Foreigners who come to Ukraine in order to help fight against the Russian military will not have to worry about first obtaining a visa.
In a decree signed on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky authorized a “temporary visa-free regime” for foreigners who want to aid the country’s defence, effective immediately. The policy does not extend to Russian nationals, referred to as “citizens of the aggressor state.”
Citizens of the United States and European Union previously required visas for tourist visits of more than 90 days within a six-month period.
The visa-free policy comes a day after Zelensky announced the creation of an International Legion for foreigners who want to volunteer for the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the Territorial Defense Forces.
“Anyone who wants to join the defence of Ukraine, Europe, and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals,” according to a statement on the Ukraine president’s website.
An application to join the legion asks prospective volunteers to detail their military experience — and recommends that they bring their own “personal protection,” including a helmet and body armour.
Since 2014, when Russia annexed portions of Ukraine, thousands of foreigners have fought in the country on both sides of the conflict