Before leaving Ukraine and deciding to travel to one of the EU countries, if possible, please take valid travel documents with you when leaving. However, the lack of travel documents or medical documents (certificate of vaccination, COVID-19 test) should not be an obstacle for you to enter the EU.
All EU countries bordering Ukraine are allowing entry to all people fleeing the war in Ukraine on humanitarian grounds regardless of whether or not you have a biometric passport. This applies also to children. If you have Ukrainian nationality and a biometric passport, you can enter the EU by presenting your passport at the border. In all the other cases, EU countries will admit you on humanitarian grounds.
How can I prove my nationality?
Here is an indicative list of documents you can use to prove Ukrainian nationality even if their period of validity has expired:
- passports of any kind (national passports, diplomatic passports, service passports, collective passports and surrogate passports including children’s passports)
- national identity cards (including temporary and provisional)
- military service books and military service cards
- seaman’s registration books, skippers’ service cards and seaman’s passports
- citizenship certificates
- other official documents that mention or indicate citizenship
If you have another nationality and are subject to the visa requirement for entering the EU, you should present your short-stay visa if you have one. If you do not have a short-stay visa, EU countries should still allow you to enter, with a view to facilitating your repatriation to the country of origin.
Will I be subject to border checks?
In view of the current situation in Ukraine, EU countries may carry out border checks at their borders but also at a different, safe location away from the border. The checks can be carried out during or after your transport to that safe location. You may be required to remain available to the authorities in that safe location while these checks are carried out.
What are my rights and obligations?
Irrespective of your nationality, you are entitled to immediate assistance and immediate information about your rights. This includes temporary shelter and the fulfilment of your basic needs such as food and medicine. Fulfilment of additional rights depends on the status you receive in the EU and may therefore differ.
Police and other administrative checks are possible at any moment including within the territories of Member States for security and migration purposes. It is important to cooperate and provide the required documents and information to police, border guards or other competent authorities. In certain circumstances, you may be required to remain available to the authorities during these checks in designated facilities.
For children who are crossing the external borders alone, i.e. without being accompanied or expected by parents or other adults responsible for them, and not accompanied or expected by known adults, you should inform the authorities and they will refer you to child protection services.