- Emergency Assistance
Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.
Marriage and Divorce in Ukraine
According to the Family Code of Ukraine, marriage is a family union of a woman and a man registered at a state civil registration office. A religious marriage ceremony does not result in an official marriage recognized by the state. Proxy marriages are also not legal under Ukrainian law.
Getting married in Ukraine can take from several weeks to several months. Both parties applying for marriage must have a legal status in Ukraine (Ukrainian citizenship, residency permit, visa, entry stamp in their passport, etc.). An application for marriage should be submitted by a couple in person (or by an authorized third party) at any State Registration and Notary Service of Ukraine . Normally, the waiting period is one month from the date of application to the date of marriage registration. According to the law, it is possible to expedite the process due to exigent circumstances. The application is annulled if marriage is not registered within three months of the application.
If either of the parties has been married before, they need to have either the original or a certified copy of their divorce decree or their spouse’s death certificate. If these documents were not issued in Ukraine, they must be property authenticated (apostilled) in the country of their origin. For the United States, documents are apostilled by the Office of the Secretary of State (or the equivalent office) in the State which issued the original document. Contact information for the 50 Secretaries of State is available on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Please note that the U.S. Embassy cannot certify any documents issued in the U.S.
For more information on the civil marriage process in Ukraine including a sample of the marriage application, please visit the website of the State Registration and Notary Service of Ukraine (in Ukrainian only).
U.S. citizens may obtain a divorce in Ukraine as long as one of the parties resides here. If the couple has no children, their marriage can be dissolved at the state civil registration office regardless of their possible property disputes which are addressed in court separately. If there are children involved, the divorce can only be granted by a local court. More information is available at the State Registration and Notary Service of Ukraine (in Ukrainian only). The entire process can take several weeks to several months and can be very complex. The Embassy suggests that U.S. citizens involved in divorce proceedings consider hiring a Ukrainian attorney to assist them. Lists of attorneys in Kyiv (PDF 227 KB) and other cities (PDF 289 KB) are available from the American Citizen Services unit.
Marriage Brokers and Dating Services
If you have met, or are thinking about trying to meet, a Ukrainian citizen through an international marriage broker or dating service, you should be aware of the realities of getting this person a visa to the United States. Although you may intend a visit to the United States just to get acquainted in person, Ukrainian citizens associated with marriage brokers and dating services rarely overcome the legal obstacles to obtaining a nonimmigrant visa.
Additionally, many U.S. citizens trying to meet Ukrainians using an international marriage broker or dating service have fallen victim to internet scams that have cost them hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. You may wish to consider this when deciding to use these types of services.