Yes, It *is* a Bit Confusing . . .

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Posted by Dan on December 10, 2000 at 11:55:09:

In Reply to: The whole visa situation posted by Mark on December 10, 2000 at 01:18:53:


Robert (RJ) has given you some very sound advice. To amplify it just a bit, first I would suggest you decouple the visa acquisition process from the visa registration process. Consider acquiring a visa as a simple entry barrier and once you've received the visa - then you can confront the registration hurdle (AFTER you've arrived in-country).

I won't post it again, but you can search this board for a post of mine called "Detailed Visa Process" or something like that, and it will tell you everything you need to do to acquire the visa yourself (or send me an e-mail and I will e-mail it to you directly). Alternatively, Robert offers the service at no additional charge - which is quite a good deal (IMHO).

Next, as far as registration goes. It does not matter which 'flavor' of visa you received (Private, Tourist, or Business). Anytime you stay in a hotel, the hotel automatically registers your stay in Ukraine. Further, so long as you register within 3 business days of your arrival - you are legal and you need only register one time (one city). There are some services that charge a nominal fee to provide visa registration support - which would apply if you are NOT planning to stay in a hotel. Let me know if you need it and I can e-mail you the contact information for this assistance.

Now for the variables. Most travelers are not confronted with a problem of failing to register until it comes time for them to depart the country. Yes, it *is* possible for militsia to ask for your documents at any time in Ukraine - and if you have not properly registered, they can harass and fine you. As I say though, the vast majority of confrontations occur at the airport when you are ready to depart the country. When they check you, they are counting on the fact that you are pressed for time and anxious to catch your flight. While the official fine is only 85 Hr (about $15 USD), they will often make an attempt to get much more than that. If you can speak Russian or Ukrainian - or if you have someone with you that is local - it should be not a serious problem and a small fine should resolve matters. If you do not speak the language and are unaccompanied, it can be quite a trying ordeal. There is no black-and-white rule for dealing with this - only to remain calm and use common sense. As Robert says, if you *did* register properly, it is unlikely (though not impossible) that you will have to run this gauntlet.

I hope this helps - and I hope you have a great trip to Ukraine. It is a terrific country with wonderful traditions and warm people.


- Dan

: This is the first time Ive viewed this site so Im sorry if Im making someone answer something they have answered millions of times already.
: I plan to go to Ukraine in summer 2001. So far everything Ive read about the whole visa thing has just gone in circles with one source saying to do one thing and then the next saying completely the opposite. Here is my situation.
: Im now up to date with the whole invitation deal...for a private visa you do not need one but for a tourist visa you do. I have a friend in Kyiv, so that would enable me to get a private visa. Now I plan to visit other cities besides Kyiv so is it going to be a problem staying in hostels/hotels with a private visa? About the registration now...since Kyiv wont be my first destination would I still have to register the visa myself or could a hotel do it even though its not a tourist visa?? Would I have to make Kyiv my first destination then?? Lastly, Im a US citizen but Ill be working in Scotland from Jan-July. Will it be a problem getting a Ukrainian visa outside of my home country?? Ive been told it would actually be easier getting it outside of the US but Ive also read about being required to get it in your home country if your country has a Ukrainian embassy.
: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Im just so confused on this whole topic but Im determined to not let all the red tape deter me from visiting. Cheers!

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