Overview Ukraine/General Informations:
last update: May 2011
For most refugees and migrants from Asia and Africa Ukraine is mainly a transit-station on their way to other European countries. For migrants from Usbekistan or Moldova (and other citiznes of former soviet union) Ukraine is also a country to find labour. They do not need a visum for entering Ukraine, they can stay for 90 days without registration. But this does not include a right for work. Additional permission and permanent registration is needed to be legally employed.
There is a high level of burocracy and corruption in Ukraine. Migration and asylum legislation is not functioning properly and is full of gaps and inconsistancies with other legislation. It is very difficult to get an employment permission or permanent registration to stay in Ukraine. Refugees accomodation are few and full in Ukraine, so it is nearly impossible to get a place there. The level of migrantophobia is high in Ukrainian society, which also influences the work of police. They do a lot of raids on undocumented migrants and often stop people on the street due to racial profiling, demanding bribes or arresting those, who do not have valid documents or appropriate registration.
But there are even tighter controls on trains, busses and motorways to the western parts of Ukraine. In the border area, which is under special regulations, migrants without valid documents are arrested by the police or the border guards. These people are often put in detention, sometimes for six month. Migrants with a valid visum for Ukraine might face troubles too, if they cannot explain their reason to travel within the border region.
Many refugees and migrants nevertheless try to cross the western borders of Ukraine to the EU „illegally“, e.g. to Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. Mostly, it is not too dangerous as there is no water. But there are mountains and forests and sometimes people get lost. Moreover in early springtime, in autumn and winter, when it is cold or snowy, people must be careful because they can die from cold. And the river Tysa between Ukraine and Hungary is very dangerous to cross.
If refugees and migrants are apprehended by borderguards from Hungary or Slovakia not so far from the borderline, a big risk of readmission to Ukraine is given. Even if refugees ask for protection, illegal push-backs are a regular practice of EU-borderpolice. Thus it is very important to try to insist explicitly on an ASYLUM-application - more information at
Further detailed informations on Ukraine:
More information on this site: http://w2eu.info/ukraine.en.html