RUSSIA and UKRAINE: Additional Visa and Immigration Changes Announced

February 28, 2022

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued over the weekend, there were many changes from a visa and immigration perspective for both Ukrainian citizens and residents fleeing the country and Russian citizens seeking to apply for visas from certain countries.

Immigration Concessions for Ukrainian Citizens

Further to our earlier alert last Friday (here), many countries continue to announce visa and immigration concessions for individuals fleeing Ukraine. An update to our earlier list (note that, unless otherwise stated, updates from our alert last Friday remain current and valid to the best of our understanding):

  • Poland still remains the primary destination for many individuals departing Ukraine. Polish authorities will allow individuals fleeing from Ukraine to enter without an international passport and without a negative COVID-19 test.
    • There is a streamlined immigration process for Ukrainian citizens to obtain work authorization in Poland once they have arrived. Note that this process is likely to be flooded with new applications and processing times may be significantly delayed. Please reach out to Newland Chase for further scenario-specific assessments.
    • Polish authorities continue to update their official website covering Ukrainian entrance into their country. Please continue to check here for the latest official updates.
  • Canada will prioritize immigration applications filed by Ukrainian residents. Ukrainian citizens currently in Canada can apply to extend their visa, student, or work status.
  • Germany has opened the doors to accept long-term permit applications from some Ukrainian citizens. In addition, certain Ukrainian citizens who are staying in Germany visa-free may be eligible for status extension. Please contact Newland Chase for a case-specific assessment.
  • Iceland will prioritize immigration application filed by Ukrainian applicants.
  • Ireland has temporarily lifted all visa requirements between Ukraine and Ireland. Individuals who are considering leaving Ukraine and traveling to Ireland may for the coming period do so without a visa if they judge it safe to travel. Those who travel to Ireland without a visa during this period will then have 90 days after arrival to regularize their status.
  • Slovakia will allow individuals fleeing from Ukraine to enter without an international passport and may apply for temporary refuge or asylum. It is strongly recommended to travel with the birth certificates of minor-aged children, if possible.

Exit from Ukraine

  • Entry into Ukraine, except for government-approved purposes, has been suspended due to military emergency and martial law announced on February 25.
  • Airspace over Ukraine remains closed and all airports are closed for commercial flights.
  • Land borders with Belarus remain closed in both directions.
  • Land borders into Poland, Hungary (West), Moldova, Romania (South-West), and Slovakia remain open.
  • Male Ukrainian citizens aged 18-60 are still barred from exiting the country due to military mobilization. Ukrainian women, children, and males outside of the stated age ranges, and third-country national residents of Ukraine are permitted to depart.

Remote Work from Abroad

Although the safety and wellbeing of employees has been the primary concern for employers in Ukraine, companies are looking into the possibility of remote work for their employees when they do exit the country. At this time, remote work has not been specifically addressed in most countries’ current concessions for Ukrainian citizens and third-country nationals fleeing Ukraine. Newland Chase continues to monitor new and updated concessions closely and will provide any updates as they are made available from the authorities.

Potential Visa and Travel Restrictions for Russian Citizens Considered

In addition to visa and immigration concessions for individuals fleeing Ukraine, many countries are beginning to consider and implement temporary measures against Russian nationals. At the time of this writing, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Latvia, and Lithuania are the first countries to announce a temporary halt in visa processing for Russian citizens. More countries are expected to make similar declarations in the upcoming days.

In addition, the whole of the European Union has banned Russian airlines from their airspace.

Newland Chase Insights

As with most geopolitical and military conflicts, visa/immigration and the mass movement of people is a major factor in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Multinational companies in Ukraine and throughout the region should continue to closely monitor official government websites and immigration alerts from reputable sources. Newland Chase’s teams throughout the world are constantly tracking the crisis and organizing immigration strategies for affected clients and their personnel in Ukraine.

As before, the situation in Ukraine, the surrounding region, and throughout Europe remains extremely fluid and is subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Companies with inquiries regarding travel and immigration throughout Eastern Europe and for Russian citizens needing to travel abroad should reach out to their dedicated Newland Chase immigration contact for scenario-specific advice.

Newland Chase continues to send our thoughts and best wishes to all those affected by this conflict. We hope you, your loved ones, and your work teams are safe.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Newland Chase dedicated contact or submit an inquiry here should you have any specific questions regarding this announcement.


This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.