Arrival and transport to your accommodation
This page contains information for Ukrainians arriving in Northern Ireland, including details of main entry points, Welcome Points and how to access free public transport.
Main entry points
There are five main entry points:
- Belfast International Airport
- George Best Airport (Belfast City)
- City of Derry Airport
- Port of Belfast
- Port of Larne
You can also arrive through airports and ports in the Republic of Ireland and travel to Northern Ireland (NI) - to do this you should have your visa to travel into NI.
Arriving in Northern Ireland
At each of the entry ports there are areas to meet your family or sponsor. You will also see information welcoming you to Northern Ireland. Port staff will be there to give immediate help, if you need it. Ideally, your sponsor will meet you when you arrive but if that is not possible, or your sponsor is unexpectedly delayed, the information and port staff will be able to help you in making your onward journey.
Go to the general information point at the port if you need to speak to someone if no-one is present at the Welcome Point.
You can also phone the free Make the Call helpline:
- phone: 0800 232 1271
Transport to your accommodation
Free public transport on buses and trains is run by the state-owned company Translink to help get you to a safe place. This applies to any Translink bus or train service at any time of the day. You cannot get a return journey. The bus or train will have the Translink name and logo on the side.
Free public transport is available from any stop or station in Northern Ireland, including air and sea ports, to any place in Northern Ireland.
If you are coming to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland first, the offer also includes free travel from Dublin on Translink Ulsterbus services from Bus Áras station or the Enterprise train service from Connolly Station.
To get free public transport from Translink you will need to show:
- your Ukrainian passport or ID issued by the Ukrainian Government
- evidence of entry into Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, such as an airline boarding card, ferry ticket or a booking email from an airline/ferry company, dated within the previous seven days
You can use the Translink journey planner to help you plan your journey or telephone the Translink Contact Centre for advice:
- Translink journey planner
- phone: 028 9066 6630
Driving in Northern Ireland
At present, Ukrainian driving licences cannot be exchanged for Northern Ireland licences.
You can use your Ukrainian driving licence to drive small vehicles (such as cars and motorcycles) up to 12 months from the date you become resident in Northern Ireland.
To continue driving beyond this 12-month period, you will need to exchange your Ukrainian driving licence for a Northern Ireland issued driving licence. To do this, you must surrender your foreign licence which will then be returned to the issuing authority.
You can find out how to do this on the following page:
Russian driving licences cannot be exchanged, therefore if you hold an up-to-date Russian driving licence you can drive in Northern Ireland for up to 12 months.
After 12 months, you will need to apply for a provisional licence and then sit a driving test. You can find out more about this process on the following page:
Cars need to be insured, taxed, and tested regularly (MOT) as it is an offence to drive or keep a vehicle of MOT test age on the public road without a valid vehicle test certificate if your vehicle needs one.
Find out more about vehicle testing on the following page: