I left Ukraine when I was 8, moved to the UK in 2005.

I was born in Ukraine but permanently reside in the UK, have British Citizenship and a British Passport.

Will I have any problems with going back to Ukraine? I have never had a Ukrainian passport. My mum is convinced there will be problems at the border because Ukraine does not recognise dual citizenship. She is worried that I will not be able to leave Ukraine on my return journey back to the UK. Especially because I am 22, male and have not registered on anything in Ukraine, including military service (as I do not live there). I don’t think I have officially declared that I am a permanent resident in the UK either - but I’m not sure if I have to do that?

Has anyone ever had any problems with traveling there and back? Especially my age. What should I expect?


  1. I gained British Citizenship a few months ago, when I was 21 (before my birthday).
  2. I do not have a Ukrainian passport at all.
  3. I had a child travel document but that expired in 2008.
  4. My birth certificate is Ukrainian.
  5. Both of my birth parents are Ukrainian and held Ukrainian citizenship when I was born.
  6. My British Passport lists my birthplace as a Ukrainian city.
  • 1
    At what age did you gain British citizenship?
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 9:38
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    Thanks for your comment. Sadly I don’t really trust the article as the source seems to contain information from the law on citizenship from 2012. I’m not sure if it is still the same to this day Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 11:36
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    @MichaelHampton presumably the parents were Ukrainian citizens at the time of OP's birth.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 1:41
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    @MichaelHampton I don't see any questions about the parents' citizenship except for the one to which I responded (and which OP hasn't yet seen). What have I overlooked? Also see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Travel_Document_of_a_Child. It's essentially a passport with an unusual document title.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 4:25
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    @MichaelHampton Both of my birth parents are Ukrainian and held Ukrainian citizenship when I was born. I moved to the UK as a Ukrainian citizen, when I was 8 years old, using my child travel document. I've never owned a passport until applying for my British passport. Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


I am an Ukrainian citizen.

I didn't have such an experience nor people I know had but I can refer to the legal document.

The Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine" regulates your question.

There is an article 2(стаття 2) in this law, which constitutes that in Ukraine there is no such thing as multiple citizenship, you must not and cannot have a citizenship in order to acquire Ukrainian one.

In article 19(стаття 19), it is said that effectively you are losing Ukrainian citizenship the moment you acquire a citizenship of other country if it is done voluntary and you are an adult(your age is above 18). Thus you, effectively, was a Ukrainian citizen by birthplace(cause you have a birth certificate) until you have accepted the British citizenship. Another sidenote, it wouldn't be considered voluntary if you didn't receive a document that justifies that.

Even if you had Ukrainian citizenship, it would have been much much tougher to enter EU from UK with Ukrainian citizenship than Ukraine itself and back. Ukraine ain't some African country, if you are Ukrainian in Ukraine you can leave the country if you have required documents for leaving to some country(e.g visa to UK) as all civilized countries do.

That said, you are just another British citizen which enters Ukraine. Given you didn't commit any crimes in Ukraine which remained unanswered AND you have a valid type of visa of your choice with all required prerequisites and conditions met - you should be absolutely fine.

  • The OP's concern seems to be that Ukraine would not recognize his (implicit) renunciation of citizenship if they consider it to be a draft-dodging ploy. Or formally they might recognize him as not-a-citizen, but still consider it an offense within their criminal jurisdiction to renounce citizenship while eligible for the draft without having served. Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 13:15
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    Also, the "some African country" quip sounds pretty offensive. The country that seems to be most famous for enforcing conscription on ex-citizens who left the country at a young age is South Korea, which is farther from Africa than Ukraine is. Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 13:30
  • Like I said, I didn't have such an experience and I am just refering to legal documents. The official law states that a citizenship is dismissed if you have commited actions that constitute such a dismissal.
    – improbable
    Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 8:47
  • Actually, its more complicated than that. There's plenty of Ukrainian dual citizens due to how the law is worded.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 11, 2019 at 23:13
  • @JonathanReez This is very true. But once again, I just tried to answer this from a legal point of view, real-life applications of this law due to myriad of other factors to this particular matter might be different from what I wrote.
    – improbable
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 11:40

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