Rules and requirements for visa-free travel

2019 | 09 | 06 3357

In early June 2017, a fateful event took place for Ukrainian citizens. An association was signed between Ukraine and the European Union, allowing our compatriots to cross the borders of European Union countries without a visa. After more than two years, you can objectively evaluate the benefits and changes that visa-free provides, as well as predict its effect in the future.

            Since the visa-free regime has activated and continues to stimulate labor migration of Ukrainian citizens to Poland, in this review the issue of visa-free travel will be considered from this point of view. But most countries of the European Union adhere to similar rules, so the information will be relevant for citizens who want to go to work or travel to any EU state.

 Does visa-free travel guarantee the right to work in Poland?

           According to the requirements of a visa-free regime, it is possible to carry out labor activities in Poland for 90 days. After this period, you must return home and wait for the end of the visa corridor, which lasts 90 days.

            Can a Ukrainian citizen open a visa after finishing work on visa-free travel? In a situation where a Ukrainian legally worked in Poland and had an invitation from the employer, then upon leaving the employee home, the employer has the right to apply to Uzhond Praci with a request to issue an invitation with a validity period of 180 days. But, as practical experience shows, in such a request, officials most often refuse and issue a document with a validity period of 90 days.

            If you need to go to work in Poland, but this time is due to the visa corridor, there are three options for overcoming the circumstances:

  • open a visa on the basis of an invitation (permission), issued by the governor;
  • to get a visa, suggesting employment in seasonal work;
  • to draw up documents for obtaining an Attendance Card.

What documents are required to cross the border for visa-free travel?
            The list of documentation allowing unhindered border crossing is regulated by the purpose of the trip:

If you are traveling to Poland as a tourist without a visa, you will need a biometric passport, insurance, a sufficient amount of monetary resources (at least 150 zl per day), hotel reservation (but it is provided optionally).
If you are planning a business trip or visiting friends, relatives without a visa, in addition to a biometric passport and insurance policy, you will need an invitation from the Polish side (for a business event, from relatives or friends). If the invitation does not indicate that the Polish side is responsible for financial support, money will be needed - at least 150 zlotys per day.
If you are traveling to Poland for an official visa-free employment, you will need a biometric passport. However, please note that visa-free entitles you to legally work in the Polish state for 90 days, after which you need to return to your home country, wait for the visa corridor to expire - 90 days, and then you can go back to work in the Polish state. In addition to a biometric passport, a visa-free travel will also require an insurance policy and an official invitation from the employer.

What categories of citizens can not use visa-free travel?

Citizens convicted of non-payment of alimony. The data of malicious non-payers is recorded in a special database, and when crossing the border, border guards carefully check each citizen for the presence of his full name in the list of non-payers of alimony.
Persons whose data are listed in the Shengen Information System, which records information about missing or wanted citizens, as well as those who are denied entry to the European Union.
Citizens who have not been able to prove their financial viability for a comfortable, safe stay in the European Union can also not allow border crossing for visa-free travel.
 Passport for a child

            The document giving the right to freely cross the border on visa-free travel with a child who has not yet reached the age of majority is a biometric passport. Please note that children who are not yet 12 years old do not take fingerprints. But such a passport of a young traveler is still considered biometric. A photo of a young traveler is recorded on a special electronic carrier-chip, and its presence makes the document biometric.

            If a young tourist has reached the age of majority - 16 years old, he is issued a passport on the basis of an ID passport of a citizen of Ukraine. For children under the age of 14, a passport is issued for a period of 4 years, and when a teenager turns 16 years old, a passport is issued for a longer period of 10 years. Please note that children are not allowed to cross the border using the passports of their parents or immediate family.

 What papers are needed to travel abroad with a child on a visa-free basis?

Children in ages 

From 16 years old they can travel abroad unaccompanied by their parents with their own biometric passport. Young tourists under 16 years old have the right to freely travel without visa:

  • accompanied by father and mother;
  • together with one parent with a notarized permission from the second parent;
  • accompanied by an authorized person in the presence of a notarized written confirmation of consent from the parents.

  In some cases, you can do without an officially issued permit from the father or mother:

  • when the second parent is officially missing or dead;
  • if mom or dad is a citizen of a foreign state or a stateless person;
  • if the second parent is deprived of parental rights or is legally incapable;
  • when the name of the father is recorded in the birth certificate only from the words of the mother;
  • if there is a court decision allowing the child to be taken abroad;
  • when a child travels abroad for permanent residence (this should be a special note).

 Just like adults, young travelers traveling on a visa-free trip, it is necessary to justify the reasons and goals of traveling abroad:

  • additional financial resources should be provided for the child;
  • provide the border service with a hotel reservation or invitation from a foreign party;
  • have a foreign biometric passport and medical policy for the child (basic requirements for visa-free travel).

How to travel visa-free in your car?


             The main requirement for free border crossing on your car is technical serviceability, normal operation of the vehicle. Before traveling on a visa-free basis, it is necessary to undergo comprehensive maintenance, check the condition of light optics, wheels, windows, machine control devices.

            Also, going on a trip to visa-free travel, take care of the availability of emergency kit, which includes:

  • medical kit and spare wheel;
  • fire extinguisher and jack;
  • rigid or flexible towing hitch, warning sign;
  • special vest with reflective elements.

            When planning a trip to the European Union countries on your car without a visa, please note that there are also requirements for the appearance of the car. In accordance with the provisions of the convention, the windshields and side windows must not be tinted, and the rubber must be suitable for the weather. When crossing the border on visa-free travel, border guards pay close attention to the characteristics of the wheelbase. In Poland, it is not permitted to drive spike wheels, while in the countries of the Scandinavian region, on the contrary, movement is permitted only on winter tires.

 What changes in visa-free travel are possible in the future?


There are suggestions that in the very near future a special electronic database will be formed where Ukrainians will register before traveling to the EU countries without a visa. Registration is expected to be paid. How much it will cost and whether such a scheme appears at all is still unknown ...

            After registering a citizen in the database, the system will check the entered data for violations, after which it will issue a verdict - the citizen is allowed or forbidden to cross the border without a visa. However, the final decision will remain with the border guard. Information on the creation of an electronic database does not yet find official confirmation, so whether it will appear or not within the framework of a visa-free travel will only show time.

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