Ukraine - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel

Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, and other aspects of international travel.

Last published date: 2023-01-11

Business Customs

Relationships are crucial in Ukrainian culture, and as a result, it is advisable to discuss important business matters face-to-face. The format and mood of business meetings greatly depend upon the size of the Ukrainian company and its previous experience with foreign business representatives. Regardless of size, all companies will observe the niceties, offering coffee, tea, water, and thank you for the meeting.

Taking into consideration the language barrier and the importance of body language, finding an interpreter you know, and trust is imperative to ensure that the message you wish to convey to prospective business partners or clients is accurate. Take your hints from your counterparts. Be prepared with a meeting agenda, be on time or apologize if you are late. Be flexible but firm in your objectives and ask questions if you are not clear on something under discussion. It is polite to give at least one week’s notice when requesting a meeting. Appointments should be reconfirmed shortly before the meeting day.

Travel Advisory

Please review the U.S. Department of State Country Information Sheet for Ukraine available at Travel.State.Gov for the latest travel advisories. 

Regular updates on Covid-19 and travel restrictions can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine website, COVID-19 Information.

U.S. citizens are urged to follow travel and security guidance in the Travel Advisory for Ukraine and to stay updated on the latest develops in Ukraine by monitoring local media and news. 

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ukraine are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest travel updates and to obtain updated information on security within Ukraine. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an emergency.

Visa Requirements

A passport valid for six months beyond the planned date of travel is required for entry to Ukraine. U.S. citizens do not need a Ukrainian visa if their stay in Ukraine does not exceed 90 days and the purpose of travel is tourism, private travel, or business. Proof of valid health insurance and sufficient funds is required for the duration of the stay.

U.S. citizens whose stay in Ukraine exceeds 90 days must have a visa. U.S. citizens also must have an appropriate visa regardless of the length of stay if their purpose of travel is other than tourism, private travel, or business. The Government of Ukraine does not issue visas at its borders or ports of entry. Visas must be obtained from a Ukrainian embassy or consulate abroad. Visit the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S. websites for the most current visa information.

For more details, please visit the U.S. Embassy Ukraine’s website.

Currency

The currency of Ukraine is the hryvnia (UAH), pronounced GREEV-NA. There are 100 kopecks in a hryvnia. The hryvnia is not fixed to the dollar or any other currency. For current exchange rates, please visit the XE Corporation website. 

You cannot use foreign currency for transactions in Ukraine. You will need to change your money at an exchange bureau or bank, which are ubiquitous in large and small towns alike. Remember to bring crisp, clean bills to exchange, as old and damaged currency will not be accepted at exchange points. Ukrainian currency is nearly impossible to exchange outside of Ukraine, so make sure to change your money back to dollars before leaving.

ATMs are commonplace in major cities. It is better to use ATM machines attached to large banks like Oshad, Credit Agricole, PrivatBank, among others. Credit cards are also widely accepted in Ukraine. Apple Pay and Google Pay are also now widely accepted in Ukraine.

Telecommunications/Electric

For information on internet accessibility, cellular phone technology in use, which U.S. cell phone services work in this country, the prevalence of Wi-Fi in hotels, what types of voltage and plugs are used, and other technological information of interest to U.S. businesses, please visit the following web sites:

For telephone service information, please visit:

Phone codes for Ukrainian cities and regions are available on the following websites:

Language

Ukrainian is the official state language of Ukraine (since 1990). However, Russian is widely used in Kyiv and the cities of eastern Ukraine, and to a much lesser extent in western Ukraine. Although those in the political world and the local media use both languages, official documents are in Ukrainian. The number of English speakers increases yearly. Some useful Ukrainian vocabulary to remember is DOBRIY DEHN (hello, good day); DYA-KOO-YOU (thank you); BOOD LASKA (please/you’re welcome). For more information, please visit the website of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington D.C.

Health

By Ukrainian law, all foreigners coming to Ukraine must have medical insurance covering their period of travel. Note that the general quality of healthcare in Ukraine does not meet U.S. standards.

  • Fees at government clinics and hospitals are lower than those at private clinics, but there have been reports that doctors request bribes or additional payments before treating patients.
  • Private physicians and private hospitals charge fees for services, and some may not accept local health insurance. 
  • Public facilities only accept cash payments, while most private clinics accept credit cards.

If you take prescription medication, bring it in your carry-on luggage. Avoid drinking tap water, including in hotels. Bottled water is available in major hotels and supermarkets at a reasonable cost. Medical information, including information about medical evacuation, insurance, and medical services in and outside of Kyiv, is available on the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine’s website.

Information on medical facilities and insurance is available on the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular affairs website.

Information on Covid-19, vaccinations, and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the CDC.

Regular updates on Covid-19 and travel restrictions can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine website, COVID-19 Information.

​​​​​​​Local Time, Business Hours, and Holidays

Ukrainian time is GMT+2 (Helsinki) and EST+7 (Eastern Standard Time). Ukraine observes daylight savings time from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October.

Work week: 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Normal business hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

According to Ukrainian law, a traveler can take cash in the amount not exceeding the equivalent of €10,000 across the Ukrainian state border. If the amount exceeds the equivalent of €10,000, the total amount must be declared in writing on the Customs Declaration Form upon entry/exit and supported by documents showing the origin of the money (e.g., bank statements).