Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Ukraine: Security Situation

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is ongoing, with attacks and heavy fighting occurring in several areas of Ukraine, including in and around Kyiv and other major cities. There are ongoing reports of gunfire, artillery bombardments, explosions and missile strikes. Civilians are being impacted. There is a real risk to life. There is also concern about military activity and shelling around Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, particularly the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. We advise New Zealanders in Ukraine to seek shelter in a secure place until you judge it is safe to depart. Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times and always prioritise your immediate safety. Monitor advice from reputable local and international media as well as the SafeTravel website. Where you judge it is safe to do so, you should depart Ukraine.

We advise New Zealanders do not travel to Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion and ongoing military aggression (level 4 of 4). There is a real risk to life. New Zealanders currently in Ukraine are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so. The New Zealand Government is severely limited in its ability to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens in Ukraine. Read the full travel advisory for Ukraine here.

New Zealanders in Ukraine requiring consular assistance can contact the New Zealand Embassy in Warsaw (accredited to Ukraine) at For emergency consular assistance, contact the 24/7 Consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20. 

The armed conflict has also had a significant impact within Russia, including on flight availability and access to financial services. Almost all commercial flight routes between Russia and Europe have been cancelled and some other international flight routes out of Russia are also impacted, due to measures taken in response to Russian military action in Ukraine. Check the latest information with your airline or travel provider. 

Some financial services are no longer operational in Russia, including the suspension of international bank card services. Foreign bank cards are not accepted at any shops or ATMs in Russia. Cards issued inside Russia may continue to work in Russia but they will not work outside of Russia. You should be aware that it may not be possible for you to access your funds through Russian banks. Travellers are advised to carry sufficient hard currency on them, including emergency funds, or be prepared with an alternate method of payment, to meet the needs of their travel for the duration of their stay in Russia. Financial services are subject to further disruption at short notice and people should make plans accordingly to ensure they can financially support themselves while in Russia.

Russia has declared a “partial” mobilisation of Russian citizens to join military forces for the conflict in Ukraine. The Russian government does not recognise dual nationality. New Zealand citizens holding Russian passports should be aware that they may be in scope for mobilisation, regardless of any other citizenship they hold, including New Zealand citizenship. We offer further advice to New Zealanders overseas who hold dual citizenship here: Dual Citizenship | SafeTravel.

We advise New Zealanders do not travel to Russia due to the impacts the armed conflict with Ukraine has had on commercial flight availability and access to financial services.  There is also potential for the security situation to deteriorate with little warning. Read the full travel advisory for Russia here.

New Zealanders in Russia requiring urgent consular assistance can contact the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow on +7 495 956 3579 or at For emergency consular assistance outside of office hours, you can contact the 24/7 Consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20.

Wider impact
For Kiwis elsewhere in Europe - we are closely monitoring the crisis in Ukraine and potential risks for the wider region. We advise you to read the travel advisory for your destination, the advice on SafeTravel remains current and is consistently reviewed and updated.

Airspace closures in response to the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict are causing widespread disruption to flights.

  • The airspace above the Ukraine is closed to all commercial aircraft.
  • Many countries (including all of the EU, the UK and Canada), have fully closed their airspace to airlines and aircrafts from Russia. It is possible that more countries will follow suit.
  • Russia has closed its airspace to airlines from multiple countries, preventing them from landing in or flying over its territory.

Consequently, flight durations may be impacted throughout the region due to route changes caused by the various airspace closures.

New Zealanders in the region are advised to check with their airline or travel adviser if they have any travel plans in the near future, for the latest information.

Advice for New Zealanders who want to support Ukraine
We understand the urge to help but the situation in Ukraine is extremely dangerous, volatile and deteriorating rapidly. The do not travel advisory for Ukraine includes anyone thinking about travelling to join Ukraine’s International Legion or otherwise take part in military action. The Government’s clear view is that New Zealanders should not travel to Ukraine for that purpose. 

The best thing New Zealanders can do to help the people of Ukraine is to donate to an emergency appeal launched by an experienced and trustworthy humanitarian organisation working on the ground. These organisations are skilled at assessing what's needed and how to get it there. They will source supplies from close to the affected area, which is the most effective way of getting help to those who need it. A number of New Zealand organisations are running appeals and supporting the work on the ground in Ukraine.

See information about the New Zealand Red Cross appeal:

See information about New Zealand NGO appeals:

Associated Advisories:

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