Trying to go to Crimea? Here are the hoops through which you’ll need to jump:

This afternoon, to test barriers to movement from Ukraine to the Crimean peninsula, my colleague and I dropped in on the State Migration Service of Ukraine, (or their English info page here) office in Kyiv, Suvorova street. The main office is on the left bank of the city. The building was bustling at 12:30pm, with queries ranging from IDP registration issues to reissuance of lost or left-behind passports. Petitioners and employees spoke amongst themselves in Russian, and all informational documents lining the walls were written in Ukrainian.

Our scenario was as follows: I, an American citizen, wished to visit my Aunt in Simferopol. Visiting relatives is one of the few cases in which foreigners are allowed into Crimea. Employees of the SMS were unsure of who we should speak with, which is not unheard of in post-Soviet government institutions. Finally a woman in Office 3 told us we would almost certainly have to inquire at the central ministry, as they didn’t handle travel permits for foreigners in the district offices. We would need my passport, proof of relation to my Aunt in Simferopol, and proof of her residential registration in Crimea. These documents were off the top of her head, and she was unsure if we would need other materials for an application. There was no print-off or information of the process or what documentation to bring.

According to Governmental decree № 367 adopted on June 4th available online, (and again, not available at the SMS) foreign nationals and stateless persons should bring the following:
1) application;
2) passport;
3) a document confirming legal stay in Ukraine;
4) a copy of the passport page or a document certifying the stateless person, with personal data of persons with translation into Ukrainian language, certified in the established order;
5) The following documents regarding the purpose of entering Crimea:
a) copies of documents confirming kinship of foreigners and persons without citizenship and place of residence of their relatives and family members in Crimea;
b) a copy of the document confirming the death of close relatives who lived in Crimea;
c) a document confirming the burial of close relatives or family members to Crimea;
d) documents proving ownership of real estate located in Crimea;
e) request or approval of the Foreign Ministry for the persons mentioned in paragraphs 5 and 6 of paragraph 21 of this Order;
f) other documents that can confirm the purpose of entry in Crimea;
6) a document confirming the availability of sufficient financial provision for the period of intended stay in Ukraine or appropriate safeguards host (except for foreigners and stateless persons to whom a special permit issued under the conditions provided in points 5-7 of paragraph 21 of the Order);
7) three photographs measuring 3.5 x 4.5 centimeters.
* A special permit is issued to foreigners and stateless persons who have reached 18 years of age. Data on juvenile foreigners or stateless persons entered in the special permit issued by their parents or legal guardians.

Cases in which you may apply for such a permit:
1) residence in the territory temporarily occupied Ukraine close relatives or family members of a foreigner or stateless person, as evidenced by the documents issued by the authorized state bodies of Ukraine;
2) the location of the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine gravesites close relatives or family members, as evidenced by relevant documents;
3) the death of close relatives or family members living in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, which is confirmed by relevant documents;
4) the availability of property rights to real estate located in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine;
5) the need to participate in the defense of national interests of Ukraine to the peaceful settlement of the conflict, liberation of Ukraine from occupation or for humanitarian policy (only at the request or consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
6) the necessity of diplomatic and consular functions, in particular within the framework of international organizations of which Ukraine is (only at the request or consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
7) making regular trips to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine related to the employment of employees of railways.

This information (and translation) is taken from the newspaper “Migration” published by the SMS of Ukraine available here:

As you can see from the above declaration, as well as from my inquiry at the SMS office, traveling to Crimea for the purposes of tourism is prohibited.


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