embassy continues to offer immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments, although it currently has a reduced capacity to process nonimmigrant visas. Those applying for visas should expect wait times that are longer than normal.
  • The State Department continues to ask U.S. citizens in Ukraine to complete an online form to make it easier for U.S. officials to communicate with them directly. More information regarding what the U.S. can do to assist its citizens in a crisis overseas is available here.

Background: On Jan. 23, the State Department authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees and ordered the departure of family members from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia. In an interview on Thursday, President Biden talked about tensions rising between Russia and Ukraine and warned Americans again to leave Ukraine.

BAL Analysis: Delays should be expected for services that are available at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. The situation in Ukraine may change with little or no notice and companies with employees in the country are encouraged to follow State Department information and warnings closely.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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