Updated on 14/11/2022

What is a certificate of return to Ukraine?

If you are currently in Bulgaria and you want to return to Ukraine, but for some reason you do not have a valid international passport (it expired, it was lost, stolen, etc.), you need to apply for a document called a “Certificate of return to Ukraine” to be able to go back.  In the everyday language this document is also called “laisser passer” or “white passport”.  

Important! You will not need this certificate if you are travelling to Ukraine via Romania. The border police in Romania allow Ukrainian citizens, who have left the territory of Ukraine from February 24, 2022 to cross the Romanian border as a transit path to Ukraine without a valid international passport and/or visa, if they present one of the following documents at the border:

  • Domestic passport for a Ukraine citizen
  • International biometric passport
  • International passport without biometric data (including a document for extension of the validity period)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Children whose data is entered in the passport of one of the parents.

If you do not have any of the above-mentioned documents or you want to travel via the Republic of Moldova, you need to obtain a certificate of return to Ukraine. 

How long is the certificate valid for?

The consular official who issues this document to you determines the period your certificate is valid for. It can be valid for a maximum of 30 days.

This period can be extended by the consular official in case of illness or accident for the period necessary for you to return to Ukraine, but not for more than an additional 30 days. To extend the validity, you need to submit a formal request addressed to the consular official and explain the reasons for the extension.

Who can apply for this certificate?

You can apply for this certificate of  return to Ukraine if:

  • You are a Ukrainian citizen
  • You are a stateless person who has a permanent residence in Ukraine
  • You are a foreigner or a stateless person who is recognized as a refugee in Ukraine

Where can you apply for this certificate?

You need to visit the Embassy of Ukraine in Sofia, Bulgaria in person. If you do not live in Sofia, you may call the Embassy prior to your visit in order to receive information on whether you can file you documents in the same day you plan to visit. 

Here are the contact details of the Embassy: 

Address: 1618, Sofia, "Ovcha Kupel", 29 Boryana Street 

General email: [email protected]  

Consular Department





Email: [email protected]

Working hours: 09:00 – 18:00

Documents you need to submit

To apply for this certificate, you need to submit the following document in person:

1.  Application questionnaire. 

You will be provided with a template at the Embassy. 

2. A document (report, certificate, etc.) issued by a competent authority (e.g. police) in Bulgaria confirming that your passport has been lost, stolen; 

3. If applicable, a document, which confirms your Ukrainian citizenship and/or gives you the right to enter Ukraine. For example: a Ukrainian driver's license, Ukrainian refugee ID card, certificate of  crew member; Ukrainian permanent residence permit etc.;

4. One colored photo size 10 x 15 

5. A document confirming the payment of the consular fee (a receipt, a bank statement).

If you are a parent and you want this certificate issued for your child who is under 16 years old, it is necessary to present the following additional documents:

  • Certificate for registration of a person as a citizen of Ukraine. 

This concerns children, who were born abroad and have not been issued identity documents and whose parents or one of the parents is a citizen of Ukraine and permanently resides on the territory of Ukraine.   

  • Your child's birth certificate or a document confirming the fact of birth issued by a competent body of a foreign state (if applicable). 

Important! The birth certificate needs to be translated into Ukrainian and the translation needs to be certified by a notary.

How much does it cost?

To get this certificate you need to pay a consular fee of 30 EUR. After your documents are checked and approved, the consular officers at the Embassy will provide you with a bank account number where you can pay the fee. 

How long will it take?

Registration and issuance of the certificate can take between 1 – 5 working days from the date you submit all of your documents at the Embassy. 

If it is necessary to send a written request to the authorities in Ukraine to confirm your identity (for example, in case you do not have original documents but only copies or pictures), the procedure may take longer - until the Embassy receives an answer to such a request, but not more than 30 days.

Due to the war, the Embassy of Ukraine in Bulgaria may experience technical difficulties in issuing you a Certificate of return to Ukraine immediately and you might be asked to wait.