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As a U.S. immigration attorney, I want to address the unique challenges dual citizens face when traveling to Ukraine, particularly in light of recent legislative changes.

Ukraine does not revoke a person’s citizenship after they acquire U.S. citizenship, even if they take the U.S. Naturalization Oath of Allegiance or obtain a U.S. passport. Therefore, U.S. citizens who also hold Ukrainian citizenship are regarded solely as Ukrainian citizens while in Ukraine and are subject to the rights and obligations of Ukrainian citizens. This limitation means the U.S. Embassy has a restricted ability to influence Ukrainian law, including martial law and mobilization laws (draft laws) affecting Ukrainian citizens.

On April 16, 2024, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law amending the mobilization of citizens, which took effect on May 18, 2024. This law lowers the mobilization age from 27 to 25 years and requires all individuals subject to military service to update their personal data within 60 days. Men of conscription age (18 to 60) must have military registration documents and present them to Ukrainian military officials or police upon request.

Another significant change mandates that all Ukrainian citizen males living abroad must register and update their military registration data to receive Ukrainian consular assistance. Men between 18 and 60 living abroad will not be able to renew passports or receive new ones if they lose them unless they have Ukrainian military registration documents.

A new law effective June 1, 2024, eliminated the “residence abroad” exception that allowed certain Ukrainian males aged 18 to 60 to visit Ukraine temporarily. Now, these individuals may no longer be able to leave Ukraine if they travel there, even if they are longtime U.S. citizens.

The U.S. State Department strongly advises against all travel to Ukraine by U.S. citizen males aged 18 to 60 who also have Ukrainian citizenship or a claim to Ukrainian citizenship and do not wish to stay in Ukraine indefinitely. There is an extremely high risk they will not be allowed to depart, even with a U.S. passport. The duration of this travel restriction is currently unknown.

U.S.-Ukrainian citizen males between 18 and 60 who choose to travel to Ukraine should prepare for the possibility that they may not be able to leave once they arrive. If prevented from leaving, neither diplomatic intervention nor private legal action from the U.S. may effectively secure their departure. Their recourse would be through Ukrainian legal channels with assistance from a Ukrainian attorney based on Ukrainian mobilization laws and authorized travel for citizens.

According to Voice of America, some attorneys advise individuals who must travel to Ukraine to draft a will, discuss the care of their children and property, and leave DNA samples with doctors in case their families need them.

U.S. citizens also face elevated risks in Russian-occupied areas due to their nationality. There have been reports of U.S. citizens being singled out by Russian forces for detention, interrogation, or persecution. U.S. citizens have also been transported from Ukraine into Russia and Belarus.

For more information on Ukraine’s military mobilization law, visit the official website of the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada). To read the U.S. government’s warnings about travel to Ukraine, visit the official website of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.


Under the new laws of mobilization in Ukraine, males between the ages of 18 and 60 holding Ukrainian citizenship are not allowed to travel outside of Ukraine (not allowed to leave Ukraine) unless they meet an exception to mobilization. Certain women who hold Ukrainian citizenship are also subject to travel restrictions.

On September 7, 2023, the Ukrainian government announced that women in medical or pharmaceutical professions or with education in these fields who are of conscription age (18 to 60) and fit for military service cannot leave Ukraine without special permission. They may be called up for military service at any time but cannot be mobilized without their consent. They were required to register for military service at enlistment offices starting October 1, 2023.

Women working in medical professions or with pharmaceutical or medical education have been required to register with the Ukrainian government since 1992. Following legislation adopted in 2022, women with such education must register for military service by December 31, 2026. Failure to register could result in being barred from working in their profession.

Under the new law effective May 18, 2024, women already registered for military service must report to the Territorial Recruitment and Social Support Center within 60 days of the law’s enactment, by July 18, 2024. The deadline for women with pharmaceutical or medical education to register remains December 31, 2026.


Women and men may be exempt from mobilization if they:

– Have three or more children under 18

– Have a child under 18 and the other parent is deceased, deprived of parental rights, missing, serving a sentence, or they independently raise a child by court decision

– Are guardians, custodians, foster parents, or raising a child under 18 with disabilities

– Have a minor child and a spouse in military service

– Have health exemptions

– Are students or certain types of instructors

Individuals not exempt from mobilization may still travel outside Ukraine with permission from the Ukrainian government.

Potential discharge from military service can occur due to:

– Pregnancy (for female service members)

– Independently raising or adopting a minor child

– Raising a minor child with a disability

– Caring for an adult child with a Group 1 or 2 disability

– Providing constant care for a spouse with a Group 1 or 2 disability, or a Group 3 disability from a new condition (e.g., cancer, loss of limbs)

Ukrainian nationals who do not have U.S. citizenships living in America, are largely applying for re-parole and TPS at the moment, as well as for Asylum. Asylum is a pathway to a green card and U.S. citizenship.  We can help with U.S. Immigration issues for Ukrainian citizens. Give us a call today to set up your consultation.

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