UKRAINE: European Council Adopts Schengen Visa Waiver for Ukrainian Nationals

On 11th May 2017, the European Council adopted a proposal on visa liberalisation for Ukrainian nationals, allowing Ukrainians to travel to the Schengen Area without obtaining visas.

Under the visa exemption, Ukrainians who hold a biometric passport will have the right to enter the EU visa-free for 90 days in any 180-day period, for business, tourist or family purposes, but not to work or study.

Next Steps

The Council and the European Parliament now need to sign the adopted regulation. The visa-free regime will then enter into force 20 days after publication, in the Official Journal, of the amendment to Regulation 539/2001 on visa requirements for nationals of non-EU member countries.


The Schengen Area consists of 22 European Union Member States and four non-members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet part of the Schengen Area, but nonetheless have a visa policy that is based on the Schengen area.

The visa waiver does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland which have opted out of the Schengen area.

Our advice

Note that nationals of Ukraine will be allowed to travel to the Schengen Area for tourism or business for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa, later this year.

For further information and advice on travelling to the Schengen Area, please email us at

This information was provided by our sister company, Peregrine Immigration Management.

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