Information for U.S. Citizens in Ukraine
March 1, 2022
Information for U.S. Citizens in Ukraine
U.S. citizens in Ukraine should complete this online form so that the State Department can communicate with you. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Ukraine can also call 1-833-741-2777 (in the United States) or 1-606-260-4379 (from overseas) for immediate assistance.
We encourage U.S. citizens to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency.
Read alerts and message on security and border crossing issues from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.
Guidance on Land Border Crossings
U.S. citizens wishing to depart Ukraine by land have several options, listed below. We understand that most border crossings into Poland and all main crossing points into Moldova are severely backed up and some are experiencing extremely long wait times (well over 30 hours in some cases). We recommend that, if possible, U.S. citizens consider redirecting to border crossings with Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, which are currently experiencing lower wait times to cross.
Note that conditions at each border can change very quickly and wait times can increase at any time without warning. Be prepared to wait for many hours to cross:
- Have extra batteries and power banks for your mobile phones.
- Bring enough food and water for at least two days.
- Stock up on diapers and baby food, if applicable.
- Bring blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothes.
- Ensure enough pet food if you are with your pet.
- Bring hard copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports [even if expired], any other identification) and don’t rely on cell phones and computer batteries.
- Book accommodations prior to arrival, as many hotels near the borders are already booked.
Local authorities in Romania, Poland, and Moldova have reception centers immediately beyond most border crossings, where you can find food, temporary lodging, clothes, and transportation to the next bigger town.
Specific info on entering neighboring countries from Ukraine
Poland has indicated to the U.S. government that U.S. citizens may now enter Poland through the land border with Ukraine. No advanced approval is required. We encourage those traveling into Poland by land from Ukraine to cross at the Korczowa-Krakovets or Medyka-Shehyni border crossings. The U.S. embassy has consular officers stationed near these crossings to provide assistance. Please call +48 22 504 2784 or +48 22 504 2000 (Embassy Warsaw), or +48 12 424 5100 (Consulate General Krakow), or email [email protected] or [email protected] for further information. You may contact the Polish Border Guard by email at [email protected] or by phone at +48 22 500 4068, +48 22 500 4568, or +48 22 500 5468. The Polish Border Guard’s website also provides relevant information (in Polish). The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Poland’s website describes entry and exit requirements (located under the header “Entry and Exit Requirements”).
We encourage those traveling into Romania by land from Ukraine to cross at the Siret border crossing. The U.S. embassy will soon have consular officers stationed near this crossing to provide assistance. Please call +40-41-270-6000 or email [email protected] for further information. Vaccinated and unvaccinated U.S. citizens may enter Romania by land. The Romanian Border Police’s website also provides relevant information. The U.S. Embassy in Romania’s website describes entry and exit requirements (located under the header “Entry and Exit Requirements”).
We encourage those traveling into Hungary by land from Ukraine to cross at the Záhony border crossing. The U.S. embassy will have staff stationed near this crossing to provide assistance. Please contact +36-1-475-4400 by phone or [email protected] by email for further information. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Hungary, but should be prepared to show proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, or proof of recovery from COVID-19. Please contact +36-1-475-4400 by phone or [email protected] by email for further information. Hungarian Police’s website provides relevant information. The U.S. Embassy in Hungary’s website describes entry and exit requirements (located under the header “Entry and Exit Requirement”).
A list of open border crossings is available on the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava’s website. The U.S. embassy can provide consular assistance to U.S. citizens who cross into Slovakia from Ukraine. Please call +421-2-5443-0861 or +421-903-703-666 by phone or email [email protected] for further information. All borders in Slovakia are open to vaccinated travelers, and unvaccinated travelers will be allowed entry in a humanitarian emergency, but may need to undergo testing and quarantine. The U.S. Embassy in Slovakia’s website describes entry and exit requirements (located under the header “Entry and Exit Requirements”) in more detail.
U.S. citizens traveling into Moldova by land from Ukraine should avoid the Transnistria region and cross into Moldova either to the north or south of the region. The main Moldova-Ukraine border crossing south of Transnistria is Palanca – Mayaki Udobnoe. The main border crossing north of Transnistria is Otaci – Mohyliv-Podilskyi. U.S. Embassy personnel will be stationed near border crossings to provide assistance. Please contact +373-2240-8300 by phone or [email protected] by email for further information. Travelers should not enter Moldova through the breakaway region of Transnistria, where the U.S. Embassy has limited access and cannot provide the full range of assistance to U.S. citizens. Travelers should note the Chisinau-Odesa train goes through Transnistria as well. More information on Transnistria can be found here.
Do not travel to Belarus due to the arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of detention, the Russian military attack on neighboring Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military in Belarus along the border with Ukraine, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions. U.S. citizens in Belarus should depart immediately via commercial or private means. Read our travel advisory for Belarus.
Do not travel to Russia :
Due to the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions, terrorism, limited flights into and out of Russia, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law. U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available. Read our travel advisory for Russia.
Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions, terrorism, limited flights into and out of Russia, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law. U.S. citizens should depart Russia immediately.
U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately. Limited commercial flight options are still available. Overland routes by car and bus are also still open. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make arrangements on your own as soon as possible. If you plan to stay in Russia, understand the U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may change suddenly. U.S. citizens who are able to depart Russia for another country and are in need of emergency assistance upon arrival may contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in that country.
U.S. citizens should note that some credit and debit cards may be declined as a result of sanctions imposed on Russian banks. Also, there are some reports of cash shortages within Russia. U.S. citizens should make an alternative plan for access to money and finances if remaining in Russia.
Due to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine, an increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. In addition, airspace around southern Russia is restricted, and a number of airports in the area have closed. U.S. citizens located in, or considering travel to, the districts of the Russian Federation immediately bordering Ukraine should be aware that the situation along the border is dangerous and unpredictable.
Given the ongoing armed conflict, U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling by land from Russia to Ukraine. In addition, there is the potential throughout Russia of harassment of foreigners, including through regulations targeted specifically against foreigners. Given the ongoing armed conflict and the potentially significant impact on international travel options, U.S. citizens should depart Russia immediately via the limited commercial options still available.
The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited, particularly in areas far from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow due to Russian government limitations on travel, the number of U.S. staff, and the ongoing suspension of operations, including consular services, at U.S. consulates.
On February 28, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency personnel from U.S. Embassy Moscow.
Do Not Travel to:
- The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and risk of civil unrest.
- Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.
Country Summary: U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel and private citizens engaged in business, who are visiting or residing in Russia have been interrogated without cause and threatened by Russian officials, and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. All U.S. government personnel should carefully consider their need to travel to Russia.
Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and have convicted them in secret trials and/or without presenting credible evidence. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity. Russian security services are increasing the arbitrary enforcement of local laws to target foreign and international organizations they consider “undesirable,” and U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Russia to perform work for or volunteer with non-governmental organizations. Russian authorities may not notify the U.S. Embassy of the detention of a U.S. citizen, and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed.
Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying access to U.S. consular assistance and preventing their departure from Russia.
The rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia, and U.S. citizens should avoid all political or social protests.
Terrorist groups, transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. aviation operations into, out of, within, or over those areas of the Moscow Flight Information Region (FIR), the Samara FIR (UWWW) and the Rostov-na-Donu (URRV) FIR within 160NM of the boundaries of the Dnipro (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Russia due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.
There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Russia. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Russia.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Russia:
- Familiarize yourself with the information on what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas.
- Have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Monitor local and international media for breaking events and adjust your contingency plans based on the new information.
- Ensure travel documents are valid and easily accessible.
- Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for Russia.
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Get a COVID vaccine to facilitate your travel.
- Understand the COVID testing and vaccine requirements for all countries that you will transit through to your destination
North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus) – Do Not Travel
Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region, including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.
Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Crimea – Do Not Travel
The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. Russia staged its further invasion of Ukraine from occupied Crimea, and Russia is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.
The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Last Update: Reissued with updates on security situation and advice to U.S. citizens.