Diia City Tax regime
In 2022, the Diia City special tax regime was launched. The idea behind this tax regime is to create special conditions for IT businesses (product companies, in particular) that will concentrate their assets in Ukraine.
What does this special tax regime imply?
Foremost, it replaces income tax with a tax on distributed profits. The difference between these two is the taxation base.
The Tax Code of Ukraine provides that transactions of a Diia City resident (hereinafter the Resident), which meet the criteria of a capital flow of such a company and which are not directly related to its business activity, are subject to tax. Such a mechanism is new and the criteria for classifying transactions as such, which are considered operations on distributed profits, have not yet been elaborated and improved, therefore certain changes are possible shortly.
Among such operations:
- dividend payout paid by a resident in cash or a nonmonetary form.
Exception: distribution of dividends in the form of interests (equities, shares), if such distribution does not change the interest allocation of the participants in the authorized capital, and the increase in the authorized capital by the value of the distribution is taking place.
- payout(repayment) of funds or property by a resident to a holder of equity rights, provided that their value exceeds an initial contribution (an investment).
- refund (resumption of an estate) held in trust by a resident or in a joint venture(if the amount paid back exceeds the amount that has been initially transferred).
- debt obligations performance(payment of interests, commissions, fees, penalties), in favor of non-residents of Diia City.
Exception: Performance of debt obligations in favor of resident and non-resident banks (if funds have not been provided through a permanent establishment);
- performance of debt obligations (payment of interests, commissions, remunerations, penalties) in favor of:
– a related non-resident person;
– a non-resident, if the amount of debt obligations exceeds the payer’s equity capital by 3.5 times or more;
– persons who are tax residents of an offshore jurisdiction.
- transfer of a property (including works, services) to a non-resident of DiiaCity on special terms and conditions, without claiming to compensate their value (including a transfer for free).
– transfer of a property to non-profit organizations;
– distribution of such a property (works, services) during advertising/marketing and if the value of such a property (works, services) does not exceed 2 subsistence minimums for an able-bodied person as of 1 January of the accounting year;
– the value of such a property (works, services) is subject to personal income tax or it is not included in the calculation of the total monthly (annual) income (according to Article 165 of the Tax Code of Ukraine) or it is not subject to tax according to par. 170.7 of Article 170 of the Tax Code of Ukraine;
– additional benefits are transferred under special conditions in favor of the resident’s specialists, provided that they are not subject to personal income tax due to the absence of personalized accounting.
It is important to know that an identified lack of property under certain conditions may also be considered free transmission by a resident;
- granting financial aid, inter alia:
– to a person, who is not a resident of Diia City and provided that it is granted on the special conditions, non-refundable;
– to a related person, who is not a resident of Diia City, irrespective of the conditions of repayment;
– to a non-related person, who is not a resident of Diia City, if the amount has not been returned within 12 months from the month following the calendar month, when such financial aid was provided or deemed uncollectible, terminated due to a debt release;
– provision of financial aid to non-profit organizations;
– provision of financial aid according to a collective agreement or a decision of a management body of a resident to its specialist, who is not at the same time a person related to the resident;
– the amount of financial aid or debt for goods (works, services) is subject to personal income tax, or it is not included in the calculation of total monthly (annual) income (Article 165), and/or it is not subject to tax according to paragraph 170.7 of Article 170 of the Tax Code of Ukraine;
– the amount of uncollectable debts a) is recovered by a borrower after their forgiveness; б) is not recovered after expiration of a limitation period; в) is the principal amount of a loan or a deposit given to a taxpayer without stipulation of terms for the return of such a principal amount;
– contributions to foreign (international) organizations and institutions in the amount that is not exceeding 300 subsistence minimums for an able-bodied person established as of January 1 of the year in question (1 organization);
- provision of financial aid and/or a free transmission of a property (works, services) to non-profit organizations in the amount exceeding 0.5% of the resident’s net operating income as reported in the financial statements for the previous tax year;
- provision of a non-repayable financial aid and/ora free transmission of a property (works, services) to non-profit organizations, which are national higher educational institutions in the amount exceeding 1% of the amount of the resident’s net operating income as reported in the financial statements for the previous tax year;
- provision of funds, property (including non-current assets) to a non-resident (except for the events of transactions with a permanent establishment of a non-resident in Ukraine) related to:
– settlement of obligations (if: a) respective borrowed funds have not been credited to the accounts with the Ukrainian banks; б) have not been used as the payment for the property, which 1) is located on the territory of Ukraine or 2) has been imported to the customs territory of Ukraine;
– settlement of obligations (on recognized fines, penalties, forfeitures, damage compensation, loss of profit) in favor of the non-resident related persons and/or the non-residents considered as offshores;
– investments in the projects, if they are located outside Ukraine, except for: 1) payment of membership (entrance fee) and/or target contributions to foreign (international) organizations and institutions in amount not exceeding 300 subsistence minimums for an able-bodied person established by the law as of January 1 of the tax (reporting) year per an organization; 2) acquisition of a property abroad, if it is imported to the customs territory of Ukraine prior to the payment made or within 365 days from the date of funds transfer; 3) acquisition of property abroad with a view to its further sale without importing it to the customs territory of Ukraine provided that the funds are received in accounts opened with the Ukrainian banks within 365 days from the date of the property payment transfer; 4) acquisition of property located in Ukraine, and it will be received by a resident prior to the payment or within 365 days from the date of the funds transfer; 5) investment in intangible assets;
- purchase of works/services, except:
– receipt of works/services before or within 365 days from the moment of payment;
– acquisition of works/services with a view to their further sale abroad provided that the proceeds from the sale of such a property are credited to the accounts opened with Ukrainian banks within 365 days from the date of payment for their acquisition;
– acquisition of electronic services, which are subject to payment in the form of a fixed payment on a prepayment (subscription) basis;
- provision of property/works/servicesto a non-resident of the Diia City under a contract that provides for the payment of compensation of the value of such property/works/services.
Exception: sale (provision) of the property after receipt of the payment or if funds from such a sale (provision) are credited to the resident’s accounts, that are open with Ukrainian banks within 365 days from the date of: 1) customs clearance of the property export; 2) transfer of risks connected with ownership of the property (without import/export of the property); 3) written certificate, invoice, other instrument confirming the provision of services, works, property/non-property rights; 4) receipt of a report on the revenues/volume and value of the property (works, services) sold (in the event the sale has been made through representatives by providing access via an electronic interface, providing technical, organizational, information and other opportunities using information technologies and systems to establish contacts and conclude agreements (taken the receipts (invoices) do not list the property (works, services) and their factual supplier).
- transfer of funds (provision of the property) by a Diia City resident for and on behalf of a non-resident in favor of such a non-resident (a person authorized by him) within the commission agreement, agent’s commission, etc., excluding: 1) an amount of funds / value of a property provided under the contract and returned to such a non-resident or the person authorized; 2) value of property (works, services), which has been purchased under the commission (power of attorney) and at the expense of such a non-resident for the funds received for the purpose of such a purchase (but on condition that the Diia City resident does not meet the conditions of a permanent establishment of the non-resident); 3) revenues from sale of property (except for equity rights and securities), works, services provided by the non-resident for sale (while provided that the Diia City resident does not meet the attributes of a permanent establishment of the non-resident); 4) the amounts paid by a non-resident on the purchase of securities or equity rights in Ukraine and returned to the non-resident as a result of their sale;
- Royalties paid to a person who is not a resident of Diia City in the amount that exceeds: the amount of royalty income and + 4% of net revenue from the sale of property/work/services and net of royalty income for the previous year.
Exception: 1) the resident does not have financial statements for the previous year (in this case current year data are used for the calculation; 2) these rules do not apply to royalty amounts accrued to an individual, provided the personal income tax has been withheld (paid) from such an amount;
- Royalties paid in favor of:
– non-residents registered in offshore zones;
– non-residents in respect of objects with the intellectual property rights that first arose for a resident of Ukraine;
– a non-resident who is not subject to taxation in respect of the royalties in his country of residency;
– a non-resident who is not a beneficial (actual) recipient of royalties, except for cases when the actual recipient has granted the right to receive royalties to other persons;
– joint investment institutions (unless the respective operations are carried out by a non-resident through a permanent establishment).
- transfer of funds (property) as a founder’s/participant’s contribution to the charter capital to a legal entity, which is a non-resident of Diia City; as a contribution to a joint venture to a non-resident of Diia City, to a non-taxpayer or to a trust management of a person, who is not a resident of Diia City.
- transfer of funds, property in regard to the acquisition of goods from a single taxpayer, during the tax year in an amount exceeding 20% of the amount of expenses from any activity as shown in the statement of comprehensive income for the previous tax period.
The basic rate is 9% of the taxation base.
However, if a resident of Diia City carries out a controlled transaction, the rate of 18% shall be applied to:
– the excess of the price determined on an Arm’s Length Principle over the negotiated value of the goods/works/services sold;
– the excess of the negotiated price over the price determined by the Arm’s Length Principle of the goods/works/services sold.
If a resident is a controlling person, the adjusted profit of the controlled foreign company is a separate object of taxation following Article 39-2 of the Tax Code of Ukraine.
Special rates of the Unified Social Tax, a Personal Income Tax, and a Military Tax
In addition to the special tax rating of Diia City residents’ capital, the special tax rates for the income of Diia City specialists are provided.
Thus, the rate of the personal income tax is 5%, and the unified social tax is charged not on the amount of remuneration of a specialist but based on the minimum wage (22%), the same as in the case of individual entrepreneurs-freelancers.
However, unlike the case with an individual entrepreneur, the Diia City resident shall also collect a military levy of 1.5% from the amount of the specialist’s remuneration.
Diia City tax regime is still new and unfamiliar; it will take time to get used to a different approach to determining the taxation base and the logic of tax charges. Accurate accounting shall be additionally encouraged by the duty of residents to undergo the audits. The first results will be announced in 2023.
Volunteer movement in Ukraine: foreign citizens` participation
- Registration of a public formation
- Activities of representative offices of foreign non-governmental organizations
- Legalization of foreign citizens – volunteers in Ukraine
Foreign citizens have always actively helped Ukraine in various spheres and were widely involved in the Ukrainian volunteer movement, which has now become especially important due to the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. That is why it is important to consider the issue of organization of the activities of foreign volunteers in Ukraine and their legal integration into the Ukrainian volunteer movement.
Foreigners citizens can volunteer through non-profit organizations registered as legal entities in Ukraine and included to the list on the website of National social service of Ukraine.
Therefore, the organization must meet the following criteria:
– Registered as a legal entity in Ukraine;
– Listed in the register of non-profit organizations;
– Included in the list of the National social service of Ukraine (here – NSSU).
Registration of a public formation in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Formations
The most common types of public formations that can be used for volunteering are non-governmental and charitable organizations. An NGO may act in the form of an organization or a union.
The formation of an NGO is carried out at the constituent meeting of its founders and is documented with the minutes of association. Within 60 days from the date of the meeting, the NGO must be registered according to the respective law. The minutes of association and charter do not require notarization.
For registration, you need to submit to the state registrar at the location of the public formation:
– Minutes of association;
After the state registration of a legal entity, the registration application and copies of the constituent documents, certified by the signature of the head or representative of such organization, must be submitted to the State Tax Service for assignment of the non-profit status.
The application for registration of a legal entity as a non-profit may be submitted simultaneously to the state registrar as an annex to the application for state registration of the establishment of a legal entity.
The non-profit status
To define organization as non-profit, certain criteria must be met, namely:
- the constituent documents of such an organization must contain a prohibition on the distribution of income (profits) or part thereof among the founders (participants), members of such an organization, employees (except for remuneration of their labor, accrual of a single social contribution), members of governing bodies and other related persons;
- the constituent documents of the organization provide for the transfer of assets to one or more non-profit organizations of the corresponding type or inclusion in the budget revenue in case of termination of such a legal entity (as a result of its liquidation, merger, division, accession or transformation).
Adding into the list of the NSSU
Foreigners can carry out volunteer activities through those organizations and institutions that involve volunteers in their activities, information about which is available on the official website of the central executive body that implements the state policy in the field of volunteering. Such body in Ukraine is the NSSU.
Organizations that have the right to involve volunteers in their activities and information about which is published on the official website of the NSSU, have the right to invite foreigners and stateless persons to carry out volunteer activities in Ukraine. Such an invitation is necessary for a foreign citizen to obtain a long-term visa type D and consequently obtain a temporary residence permit.
Organizations and institutions that involve foreigners and stateless persons in volunteer activities have special responsibilities in the field of migration, namely:
- within 5 business days from the start of the volunteering activities of the specific foreigner, inform the NSSU in writing.
- within 5 business days from the date of the termination of such activities, inform the State Migration Service of Ukraine.
Volunteer activities can also be carried out through the branches, departments, representative offices and other structural units of foreign non-governmental organizations. State registration in Ukraine of a separate subdivision of a foreign non-governmental organization, representative office, branches of a foreign charitable organization is carried out through its accreditation without acquiring the status of a legal entity.
The documents specified by law are submitted for registration to the Ministry of justice of Ukraine. Documents issued by the foreign state must be legalized (consular legalization or apostille) and translated into Ukrainian with notarization.
Foreigners and stateless persons who are legally residing in Ukraine and have legal capacity are allowed to become volunteers.
The law provides for the right of volunteers to proper conditions for volunteering, provision of special protective equipment, reimbursement of expenses related the implementation of volunteer activities, including the costs of obtaining a visa, travel, postal and telephone services, medical examination, vaccination and other medical and preventive measures directly related to the provision of volunteer assistance.
Foreign citizens who carry out volunteer activities can stay in Ukraine legally within the established terms of stay for states with visa-free entry regime/within the period specified by visa for states with visa entry, and under a temporary residence permit.
In order to obtain a temporary residence permit, a foreigner must obtain a long-term visa type D (D-10), which indicates the grounds for future stay – volunteering in Ukraine.
N.B. There is only a limited list of countries whose citizens do not need a D-visa to obtain the temporary residence permit in Ukraine.
The purpose of stay in Ukraine for the visa D-10 obtaining is:
- participation in international and regional volunteer programs or
- participation in the activities of volunteer organizations.
The participation of a volunteer organization in the process of legalization of a foreigner on the territory of Ukraine is required both at the stage of forming a package of documents for the visa obtaining, and at the stage of submitting documents for obtaining a temporary residence permit.
A temporary residence permit is issued for one year and could be extended if there are grounds for that.
Among the necessary documents for obtaining a temporary residence permit are the following standard documents:
- passport document with the visa type D-10;
- translation of the passport document, certified by a notary;
- health insurance policy for the entire period of stay in Ukraine;
- receipt of payment of the administrative fee;
- statement of the state body responsible for the implementation of the volunteer program or statement of the organization or institution that involves volunteers in its activities;
- original of the Extract from the Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Organizations
In case a volunteer carries out his/her activities in Ukraine by participating in the activities of branches, departments, representative offices or other structural units of foreign non-governmental organizations he must obtain a visa type D-07, and for the temporary residence permit application he must bring a set of standard documents, as well as a statement of the relevant structural unit of the foreign organization and a document on the registration of such a unit, for example, a certificate or extract from the State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Organizations.
According to the law, entry to Ukraine, stay in Ukraine and transit through the territory of Ukraine of foreigners and stateless persons is subject to sufficient financial security. Therefore, in the application, the host party (an organization that involves volunteers in its activities, a structural unit of a foreign non-governmental organization) indicates its obligation to cover all expenses of the foreigner on the territory of Ukraine and provide financial support to the foreigner for his all the period of his stay in Ukraine.
Therefore, in order to carry out volunteer activities as a foreigner on the territory of Ukraine, it is necessary to find or register a volunteer public formation.
If you need to find or register a volunteer organization, contact us!
Migration changes dated 21/10/2022: expired residence permit are valid during the wartime
On October 21, 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Resolution “Some Issues of Implementation of Legislative Acts in the Field of Migration in time of Martial Law”. The Resolution provides an opportunity for foreigners to legally stay and enter the territory of Ukraine having temporary or permanent residence permits, which have expired or needed to have been exchanged during the martial law period.
The right to legally stay in Ukraine and enter it under the expired documents or the documents which have had to be exchanged after February 24, 2022 retains for the period of martial law and within 30 calendar days from the date of its termination or cancellation.
This rule does not apply exclusively to citizens of the Russian Federation.
The Government has established an obligation for foreigners subject to the Resolution, within 30 calendar days from the date of termination or cancellation of martial law, to submit documents for the exchange of temporary or permanent residence permits, which expired or were subject to exchange after February 24, 2022.
In our opinion, it also provides the opportunity to exchange the expired temporary or permanent residence permit during the war.
A similar rule was in effect for some time during the first months of the quarantine, but then it was canceled without a transition period for legalization, and everyone, who had an expired residence permit, ended up in the status of an illegal migrant. Therefore, according to our practice, we still advise you to exchange residence permits in time.
New rules on obtaining the WP
On September 21, 2022, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted amendments to the legislation of Ukraine regarding the issuance of permits for the employment of foreign citizens in Ukraine – the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Employment of Foreigners and Stateless Persons in Ukraine and the Provision of Mediation Services in Employment abroad” (hereinafter – the “Law”). The specified Law has already been signed by the Chairman of the Parliament of Ukraine and handed over to the President for signature. It will enter into force from the moment of publication.
Any restrictions on the salary for foreign employees (regardless of position, qualification) are abolished. The current requirements are the following: the salary of a foreign employee must be at least 10 times the minimum salary, except for certain categories of employees (in particular, IT specialists, founders/participants, beneficial owners of legal entities, graduates of top 100 universities).
Categories of foreign employees
Thus, after the entry into force of the Law, there will be the following categories of employees:
• foreign employee;
• seconded foreign workers;
• intra-corporate assignees;
• foreigners and stateless persons, in respect of whom a decision was made to issue documents to resolve the issue of recognition as a refugee or a person in need of additional protection; foreigners and stateless persons who appeal the decision on refusal to issue documents to resolve the issue of recognition as a refugee or a person in need of additional protection;
• persons who submitted an application for recognition as a stateless person, and persons who appeal the decision to refuse recognition as a stateless person;
• foreigners and stateless persons who have arrived to Ukraine for the purpose of studying in institutions of higher education and intend to work in Ukraine during the period of study and after graduation, provided that they are employed no later than 30 calendar days before the end of their studies.
The validity period of the work permit
• up to 3 years – for certain categories of foreign employees, for intra-corporate assignees;
• up to 1 year – for persons who have received the status of a refugee or a person in need of additional or temporary protection or who are undergoing the procedure of appealing the refusal to grant the specified statuses, for students;
• up to 2 years – for other categories of foreign employees and gig-specialists.
The Law stipulates that foreigners and stateless persons may work on various positions at one or more (two or more) employers, provided that each employer obtains a work permit.
The work of foreigners and stateless persons can be used without a permit in part-time positions at one employer. At the same time, the term of validity of the employment contract for a part-time position should not exceed the term of validity of the permit at the main place of work.
Thus, if a person works part-time for the same employer or has concurrent jobs, then only one work permit of this employer is sufficient. However, if a foreigner works part-time for different employers, each of them must obtain a permit.
Deadlines for extending the work permits
The Law also established the deadlines for submitting an application for the extension of a work permit – such an application may be submitted no earlier than 50 calendar days before the expiration of the permit and no later than 20 days before the expiration of the work permit.
Examination of the documents
The Law makes changes regarding the introduction of verification of candidates from among citizens of the russian federation and the republic of belarus by the bodies of the Security Service of Ukraine. Such verification by the bodies of the Security Service of Ukraine is decisive, at the same time, the Law does not specify a deadline for conducting such an inspection. In view of the fact that the Law provides that an application for extending the validity of a work permit cannot be submitted earlier than 50 days before the expiration of the permit, and the document is necessary for extending the validity of a temporary residence permit in Ukraine, such the gap will have negative consequences (when it will be necessary to argue the impossibility of submitting documents on time for reasons beyond the control of the applicant). We hope that such a gap will be eliminated and the administrative procedure will be defined more specifically.
Duplicate of the work permit
Finally, the gap in the possibility of obtaining a duplicate of the work permit by the employer is being eliminated.
• for permits up to 6 months (inclusively) – 3 subsistence minimums for able-bodied persons (in 2022, this is 7,443 UAH = 204 USD);
• for permits for a period of 6 months to 1 year (inclusively) – 5 subsistence minimums for able-bodied persons (in 2022 –12,405 UAH = 340 USD);
• for permits for a period of 1 to 2 years (inclusively) – 8 subsistence minimums for able-bodied persons (19,848 UAH = 543 USD);
• for permits for a period of 2 to 3 years – 10 subsistence minimums for able-bodied persons (24,810 UAH = 679 USD).
The fee for the extension of the validity period of the permit will be smaller by 1 subsistence minimum from the amount provided for the issuance of the permit.
In addition, the Law implements the free issuance (and extension of the validity period) of the permit for the following categories:
• refugees or persons in need of additional or temporary protection;
• persons who submitted an application for recognition as a stateless person, and persons who appeal the decision to refuse recognition as a stateless person;
• foreigners or stateless persons who took a direct part in repelling and restraining the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine (for this category of citizens, a special procedure for confirming this fact is provided – relevant information must be provided by the relevant state authority, which is carried out by the relevant employment center independently).
Specific rules for the citizens of Republic of Poland
The Parliament of Ukraine adopted a separate Law of Ukraine “On the Establishment of Additional Legal and Social Guarantees for Citizens of the Republic of Poland Staying in the Territory of Ukraine”, which, among other things, provides that citizens of the Republic of Poland have the right to employment without a work permit.
On the terms of stay of journalists in Ukraine
Accredited foreign journalists and representatives of foreign mass media were allowed to stay in Ukraine without restrictions of the term of stay
The Government of Ukraine adopted the Decision No. 627 as of May 27, 2022 (entered into force on May 31, 2022), that allows foreigners and stateless persons who arrived in Ukraine to work as a journalist or representative of foreign mass media and have passed accreditation in accordance with the established procedure, to stay legally in Ukraine without any limitation of the terms of stay for the period of martial law and 30 days after its termination or lifting.
To be within the scope of this provision a foreign journalist or mass media representative must:
⁃ arrive at Ukraine after the start of the period of martial law;
⁃ be accredited according to the established procedure.
In general, the period of stay for foreigners is limited by a term of visa, or by a period of 90 days in a 180-day period for visa-free entry regime.
It should be noted that documents for obtaining TRP on the basis of work in Ukraine as a foreign journalist or mass media representative should be submitted no later than 15 working days before the legal term of stay expires. In the view of recently adopted document No. 627 as of May 27, 2022, the documents could be submitted without time restrictions.
For getting TRP it is necessary to submit to State Migration Service:
– passport translation;
– insurance policy for 1 year;
– the appeal of a foreign mass media;
– the plea of the Ministry of Reintegration of Ukraine.
UBO & legal ownership structure
The Ministry of Finance of Ukraine has finally adopted the forms for the ownership structure. This means that starting from July 11, 2021, the documents on the UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owner) and legal ownership structure will have to be submitted when registering a new business entity.
Starting from July 11, 2021, a 3-month period (basically for directors/managers of existing legal entities registered prior to April 28, 2020) for submitting the first ownership structure reports starts.
What Documents Are Required?
For individuals –founders (who are the UBO): certified copies of passports are required (where such persons are not citizens of Ukraine, the respective personal document with a translation is required).
For legal entities – founders: a certified extract from the business registry shall be submitted.
In the case of a chain of owners, official documents confirming the structure and the grounds for exercising control (influence) are also required.
Direct and Indirect Control
When a legal entity is established directly by an individual, and the individual owns 25% or more shares, there occurs direct control over the legal entity. In this case, it is easy to track the connection.
When it comes to the cases where the UBO is identified through a number of other legal entities, it is necessary to provide the documents that can prove that such UBO has de jure and de facto control over each legal entity in the chain.
Within the period from July 11 – October 11, 2021, all legal entities are required to submit the documents to confirm/update their current ownership structure.
Directors/managers of legal entities will also need to provide the respective official documents. For individuals in the ownership structure: a copy of their passport, certified by a notary is required. For foreign nationals, a translation shall be provided as well.
For legal entities: extracts from business registries, other official documents proving ownership are required (documents issued abroad should be apostilled or legalized by a consulate, depending on international requirements).
When to Update?
Starting from January 01, 2022, heads of legal entities will be obliged to keep the information about the UBO and the ownership structure updated. The obligation consists of 2 parts:
1) annual reporting (within 14 days of the registration date) AND
2) in case of any changes to the structures or information about the UBO, the head of the legal entity will have 30 business days to update the information in the State Register of Legal Entities of Ukraine.
The Code of Ukraine on administrative offences provides for a fine (UAH 17,000 – 21,000) in case of failure to submit or untimely filing the information about the UBO/ownership structure. This fine is imposed on the heads of legal entities in Ukraine.
Digital Transformation of Residence Registration
Yesterday the Ministry of Digital Transformation announced the procedure of electronic residence registration. Last week, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine registered a draft law On the Implementation of Public Electronic Services for Registration and Declaration of Residence. The Ministry of Digital Transformation declares that this project would abolish certificates of residence registration and simplify the residence registration procedure.
Summary of planned changes:
– The project introduces the concept of “residence declaration”. The declaration will be analogous to the already known registration.
– Registration of residence will result from the residence declaring.
– According to the draft Law, a person will be given the opportunity to declare (register) residence through an electronic portal. To do so, one will need to register on the state portal of electronic services and fill out an application through the personal account, attaching copies of identity documents, housing documents, and the real estate owner’s consent to register. The opportunity to declare (register) residence through centres of administrative state services (CNAP) also remains.
– To declare (register) a place of residence in the apartment / house that is not owned / co-owned by a person the consent of the homeowner is required! We emphasize that the residence declaration (registration) is impossible without the consent of the apartment / house owner. The novelty is that such consent of the homeowner can be provided by signing an electronic application.
– The list of documents to be submitted for registration has been extended. For example, foreigners and stateless persons, who have received a temporary or permanent residence permit, will have to submit a passport and a notarized translation of the passport pages containing their personal data, in addition to the permit.
– The administrative fee rates for registration and deregistration of residence are planned to be doubled, but if a person performs these two actions at once, only one of them will be charged.
– The certificates of residence registration will no longer be the result of the residence registration service. The result of the service will be the notification via phone or e-mail. A Certificate of Residence Registration (or, in a new way, an Extract from the Register of the Territorial Community) will be available only as a separate service. It will also be possible to obtain an Extract from the Register through the electronic portal.
– Some laws will be amended to abolish the submission of certificates of residence registration and to make certain state guarantees available irrespective of a person’s place of residence (e.g. an application for pension or social benefits can be submitted in any region regardless of the place of residence; medical care will also be provided regardless of the place of registration of the person).
– If the place of registration is changed electronically, the state authorities will pass information to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for deregistration and putting on military records.
Obtaining A Tax ID in Ukraine
All individual taxpayers should be registered with the supervisory authorities by including information about them in the State Register.
The State Register shall contain information on individuals who are:
– citizens of Ukraine;
– foreigners and stateless persons, who permanently reside in Ukraine;
– foreigners and stateless persons who do not have permanent residence in Ukraine, but under the legislation are obliged to pay taxes in Ukraine, or if they are founders of legal entities established in Ukraine.
So, in which cases is the tax ID required in Ukraine?
The tax ID is used in the case of:
– payments of income from which taxes are withheld under the legislation of Ukraine;
– conclusion of civil law agreements, the subject matter of which is a taxable object subject to taxes and duties;
– bank accounts opening;
– state registration of private entrepreneurs or issuance of special permits (licenses, patents, etc.) for certain types of economic activity in favor of such persons, as well as registration of independent professional activity;
– registration of property or rights to it and other assets of individuals that are subject to taxation;
– registration of vehicles that become the property of individuals;
– in other cases provided by law.
Therefore, in order to carry out all the above actions on the territory of Ukraine, it is necessary to register with the State Register of Individual Taxpayers and obtain the tax ID.
Procedure for obtaining the tax ID
Foreigners and stateless persons shall submit documents to the territorial bodies of the State Tax Service in the regions, cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol.
Foreigners and stateless persons who have a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit in Ukraine may register as taxpayers in the state tax inspections in regions, cities, districts in cities, Joint State Tax Inspectorates according to the place of residence in Ukraine, specified in the residence permit.
To obtain the tax ID, foreigners shall submit the following documents:
– registration card in the specified form;
– an identity document of a foreigner, duly translated into Ukrainian and certified by a notary and a copy of such translation;
– a copy of the mark, which certifies the border crossing;
– power of attorney, certified by a notary, a copy of it, and a copy of the passport of the representative (if the documents are submitted by the representative).
Please note, in order to submit documents and obtain the tax ID, foreigners must stay in Ukraine legally and within the permitted period of temporary stay in Ukraine (not exceeding 90 days within 180 days, unless otherwise specified by international agreements or provided by visa-free entry).
To obtain the tax ID, foreigners with a temporary or permanent residence permit in Ukraine shall submit the following documents:
– registration card in the specified form;
– a temporary or permanent residence permit in Ukraine and its copy;
– residence certificate and its copy;
– power of attorney, certified by a notary, a copy of it, and a copy of the passport of the representative (if the documents are submitted by the representative).
The term for issuing a document confirming the registration of a person as a taxpayer is 3 working days.
For the issuance of the tax ID, a person shall submit the same documents that were submitted to obtain the tax ID (except for the registration card).
There is no state fee for the issuance of such a document.
It is worth noting that the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) has passed a law equating digital passports to paper ones. These changes apply only to the passport of a citizen of Ukraine and the passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travelling abroad. Electronic passports in the “Diia” application can now be provided on the territory of Ukraine for identification and confirmation of citizenship, except for crossing the state border, entering and leaving the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. Thus, citizens of Ukraine can provide electronic passports when submitting documents to obtain the tax ID.
The law enters into force on August 23, 2021.
Legislator to Strengthen the Liability for Traffic Violators
The EXPATPRO team would like to advise you of the recent updates to the regulations on liability for traffic rules violations.
The Law of Ukraine On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Strengthening of Liability for Certain Road Traffic Safety Offenses was adopted on February 16, 2021, and came into force on March 17, 2021. This law has amended the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, the Criminal Code of Ukraine, as well as the Laws of Ukraine On Road Traffic and On the National Police.
We invite you to pay attention to the peculiarities of the recent regulations.
The first point is that the legislator has strengthened the liability for drunk driving (being impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances or medicines to a level that critically reduces attention and speed of reaction of the driver) and eliminated all the flaws of law that allowed the offenders to exempt from legal liability. The penalty for drunk driving for the first time within one year shall now amount to UAH 17,000 fine with the deprivation of the right to drive a vehicle for 1 year; for the second time in the same year – UAH 34,000 fine with the deprivation of the right to drive vehicle for 3 years and possible paid withdrawal of the vehicle, or administrative arrest for 10 days with the deprivation of the right to drive vehicle for 3 years and possible paid withdrawal of the vehicle; for the third time in the same year – UAH 51,000 fine with the deprivation of the right to drive vehicle for 10 years and confiscation of the vehicle or administrative arrest for 15 days with the deprivation of the right to drive vehicle for 10 years and vehicle confiscation.
Previously, the fines for the said offenses were UAH 10,200, UAH 20,400, UAH 40,800, respectively. Moreover, the new penalties for drunk driving were introduced – paid withdrawal of the vehicle, confiscation of the vehicle, and administrative arrest. Unlike vehicle confiscation, the paid withdrawal provides that the vehicle is seized, sold at the auction, and money received from realization is returned to the vehicle’s owner.
Henceforward it becomes more difficult to avoid liability for the following reasons. The term of drunk driving case consideration at the court is now 1 year instead of 3 months period that easily allowed to avoid responsibility in the past because of intentional delay in court proceedings, overloaded courts, etc. Besides, according to the new regulations, legal proceedings cannot be closed and the offender cannot be released from administrative liability for insignificance or due to the transfer of materials to the labor collective or public organization for consideration. It is crucial to point out that in case of repeated violation the new penalty does not replace the previous one, they are added up. In such a case, the whole term of deprivation of the right to operate a vehicle may exceed the maximum allowable 10-years period.
If any person being drunk and driving a vehicle causes a road accident with victims, such a person will be criminally charged. Article 286-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine has been adopted in a new edition. Now it prescribes liability in the form of imprisonment for different terms, depending on the severity of the consequences caused by the road accident. The maximum term of imprisonment is 12 years with the deprivation of the right to operate a vehicle for up to 10 years. Such a penalty is provided for offenders who caused a road accident that resulted in the death of several people.
Furthermore, the commission of the abovementioned offenses precludes the perpetrator from the opportunity to be released from liability due to effective repentance, reconciliation of the perpetrator with the victim, transfer of a person on bail, change of circumstances. Release from serving a sentence on probation, replacement of the unserved part of the sentence with a milder one, and amnesty also do not apply to drunk drivers.
The reasoning behind these strict regulations is caused by the widespread occurrence of drunk driving cases, their recurrence, the exemption of drivers from legal liability, and the significant number of victims of such offenses. In 2020 alone, approximately 130,000 drunk drivers were apprehended. More than 9,000 drivers repeated the case of drunk driving and another 5,000 of such offenses were committed for a third time, despite the fact, that such offenders have paid fines and suffered other negative consequences of such violations. Moreover, there are numerous examples of road accidents with drunk drivers involved, with dozens of casualties, and some of the drivers managed to avoid liability for the deaths of innocent victims.
Other amendments concern penalties for speeding, seatbelts non-use, driving without a license or transferring a vehicle to a person who is not entitled to operate it, or driving after being deprived of the right to operate a vehicle.
The fines for exceeding the allowed speed limit: for up to 50 km/hour is UAH 340 instead of UAH 255, for over 50 km/hour – UAH 1700 instead of UAH 510. The penalty for non-use of seat belts amounts to UAH 510, which is 10 times more than before. The incorrect installation of state license plates and dirtiness of the plates are punished with UAH 850 fine.
Please note that while driving you should always have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration document, and insurance policy. Otherwise, you will be forced to pay a fine of UAH 425, which remained unchanged. At the same time, the legislator has added the opportunity to use all those documents and show them at the demand of police officers in electronic form, for instance, by having the “Diia” application.
For driving without a right to operate a vehicle or transferring the vehicle to a person who has no such right there is a fine of UAH 3,400. When a person that has been deprived of the right to operate a vehicle (e.g. for drunk driving) was driving again, a fine of UAH 20,400 has to be paid (previously – UAH 510), in the event of repeat offense – UAH 40,800.
The legislator has also strengthened the liability for leaving the scene of a road accident by introducing a fine of UAH 3,400, or deprivation of the right to operate a vehicle for up to 2 years, or administrative arrest for up to 15 days.
The fines for violations committed by pedestrians and cyclists were also increased, e.g. for crossing the road at the inappropriate place or against the red traffic light signal – UAH 255, for violation of traffic rules by pedestrians or cyclists, committed in a state of intoxication – UAH 680 (if repeated – UAH 850 or public service for 20-40 hours).
As to the amendments to the Law of Ukraine On Road Traffic, the rules regarding how to act when you are stopped by a police officer were introduced. In such a case the driver is obliged to stop the vehicle; keep hands in the view of a police officer and not leave the vehicle without permission; switch off the engine of the vehicle and remove the key from the ignition; submit the necessary documents for verification; put the hazard lights on; get out of the vehicle.
Finally, such a type of punishment as ‘penalty points’ has been eliminated. Previously, at the beginning of the year, every driver has been granted a certain number of points. For the specific violations of traffic rules, for example, those automatically fixed like exceeding speed limits, some of the points have been withdrawn. Once a driver had used up all the points, he/she could be forced to pay a real fine for his violations, or another type of punishment could be imposed on the driver.
It should be stressed, that foreigners and stateless persons bear the administrative and criminal responsibility for traffic rules violations in the same way as Ukrainian citizens do.
The EXPATPRO team is always ready to advise you on any issues on road safety and traffic rules.
How to Draw Up An Invitation for a Visa?
An invitation from the host party is one of the documents submitted for the Ukrainian visa. Mostly, invitations are required for short-term visas, but in some cases an invitation is required for a long-term visa (for purposes such as assistance in the international technical project, work for the representative office/permanent establishment of a foreign company in Ukraine, religious or volunteer activities, etc.).
The invitation can be provided by a legal entity or an individual. It depends on the purpose of the visit.
An invitation from a legal entity must comply with the following requirements:
– be issued on the official letterhead;
– contain the following information:
– registration number,
– number of the legal entity in the United State Register of Legal Entities, Private Entrepreneurs and Non-Governmental Organizations of Ukraine,
– surname, name, patronymic of the invited foreigner,
– information on the date and place of birth of the invited foreigner,
– information on the citizenship of the foreigner,
– passport details of the foreigner,
– place of residence abroad,
– purpose of the trip,
– period of the planned visit,
– number of planned entrances,
– place of residence in Ukraine,
– obligation of the legal entity to assume possible costs of the invited person’s stay and departure from Ukraine,
– signature and position of the signatory.
A copy of the extract from the United State Register of Legal Entities, Private Entrepreneurs and Non-Governmental Organizations of Ukraine providing the details about the legal entity shall be attached to the invitation. Moreover, other documents from the host party may additionally be required for certain visa types.
An invitation from an individual must comply with the following requirements:
– be notarized;
– be provided by a person who legally resides in Ukraine (it means that the invitation can be provided by a citizen of Ukraine or a foreigner, who has a temporary or permanent residence permit in Ukraine);
– contain the following information:
– surname, name, patronymic of the hosting individual,
– passport details and/or permanent/temporary residence permit (for foreigners and stateless persons) of the hosting individual,
– address of residence of the hosting individual in Ukraine,
– surname, name, patronymic of the invited person,
– information on date and place of birth,
– information on the citizenship of the invited person,
– passport details of the invited person,
– place of residence abroad,
– purpose of the trip,
– period of the planned visit,
– number of planned entrances,
– place of residence in Ukraine,
– obligation of the hosting party to assume possible costs of the invited person’s stay and departure from Ukraine,
– signature of the hosting individual.
Copies of the passport and/or permanent/temporary residence permit of the hosting individual should be attached to the invitation.
If you still have questions about applying for a Ukrainian visa, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
2021 Migration Quotas
The ordinance of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine On Establishing an Immigration Quota for the Year 2021 set a quota of 5706 permits for highly qualified professionals and workers, where 5110 belong to the IT sector.
The total number of immigration permits is allocated to the following Ukrainian regions and cities:
– Kyiv – 2611 permits;
– Kharkiv region – 1293 permits;
– Odesa region – 600 permits;
– Mykolaiv region – 1 permit;
– Lviv region – 600 permits;
– Dnipropetrovsk region – 600 permits;
– Volyn region – 1 permit.
According to the Order of the Ministry of Economic Affairs On Amendments to the List of Professions and Qualification Requirements for Specialists and Workers to be Obtained through Immigration in 2021, the list of professions in the field of IT has expanded, if compared to the previous year, and is as follows:
– Technical Manager, Technical Director – 500 applicants;
– Information Security Systems Manager, Quality Manager – 100 applicants;
– Software Engineers (Senior Software Engineer, Computer Systems Engineer, Software Engineer, Software Engineer (database), System Software Engineer, Applications Software Engineer, Design Engineer (electronics)) – 3013 applicants;
– Analysts (Computer Communications Analyst, Computer Systems Analyst, Operational and Application Software Analyst, Consolidated Data Analyst) – 208 applicants;
– Database Administrator – 6 applicants;
– Data Administrator – 2 applicants;
– Computer Database Analyst – 3 applicants;
– System Administrator – 12 applicants;
– Computer Software Engineer – 3 applicants;
– Information Technology Management Expert (in the field of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, virtual assets) – 50 applicants;
– Computer Application Engineer – 3 applicants;
– New Equipment and Technology Implementation Engineer – 3 applicants;
– Information Security Specialists (Professional in the organization of information protection with limited access, Information Security Professional, Specialist in the organization of information security with limited access, Information Security Specialist) – 301 applicants;
– Specialists in the field of computer technology (Information Technology Specialist, Software Development and Testing Specialist, Computer Programmer) – 803 applicants;
– Computer Graphics (Design) Specialist – 3 applicants;
– Information Processing and Software Operator – 100 applicants.
Technical Managers, Technical Directors shall have at least 3 years of confirmed work experience in the relevant position. Additional requirements: degree in the technical field of study, confirmed income in the preceding calendar year – not less than 24,000 US dollars, MIT certificate.
Information Security Systems Managers, Quality Managers shall have at least 3 years of work experience in the relevant field. Additional qualification requirements: degree in the appropriate field of study; income for a particular occupation in the preceding calendar year in the amount equivalent to 24,000 US dollars and above; valid certificate on information security (one of the following: CISSP, CISA, CISM, ITIL Master, CompTIA Security +).
The following mandatory requirement is set for all Software Engineers: confirmed work experience of at least 3 years. However, additional qualification requirements differ for each profession.
The following additional requirements are set for the Senior Software Engineers: technical degree; income of at least 24,000 US dollars in the preceding calendar year for a particular occupation; MIT certificate.
For Computer Systems Engineers and Design Engineers (electronics) – a degree in one of the following technical fields: Computer Engineering, Cybernetics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science; income for a particular occupation in the preceding calendar year in the amount equivalent to 24,000 US dollars and above; MIT certificate in the relevant field.
Additional requirements for Software Engineers, Software Engineers (database), Applications Software Engineers, System Software Engineers are the following: degree in one of the technical fields – Cybernetics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or technical education in the field of automation and computer technology; income for a particular occupation in the preceding calendar year in the amount equivalent to 24,000 US dollars and above; MIT certificate in the relevant field.
Analysts shall have at least 3 years of confirmed work experience in the relevant profession. Additional qualification requirements include a degree in one of the following technical fields: Cybernetics, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science; income of at least 24,000 US dollars in the preceding calendar year for a particular occupation.
Database Administrators shall have at least 3 years of work experience in the respective profession, and as for additional qualification requirements – a degree in the relevant field, skills to ensure the performance of databases under the guidance of MySQL / PostgreSQL / MS SQL, support and development of existing database infrastructure, monitoring and performance and analysis of databases, creating SQL queries, working with operating systems Windows, Linux; experience in MySQL / PostgreSQL / MS SQL database administration.
A mandatory requirement for Data Administrators is 3 years of work experience. A degree in the field is an additional requirement.
Computer Database Analysts shall have at least 3 years of work experience in the relevant profession. Additional qualification requirements: degree in the field, skills in checking the details of invoices, audit of freight invoices, analysis of shipment data, checking the logic of calculation, communication with customers, optimization of business processes; knowledge of English at the Intermediate level (or higher); confident use of MS Excel.
System Administrators shall have at least 3 years of work experience in the relevant profession. Additional qualification requirements: degree in the technical field; skills in maintenance and repair of computer equipment and peripherals, installation of Windows, Microsoft Office and other applications, implementation of medical and accounting information systems, customer support, maintenance of computer network and server equipment; knowledge of electronics, computer technology, Windows operating systems, network technologies.
Computer Software Engineers and Computer Application Engineers shall have at least 3 years of work experience in the relevant profession. Additional requirements for both categories are degree, and additionally for Computer Software Engineers – knowledge of Macintosh.
Information Technology Management Experts (blockchain, cryptocurrencies, virtual assets) shall have 3 years of work experience in this field. Additional qualification requirements: degree, income for a particular occupation in the preceding calendar year in the amount equivalent to 24,000 US dollars or above.
A mandatory requirement for New Equipment and Technology Implementation Engineers is the confirmed work experience in this profession for at least 3 years. Additional qualification requirements: degree, skills in developing and designing technical tasks for the implementation of the latest information systems (creation of projects of computer classes, laboratories, video surveillance systems, control and management systems), implementation and improvement of the latest information technologies.
Information Security Specialists shall have 3 years of work experience in the relevant profession. Additional qualification requirements are as follows: degree in the appropriate field of study; income of at least 24,000 US dollars in the preceding calendar year for a particular occupation; valid certificate on information security (one of the following: CISSP, CISA, CISM, ITIL Master).
Specialists in the field of computer technology shall have at least 3 years of confirmed work experience in the occupation in the relevant field. Additional qualification requirements: degree in the technical field; income for a particular occupation in the preceding calendar year in the amount equivalent to 24,000 US dollars or above.
Computer Graphics (Design) Specialists shall have 2 years of work experience in the relevant occupation. Additional qualification requirements: degree; professional knowledge of WordPress web programs; knowledge of HTML, php, SEO, Link, Webmaster Tools; ability to analyze and create information content.
Information Processing and Software Operators shall have at least 3 years of confirmed work experience in the relevant field. Additional qualification requirements: degree in the technical field of study; income for a particular occupation in the preceding calendar year in the amount equivalent to 24,000 US dollars or above.
Work experience shall be confirmed by one or any set of documents, including in particular:
1) employment history record book or equivalent;
2) letters of reference confirming the provision of services in the relevant field;
3) agreements on the provision of services in the relevant field;
4) certificates of services rendered in the relevant field;
5) other documents confirming work experience issued in the applicant’s country of residence.
How to Obtain the Status of a Stateless Person?
A stateless person is a person who is not considered as a citizen by any state under the operation of its law. A person may be born without citizenship or become stateless.
The main reason for statelessness is the loss of citizenship in one state and the inability to acquire citizenship in another. The same may occur if a person renounces citizenship voluntarily, as this does not automatically guarantee the acquisition of citizenship of another state.
In conformity with the provisions of the Law on citizenship of Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens are protected from such a situation, as renunciation from Ukrainian citizenship is allowed only if a person has acquired the citizenship of another state or has received a document issued by the authorized bodies of another state stating that the citizen of Ukraine will acquire its citizenship when renouncing Ukrainian citizenship.
Due to various reasons, a considerable number of people have never acquired citizenship of any state and have never received a passport.
According to rough UN estimates, currently there are around 35,000 stateless persons in Ukraine.
It brings up the question: Is there any option for such a category to reside legally on the territory of Ukraine and enjoy their rights?
In June 2020 the Verkhovna Rada adopted amendments to the Law of Ukraine On the Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons, which regulated the status of stateless persons in Ukraine. The Law establishes a procedure for recognition as a ‘stateless person’, which will further allow such persons to be documented and legally stay on the territory of Ukraine, as well as to receive a residence permit and a stateless person certificate (stateless person identification document) to travel abroad. And, on condition of residing in the territory of Ukraine in this status for more than 2 years – to obtain an immigration permit and a residence permit.
On March 24th, 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine finally adopted a procedure for the implementation of the provisions of the Law. From now on, stateless persons may apply to a territorial body of the State Migration Service to be recognised as stateless. The application must be accompanied by all the documents confirming their identity. These may be passports (if any), travel documents, birth or marriage certificates, certificates on the absence of citizenship, documents on the study at an educational institution of Ukraine or another state, the passport of former USSR citizen as of 1974 sample, documents on the job, documents on receiving medical assistance in Ukraine, documents on the place of residence, etc. In order to confirm the identity, the information on three persons who can help to establish the applicant’s identity and sign the relevant papers shall also be provided.
In general, it should take up to 6 months to process the application. For particular reasons, the processing may be extended for up to a year. Once the procedure is complete, a decision on recognition or refusal of recognition as a stateless person is issued.
While the application is pending, the person receives a certificate confirming the application for recognition as a stateless person, and it serves as an identity verification document.
Upon receiving the decision on recognition as a stateless person, the person has the right to be granted a temporary residence permit in Ukraine.
Apartment purchase in the primary market
EXPATPRO continues guiding you through the peculiarities of the Ukrainian real estate market on your way to buying an apartment.
In the previous article, we have considered in detail how to purchase an apartment in the secondary market. You could easily check it here.
In this article, we will focus on purchasing an apartment in a new building.
The stages of apartment purchase are as follows:
♦ Verification of all the available information and documents on the apartment or ‘due diligence’.
♦ Choosing the way of investment and signing the agreement.
♦ Registration of the ownership rights.
Stage 1: Due Diligence
Prior to signing an apartment sale and purchase agreement, it is advisable to carry out the due diligence procedure of this apartment. There is no obligation to do so, but we always analyze any potential risks relating to the deal in order to be sure whether it is reliable for our clients to contribute funds in purchasing such an apartment.
If you want to be sure that the potential investment object is trustworthy and your money is not to be wasted, the due diligence procedure is a must.
What exactly should be checked?
1) information on real estate developer (general contractor)
The history of the works, reputation, other projects, the real estate developer members, whether it has any debts to the state or other persons, including tax debts, whether there are no arrests and other encumbrances, whether it is not bankrupt or engaged in other court proceedings.
For this purpose, it is necessary to monitor the State Register of Legal Entities, the Register of Enforcement Proceedings, Unified Register of Debtors, the registers of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, Unified State Register of Court Decisions, other registers and databases.
It is also important to check the Unified State Register of Court Decisions on the information concerning the object of construction and the land plot, whether the buyers have sued the developer for breach of the obligations.
2) the legal regime of the land plot, on which the house is built or under construction
It should be borne in mind that the land plot on which construction takes place should be allocated for the specified purposes (see the Public Cadastral Map of Ukraine) – the construction and maintenance of a multi-apartment residential building, and the appropriate purposes should be indicated in the town planning documentation. Otherwise, a permit for the construction of such a house may be appealed to the court, leading to years of litigation and construction may not be completed.
You should verify whether the land plot is in the ownership or temporary used, who the owner or leaseholder is (check the respective lease agreement, certificate of land ownership, superficies agreement, etc.) If the land plot is not in the ownership, the lease term should not be less than the approximate term of the house completion and occupancy permit. The developer or constructor shall be indicated as the owner or tenant.
The relevant documentation regarding the specifics of the land plot itself (documents for changing the intended use of the land plot (if any available), technical documentation for setting the boundaries of the land plot, its division and/or consolidation, etc.) should also be checked.
3) permission documentation
You should verify whether the developer has any urban conditions and restrictions (for buildings located in Kyiv, such is checked with the Urban Cadastre of Kyiv). It is a crucial point since the city conditions and restrictions specify the number of floors in the building, the distance from the building to other elements, etc.)
There occurred a precedent in Kyiv recently when a developer was obliged to demolish several floors of the building to comply with the urban conditions and restrictions and obtain all the necessary documents to legally complete construction.
The next point of verification – whether there is a permit to perform construction work (NB! The declaration of the commencement of construction work is not a permit); the contractor’s license for construction; the project documentation; the document confirming the mandatory examination of construction projects: the liability classes (consequences) of the objects of the type CC2 (average consequences – houses up to 100 m high, from 20 to 300 permanent residents) and the type CC3 (significant consequences – from 100 m high and 300 permanent residents). The agencies approved by the government for conducting the mandatory examination of the construction projects can be checked here.
Other permitting documents include permits for special types of work, an order for a building address assignment to a new construction object, approval of construction conditions by the general contractor, the permission of specialized departments when the construction is executed in historic and architectural zones, exclusion zones, etc.
Often enough, a developer may downgrade the liability classes (consequences) such as indicating CC1 class (private house construction) instead of CC2 (construction of an apartment building up to 100 m high) for their own purposes, e.g. to avoid obtaining the costly license mandatory for CC2 and CC3 objects. However, this may result in an inability to legally commission the property and register the title.
Said another way, the higher the consequences class, the more difficult it is to bring both the legal and project aspects of the facility construction in compliance with the requirements of the legislation.
Hence, when selecting the object type CC2, and especially CC3, all the documents shall be checked as carefully as possible.
Depending on the status of the facility, you should also verify:
♦ An agreement on urban utility services communication, with heat, water, and energy supply included. The supporting documents may include contracts for public utility services;
♦ Certificate on completion of construction;
♦ A technical passport for an apartment;
♦ Certificate on facility commissioning;
♦ Certificate (an order of the district administration) on the postal address assignment;
♦ An agreement with the city council on payments of the share contribution to the city infrastructure (NB! Without payments under such an agreement the building may fail to receive the postal address, which will lead to the failure of the investor’s title registration).
Construction permits, construction completion certificates and commissioning certificates shall be verified with the State Architectural and Construction Inspection Register of permitting documents.
Besides, it is advisable to check whether there exists an increased public interest and attention to the facility (public disputes, rallies, and mass protests, etc.) and whether the developers and constructors are involved in some illegal schemes of money laundering or political scandals.
You can also check the desired developer in reliability ratings published by media resources.
The due diligence procedure is rather complicated, but at the same time, it is a substantial step for apartment purchase in Ukraine. Without it, one cannot be 100% sure that there will be no problems with the purchased apartment.
Stage 2: Ways of Investment and Signing the Agreement
The legislation provides 4 ways for developers to receive funds from individuals for the construction of facilities – investing in construction financing funds, issue of target bonds, participation in collective investment institutions, and in real estate transaction funds. Developers also widely use other methods of accumulating funds for construction (presale contracts, sale and purchase agreement of property rights), which are not expressly prohibited by law but are absent in specific regulations, and are governed by general terms of civil legislation.
Every way of investment has its pros and cons. The main disadvantage of all the ways is that nobody can guarantee that the building will be commissioned on time or that the developer will not go bankrupt. To minimize these risks, checking every single thing on the stage of due diligence is the best option for the investor.
The first investment option is about entering into an agreement with the construction financing fund. The manager of the fund is a bank or other licensed financial institution that has an agreement with the constructor, which undertakes to build one or more construction projects and commission them as required by law and transfer to the fund. The fund is obliged to finance the construction according to the agreement.
The fund receives money for construction from potential investors who intend to buy an apartment. After concluding the agreement with the fund and paying the price of the property under the terms of agreement (which may be partially paid), the investor receives the certificate of participation in the construction financing fund (it shall indicate in details all the features of the apartment – area, floor, number, etc.) After the building has been commissioned, an investor has to sign the apartment acceptance/transfer certificate or refuse from signing and hold a demand against the developer on the elimination of construction defects. After signing, the investor receives another certificate, under which the ownership right is registered.
The main advantage for the investor is that the use of money by the developer is monitored and controlled. In the event of non-fulfillment of the obligations, the fund may even change the developer. However, there may be cases when developers are closely linked to and influenced by the funds in a way that funds do not even aim to control the progress of construction and track the use of money for its intended purpose. This can lead to long-term construction.
The second option is to invest in target bonds. The lot of such bonds corresponds to the area of one apartment. The target bond indicates only its series, number, the number of square meters and does not specify an apartment itself (with a description of its exact location). Therefore, it is necessary not only to purchase a lot of target bonds but to conclude with the developer the ‘booking’ agreement regarding a particular apartment where area equals the number of square meters indicated in the bond.
Once construction is finished the developer repurchases the bonds and the investor receives the apartment. The bonds are issued under the control of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission (NSSMC).
Participation in collective investment institutions is similar to a construction financing fund with the only difference being that the bank (in construction financing fund) as a third party between an investor and developer is replaced by an asset management company (in collective investment institutions).
The potential investor concludes a forward contract with the asset management company. Such a contract is registered on the stock exchange. Under this agreement, the investor acquires property rights to the apartment, pays the asset management company, and undertakes to pay the established price to the constructor after the building is commissioned. The forward contract shall include such important features as the payment deadline, the terms of construction completion, commissioning date, apartment number, floor, area, etc. After the building is commissioned, the contractor and investor conclude the main agreement under which the apartment is being transferred to the investor based on the existing property rights.
Funds of real estate transactions are not common in Ukraine, though they are considered a legitimate form of investment.
Presale contracts and agreements on the sale and purchase of property rights (title deeds) are a bit risky forms of investment. They allow the developer to sell the same apartment twice and more since such agreements are not registered anywhere and may have standard and vague terms that do not specify the apartment that is purchased at the time of the start of construction.
The investor should remember that the standard contract is always in favor of the developer. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult a lawyer about the terms of the particular agreement proposed by the developer.
At the stage of construction, you do not acquire any ownership rights or receive any title deeds by concluding any of the above contracts. For these reasons, it is crucial to study every document regarding the constructor and developer, and carefully read all the terms of the proposed agreement before signing. Otherwise, you risk wasting your investment or being engaged in long-term litigation, or waiting for decades for the building to be finally constructed or commissioned.
Stage 3: Registration of Ownership
Once the title has been registered, the investor becomes the rightful owner of the apartment. The registration can be done through the Administrative Services Center.
Before the registration, you will also have to obtain a technical passport for the apartment. You should also request the developer to provide you with certified copies of the document confirming that the building has been commissioned and assigned an address.
The package of the documents required for registration depends on the way of investment you have chosen (e.g., in case of investing in target bonds, you have to submit the target bonds purchase agreement and the ‘booking’ agreement).
EXPATPRO has extensive experience in real estate deals in both the primary and secondary real estate markets and is always ready to advise you on all and any issues you have concerning apartment purchase at any stage from choosing a reliable property to signing the agreement and registering ownership rights.
How to purchase real estate (apartment) in Ukraine?
Foreigners coming to Ukraine to start a business, or to get married or employed, or for any other reason, usually consider purchasing an apartment or a house in Ukraine.
In response to popular requests from our clients, the EXPATPRO team has prepared a brief guide on how a foreigner can buy an apartment in Ukraine, and which intricacies and pitfalls shall be considered, as the real estate market trends and legislation tend to be ever-changing.
A foreigner can choose to purchase an apartment in a new building or the secondary market. It depends on what you prefer. Anyway, all the papers and information have to be thoroughly and profoundly checked in both cases. However, there are some differences between these two options.
The essential point to keep in mind is that you can issue a power of attorney and your legal representative will do all the necessary actions to buy the apartment on your behalf.
We are ready to support you during the following stages of the apartment purchase, which have their own peculiarities depending on whether you purchase in the primary or secondary market:
1. Conducting due diligence.
2. Negotiations and a presale agreement.
3. The final apartment sale and purchase agreement. Payment. Registration of ownership.
Step 1: Conducting Due Diligence
If you find a property of your interest on the secondary market, don’t make a hasty decision to purchase it, as it should be well-checked, the same as the apartment in a new building.
Due diligence procedure comprises verification of the following papers and information:
1. a) legal status of the house where the apartment is located:
You should check the status of the building where the apartment is located. Is it an architectural monument or a cultural heritage object of Ukraine (it could be verified via the State Register of Ukrainian Immovable Monuments of state and local significance)?
If so, you face a complicated task on the check of the nuances (whether there is consent from the Ministry of Culture for the apartment alienation, if there is a valid protection contract, the act of technical condition of the monument that should be updated every 5 years, whether the term of one month expired, during which the State Department of Cultural Heritage Protection enjoys its right of privileged purchase, etc.)
1. b) title documentation to the property, such as an apartment sale and purchase contract or other document confirming the ownership of the seller (certificate of ownership, deed of gift, etc.), technical certificate (passport) for the apartment, a document confirming the registration of the ownership rights of the previous owners (shall be checked through the extract from the Register of Titles to Real Estate or the Certificate from the BTI (Bureau of Technical Inventory).
2. c) arrests, mortgages, other encumbrances on the property
It is necessary to check the information about the apartment in the public registers, e.g. whether the apartment has been mortgaged (checked with the Register of Titles to Real Estate) or is a subject of litigation (checked with the Unified State Register of Court Decisions, Registry of Enforcement Proceedings).
1. d) verification of the information about the seller (whether they are married (if so, notarized consent to sell the apartment from the spouse is required), whether they have minors, or disabled persons, or have unpaid debts (checked with the Unified Register of Debtors).
If it is a company, it has to be checked whether it is not bankrupt or engaged in any court proceedings.
If there are children who have the ownership rights to the apartment or rights to use it, there should be a consent of custody and guardianship agency on the alienation of the apartment. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting into a protracted legal battle and losing your apartment, if the deal contravenes or narrows the scope of existing property rights of the child, since in this case the deal could be declared invalid by the court.
1. e) documents of the owner(s) of the apartment (passport data, tax registry ID number, marriage/divorce certificates, birth certificate (if one of the owners is a minor), etc.).
2. f) checking whether debts on utility payments exist for the apartment.
3. g) revision of the persons registered in the apartment
If the seller does not provide information about the persons registered in the apartment, you need to request a notary to check the persons registered in the premises in order to find out the absence of the rights of minors and disabled persons to the apartment.
Step 2: Negotiations and a Presale Contract
Once the due diligence procedure is done, you can launch negotiations with the seller of the real estate and sign a Presale (deposit) contract.
According to the terms of the Presale contract, the parties agree on the terms of the main agreement: price, payment process, terms, liability for non-signing the main agreement.
To secure the rights of both parties under the Presale contract, the buyer usually pays a deposit that confirms his intention to buy the apartment and the seller undertakes not to sell the apartment to any other person. If the buyer evades the conclusion of the main contract within the stipulated terms, the sum of the deposit shall remain at the seller. And if the seller refuses to conclude the main contract, the buyer receives the doubled deposit back.
Step 3: The Final Apartment Sale and Purchase Agreement. Payment. Registration of Ownership
At this stage, the deal is being carried out and closed: the apartment sale and purchase agreement (hereinafter – “SPA”) shall be concluded, notarized and the ownership rights shall be registered by a notary within the Register of Titles to Real Estate.
Before signing and notarization of the SPA the parties must:
♦ evaluate the property since the price cannot be lower than the average market value of the apartment;
♦ pay a mandatory pension tax (fee) in the amount of 1% of the property value. This fee is usually born by the Buyer;
♦ pay a state fee of up to 1% of the property value to the notary certifying the apartment SPA.
The Buyer pays for the property before or after the signing of the SPA, however, becomes the owner of the realty upon signing the agreement, its notarization and registration within the Register of Titles to Real Estate.
In Ukraine, all payments over 50,000 UAH (approximately US $2,000) must be transferred through a bank. However, the majority of real estate deals between individuals are carried out through cash payments.
EXPATPRO has considerable experience in real estate support activities and advising both on the secondary and primary real estate market of Ukraine, as well as in the successful completion of the real estate deals.
You are welcome to read our next article on purchasing an apartment in a new building here.
Cash Registers (PTRs) news
According to the Tax Code of Ukraine, the Law of Ukraine “On Application of Cash Registers (Payment Transactions Recorders or PTR) in Trade, Catering and Services”, the PTRs shall not apply in the following cases:
1) Annual turnover is less than 1 000 000.00 UAH;
2) Settlement for goods/services is made through the bank;
3) Payment for goods/services is not made in cash at the place of delivery of goods/services.
To clear up the difference between non-cash and cash settlement: payments through Liqpay shall be deemed cash settlements, as well as payments through payment terminals. Where the payment is performed purely through a bank (settlement between current accounts) – the payment is considered non-cash, and there is no need to use a PTR. If bank cards are used for settlements, the PTR will be required.
The statutory wording of the Tax Code and the Law on PTRs appear to be contradictory, and, following the regulations for overcoming collisions of laws, one shall follow the special act provision (in this case, the Law on PTRs is predominant).
From today Dec 2nd, 2020 the amendments to the laws were adopted, the deadlines for the mandatory application of cash registers were postponed (from Jan 01, 2022, and the limits were linked to the minimum wage rate).
The law also implied changes to the logic of determining limits for single tax payers groups (they are now also linked to the size of the minimum wage rate: for the third group the limit will be not fixed to 7 million UAH, but to the amount of 1167 minimum wages approved as of Jan 01st (and it shall be valid from 2021, while the minimum wage rate for 2021 is expected to amount to 6000 UAH; the Budget has not yet been approved).
Migration Quotas for IT, part 2
Requirements for IT specialists who want to apply for Ukrainian immigration permit are amended!(Order №1847 as of September, 09, 2020)
Now, there are mandatory qualification requirements and additional ones. The quotas were also redistributed:
• Manager of information security system – 100 applicants;
• Specialist in information security organization (that includes now Specialists in organization of protection of the restricted data, Professionals in information security organization and Professionals in organization of protection of the restricted data) – 300 applicants;
• Software engineers (Senior software engineers, Design Engineer (in electronics), Software Engineer) – 3000 applicants;
• Analysts (consolidated data analysts, analysts in computer systems, analysts of computer communications, Analysts of operation and application software) – 200 applicants;
• Chief Technical Officer – 500 applicants;
• Professionals in computer technologies – 800 applicants;
• Information and Software Operators – 100 applicants.
Managers of information security system and quality systems must have not less than 3 years of experience in the respective field.
University/college diploma, proven income received for the work as manager of information system/ manager of the quality systems, proven income received in the preceding calendar year not less than 24,000 USD, CISSP, CISA, CISM, ITIL Master, CompTIA Security + certificates.
Chief Technical Officer must have at least 3 year of experience at the respective position.
Additional requirements are:
University/college diploma in technical sciences, proven income received in the preceding calendar year not less than 24,000 USD, MIT certificate.
Specialist in information security organization must have at least 3 year of experience at the respective position.Diploma in technical sciences, proven income received in the preceding calendar year not less than 24,000 USD, CISSP, CISA, CISM, ITIL. Master certificates are additional requirements to the candidate.
Software engineers must have at least 3 years of experience. In addition, diploma in technical sciences can be presented, proven income received in the preceding calendar year not less than 24,000 USD, MIT certificate.
Computer system engineers, design engineers (in electronics) must have at least 3 year of experience at the respective position; additional requirements are diploma in ‘Computer engineering’, ‘Cybernetics’, ‘Mathematics’, ‘Applied Mathematics’, ‘Informatics’, proven income received in the preceding calendar year not less than 24,000 USD, MIT certificate.
Professionals in computer technologies also must have at least 3 year of experience. The same is applicable to Information and Software Operators. Additional requirements for both categories is proven income received in the preceding calendar year not less than 24,000 USD.
The Simplified Procedure of TRP Issuance
On October 9, 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Resolution No.933, which simplifies the procedure of issuing temporary residence permit (TRP) issuances for certain categories of foreigners.
Namely, foreign citizens now have the right to apply for temporary residence permits without leaving Ukraine due to the change of purpose of entry/stay.
Worth reminding that earlier, citizens of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Moldova who arrived in Ukraine before getting a right to apply for a temporary residence permit, were compelled to leave Ukraine and to re-enter.
From now on the foreigners of the states mentioned above, who are staying temporarily on the territory of Ukraine, and who under the laws and international treaties of Ukraine are not required to obtain a long-term visa (D), have the right to apply for a TRP without leaving Ukraine, if they do have a ground for such application.
The amendments shall not apply to citizens of a country recognized by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as an aggressor or an occupying state.
These amendments came into force on the 9th of October.
Migration Quotas for IT
Read the second part of the article.
The crisis in Belarus has created an inquiry for the option to relocate the IT business to safer jurisdictions.
One of the options that Ukraine may offer is the obtainment of the permanent residence permits. This year the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the quota for IT specialists in Ukraine – 5000 permits should be issued in 2020.
This number of immigration permits is allocated to the following Ukrainian regions/cities:
– Dnipropetrovsk region – 600 permits;
– Lviv region – 600 permits;
– Odesa region – 600 permits;
– Kharkiv region – 700 permits;
– Kyiv – 2500 permits.
However, there are limits to the number of positions available in the IT sector the applicant can hold, and the requirements to them.
Please take a note to the following limits:
– Information Security System Manager – 100 applicants;
– Information Security Specialist – 100 applicants;
– Restricted Data Protection Officer – 100 applicants;
– Information Security Professional – 100 applicants;
– Restricted Data Protection Professional – 100 applicants;
– Senior Software Engineer – 500 applicants;
– Consolidated Data Analyst – 500 applicants;
– Chief Technical Officer – 500 applicants;
– Design Engineer (in Electronics) – 1000 applicants;
– Software Engineer – 2000 applicants.
The requirements for the documents to prove the qualification, please check here.
The immigration clearance process for IT specialists consists of the following stages:
1) submission of the application file with the respective documents to the State Migration Service of Ukraine or filing the documents through a consulate or embassy of Ukraine (in the second case, they are obliged to send the documents to the State Migration Service of Ukraine within 1 month). The decisive authority has 1 month to check whether the papers comply with a procedure and whether the file is complete. As a result, the applicant either gets a refusal or the decisive authority sends the requests to other state bodies for verification;
2) The Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Police, State Border Service of Ukraine, Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine shall, within 30 days, provide the State Migration Service of Ukraine on whether they support the application upon the request of the State Migration Service of Ukraine. The aforementioned authorities may extend the response period for another 30 days.
3) Upon receival of the replies from the other state authorities, the State Migration Service of Ukraine analyses the information provided and takes a decision within 1 month.
Thus, the whole process will take at least 3 months, and, during this period, the applicant should take care of other grounds for a legal stay within the territory of Ukraine, if necessary.
The stages are clear in general, but the devil is in the details.
The main problem expected to be faced by job seekers and the decision-making authority is how the work experience shall be confirmed properly: the references from employers, customers. Since the practice is deplorable in such a process, all the documents are accepted. But the more, the better.
The second tricky moment is related to legal issues and the competence of the authorities. According to the Law of Ukraine ‘On Immigration’, the qualification requirements for the categories of professionals and specialists limited by quota, should be approved by the Ministry, which is responsible for the employment policy, which is the Ministry of Social Policy. At the moment, we have the List of specialties and requirements to the specialists and employees approved by the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine.
Obtainment of an immigration permit gives the right to get a permanent residence permit in Ukraine with no validity limit.
Check if this option can be used by you, or find out info on other options.
How to get a visa to Ukraine
Before paying a visit to Ukraine, foreigners have to obtain an entry visa. However, Ukrainian legislation provides visa-free entry for the citizens of countries that ratified the Visa Waiver Treaties with Ukraine (more).
In some cases, foreigners who entered Ukraine on the grounds of Visa Waiver Treaties have to leave the country to get a visa of a special type.
Entry visas to Ukraine are issued by the Consulates of Ukraine located abroad. Since 2019, citizens of some countries can get an E-visa before a trip to Ukraine, which is valid for up to 30 days and single entry only. If you are a citizen of a country on the list, you can get an E-visa through the online application system, please check for more details here.
Ukrainian visas are issued within the following 3 types:
● Transit (B type) visa;
● Short-term (C type) visa;
● Long-term (D type) visa.
More about visa types:
Short-term (C type) visas. C type visas are issued in cases where a foreigner intends to stay in Ukraine for up to 90 days within 180 days starting from the first entry to Ukraine. C type visas are issued as a one-entry, two entries or multiple entries.
C type visas are the most commonly issued visas to Ukraine for the following purposes: tourism, business travel or private visits.
Nowadays, C type visas are not issued to the citizens of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Treaties.
Long-term (D type) visas. D type visas are issued as multiple entry visas valid for 90 days. There are limited grounds for long-term visa, and it is required for the foreigners who plan to get residency in Ukraine. Visa D is obtained by foreigners intending to apply for a temporary residence permit due to work, family reunification, studying in Ukraine or other reasons. More about D type visa here.
Transit (B type) visas. B type visas are issued in cases where Ukraine is not the country of the traveler’s final destination and passengers/cargo are to transit through Ukraine by car/coach. Each transit period should not exceed 5 days. B type visas are issued as a one-entry/two entries/multiple entries visas.
Documents required for visa to Ukraine
To get a visa to Ukraine a foreigner must provide Ukrainian consulate with the following documents:
1) Passport, valid for at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from Ukraine;
2) Visa application form;
3) Medical insurance valid in Ukraine, with at least 30,000 Euro coverage;
4) Proof of sufficient funds to cover the costs of stay (e.g. bank statement or ATM receipts);
5) One photo 35 х 45 mm;
6) Paid visa fee receipt;
7) Document confirming the purpose of the trip to Ukraine.
For instance, for getting a Short-term (C type) visa, an applicant has to submit an invitation letter, a document confirming the tourist purpose of the stay.
For a Long-term (D type) visa, an applicant should submit a work permit, an immigration permit, an invitation from a university, an invitation from an international NGO, a document proving family ties (for family reunification), confirming the purpose of the trip. More about D type visa here.
The visa fee depends on 1) citizenship; 2) age of the applicant.
Citizenship criteria: the basic visa fee for processing visa applications via regular service is $65.00. Fees are doubled for all applications filed upon expedited service, which means $130 for urgent case consideration. Visa fees for certain visa types for applicants from some countries might differ from the basic visa fee above, due to the reciprocity principle.
Age criteria: visas for minors are issued free of charge.
A foreigner may apply for a visa irrespective of the previous duration of stay in Ukraine: even if there was an overstay, a visa can be issued. Please note, if the fine was imposed for the breach of the law, it shall be paid prior to the visa application submission. However, the visa is not issued to the individuals banned from entering.
Visa processing time
Up to 10 working days from the day of application within regular service, unless the additional check is necessary.
Up to 5 working days from the day of application within expedited service.
Permits for rep. office employees
Foreign legal entities have the right to register a representative office in Ukraine and involve foreign nationals to work in Ukraine.
The Inviter, i.e. a representative office of foreign legal entity in Ukraine, is responsible for the legal entry, residence, employment, and departure of foreigners who were invited to work after the expiration of their stay in Ukraine.
Foreign citizens and stateless persons who arrived in Ukraine to work in representative offices, may obtain a temporary residence permit.
One of the issues faced when hiring a foreigner to a Ukrainian company is getting a work permit. Good news, as in case of the employment of foreigners by the representative office of a foreign legal entity, no work permit is required.
Acquiring the residential status of an employee of the foreign legal entity’s representative office in Ukraine involves the following:
1. Obtaining the documents from the foreign legal entity representative office, registered in Ukraine (a request for assistance in visa and temporary residence permit issuance and representative office registration certificate);
2. Applying for D type visa in the consulate of Ukraine abroad based on working in the foreign legal entity representative office in Ukraine. More info about this type of visas here.
3. Submitting required documents to the Migration Service office in Ukraine for a temporary residence permit. Read more about the temporary residency by this link.
Brexit`s effect on a non-visa stay in Ukraine
Since 2005 the visa-free regime has been in force between Ukraine and all EU countries. In virtue of the regime, the EU citizens (including British citizens) have the right to stay in Ukraine for 90/180 days without applying for a visa.
“Brexit” means that starting February 1, 2020, on the UK’s withdrawal from the Union, the non-visa effect should cease to be effective.
No worries here for British citizens though! (Still, British citizens don’t bother about it!)
Yesterday, January 29, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed and announced Decree No. 28/2020, introducing a temporary visa-free regime for British citizens for 1 year (January 31, 2020, through January 30, 2021).
Ukraine intends to negotiate with the UK on further simplification of visa regulations, and even regular visa-free regime provision.
International Child Abduction
Currently, more cases are observed when one of the parents independently, without the knowledge or consent of the other, takes the child abroad, and thereby violates the custodial rights and affects the child’s access by another parent. Moreover, it is necessary to keep in mind that such an action is illegal.
According to international legislation, one of the parents has no right to make a personal decision without the consent of the other on changing the child’s permanent residence. The removal of a child is illegal if the child is taken abroad by one parent without prior consent, or is not returned from abroad within the period specified in the consent, consequently, the custodial rights are violated and it affects a child’s access by another parent. Children with dual citizenship (of both of the parents) and children who were born in so-called mixed families (one spouse is a citizen of Ukraine, the other is a national of a foreign country) are the most vulnerable to international child abduction in Ukraine.
The scenarios of international child abduction in Ukraine may vary, but the most common are the following:
● a father or a mother (a foreigner) crosses the border with the child, using the child’s passport as a national of a foreign country;
● a mother or a father (a citizen of Ukraine) crosses the border with the child, using the child’s passport as a citizen of Ukraine and the birth certificate, stating that the other parent is a foreigner (in this case, his or her consent for the child to travel abroad is not required);
● a mother or a father (a citizen of Ukraine) obtains a document confirming the joint residence of the child (in this case, one of the parents may solely decide, without the consent of the other parent, to travel abroad with the child for a period not exceeding 1 month per year) and crosses the border with the minor to never come back again.
Furthermore, a father or a mother (a citizen of Ukraine) living abroad may travel with the child to Ukraine, for example, to visit relatives and then stay without returning to the country of permanent residence.
To prevent the above-mentioned situations and to protect the rights of both parents and children, specific legal mechanisms were established. They ensure the return of children who have been illegally removed or retained in a foreign country.
Such mechanisms are provided for by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which entered into force for Ukraine on the 1st of September 2006, and are currently applied to relations with more than 80 Member Countries.
Under the Convention, the actions of a father or a mother under the following conditions shall be considered as an international abduction:
1) the child is under the age of 16;
2) the child was illegally removed or retained within the territory of a foreign country by one of the parents violating custodial rights and affecting the child’s access of another parent who exercised these rights;
3) the child had a permanent residence in a Member Country.
Each member country shall establish or designate an existing Central Authority to co-operate with the Central Authorities in another Member Country to ensure the return of the child(ren) and the fulfillment of other Convention’s functions.
The parent, whose child has been taken out of the country or retained abroad, violating his or her custodial rights, must apply for assistance in the return of the child to the Central Authority at the child’s permanent residence before removal. Such an application shall contain the most complete information about:
● the identity of the applicant;
● the identity of the child;
● the identity of the person suspected in the removal or the retention of a child;
● approximate location of the suspected person and the child along with justification of the child’s return by the applicant.
Special attention shall be paid to the fact that the place of child’s residence is decisive in resolving disputes about international child abduction, and both child’s or parents’ nationalities are irrelevant.
However, there are situations when the return of the child may be difficult or even impossible. For example, if more than a year has passed since the removal, and the child has adjusted to a new society, or if the child objects to return, and has reached the age when his/her opinion must be taken into consideration.
Сash transactions in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Parliament strengthened the regulation on cash and bank card payments in Ukraine in October 2019. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the decision to liberalize these processes was made.
On March 17, 2020, the Parliament passed the law on support of taxpayers for the period of implementation of measures aimed at preventing the emergence and spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The law is aimed at protecting both small and large businesses from the negative effects of unused economic potential. One of the provisions of this law establishes the deferral of use of cash registers.
In case you deal with cash – you need to have the cash register Payment by card, through a terminal, which is equal to cash transactions. Starting from August 01 2020, the cash register becomes a part and parcel for all small and medium-sized enterprises who receive payments in cash or by means of bank cards.
Please note, payments by card, acquiring systems, tokens are deemed cash transactions.
The cash register is obligatory for all business entities who deal with cash and use simplified tax systems (groups 2, 3, and 4) starting from April 01, 2021.
The special transition period is provided by the new law for private entrepreneurs. For instance, until January 01, 2021, for the PEs, who enjoy the 2-4 simplified tax group tax regime and have the income not exceeding 1 mln. UAH within 1 calendar year, the use of cash register is not obligatory, except for the PEs of the following types of activity:
● sale of technically sophisticated household goods, subject to warranty repair;
● sale of pharmaceuticals, medical products, and provision of chargeable healthcare services.
For the period from January 01, 2020, through April 01, 2021 cash registry is not mandatory for use in Ukraine by PEs who use simplified tax regime (of the 2-4 groups) except for those, who:
● provide services (sell goods) through the Internet;
● sell technically sophisticated household goods, subject to warranty repair;
● sell pharmaceuticals, medical products and provide chargeable healthcare services;
● sell jewelry and household items made of precious metals, precious stones, organogenic stones, and semiprecious stones;
● resell the used and secondhand goods in stores (KVED code of activity 47.79);
● are engaged in restaurant, café, fast food activities (if such an activity is other than specified in par.11 Art.9 of the Law on Cash Registers);
● provide travel services;
● are engaged in the activity of hotels and similar accommodation for temporary stay (KVED code of activity 55.10);
● sell textiles (except for market sales for cash), parts and equipment for vehicles (following the list approved by the act of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine).
Under all circumstances, the use of a cash register is not mandatory for:
● group 1 single tax PEs;
● business entities, which use the non-cash form of funds transfer from the payer’s account to the recipient’s account, without the use of electronic payment means, payment receipts, tokens, etc.;
● business entities, whose activities do not fall under the SFS Classifier (mainly manufacturers);
● business entities, whose activities fall within the exceptions provided by Article 9 of the Law.
Cash-register machine intended to be used in business activity has to be registered with the Tax Service of Ukraine and this procedure shall take some time (at least 5 business days). The type of the cash-register machine must be included in the list of accredited types of cash registration machines for use in Ukraine, approved by the Ukrainian authorities. In case you receive payments only through bank (bank-to-bank transactions), a cash register is not required.
Coronavirus outbreak: safety measures in Ukraine
Ukraine has tightened security preventing the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 across Ukraine.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has announced that starting from 24.02.2019 temperature screening measures will be taken by the force of the State Border Guard Service, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and other state organs at all border crossing checkpoints.
The State Border Guard Service informs on its official website about constant temperature monitoring of every person coming to Ukraine from all over the world.
The legal basis for the safety measures taken against coronavirus in Ukraine are the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Orders No. 518 dated 24.02.2020 “On Approval of Recommendations on the Actions of Pharmaceutical Workers in the Conditions of Prevention and Dissemination in the Territory of Ukraine of Diseases Caused by the Covid-19 Coronavirus” and No. 552 dated 25.02.2020 “On Approval and Implementation of Standards of Medical Care for Coronavirus 2019 (СOVID-19)”.
What will happen if fever is observed at the border crossing checkpoint? Any person with fever and other early signs of the coronavirus will be sent to the hospital for further examinations and contamination confirmation / rebuttal.
According to the current data, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ukraine.
2020 Expected Investments
Long before the end of 2019, the EXPATPRO team started making projections for 2020. We constantly follow the political situation and economic environment within our country while working with both foreign and Ukrainian investors. In fact, it is our company’s progress that best displays the country’s investment climate. At the moment, the state of affairs demonstrates business environment recovery able to attract an ever-increasing number of large-scale and effective investments.
Nowadays our clients are constantly seeking projects that interest them. Agricultural sphere, high technology, and alternative energy are of the highest interest. The government anticipates $50 billion of investment inflow over the next 5 years. It is absolutely possible given the establishment of favorable business conditions. As soon as Ukrainian businessmen realize it is comfortable and safe to start their own long-term vision business, it won’t take long for foreign businessmen to join. This will happen when Ukrainians begin sharing the system workflow with their foreign colleagues. Hence, it is our priority for the immediate future to gain primarily local entrepreneurs’ trust.
According to the annual survey results of the European Business Association, Ukrainian businessmen have high expectations for the year 2020. To be exact, 77% of interviewees expect favorable business dynamics growth, exceeding by 3% the preceding year’s rate. Back then, the pessimistic sentiment was due to the presidential election. Nevertheless, the positive dynamics return is a good sign that implies rapid situation stabilization.
However, it is worth noting that such optimism derives rather from hopes and expectations than from the previously met businesses’ needs and requirements. Thus, it is the government’s priority today to put in great effort to meet those hopes. Besides, it should be kept in mind that a single person is unable to change the situation without team support and integrated solutions aimed at numerous governance areas. And, business representatives, for their part, should continue to reveal and communicate the message regarding their requests, preferences, and vision of change. The government and authorities, for their part, are expected to take action towards protecting property rights and creditors, anti-corruption efforts, as well as land market establishment.
The first step towards progress in the protection of property rights and creditors was the enacted law “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on promoting investment activity in Ukraine.” It does have the potential to enhance Ukrainian business and investment climate since the chosen ways of improvement were the result of the integrated assessment insuring that the Ukrainian legislation is in conformity with the practice, described by the World Bank Group in Doing Business rating methodology. This law is aimed at the elimination of some legal gaps as well as the incorporation of innovative legal instruments into the Ukrainian legal system. For instance, it is expected that the adoption of the law will result in the reduced violation of the minority shareholders’ rights, lowered credit resources prices, reduced costs for the construction of residential and non-residential facilities, increased quality of justice in terms of business affairs, and shortened processing period of economic disputes. Furthermore, there is a plan to increase the number of Limited Liability Companies operating under the LLC model articles.
One of the Ukrainian business environment constants is the investors’ expectation of anti-corruption initiatives. Due to the existence of the corruption factor in the country, investors are obviously afraid to lose their funds, and the law will not be on their side in that case. The understanding that local players still happen to have more power, and their own levers of influence, restrains the investment inflow into Ukraine. Therefore, we expect the efforts against corruption to be continued and the authorities’ decisions to be accurate and effective. Moreover, it would be highly appreciated if the process of the economy “coming out of the shadows” is prompt. It often happens that the real business-processes and cash flow are not declared, or stored in cash. This leads to a delay in market development.
Another expected event is the creation of the land market, which caused numerous discussions. This initiative has been one of the new government’s key promises, and the relevant law was already adopted in its first reading. Upon the appropriate legislative framework, the new path for the inflow of Ukrainian and foreign investments will be created. It is likely the sovereign and private funds will become the new key land buyers and, thus, the projects are expected to be large-scale.
Overall, the investment climate will continue enhancing if appropriate policy decisions are made and Ukraine’s actual economic development is in line with the government’s projections and targets. In particular, it means the reduction in the discount rate from 16.5% to 8% and the control of inflation at 5%. Today, the capital is still too expensive for investors, and the business environment remains unstable. Still, there are solid grounds to expect positive change and qualitative progress.
Hence, the EXPATPRO team will continue advising investors to believe in Ukrainian business and to develop it in 2020. We are sure that the government is on the right track, and consequently, the Ukrainian market will increase its investment attractiveness throughout the year. At ours end, we shall keep the interests of Ukrainian and foreign businesses safe, as well as contribute to the recovery of the business climate.
How COVID-19 quarantine measures in Ukraine will affect foreign citizens and expats
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine “On urgent national security measures in the context of an outbreak of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2” by the decision of March 13, 2020, (link) resolved:
• To close the borders of Ukraine for regular passengers (including flights, bus and rail connections) starting from 0 h 0 min on March 17, 2020, for the next two weeks.
The border crossing for Ukrainian citizens is possible only by private transport (cars).
• To suspend entry to the territory of Ukraine of foreigners and stateless persons from 0 h 0 min on March 16, 2020, for the next two weeks, except:
– foreign citizens who hold a permanent or temporary residence permit in the territory of Ukraine;
– by individual decisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for the accredited employees of diplomatic missions, consular posts, representations of international organizations, etc.
According to the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On Prevention of COVID-19 Coronavirus Distribution on the Territory of Ukraine” as of March 11, 2020, a quarantine has been enforced starting from March 12 through April 3, 2020, in Ukraine.
Prohibiting the following:
– to attend educational institutions by its applicants;
– to hold all mass and public events involving more than 200 people (theaters, concerts, conferences, and other events) except for the measures necessary to ensure the work of state and local self-government bodies. Sporting events are allowed without the participation of spectators (fans).
On March 17, the Kyiv city administration decided to tighten measures and restrict:
– the people’s travel between the city of Kyiv and other populated areas of Ukraine;
– holding cultural, sports, social, religious and other events with mass participation of the citizens;
– operation of catering establishments: fast food establishments, restaurants, cafes, bars will suspend work, except for online food delivery orders;
– shopping malls will suspend work, except for grocery and hardware stores, household stores and pharmacies. Gas stations, banks, and ATMs will continue to operate.
The work is temporarily suspended for:
– Sports complexes and halls;
– Public service establishments;
– SPA salons, beauty salons, saunas, beauty parlors, massage parlors, hairdressers, tattoo parlors and others;
– Entertainment establishments – discos, night clubs, computer clubs.
Please note that Embassies suspended temporarily the issue of visas, as starting from 14 March 2020 Directorate General for Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is closed to applicants, due to comprehensive quarantine measures introduced by the Government of Ukraine. No walk-in applications will be received up to further notice.
Business quarantine in Ukraine
The Ukrainian legislation is being amended extremely fast these days. Parliament is providing the business with the instruments to get ready for the quarantine, that was approved last night by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
How this affects business:
For the period from March 18 – April 03, 2020
– railway, air and bus intercity and interregional passenger transport services are suspended (except for the possibility to travel by private transport only);
– the public overland transport continues to operate – transportation is allowed for 10 passengers max simultaneously;
– the operation of the subway is suspended in Kyiv, Dnipro, and Kharkiv.
City malls, cafes, restaurants, beauty salons, fitness centers shall remain closed for the period from March 17 – April 03, 2020. Food delivery is allowed.
As these measures are harsh, especially for small business, the Parliament has passed the following changes to the legislation:
• Such quarantine is considered a force majeure event;
• Employees are allowed to be put on unpaid leave; place of work and the working hours can be changed, with the option to work remotely (distance work);
• All the deadlines for submission of declarations have been changed (annual declaration can be submitted till July 01, 2020), cash register installation has been postponed (from October 01, 2020, to January 01, 2021, for those who sell technically sophisticated production and medicines, or whose income exceeds 1 mln. UAH) and extended through April 01, 2021, for other business entities (if they accept cash, bank cards).
• Persons, who fail to comply with the new regulation can be fined (17000 – 34000 UAH), plus criminal liability may be applied;
• PEs are relieved from the duty to pay the social tax (for March and April);
• No fine is applied in case the entity fails to pay in full or in time the social tax in March and April;
• No inspections by the state authorities, that were not preliminarily scheduled till May 31, 2020 (except for the pricing policy inspection, sanitary control).
For more details and how the new rules will affect your business, please contact our business administration team.
Amending Rules for Employment
Globalization is a powerful trend that has involved almost all countries worldwide. Ukraine makes necessary changes, implements new instruments, procedures for evolving and fitting its legislation with the modern requirements for the economic development process to benefit of the globalized world as much as possible. Some of the trends in the policy of the Ukrainian government are creating better opportunities for investors, easing the procedures for the legalization of foreigners in Ukraine.
On the 23rd of May 2017, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Law of Ukraine No. 2058-VIII On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Removing Barriers to Attracting Foreign Investments. This Law significantly changed the procedure of issuing and prolonging permits for the employment of foreigners in Ukraine. Thus, the Law of Ukraine No. 5067-VI On Employment of Population (hereinafter – the “Law”) was amended a lot.
The new procedure of issuing work permits came into force on the 27th of September 2017 and is actively used by the Employment centers issuing the work permits. The first experience of applying for work permits as per the changed procedure (and issues related thereto), make it possible to analyze whether changes to the legislation were appropriate and effective.
The aforesaid amendments to the Ukrainian legislation remarkably decrease the bureaucratic burden on employers. The procedure of filing documents was significantly simplified. Now there is no need to provide the criminal records clearance papers and medical documents of the employee to the employment center. The procedure of applications for foreigners’ work permits review was also liberalized: the suspension in the process of issuing work permits (as a procedural instrument) was added. Now employer, after suspending the review of the application, can correct errors and inaccuracies in the documents. For example, previously, even clerical error was touted as false information and it was the reason for a set of documents review rejection
The fact that now there is no need to confirm the qualification of the employee and the absence of qualified employees in the labor market of Ukraine simplifies the procedure of obtaining the work permits for foreign employers. For example, the requirement of a candidate’s education documents provision was canceled.
These changes are logical: previously the Ukrainian government limited the employers` freedom to choose the employee by obliging a foreigner to have a university diploma of the same specialization as his intended work in Ukraine and proving that no Ukrainian can perform such a work, etc. Moreover, the changes also have reduced the time losses, as no apostille for education documents is required, and the 3 weeks long procedure of opening and closing the vacancy is no longer mandatory.
Naturally, there is also the other side of such “liberalization”. The level of foreigner’s salary should be at least 10 times more than minimal salary set by the legislation of Ukraine (except certain categories of employees, such as business founders, foreign IT professionals, employees of creative professions, graduates of universities that are among the world top 100 ratings).
Separately, the state clearly has taken a step towards investors. For the first time, the validity of work permits for foreigners can be up to 3 years for shareholders and beneficiary owners who work in the business. Moreover, the employer has the right to determine the exact term of such employment at its discretion. The increase of the work permits’ validity term should affect the investment attractiveness of Ukraine positively.
At the same time now, the legislation also gives the right to the investors (shareholders and beneficiary owners) to get Ukrainian residency permits for 2 years while being not employed by their companies. The only requirement is that the amount of investment should be not less than 100 000 Euro. Globally, such an amendment gives an opportunity for foreign investors to be members of the company’s supervisory board without holding a managing position. Thus, there will be no conflict of interest between the two statuses. Now foreigners have more options for the legalization of their stay in Ukraine.
A noteworthy fact is that the procedure of granting permits for the foreigners’ employment is completely regulated by the norms of the legislative act. The act’s text was supplemented by the adoption of the Law of Ukraine On Amending Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Removing Barriers to Attracting Foreign Investments. Earlier the procedure of issuing, prolongation and cancelation of employment permits for foreigners and stateless persons was regulated at the level of the by-law normative legal act, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of 27 May 2013 (hereinafter – the Procedure).
Nevertheless, the law does not adjust the procedure of issuing work permits for foreigners in Ukraine in full. Some legal relations regulated by the Procedure remain vague in the Law and, obviously, need additional, specified regulation. At the same time, the norms of the Procedure don’t correspond and even contradict the Law, thus it must be amended (the Procedure is not currently applied, however, it is still in effect). For example, there is still no approved form of applications for the issuing, prolongation and exchange of work permits for foreigners (at the moment, preliminary forms are published on the websites of employment centers).
It stands to mention that the text of the Law does not provide for transitional provisions at all. Thus, the issues of the Law use to previously issued work permits remain unregulated. For example, previously the minimum salary for foreigners was the same as for citizens of Ukraine. Now there is a gradation (as already mentioned above). There are no issues with obtaining new work permits for foreigners (the corresponding salary level is specified in the employment contract). But in the case of prolongation, the level of the salary is not verified in practice. The list of documents that are submitted for the foreigners’ employment permits prolongation doesn’t contain any confirming salary level.
Another issue is that according to the current requirements of the Law when the company submits for the work permit for the shareholder (ultimate beneficiary owner) of the company, the authorized capital of the company must be already completed. According to p.2.5, part 2, article 42-2 of the Law, this fact should be established by the territorial employment agency itself.
The implementation of this rule of the law seems quite problematic for several reasons. First, it is necessary to establish in what form the authorized capital is formed (monetary, property, property rights, etc.). Second, it is not clear who and in what form can and should be requested for such confirmation. Moreover, due to the clearly defined short period of the work permit application review (7 working days), the implementation of such a provision, in general, seems almost impossible. The timing of sending of the relevant requests, the preparation of the answer, its sending and receiving may take long. In practice with the application employers should submit certificates, guarantee letters that confirm compliance with the requirements of the law.
There is one more reason: the requirement of the authorized capital formation in full is quite difficult to implement in companies with numerous founders. After all, formally, not making a one-hundredth share of the authorized capital results in a refusal to issue the work permits for all shareholders of the company.
Also, we would like to point out another category of specialists that has specific rules for the work permits issuing. This includes representatives of creative professions whose work duties are related to the objects of copyright and/or related rights according to clauses 8-4, part 1, article 1 of the Law. They include photographers, writers, journalists, art specialists, artists, performers, scientists, and many others. It is a rather rare basis in practice for issuing permits for the employment of foreigners. But if the employer needs to engage such a foreign employee he will need to file a notarized copy of the document that identifies such an object of copyright and/or related rights and confirm authorship. Although the text of the Law clearly determines that the main work duty of this group of foreign employees is creating objects of copyright and/or related rights. Obviously, this requirement is unjustified as such because objects will be created in the future and for this, the work permit is obtained. Moreover, according to the current legislation of Ukraine in the intellectual property area (Article 11 Law of Ukraine No. 3792-XII On Copyright and Related Rights), there is no need to register copyright or an object of copyright, and if there is no other evidence the author is the person designated as the author of the work. Besides, not all objects of copyright can be notarized in a fixed form allowed in Ukraine (for example, video materials, etc.).
Summing the results of the first “new way” experience, we would like to note that the current procedure does involve a relatively simplified process for work permits, brings it into line with modern requirements for administrative procedures such as clear and short terms of applications review, the possibility of suspension, correction of minor errors, the possibility of selecting the necessary time for issuing a permit, etc. At the same time, the issues of “transitional” provisions, the adoption of a by-law normative legal act that will fill the gaps left by the Law, as well as the presence of the above inaccuracies of the Law remain. This allows us to conclude that we should expect amendments and changes in legislation in the sphere of the employment of foreigners in Ukraine.
Countries of Visa-Free Regime
Under the Ukrainian legislation, the visa-free entry regime, or non-visa regime, implies that nationals of the list below do not have to obtain a visa to enter Ukraine.
Citizens of the countries below are allowed to stay on the territory of Ukraine without a visa for up to 90 days within 180 days term. If the trip is planned for more than 90 days, the foreigner shall get a long-term D-type visa.
Visa-free regime applies to citizens of the following countries:
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina*
The Holy See
Hong Kong (China)*
Republic of Korea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
* Please note some countries have specifics, e.g. for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia visa-free stay on the territory of Ukraine is allowed for up to 30 days during 60 days term; for citizens of Brunei Darussalam – up to 30 days; for citizens of Hong Kong – up to 14 days.
Pursuant to the Ukrainian visa regulations, citizens of a number of countries may stay in Ukraine for not more than 90 days within 180 days term and are exempt from the obligation to obtain any visa type to enter Ukraine (business visa or spouse visa for further residency). 8 countries fall under this rule: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Mongolia (only for service, tourist, private trips), Russian Federation, Uzbekistan.
Ukrainian visa rules also allow citizens – holders of diplomatic or service passports from different countries to enter Ukraine without obtaining a visa.
Temporary residency in Ukraine
The legislation on obtaining a temporary residence permit and what you should know about that.
Usually, foreigners from the EU, USA, UK, Canada, South Korea, Turkey and some other countries have the right to stay legally in Ukraine without any visa (90 calendar days during 180 day-term). To find out more about visa-free countries please follow this link. Citizens of other countries who intend to stay temporarily in Ukraine need a visa. The list of countries, whose citizens need to obtain a visa to enter Ukraine, please see here.
The procedure of calculating the 90-day visa-free stay in Ukraine follows the relevant rules. You can get more information about it here.
So, how to extend your stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days?
The answer is simple – to obtain a temporary residence permit in Ukraine.
The temporary residence permit is an official document that gives the right to stay in Ukraine legally, as well as to leave the territory of Ukraine and return to Ukraine for an unlimited number of times during its validity, with the right to extend it. The validity of a temporary residence permit varies – from several months to several years. For example, 3-year valid permits are issued in case of work or a long-lasting international project, etc.
Current Ukrainian legislation provides the following list of reasons for a temporary residence permit:
♦ official employment;
♦ participation in international technical support projects (such projects must be registered);
♦ religious activity based on the invitation from a religious organization (officially registered, with а permission to involve foreigners);
♦ participation in activities of representative offices and other structural units of foreign non-governmental organizations;
♦ work in representative offices of foreign business entities or representative offices / branches of foreign banks;
♦ international cultural, educational or scientific activities under international contracts of Ukraine or specific programs, participation in international or regional volunteer programs, as well as participation in work of Ukrainian volunteer organizations (a special list of such organizations is approved by the government);
♦ study in Ukraine (not intended but already arranged);
♦ work as a correspondent or a representative of foreign media;
♦ investing at least 100 thousand euros in business in Ukraine;
♦ marriage with a citizen of Ukraine;
♦ family reunification with citizens of Ukraine or persons legally residing on the territory of Ukraine (holders of a temporary or permanent residence permit).
Before applying for a temporary residence permit, the applicant (if not a citizen of a visa-free country) will have to get a D-type visa (read more about visas to Ukraine).
A Temporary Residence Permit Due to Employment in Ukraine
The most common and transparent way is official employment in Ukraine. Any foreigner has a right to be employed in Ukraine if they obtain a work permit in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine. After receiving a work permit, a foreign citizen is eligible to apply for a temporary residence permit in Ukraine. The permit is issued for a term of validity of the work permit of a foreigner (and it can be up to three years).
Being an Employee versus Registering One’s Own Business
Using employment at a company as a means of legalizing the stay in Ukraine does have certain risks. The foreigner is dependent on the employer and can lose the residency right in case of dismissal from the position. The employment as the ground to legalize the stay in Ukraine is much easier and safer for those foreigners, who register their own business in Ukraine and hold a position of the director or a deputy director of their own company. By using this method, potential investors and foreigners who intend to run a business in Ukraine (no matter how big or small) won’t have any problems maintaining a temporary residence in Ukraine for as long as they need.
Family Reunification and Marriage
Family reunification is another reason for a temporary residence permit. This can include reunification with parents, a spouse who is Ukrainian and those persons who have already obtained permission to stay legally in Ukraine. For instance, if a foreigner has started a business in Ukraine, received a work permit and a temporary residence permit, then his/her family may join him and acquire legal status in Ukraine without a need to obtain a work permit or some other legal grounds for staying in Ukraine.
For residence permits based on family reunification, applicants need to apply for a D-type visa and afterward – for a temporary residency. That is how family reunification works. It is much easier to obtain residency if you have some family ties in Ukraine, for example, marriage to a Ukrainian, having a child who is a citizen of Ukraine or having relatives who are (were) Ukrainians or were born on the territory of Ukraine. The existence of family connections must be verified (through marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.). If such documents are obtained abroad, please pay attention to the rules of legalization and apostillation of the documents issued in a foreign country for their further legal use in Ukraine. A temporary residence permit for family reunification is issued for a period of 1 year with the right to extend it.
When the marriage with a citizen of Ukraine lasts for more than 2 years, a foreigner has the right to obtain a permanent residence permit in Ukraine.
Education in Ukraine – an Opportunity for Getting a Temporary Residence Permit
A temporary residence permit can be issued to foreigners, who come to Ukraine for study at Ukrainian universities and colleges. The list of accredited Ukrainian universities and colleges is available on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
A foreigner, who intends to study in Ukraine and get a temporary residence permit based on studying, has to receive an invitation from the Ukrainian university registered with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
It is also important to check whether all the documents for studying comply with the rules of legalization and the apostilling for their future use in Ukraine.
Based on the invitation for studying in Ukraine, a foreigner gets a D-type visa at the Consulate of Ukraine located abroad. Afterward, all the necessary documents must be filed with the State Migration Service of Ukraine for temporary residence permit issuing.
Submitted documents shall confirm the fact of studying in Ukraine (duly certified copies of the university admission order with studying term details of such foreign student) and the university’s obligement to inform the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the event of student’s expulsion.
Temporary residence permit validity depends on the study term of such foreign student in Ukraine. Usually, this kind of a temporary residence permit is valid for up to 1 year, and after the expiration date, it can be prolonged (or exchanged) based on a new document confirming the fact of studying in Ukraine. There is no need to get a new D-type visa if the legal deadline for prolongation (or exchanging) of the temporary residence permit is met.
Documents for temporary residence permit exchange have to be filed at the latest 15 working days before the end of the studying term, specified in the university’s admission order of the foreign student.
Temporary Residence Permit for Overseas Journalists
Foreigners, working as journalists at the foreign mass media outlets can obtain a temporary residence permit, if they arrive in Ukraine for work, and have the letter from their employer – foreign mass media outlets.
The procedure of the issue of the temporary residence permit for the overseas journalist includes the following steps:
1. Obtaining a D-type visa based on the letter from the foreign mass media.
2. Filing a request to the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine with letter from the foreign mass media regarding the application to the State Migration Service of Ukraine for a temporary residence permit.
Please note the specific requirements for the foreign mass media request filed to the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine for receiving the application to the State Migration Service of Ukraine.
3. Submitting the documents to the State Migration Service of Ukraine, including the foreign mass media request on the issue of the temporary residence permit.
Usually, a temporary residence permit for the overseas journalist is valid for up to 1 year with the right to prolong it.
Temporary Residence Permit for Overseas Sportsmen and Cultural Workers
Ukrainian legislation also allows foreigners to get a temporary residence permit due to cultural, scientific, and educational activities. When foreigners arrive in Ukraine, they need to obtain the petition (application) from the corresponding state authority. Such activity (cultural, scientific, educational, etc.) has to be specified in international treaties between the Government of Ukraine and the government of such foreign country of citizenship or has to be foreseen at the specific state programs.
As an example, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports can invite a foreigner for professional sports activities in Ukraine, or a foreign cultural worker can arrive in Ukraine upon the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and then obtain a temporary residence permit on this ground.
Moreover, foreign volunteers have the possibility of getting a temporary residence permit in Ukraine for volunteer programs, but only if they have the corresponding invitation from a volunteer organization, registered by the Ministry of Social Politics of Ukraine. Temporary residence permit issued for overseas volunteers, sportsmen, scientific and cultural workers is valid for up to 1 year.
To sum up, obtaining a temporary residence permit in Ukraine grants foreigners rights to stay within the territory of Ukraine, leave and enter the country whenever needed, work, study, and receive state services within the validity term of their temporary residence permit. However, foreign citizens, willing to get legal status in Ukraine, need to remember that any breach of Ukrainian laws related to the foreigner’s legal status (including overstaying in the country, providing the forged documents, or false information) may result in forced expulsion from Ukraine and a ban on re-entering.
Read about legalization of foreign volunteers in Ukraine.
Countries of migration risk and visa to Ukraine
Visa regime for citizens of the migration risk countries
Ukrainian visa policy contains a term, known as the “migration risk country”, which means that such nationals shall apply for the Ukrainian visa only in the Ukrainian consulates in the country of their citizenship, or in the country of temporary or permanent residence (such citizens have to be the holders of temporary/permanent residence permits issued in that countries).
The list of migration risk countries is established by Ukrainian law and includes mostly people from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The citizens of the abovementioned countries are granted a visa to Ukraine only after a special approval from the Security Service of Ukraine and following an interview with the competent authorities.
The citizens of the migration risk countries are more likely to encounter the visa denial. In general, expats from the migration risk countries come across significant difficulties regarding visa issues or face the extremely long terms in getting a visa to Ukraine.
Such difficulties hinder the attraction of potential investors to Ukraine and the development of foreign business in Ukraine and, as a result, reduce the migration attractiveness of Ukraine for foreigners.
Whatever the case, EXPATPRO has extensive experience in visa issues and has successfully helped many potential investors and other foreigners to obtain visas to Ukraine.
Currently, 70 following countries are included to the list of the migration risk countries:
Central African Republic
Congo (The Democratic Republic)
Congo (The People`s Republic)
Federal Republic of Somalia
Kingdom of Lesotho
Kingdom of Tonga
Kingdom of Swaziland
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea
Republic of South Sudan
San Tome and Principi
The Union of the Comoros
90 day stay in Ukraine
How to count 90 days stay in Ukraine?
Nowadays, Ukrainians enjoy a visa-free regime for traveling to the EU, which has become a prominent event for the Ukrainian society a while ago. From the other side, Ukraine grants a right to the nationals of the European Union member countries and many other countries for visa-free entry. (Please check the list of visa-free states here). At the same time, oftener stories and more questions occur related to troubles of foreigners violating the laws of Ukraine in the sphere of border crossing, due to misinformation. Let us make a sense of it.
Ukrainian guests are getting concerned that they will be banned from entering Ukraine because of the so-called ‘overstay’. These difficulties are related to the requirements of the EU, the Security Service of Ukraine in order to guarantee that the foreigner stays in Ukraine legally and is not dangerous neither to Ukraine nor to its EU-partners. Therefore, more foreigners are being denied entry or even banned to enter Ukraine. The establishment of entry regulations for Russian nationals is a vivid example of the Ukrainian government seeking to tighten control over the Ukrainian border.
1. What is an overstay and how it occurs? And how to calculate 90 days of stay in Ukraine?
According to Ukrainian legislation, the citizens of many countries have a right to stay in the territory of Ukraine without obtaining a visa for 90 days within the 180-days term. How is it calculated?
1. The specific date of control must be chosen. For example, it may be the date of planned entry to or departure from Ukraine (when the journey happened).
2. Starting from this date, one has to count down 180 days (back). Only within this period, the foreigner may legally stay in Ukraine for 90 days without obtaining a visa.
3. Next is to check 90 “visa-free” days within this 180 days. The foreigner has to count the days of stay by the stamps of entry and departure from Ukraine indicated in the passport documents.
If the foreigner counts more than 90 days of stay within the 180-days term, it means that the law has been violated and the ‘overstay’ occurred.
You can easily check your days of stay here using the migration calculator. Please refer: https://dmsu.gov.ua/en-home/e-services/duration-of-stay-calculation.html
2. What happens if the foreigner has overstayed?
This information is easily checked at the border control. Please take note, nowadays the border control system allows combining information on foreigners using two passports of the same country.
According to article 203 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine, the foreigner will be fined for 1700-5100 UAH.
The overstay is not covered by the fine, therefore, the foreigner will have to wait 90 days before re-entering Ukraine. Moreover, a foreigner may also be banned from entering Ukraine.
3. How to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days?
As per Ukrainian legislation, there are several ways to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days for non-Ukrainian citizens:
1) get a temporary residency;
2) get a permanent residency;
3) extend a stay in Ukraine up to 180 days.
More about residency in Ukraine
Using one of the given ways a foreigner may enter and leave Ukraine legally (for some period or constantly) with no limitations. For those, who consider obtaining one of the aforementioned statuses without breaching border rules before applying, it is also worth noting that you will have to cross the border before getting one of them.
4. What to expect in the future?
The border crossing regime is not getting easier. We expect new rules to be introduced for Russian citizens visiting Ukraine. More foreigners are currently seeking legal status in Ukraine due to the political situation in the neighboring countries. The situation in the East of Ukraine though makes the issue more complicated, as well as the requirement of EU policies that Ukraine has undertaken to perform.
Land Reform in Ukraine
According to Ukrainian legislation, it has been forbidden to sell and purchase the agricultural land since 2001. Moratorium on the sale of land existed for 19 years and meant that land plots could not be sold, gifted or by any other means alienated, except for inheritance and exchange.
What lands were under the moratorium?
It applied to agricultural lands, namely arable lands, perennial plantings, and hayfields.
What will the new land reform bring?
The parliament has approved the law that lifts the moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands.
The land market in Ukraine shall be opened since July 1, 2021 (in the previous version of the law the starting date has been scheduled for October 1, 2020).
The main provisions of the Draft Law No. 2178-10 “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding the Agricultural Land Turnover” adopted on 31.03.2020 were the following:
• Until January 1, 2024, only the individuals, who are the citizens of Ukraine, shall have the right to acquire agricultural land;
• Admission of foreigners to the purchase of agricultural land in Ukraine will be possible only after the adoption of an appropriate decision to be taken following the national referendum;
• Agricultural lands of state and communal ownership will not be sold;
• The concentration of land in one hand in the first two years after the launch of land reform is limited to an area of 100 hectares;
• Starting from January 1, 2024, Ukrainian legal entities will be allowed to buy up to 10 thousand hectares of agricultural land;
• Payment for the purchase of land plots will be made only in non-cash form;
• Banks may become the owners of the land as part of the collateral collection. Such land plots shall be alienated through the auction within 2 years;
• Legal entities whose shareholders are citizens of the aggressor state, individuals who have been sanctioned, are prohibited to buy land, even if a referendum is held;
• Foreign citizens are prohibited to buy land in the 50-km zone from the state border of Ukraine (excluding maritime boundaries), regardless of the referendum decision;
• The sale price of agricultural plots cannot be lower than their normative monetary value. This norm of law will be valid until January 1, 2030.
Changes in work permit procedure
More transparency, but new issues for expats. What has changed in the work permit and residency permit in Ukraine?
On May 23, 2017, the Ukrainian Parliament voted for the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Eliminating Barriers to Attracting Foreign Investments”. The law came into effect on September 27, 2017. Due to the provisions of that legal act, the whole procedure of foreigners’ legalization will be considerably changed. To protect the interests of investors the new rules make the whole procedure of acquiring legal status for foreigners in Ukraine easier, transparent and less bureaucratic. At the same time, more strict limitations will be introduced.
NEW RULES FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGNERS
The first big change is that from the end of September 2017 any Ukrainian employer can hire a foreigner without any explanation of the inability to engage Ukrainians for the same position. At the same time, foreign employees get a salary 10 times higher than Ukrainians.
It is worth noting that the list of documents required for a work permit will be reduced. It will consist of general documents such as translation of passport and photos. The new document to be submitted for a Work Permit will be the employment contract draft. Criminal records check, university degrees and medical documents will no longer be necessary.
The new validity terms of work permits will be as follows: as per law, the work permit could be issued for the term of the employment contract but not more than 3 years (for IT employees, the owners of the business, creative sphere employees and highly paid foreign professionals) and up to one year for other foreigners. The work permit may be prolonged an unlimited number of times.
These changes are positive and will ensure the interests of both employers and employees. It guarantees a more stable position that will reduce the number of employer’s communication and burdensome procedures with state authorities. Changes of documents review term will be strictly limited to 7 business days for the issue of a work permit and 3 business days to review the prolongation of a work permit validity term.
The new mechanism of the work permit issue is one of the most positive changes. If the authorized body finds mistakes in submitted documents, the issuing (or prolongation) of the work permit won’t be immediately refused but ‘on hold’ and the employer will be given 7 business days to correct the mistake or discrepancy.
“BENEFITS” AND “POSITIVES” OF THE NEW REGULATIONS.
The new law determines the minimum amount for foreign employees’ salaries equal to 10 minimum salaries in Ukraine (2020 = 47 230 UAH). This requirement is not used for special categories of employees, such as founders and/or shareholders of Ukrainian legal entity, graduates from universities that are among the world top 100 universities in the world rankings, foreign employees of artistic professions and IT-professionals whose salary may be established at any level but not less than minimal salary (4723 UAH).
One of the changes is that the payment for the issue of a work permit will be increased.
To get a 3- year permit, the employer shall pay 6X amount of subsistence minimum for abled persons (2020 = 12 612 UAH) as the state fee.
The same payments will be required for the prolongation of a work permit.
CHANGES IN THE SPHERE OF RESIDENCE.
The new ground for obtaining a temporary residence permit will be added to the list. The investors to the Ukrainian economy making an input to the authorized capital of a Ukrainian legal entity will have the right to obtain temporary residence permit with no need to be employed in a company. The only restriction is the amount of investment in the company that shall be not less than 100 000 EUR. Commonly, the temporary residence permit shall be issued within 10 calendar days (nowadays the term is 15 calendar days) and the administrative fee will be increased – up to the amount of 20 tax-exempt minimum incomes (the cost of both issuing and prolongation is 340 UAH).
There is one more added substantial requirement for an employed foreigner. It will be required to prove that your employer has also 3 Ukrainian employees (who started to work at the company not later than 6 months before prolongation of foreigner’s temporary residence permit). Or the foreigner needs to prove that he has paid taxes for the amount not less than 50 minimum salaries within the last full financial year (2020 = 236 150 UAH) to extend the residency permit of the foreign employee.
To sum up, the legislation changes in the area of foreigners’ employment and residency in Ukraine bring up a more clear, transparent and less bureaucratic procedure but with a substantially more expensive price tag. It is important to note that during the transition period while the law is not implemented, it must be clarified in terms of specifics for documents obtained by foreigners prior to the date and effect of the new law.
Visa D to Ukraine
How to get D type Visa in Ukraine?
THE NEW RULES ARE NOT BEING APPLIED NOW AND WILL NOT COME INTO FORCE IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE.
Under these rules, foreigners from countries that ratified the Visa Waiver Treaties with Ukraine (listed below) will not have to leave the territory of Ukraine to get a long-term visa (D type visa). Read more about the D type visa here. Since June , 2019, D type visa will be issued at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department of Consular Service) in Kyiv as well as at the Consulate of Ukraine abroad.
We kindly remind that D type visa is required for those foreigners who intend to get residency in Ukraine. A long-term visa is used for getting temporary and permanent residence permits.
The procedure of getting D type visa is simplified only for those foreigners who plan to obtain a temporary residence permit in Ukraine on the following grounds:
– participation in international technical assistance projects;
– employment at representative offices of foreign businesses in Ukraine;
– employment at branches or representative offices of foreign banks;
– implementation of cultural, scientific, educational activities on the grounds and in the manner prescribed by the international agreements of Ukraine or special programs, as well as participation in the international and regional volunteer programs, or activities of voluntary organizations registered in Ukraine;
– in cases when a foreigner is a founder or participant or beneficiary owner (controller) of a legal entity registered in Ukraine and whose share is not less than 100 thousand euros;
Unfortunately, simplification of procedure does not appeal to the issuance of D type visa on the ground of family reunification (foreigners who arrive in Ukraine for reunification either with persons who are Ukrainian nationals or foreigners who’ve got a temporary residence permit and are legally staying within the territory of Ukraine).
The list of documents required for visa remains unchanged (more info here). For a Long-term visa – a work permit, an invitation from a university, an invitation from an international NGO are the documents, confirming the purpose of the trip.
Visa fee under new rules
To issue a long-term visa without leaving Ukraine, a foreigner shall pay approximately 97 USD within regular service (194 USD within expedited service) that is more expensive than issuance in the Consulate of Ukraine abroad (within regular service — 65 USD).
Visa processing time
Up to 10 working days from the day of application within regular service. Up to 5 working days from the day of application within expedited service.
Countries that ratified the Visa Waiver Treaties with Ukraine:
• Antigua and Barbuda;
• Bosnia and Herzegovina;
• Brunei Darussalam;
• Czech Republic;
• Hong Kong;
• Republic of Korea;
• Saint Kitts and Nevis;
• San Marino;
Non-visa stay in Ukraine
Nowadays, Ukrainians enjoy a visa-free regime for traveling to the EU, which has become a prominent event for the Ukrainian society a while ago. From the other side, Ukraine grants a right to the nationals of the European Union member countries and many other countries for visa-free entry. Please check the list of visa-free states here.
At the same time, more and more often foreigners have problems while crossing the border due to ignorance and misinformation. Let us make a sense of it.
Ukrainian guests are getting concerned that they will be banned from entering Ukraine because of the so-called “overstay”. These difficulties are related to the requirements of the EU, the Security Service of Ukraine in order to guarantee that the foreigner stays in Ukraine legally and is not dangerous neither to Ukraine nor to its EU-partners. Therefore, more foreigners are being denied entry or even banned to enter Ukraine. The establishment of entry regulations for Russian nationals is a vivid example of the Ukrainian government seeking to tighten control over the Ukrainian border.
1. What is an overstay and how it occurs?
According to Ukrainian legislation, the citizens of many countries have a right to stay within the territory of Ukraine without obtaining a visa for 90 days within 180 days. How is it calculated? The officials take a specific date and count down 180 days back. After that, they check whether you have used 90 “visa-free” days within this term. If so and you are still in Ukraine it means you have violated the law and “overstayed”. You can see the instruction for calculating “number of days” here.
2. What happens if the foreigner has overstayed?
This information is easily checked at the border control. Please take note, nowadays the border control system allows combining information on foreigners using two passports of the same country and simple change of one passport to another will not help confuse border guards. According to article 203 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine, the foreigner will be fined 1700-5100 UAH for it. Moreover, a foreigner may also be banned from entering Ukraine.
The overstay is not covered by the fine, therefore, the foreigner will have to wait 90 days abroad before re-entering Ukraine.
3. How to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days?
As per Ukrainian legislation, there are several ways to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days for non-Ukrainian citizens:
The foreigner having a permit may without any limitation enter and leave Ukraine on legal grounds (for a certain period or permanently). The third option does not provide such an opportunity, it is recommended to choose it for those who are at the stage of obtaining official documents for the issuance of permits (for example, work permits or marriage certificates, etc.).
4. What to expect in future?
The border crossing regime is not getting easier. We expect new rules to be introduced for Russian citizens visiting Ukraine. More foreigners are currently seeking legal status in Ukraine due to the political situation in the neighboring countries. The situation in the East of Ukraine though makes the issue more complicated as well as the requirement of EU policies that Ukraine has undertaken to perform.
Guidance On Obtaining an Electronic Visa (E-Visa) to Ukraine
Requirements for an E-Visa to Ukraine
The legislation provides the possibility for citizens of some countries (please see the list below) to apply for a visa online. The Electronic Visa (hereinafter – e-Visa) is issued for a term up to 30 days and is intended for single or double entry only, depending on the visa type.
The application for an e-Visa to Ukraine is made through an online application system. The visa is issued without any visits to the consulate and shall simply be printed out.
The Purpose of Visit
An e-Visa may be issued for:
– private travel;
– medical treatment;
– cultural, scientific, educational or sport activities;
– foreign mass media staff service.
The application for an e-Visa to Ukraine has to be submitted not earlier than 3 months in advance and not later than 1 working day before the intended visit to Ukraine. The applicant shall attach scanned copies of the following documents:
1. The first page of the passport (or another page of the passport containing the personal data of the holder);
2. Documents confirming the purpose of the entry (e.g. tourist voucher, hotel and flight booking / invitation letter from a private person or a legal entity, investment documents / medical documents, etc.);
3. Health insurance policy (with 30,000 EUR coverage);
4. Sufficient funds confirmation (approximately 1,600 USD per 30 days).
The visa fee for a single-entry e-Visa amounts to 20 USD, 30 USD – for a double-entry e-Visa. In the event of an urgent procedure, the fee shall be double.
Visa fee is compulsory for all categories of foreigners including children under the age of 6, diplomats, representatives of international organizations, and members of the official delegations of highest-level leaders.
The e-Visa applications are processed within 1 working day in case of an urgent procedure, and up to 3 working days in the usual procedures.
Please see below the list of countries the nationals of which require an e-Visa:
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Kingdom of Bhutan
Plurinational State of Bolivia
Kingdom of Cambodia
People’s Republic of China
Republic of Costa Rica
Republic of Fiji
Republic of Guatemala
Republic of Haiti
Republic of Honduras
Republic of India
Republic of Indonesia
Republic of Kiribati
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Republic of Maldives
Republic of Mauritius
Mexican United States
Federated States of Micronesia
Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Republic of Nauru
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Republic of Nicaragua
Republic of Palau
Republic of Peru
Republic of the Philippines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Republic of El Salvador
Independent State of Samoa
Republic of Seychelles
Republic of Singapore
Republic of South Africa
Republic of Suriname
Kingdom of Thailand
Democratic Republic of East Timor (Timor-Leste)
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Republic of Vanuatu
Visa regime countries
Citizens of countries with a visa regime of entry may stay in Ukraine only on the basis of a visa (short- or long-term) obtained at the Ukrainian consulate abroad. More about visa types.
Ukraine has established a visa regime of entry for nationals of the following countries:
Congo (Democratic Republic)
Congo (People’s Republic)
Papua New Guinea
Sao Tome and Principe
Central African Republic
What personal belongings can be brought in and out of Ukraine?
Usually, all goods brought in across Ukraine’s customs border are subject to VAT (20%) and customs duty depending on the goods type.
It is possible to bring in across Ukraine’s customs border the following goods without written declaration and customs duties but only once per one day:
1) Goods (except for ethyl alcohol and other alcohol distillates, alcoholic drinks, beer, tobacco products, tobacco and industrial tobacco substitutes, fuel) of total value less than 1 000 euros carried through the air-to-air access points.
2) Goods of a total value not exceeding the equivalent of 500 euros and the total weight not exceeding 50 kg carried through other than air-to-air access points.
How to bring in alcoholic drinks and tobacco products?
The importation of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products across Ukraine’s customs border by citizens under 18 is forbidden.
Citizens over 18 may carry the following amount of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products per person in hand luggage or accompanied luggage across Ukraine’s customs border without written declaration and paying customs duties :
1) 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, or 250 g of tobacco, or aforesaid products in sets of a total weight not exceeding 250 g;
2) 5 liters of beer, 2 liters of wine, 1 liter of alcoholic drinks containing more than 22% alcohol.
If the person importing alcoholic drinks and tobacco products across Ukraine’s customs border, irrespective of their number, was out of Ukraine for less than 24 hours, the custom tax shall be put on.
WHAT PERSONAL BELONGINGS CAN YOU BRING IN AND OUT?
As per Ukrainian laws, verbally declared personal belongings can be freely carried in and out across Ukraine’s customs border and are not subject to taxation.
Refer to the full list below:
1) personal hygiene products and individual cosmetics person needs for the period of travel;
2) personal clothes, underwear, shoes showing signs of wear and intended for own use only;
3) personal jewelry, including metals and stones showing signs of wear;
5) one camera, one video camera, a camcorder with a reasonable number of photos, videos, films, and accessories;
6) one portable projector with accessories, with a reasonable number of slides and/or films;
8) no more than 2 portable musical instruments;
9) one portable audio device (including tape recorder, voice recorder, CD player, etc.) with a reasonable number of films, disks, etc.;
10) one portable radio;
11) no more than 2 mobile phones and pagers;
12) one portable TV;
13) no more than 2 portable personal computers and peripheral equipment and accessories; no more than 3 flashcards;
14) one portable typewriter;
15) no more than 2 calculators, electronic books;
16) medications for personal use;
17) ordinary and/or walking baby stroller one for each child crossing the border with one person, and only one if no child travels;
18) one wheelchair for every person with disabilities crossing the customs border of Ukraine, and only one if no disabled person travels;
19) medications transported (forwarded) across Ukraine’s customs border as per the order and in the amount determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
20) no more than 2 watches;
21) 0.5 liters of Eau de Toilette and/or 100 ml of perfume;
22) sports equipment — bicycle, fishing rod, set of climbing equipment, set of snorkeling equipment, set of skis, set of tennis racquets, surfboard, windsurf, set of golf equipment, and other similar equipment intended for use by one person;
23) special baby food for children suffering from phenylketonuria or other illness requiring special nutrition that is not produced (not sold) in Ukraine, that is carried (forwarded) across Ukraine’s customs border as per the order and in quantity determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
24) the list and the maximum number of other goods of a person’s everyday needs are determined by the laws of Ukraine.
If you bring in or out the currency equal to or more than the equivalent of 10,000 EUR at Ukraine’s National Bank official exchange rate on the day of crossing Ukraine’s customs border, the currency shall be declared in writing.
Therefore, it’s convenient to carry the currency of 9,999 EUR.
How to bring in pets?
Pets carried by the citizens across Ukraine’s customs border shall be declared in writing and subject to veterinary checks (veterinary certificates and other documents) pursuant to the law.
GOODS THAT YOU CAN BRING OUT FROM UKRAINE
Ukrainians and foreign nationals may export across Ukraine’s customs border goods of total value less than 10 000 EUR without written declaration and paying taxes. If you plan to bring out goods specified by Ukrainian laws (i.e. cattle, oilseed crops) or goods subject to the customs control of total value less than 10 000 EUR, they should be declared in writing, and taxes paid. If you bring out across Ukraine’s customs border goods of total value more than 10 000 EUR, they should be declared, and taxes under the law must be paid, except for the goods listed below. Some of the goods carried by citizens out Ukraine’s customs border of total value exceeding the equivalent of 10 000 EUR, shall be declared in writing without paying taxes:
• goods, taken out due to the departure from Ukraine as of a permanent place of residence;
• goods, as a part of the inheritance issued in Ukraine in favor of a non-resident citizen subject to the confirmation of the estate assets by the notaries;
• goods, temporarily carried by resident citizens out Ukraine’s customs border under a written commitment for their reverse importation.
Marriage in Ukraine
What is “marriage” as per Ukrainian legislation?
As per Ukrainian legislation, marriage is a willful, equal right union of a man and a woman aiming to create a family, registered by the authority of the state registration of civil status acts (Registrar).
A man and a woman residing as one family without marriage are not considered to be spouses.
Legal regulation of marriage
The law of Ukraine defines the procedure of marriage registration in Ukraine between a citizen of Ukraine and a foreigner or a stateless person as well as a marriage between foreigners or stateless persons.
As per current law, foreigners and stateless persons have equal rights and obligations regarding marriage and family relations as well as citizens of Ukraine.
What conditions should be observed for marriage?
According to the law, the marriage procedure in Ukraine is not complicated. It is necessary to comply with the following conditions to register a marriage in Ukraine:
– a bride and a groom should be of the marriage age (18 years old, a right to marry can also be obtained by a court decision – following the petition filed by persons who are of the age of 16);
– a bride and a groom should not be married to another person;
– no other drawbacks for a marriage, such as: marriage between siblings is forbidden, between relatives of direct line ascending, between an adoptive parent and adoptive child).
Documents you need for marriage in Ukraine
When compared to a marriage between Ukrainian citizens, a marriage procedure with the foreign citizens in Ukraine is far more complicated.
Foreigners willing to register their marriage in Ukraine have to provide the Registrar (department of the Ministry of Justice) with the following documents:
1. Original passport or other specified documents (with a notion, confirming the legality of their stay atin the territory of Ukraine, unless otherwise provided by the current Ukrainian legislation).
2. If the foreigner’s passport doesn’t contain information about his marital status, the foreigner should submit the legalized certificate, confirming that he is not married, issued by the authorized body in a country of his origin with a translation into the Ukrainian language.
3. Foreign citizens, who were previously married, will be able to register a repeated marriage only if they provide documents confirming the termination of their previous marriage. For example, a court decision of marriage dissolution, if it is final, a certificate of marriage dissolution, a spouse’s death certificate, or other documents confirming the termination of a previous marriage, provided for by foreign legislation. Such documents must be issued by the authorized body and appropriately legalized with a further translation into the Ukrainian language.
The procedure of marriage registration with foreign citizens
The procedure of marriage registration for foreigners in Ukraine is as follows:
1. Personal application submitting to the Registrar. In case, the person attempting to enter into marriage is not able to submit an application personally for valid reasons, his/her signature upon the application must be notarized. A notarized application shall be submitted by a representative acting on the grounds of a notarized power of attorney.
2. The Registrar accepts the application, explains to the applicants their rights and obligations, the procedure of marriage registration, duty to provide the correct information and the outcomes of the submitting of false information.
3. The actual date of marriage registration is appointed on the grounds of agreement with the applicants. Generally, a marriage with a foreigner shall be registered in 1 (one) month after the application. Earlier marriage registration shall be performed for valid reasons, confirmed by the documents (pregnancy, serious illness, etc.)
4. Marriage is registered in the presence of both applicants.
The procedure of check of the foreigner’s legality of stay in Ukraine
The principal point, which is vital for marriage registration with the foreign citizen, is that a foreigner must stay in Ukraine legally as of the day of marriage registration.
After obtaining all the above-mentioned documents, the Head of the Registrar subdivision shall send a request to the State migration service verifying whether a foreigner’s stay in Ukraine is legal and finding out the number of days, he has before leaving Ukraine.
Based on the inspection results the State migration service issues a conclusion on a legal stay of foreign citizens in Ukraine notifying of a number of days he/she stayed in Ukraine legally.
Urgent marriage procedure
A marriage procedure, when a man and a woman willing to marry are citizens of different countries can be both general and urgent.
Since 2016 the project called “Marriage for a day” (Marriage within 24h) has been performed in several cities of Ukraine. The price for such service shall amount to 2 500,00 UAH during working days, and 3 500,00 UAH at weekends and holidays. This price also includes the payment for Registrar services and the state fee.
For an urgent marriage procedure, it is necessary to conclude an agreement with an institutor (commonly it is a state institution) and submit a general application for marriage registration. The future spouses shall apply to the Registrar district subdivision (at the institutor’s location area), where a marriage registration will be carried out only after payment of services and when all necessary documents have been obtained (conclusion issued by the State migration service, receipts, agreement, application form, passport translation).
After a marriage registration, a married couple obtains the marriage certificate.
Visa agreement procedure after marriage
After the marriage registration, a foreign citizen, if planning to reside in Ukraine, shall apply for a temporary residence permit. A foreigner should leave Ukraine to obtain a new type “D” visa (on the grounds of a marriage certificate). The purpose of visiting Ukraine shall be family reunification. This procedure (of the re-entering) should be carried out even though a foreigner is a citizen of a country, that ratified the Visa Waiver Treaties with Ukraine.
Permanent residence permit
A marriage with a citizen of Ukraine is a ground for obtaining a residence permit in Ukraine. For two years being married to Ukrainian citizen, a foreigner can get a permanent residence permit, and later – will obtain citizenship of Ukraine.
If a foreigner enters into marriage with a person who is not a citizen of Ukraine but is a foreigner, who has a permanent residence permit, he will be able to obtain such a permit without observing these two years. But for becoming a citizen of Ukraine in such circumstances, a foreigner should wait five years, observing a variety of other conditions.
A Marriage outside of Ukraine
A marriage between a citizen of Ukraine and a foreign citizen, which wass registered outside the territory of Ukraine, is considered to be valid in Ukraine. This marriage should not be registered in Ukraine repeatedly. Though, a marriage certificate issued to a foreigner and a citizen of Ukraine outside its territory should be properly certified (legalized/apostilled) in a country of its consignment and translated into the Ukrainian language with a notarization.
Dissolution of marriage
A marriage can be dissolved in a judicial or non-judicial manner (through the offices of the Registrar) depending on certain circumstances (common children and their age, parties’ motivation, definiteness with children, alimony, and division of property matters).
Division of Conjoint property
A property that has been acquired by the spouses in marriage belongs to both wife and husband on the joint ownership title.
Usually, in case of marriage dissolution, a spouses’ property is divided between them into equal parts. At the same time, the separate private property of a wife or a husband is: a property acquired: before marriage, in marriage but on the grounds of a gift agreement or as an inheritance, in marriage but purchased with his/her own money, an apartment or a land property purchased as a result of privatization.
A married couple may conclude a marriage contract. This contract can be concluded both before and after marriage registration (in this case a marriage contract shall be valid as of the day of marriage registration) and shall be notarized. A marriage contract regulates spouses’ property relations, defines their property rights and obligations.
Cover photo from The Paris Photographer.
Business registration in Ukraine
Setting up a company in Ukraine
Lots of foreign citizens, as well as companies, consider starting a business in Ukraine. Ukraine is a developing country with a mild tax regime, opened data resources, easy business registration procedures and strengthening its position in the “Doing business” rating.
Naturally, there are difficulties and negative aspects of running a business in Ukraine: high salary tax rates (41,5% total), bureaucratic procedures in obtaining licenses, permits to run certain types of business activities.
Therefore, as the process of registration can run quite smoothly, we usually advise thinking beforehand of all the important issues related to setting up a company in Ukraine.
Choosing the form for your business
Before starting a business in Ukraine investors should consider possible options of legal entity in Ukraine.
Ukrainian legislation sets several organizational legal forms for companies:
1) limited liability company;
2) company with additional liability (it resembles a general partnership, but a separate legal entity is created);
3) limited partnership;
4) joint-stock company.
A foreign company has also an opportunity for the foundation of a representative office (it is not considered as a separate legal entity in Ukraine).
The new law dated 06.02.2018 (has not come into effect yet) regulates issues with limited liability companies and companies with additional liability. Shareholder’s agreements will soon become the enforceable instrument for governing relations between shareholders. It is not mandatory, but if you want it to become an efficient instrument, we advise our clients considering the conclusion/non-conclusion of the SHA before registration of the company. However, there are no time restrictions on it.
Usually, limited liability companies, partnerships have no authorized capital amount limitations; the minimal authorized capital amount for joint-stock companies is approximately 170 000 USD.
In some areas of business, there are specific requirements for the amount of authorized capital. For example, for financial companies, the amount of the authorized capital shall not be less than 3 500 000 UAH.
The authorized capital amount is indicated in the Company’s Articles of Association and shall be evaluated in UAH. It is essential for the Investors who plan to make their contribution as a bank transaction from abroad in foreign currency and want to indicate it in USD, EUR, etc.
Money, securities, proprietary rights, and property can be a form of a contribution to the authorized capital. The evaluation of proprietary rights, assets that are transferred to the company as the contribution to the authorized capital is made by the shareholders (except for the cases where expert evaluation is necessary).
Registration itself is an easy process. Authorized Registrars shall enter the data to the State Registry of business entities of Ukraine within 24 hours. At the same time, a notable set of documents must be prepared. Please note, that some documents submitted to the Registrars must be verified by a notary. Legislation of Ukraine currently allows notaries to be Authorized Registrars that also makes the whole process easier and more convenient.
If any information that is included in the State Registry of business entities changes, the company has to update the respective data. The procedure itself is quite similar to the initial registration but the state fee will be charged.
It is worth noting that Ukraine ranks No. 43 in Doing business rating in taxation issues. As per the legislation of Ukraine, there are two tax systems for business entities in Ukraine:
1) general tax system;
2) simplified tax system.
The general tax system is used by the default: the business entity has to pay 18% of the net profit. If the amount of services rendered (goods produced) exceeds 1 000 000 UAH within one calendar year, the taxpayer has to register as VAT-payer.
The simplified tax system can be used by small businesses. Not any business entity may choose it: first of all, the yearly turn over shall not exceed 5 000 000 UAH, and second of all, not all types of business activity are allowed to use this system. The tax rate is 5% of income without paying VAT or 3% of income plus VAT.
No matter what system you choose, the company has also expenses for its employees: there is 22% of the single social security tax that the company pays itself, 18% income tax and 1,5% military fee that company deducts from the salary of its employer and transfers to the tax body.
Read about controlled foreign companies tax regulations in our article.
Starting a business is not an easy thing. The duly organized company at the very beginning is easier to run, structure and develop it for the future. Thus, it will be useful to be clear on the aforesaid issues. These will prevent extra expenses in case of wrong decisions, difficulties occurring while negotiations and any surprises arising out of the unfamiliar jurisdiction.
We hope your business in Ukraine will become successful and prosperous!
How to register as a private entrepreneur in Ukraine
Ukraine keeps developing and amending its legal system to make our country more attractive not only for large businesses but for the small also. For example, the most common form of running a business in Ukraine is private entrepreneurship, being now the most popular form of small business, IT business and services. According to the statistics more than 1 763 000 private entrepreneurs (individual entrepreneurs) are registered in Ukraine.
Becoming a private entrepreneur (individual entrepreneur) in Ukraine is a relatively simple issue.
Generally, the procedure consists of the following stages:
1) getting Ukrainian tax ID number;
2) registration as PE at the center for administrative services (or before the notary);
3) opening the bank account.
As per the law of Ukraine “On state registration of legal entities, private entrepreneurs and public formations” the following documents will be necessary for a private entrepreneur who is a foreign citizen:
1. passport (with the proper translation into Ukrainian);
2. tax ID;
3. application form;
4. confirmation of the address where the private entrepreneur is registered as the business entity at his/her residence.
The law establishes that the address of residence is the address where the person resides permanently or temporarily.
All the people who legally stay within the territory of Ukraine have to register their residential address. The stamp with the address of residence is imprinted in the Ukrainian documents such as internal Ukrainian passport, temporary/permanent residence permit, refugee’s certificate, references of the person who applied for the protection in Ukraine. Therefore, if you don’t have one of the above mentioned documents you don’t have to register your place of residence in Ukraine. In case you want to become a private entrepreneur – the lease or purchase agreement will be enough.
The private (individual) entrepreneurs are eligible to choose a simplified taxation system and pay a 5% Single tax of the gross income (UAH 5 million max.) from their business activity. Also, the monthly social fee of UAH 1039,06 has to be paid.
How to extend visa in Ukraine?
Any foreign citizen, who comes for a visit to Ukraine can stay in Ukraine either for the term specified in a visa or for 90 days visa-free term (for the citizens of countries that ratified the Visa Waiver Treaties with Ukraine). In both cases, a foreign citizen can stay in Ukraine for a maximum of 90 days within the last 180 days’ period.
When this 90 days term expires foreign citizen has two options:
1) leave Ukraine with the right to re-enter after 90 days period;
2) extend a stay in Ukraine.
Legislation of Ukraine provides the following options for the extension of stay of any foreign citizen:
Such a decision (3) shall be granted only when there are serious grounds, such as illness, pregnancy or childbearing, illness of the family member who has to be taken care of, waiting for the official documents being issued (such as immigration permit, obtainment of the citizenship of Ukraine, etc.), force majeure events that do not allow to leave Ukraine within the legally permitted terms of stay. All the aforesaid facts have to be supported with the respective documents.
The application for extension of stay on the territory of Ukraine shall be submitted to the local migration service office and, what is important, at least three days before the expiry of the visa or 90 days’ term. The special stamp is inserted in the passport when the migration service body grants with the decision on the extension of the term of stay on the territory of Ukraine. The maximum period of extension is 90 calendar days. If you leave Ukraine before the 90 days term, you will not be permitted to re-enter Ukraine, so you will have to either wait for 90 days or get the new visa.
Work permit in Ukraine
Foreign citizens must obtain the work permit to work officially in Ukraine. The company-employer (or the private entrepreneur) files the application form to the local employment center to get for the potential employee the work permit in Ukraine.
Work permit in Ukraine does not give the right to the foreign citizen to choose the place of work and position at his/her discretion. One work permit is for one position, and the employer keeps this document.
Ukrainian legislation stipulates several categories for foreign employees. Each category has the list of documents required for the work permit application. To apply for the work permit, the employer needs to define his/her potential employee group.
There are the following categories:
1) regular foreign employees;
2) special categories of foreign employees:
– foreigners-founders of enterprises;
– IT professionals;
– foreign high-paid professionals;
– graduates of the TOP-100 universities in a world ranking;
– seconded foreign employees;
– foreigners submitting documents for recognition as refugees or as people who need additional protection.
Special categories of foreign employees in Ukraine have some privileges considering salary rate and work permit validity term.
It is also worth noting some requirements to the salary rate for foreign employees. The minimum salary rate of a regular employee is 10 minimum wages specified by the law of Ukraine. If the employer is a public association, charity, or educational institution, the minimum salary rate shall be 5 minimum wages. As for 2020, these are the sums of 50 000 UAH and 25 000 UAH respectively.
Special categories of foreign employees are paid the same way as locals, which means, the salary shall not be less than 1 minimum wage (in 2019 it is 4173 UAH). The minimum salary rate of foreign high-paid professionals shall be at least 50 minimum wages (i.e. in 2020 = 250 000 UAH). Seconded foreign employees don’t receive a salary in Ukraine as it is paid by their employer abroad.
The validity term of the work permit varies within the category. The validity term of the work permit for the general category is from one month to one year. Work permit for special categories can be issued for up to three years. Employers have the right to extend the duration of the work permit an unlimited number of times.
The common list of documents required for the work permit application includes the following:
– a certified translation of a foreigner’s passport into the Ukrainian language;
– foreigner’s photo (size 3.5*4.5 cm);
– a draft of a future employment contract.
The list of specific documents is as follows:
– a certified translation of the relevant diploma (for a graduate from one of the TOP-100 universities in a world ranking);
– a copy of the secondment agreement between Ukrainian and foreign economic entities (for seconded foreign employees).
The law also specifies a list of foreigners who don’t require a work permit for employment in Ukraine:
– foreigners with a permanent residence permit;
– employees of representative offices of foreign companies in Ukraine;
– employees of foreign accredited media;
– participants of international technical assistance projects;
– teachers and scientists invited for work by higher education institutions;
– representatives of foreign naval (river) fleets and airlines serving such companies in Ukraine;
– foreigners who have refugee status or are recognized as people who need additional protection or granted temporary protection in Ukraine;
– professional athletes;
– artists and art workers;
– clerics invited by religious organizations to carry out canonical activities.
It takes 7 business days for granting the work permit and 3 business days for extension of the work permit validity term in Ukraine.
The amount of the state fee for work permit depends on validity term, and in 2020 it amounts to the following sums:
1) for permits valid from one to three years – 12 612 UAH;
2) for permits valid from six months to one year – 8 408 UAH;
3) for permits valid up to six months – 4 204 UAH.
The employer has 10 business days to pay state fees and 90 calendar days to sign the employment contract after a work permit obtained. A copy of the contract must be provided to the local employment center. Failure to submit a copy of the contract is the ground for work permit cancellation.
A work permit does not give the right to stay in Ukraine, but it can be used as the ground for the following immigration to Ukraine. Using a work permit, the foreign citizen can apply for the temporary residence permit of the same validity term as the work permit.
New rules for LLC in Ukraine
The new law of Ukraine that came into effect on June 17 changes the regulations of the Limited Liability Companies activity in Ukraine
Due to new rules, all limited liability companies have 1 year to amend the constitutional documents as per the new requirements.
What are the changes?
The new law makes the Articles of Association (Charter of the company) shorter. From now on this document has to contain only the provisions on the name of the company, governing bodies and their competence, the procedure of the entry/exit for the members. All the rest can be omitted from the Charter.
The law heavily amends voting procedures.: Important issues must be voted unanimously by all members of the company, such as redistribution of shares, approval of the member’s contribution value (in a non-monetary form), the number of votes necessary for approval. Making amendments to the constitutional documents, increase/decrease of the authorized capital amount shall be supported by 75% of votes, but this number can be changed by unanimous decision of all members.
It also gets more difficult to leave the company for a member holding 50 and more percent of the limited liability company’s share. Such action must be supported by all the other members.
It is worth noting that the member of the company can’t be expelled from the company except for the case he/she fails to contribute in full.
Even though all business entities were given one year to amend the constitutional documents, all of us have to obey the requirements of the new law now.
Therefore, please check how these new rules impact your business and make sure you are well-prepared in advance.
Planning to set up a business in Ukraine? Read our article regarding on the first steps.
Residence permit in Ukraine
What should you know about staying in Ukraine for more than usual tourist’s 90 days? You will have to get a residency in Ukraine.
There are two types of residency permits in Ukraine: temporary residence permit and permanent residence permit, which differ in the procedure of acquiring (grounds for the issue) and the scope of rights that are granted with such a document.
Temporary Residence Permit
The temporary residence permit is the official document, that gives the right to the holder to legally stay in Ukraine, leave and reenter the territory of Ukraine an unlimited number of times within the term of validity.
The temporary residence permits’ validity varies: from several months up to several years (for example, in case of the work or long-lasting international project, etc. permits are given for a 3-year validity term).
The law of Ukraine provides the following list of grounds for getting temporary residence permit:
♦ Official employment;
♦ Participation in international projects for technical support (such programs should be registered);
♦ Performance of religious activity or invitation by a religious organization (officially registered and with permission to involve foreigners);
♦ Employees of affiliated companies or representative offices of non-governmental organizations of foreign countries, registered under the legal procedure in Ukraine;
♦ Employees of representative offices of foreign business entities, banks;
♦ Participants of international cultural, educational or scientific activities, given in international contracts of Ukraine or specific programs, participants of international or regional volunteer programs, or participation in work of Ukrainian organizations that are permitted to involve foreign volunteers (there is a special governmentally approved list of such organizations);
♦ Education in Ukraine (it must be already arranged, not just an intent)
♦ Investing at least 100 000 EUR in Ukrainian business;
♦ Marriage with the citizen of Ukraine.
Moreover, before applying for a temporary residence permit the applicant will have to get a D type visa (read more about visas to Ukraine).
Permanent Residence Permit
The permanent residence permit is another type of a document that gives a foreigner the right to stay in Ukraine legally for a long period. It has no validity limits (has an indefinite duration, but the document itself has to be renewed in certain cases). Likewise the temporary residence permit, the permanent residence permit allows staying in Ukraine, easily leave and enter its territory, employment by any company without obtaining a work permit. Therefore, the legal status is quite similar to citizenship, but a bit reduced – no voting rights, no title rights to agricultural land, no option to benefit from the visa-free entry to EU due to the Visa Waiver Treaties, etc.
The grounds for acquiring permanent residence permit are the following:
♦ Being a highly qualified specialist (that are highly demanded by the Ukrainian economy);
♦ Being a scientist and/or cultural figure, whose immigration corresponds to the interests of Ukraine;
♦ Being an investor (who has invested at least 100 000 USD) in Ukrainian economy;
♦ Being a sibling, grandchild, or grandparent of Ukrainian citizens;
♦ Being a spouse of the Ukrainian citizen (the marriage shall last at least for two years);
♦ Being a former Ukrainian citizen;
♦ Being a parent, spouse, or minor of an immigrant to Ukraine;
♦ Being a military member in the Armed forces of Ukraine (for 3 and more years);
♦ Being overseas Ukrainians;
♦ Being a legal guardian of Ukrainian citizens or person, warded by Ukrainian citizens;
♦ Being a legal guardian of Ukrainian citizen(s) or being a person, which is under guardianship and is warded by a Ukrainian citizen(s).
Before applying for permanent residency, the applicant obtain the immigration permit first.
It is worth noting that there is a duty to register the place of residency in Ukraine within 30 calendar days after the residence permit is issued.
Information update: expired residence permit are valid during the wartime.
Know Your Beneficiary
On April 28, 2020, the new law ‘On Prevention and Counteraction of Legalization (Laundering) of Proceeds of Crime, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Distribution of Weapons of Mass Destruction’ comes into effect and changes life for business entities in Ukraine.
Starting from April 28, 2020, there will be a harsher oversight regarding the efficiency of the structure of business entities in Ukraine.
Ukrainian companies will have to annually update the information about the ownership structure. The form of the document is yet to be approved. As of the moment it is announced, all legal entities in Ukraine, registered before this law came into effect will have 3 months to submit the first report on the beneficiary structure.
It will turn out the more difficult task for those legal entities, which have non-residents in their structure – now it will be required to provide an up-to-date extract from the business registry and copies of passports of the beneficiaries, certified by a notary (with the required apostille, where applicable, and translation into Ukrainian as well).
The next obligation imposed over the legal entities is to annually update information on the beneficiaries in the State Registry. To comply with this requirement, the Ukrainian company will have to submit the application, ownership structure and documents of the owners to the State Registrar (up-to-date extract from the business registry and copies of passports of the beneficiaries, verified by a notary). These documents have to be submitted within 14 calendar days as of the date of the legal entity’s registration.
In case of changes in the structure/information of the ownership, the Ukrainian legal entity will have 30 business days to submit the report to the respective State Registrar and amend the information.
The procedure of the state registration of new legal entities will be amended as well. Confirmation of the ownership structure and the copies of passports of the beneficiaries, certified by a notary are added to the list of the documents that must be submitted to complete the state registration of legal entity.
In case the company fails to comply with the requirements of the new law (failure to submit the report or fit the terms established by the law) a fine will be imposed on the Director or another responsible authority (17 000 – 51 000 UAH).
Our corporate law and business administration team will be glad to help you and your business to comply with the new requirements.
Entry into Ukraine during the COVID-19 restrictions mitigation
As of June,16, 2021, foreigners can cross the Ukrainian border with a fresh negative PCR test or a vaccination passport/certificate.
On June,16, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has adopted a Resolution №611, which stipulated, that to cross the border foreigners and stateless persons must have: a negative PCR test, made no later than 72 hours before crossing the border or a vaccination passport/certificate.
Requirements for the vaccination passport/certificate:
♦ it must be issued only after the full course of the vaccination;
♦ it must be issued in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005) or in accordance with the international agreements concluded by Ukraine on mutual recognition of documents on vaccination;
♦ vaccine must be included in the WHO list of permitted vaccines for the use in emergencies.
Foreigners are also required to have a medical insurance policy, which covers the costs of observation and treatment COVID-19, and is valid for the entire period of stay in Ukraine. The policy must be issued by an insurance company registered in Ukraine or a foreign insurance company which has a representative office in Ukraine or a contractual relationship with a partner insurance company in Ukraine (under the contract of an assistance).
In case of absence of an insurance policy and / or fresh negative PCR test or vaccination passport/certificate, the State Border Guard Service will not allow a foreigner/stateless person to cross the state border.
A similar rule has been introduced for citizens of Ukraine: they need a negative PCR test, made no later than 72 hours before crossing the border, or a vaccination passport/certificate, otherwise they will have to spend 14 days in a self-isolation.
Mentioned rules do not apply to:
1) foreigners and stateless persons, who are under the age of 12,
2) foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing in Ukraine,
3) persons recognized as refugees,
4) persons in need of additional protection,
5) employees of foreign diplomatic missions and consular institutions, missions of official international missions, organizations accredited in Ukraine, and members of their families,
6) drivers and crew members of freight vehicles, buses engaged in regular, irregular and pendulum transportation, members of air and sea crews, river vessels, members of train and locomotive crews,
7) servicemen (units) of the armed forces of NATO member states and participants in the NATO “Partnership for Peace” program, who take part in training events for units of the Armed Forces.
As of 01.07.2021, it is obligatory to make a rapid antigen COVID-19 test on the State border of Ukraine and to get a negative result, if the foreigner arrives from the Republic of India, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Russian Federation, the Portuguese Republic or the foreigner stayed there for at least seven days within last 14 days.
In case of positive rapid test result or foreigner`s refusal to make a test, State border service cannot let the foreigner cross the border.
The mentioned rule does not apply to:
1) foreigners and stateless persons, who are under the age of 12,
2) foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing in Ukraine,
3) persons recognized as refugees,
4) persons in need of additional protection,
5) employees of foreign diplomatic missions and consular institutions, missions of official international missions, organizations accredited in Ukraine, and members of their families,
6) drivers and crew members of freight vehicles, buses engaged in regular, irregular and pendulum transportation, members of air and sea crews, river vessels, members of train and locomotive crews,
7) servicemen (units) of the armed forces of NATO member states and participants in the NATO “Partnership for Peace” program, who take part in training events for units of the Armed Forces.
Citizens of Ukraine and foreigners permanently residing in Ukraine, which arrive from the Republic of India, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Russian Federation, the Portuguese Republic or stayed there for at least seven days within last 14 days, can make a rapid antigen COVID-19 test on the State border of Ukraine and in case of the negative result they will not be obliged to keep a self-isolation for 14 days. Or they can refuse to make a test and to keep a self-isolation for 14 days.
Test points for the detection COVID-19 antigen are located in the border control zones of State border service checkpoints.
Controlled Foreign Companies Tax Regulations
If you are a resident of Ukraine and you have passive income from foreign companies, check whether the new tax regulations apply to you.
The draft law on amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine under No. 1210 was adopted by the Parliament/Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and passed in January, and was finally signed by the President on May 21st, 2020. Among other changes to the Ukrainian legislation, the rules of controlled foreign companies (CFC) were introduced.
CFC Rules is the instrument for the tax authorities to prevent aggressive tax planning and tax base shifting. It prescribes that if a resident of some jurisdiction has significant control over a business entity that is structured in the jurisdiction with an extremely low profit tax rate, the income of such business entity shall be declared and taxed in the jurisdiction of the person with significant control.
The taxpayer of the CFC income is the person that holds such control.
The company is deemed as the CFC controlled by a private person – resident of Ukraine when:
1) a private person-resident of Ukraine owns a share in a Company which is more than 50%;
2) a private person-resident of Ukraine owns a share in a Company which is more than 10%, provided that several individuals-residents jointly hold more than 50% of shares in such Company;
3) a private person-resident of Ukraine performs effective control over the foreign business entity (CFC) independently or jointly with the other individuals-residents.
Please note, the CFC income is exempt from taxation if:
– there is a valid double taxation treaty and/or an agreement on tax information exchange between Ukraine and the country where the CFC is located
– either CFC pays income taxes (and the rate is at least 13%)
– the part of the passive income of the CFC is no more than 50%. At the same time, such passive income may be more, provided that such a company has sufficient resources to perform its business activity (staff, equity, etc.) and employs capital in business activities, which results in active income.
Besides, the CFC income is not taxable under any of the following conditions:
– the total income of all the CFCs of one controlling person (from all the sources) does not exceed € 2 million by the end of the reporting period;
– a CFC is a public company, the shares of which are traded on a recognized stock exchange;
– a CFC is an organization that, under the legislation of the relevant foreign jurisdiction, performs charity work and does not distribute income in favor of its founders (participants).
Controlling persons are obliged to submit a report on Controlled Foreign Companies to the Tax Office, simultaneously with the annual declaration on property and income, or corporate income tax return for the relevant calendar year, in e-form bearing an e-signature, in compliance with the law on electronic document management. The report form is to be provided by the Ministry of Finance. No such report form exists yet.
Please consider, that even if the CFC income is exempt from taxation, the controlling person shall submit a report to the tax authorities anyway. The controlling person has to indicate in the tax report the reasons for the tax exemption. In this case, the controlling person is released from the obligation to calculate the profit of the Controlled Foreign Company. At the same time, all other parts of the tax report have to be complete.
The new law provides liability for such violations:
– failure of the controlling person to report on the CFCs;
– late submission of the report;
– failure of the controlling person to disclose some information in the CFCs report.
No penalties and fines during the determination and calculation of CFC income for 2021-2022. Later on, the law imposes a fine in different amounts depending on the violation type: from 50 to 1000 amounts of subsistence level (the current subsistence level = 2197 UAH).
The CFC rules come into force on January 1st, 2021, so all the shareholders still have time to check whether such rules apply to them and get prepared to comply with all the formalities.
A private entrepreneur (PE) in Ukraine is a business entity that is entitled to perform work or provide services as an independent contractor.
When registering as a Private Entrepreneur, one should select the types of activities and the applicable tax system.
Any legally capable individual, regardless of citizenship, may register as a PE in Ukraine. The place of residence of the individual within Ukraine does not affect the location of registration as a PE. Therefore, one may register with any registrar in Ukraine (either at a notary’s office or the administrative services centers). Registration takes up to 24 hours after submission of the documents.
Moreover, one may register as a PE online: the applicant shall have the electronic digital signature in this case.
Taxes for PE
PE runs the business under the selected taxation system: general or simplified.
The general taxation system provides for the payment of 18% net income tax. Besides, the PE has to pay 1.5% of the military tax and 22% of the single social contribution to the Pension Fund from net income. Registration as a VAT payer is mandatory if annual turnover reaches 1 000 000 UAH (in Ukraine, VAT is 20%).
The simplified taxation system provides for the payment of a single tax depending on the selected single tax group and is applied with restrictions on activities (the latter means that some activity types are prohibited for taxation under the simplified system). Consequently, a PE can choose one of the four groups of the single taxation system:
1) PE of the first group pays a fixed tax (210 UAH per month in 2020), provides only retail sales of goods or household services to the population, has an annual income of up to 1 000 000 UAH and no employees;
2) PE of the second group pays a fixed tax (944 UAH per month in 2020), sells, produces goods, provides services (performs work) exclusively to the population and / or payers of the single tax, has an annual income of up to 5 000 000 UAH, and no more than 10 employees. Such PEs can work for / provide services to business entities who use the simplified tax regime or only to individuals;
3) PE of the third group has annual income up to 7 000 000 UAH, no restrictions on the number of employees, and pays a single tax of 3% of income (for VAT payer) or 5% of income (for non-VAT payer).
4) PE of the fourth group – farm owners whose tax rates depend on the type of land.
PEs usually tend to choose the third group of single tax, which allows them to conveniently keep records, perform work and provide services to any legal entity or PE and export services (goods, works).
Please take into consideration that restrictions exist in the form of payment for single tax payers: it can be made exclusively in cash (cash and / or bank transaction).
Additionally, the single social contribution to the Pension Fund at the rate of 22% of the minimum wage (that is 1039,06 UAH in 2020) shall be paid monthly.
Worth noting, if a PE receives payments in cash (POS-terminals are also considered as cash transaction) and the amount of income is over 1 000 000 UAH, a special cash-register machine shall be installed.
The major fact against doing business as a PE is that PE is liable with all his property.
PE vs Employeе
A significant number of companies, especially IT companies, in order to optimize the tax burden, often use a scheme, according to which a certain specialist is engaged to work as a PE instead of being hired as an employee. At the same time, the employer significantly reduces the tax burden and avoids certain obligations imposed over him by labor law (vacation, decree, guarantees of dismissal, etc.).
There is a risk that the relationship between the person and the company will be recognized as a de facto employment relationship. And, consequently, result in fines for the ‘employer’.
It should be noted that the legislation on the activities of PE is changing. The procedure for registration and the taxation system for PE are permanently simplified and improved. Frequent changes occur in taxation, the use of special cash registers implemented.
Various initiatives lessen the impact of the PE on reducing budget revenues, for example, several of the recently announced:
● to approve the criteria that would establish the actual employment relationship between the PE and the company;
● on the introduction of the fifth group of the simplified tax system for IT professionals (that provides a slight increase to 5% tax rate for PEs in IT, 1,5% military fee, and a higher social tax rate (22% of the two minimum salaries, in 2020 the amount equals to 2078.12 UAH) and special contribution to the development fund, increasing from 1% in 2020 to 5% in 2024 annually);
● to prohibit PEs from providing any services (in this case, the schemes of avoiding employment relationships will cease to exist).
Early Withdrawal from Self-Isolation
On June 25, 2020, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 522 repealed the Order No. 392 on self-isolation or mandatory observation for foreign citizens entering the territory of Ukraine.
The Resolution stipulates that foreigners who were tested negative by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for COVID-19 can be released from self-isolation or observation.
A foreigner who came from a country with a high prevalence of coronavirus infection has to take a test after crossing the border, then immediately move to expected self-isolation or observation location and after a negative test result, the foreigner can cease isolation at once.
According to the information provided at the hotline of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the procedure for ceasing isolation is as follows:
After the Act at Home [DIY vdoma / Дій вдома] application installed and the appropriate geolocation evidenced, you need to take a PCR test at one of the accredited private clinics. Please find out if a clinic has a mobile medical team, if so you have to call them.
If the clinic does not provide a mobile medical team, you need to call 102 to report that you are in self-isolation, and you need to go to the hospital to pass a PCR test to quit self-isolation. This message is necessary in order to record the fact of departure, for no fine to be imposed.
Please notify the medical workers at the clinic of your intention to take a PCR test to be released from isolation (you will be given a special medical form to be completed). After the PCR test has been passed, the clinic sends the test results to the public health center, which in turn resends it to the Ministry of Health. Within 5 days, you will receive a message from the Ministry of your self-isolation release (if tested negative for COVID-19).
Despite aforementioned, all the foreigners entering Ukraine are obliged to have appropriate medical insurance to cover the costs for treatment of COVID-19 (in case if any).
On a positive note, if a foreigner comes from a country with the nonsignificant spread of infection, she/he does not need to be observed.
Worth noting, not subject to observation are those citizens of the countries with a high incidence of COVID-19, that have not been in the territory of these states during the last 14 days, as well as the employees of diplomatic missions and consular posts of foreign countries, members of official international missions, organizations accredited in Ukraine, their members, families, drivers and crew members of freight vehicles, crew members of aircraft and ships, river vessels, members of train and locomotive crews, participants of external independent evaluation, each accompanied by one person, if there is no reason to believe that they were in contact with a person infected with COVID-19. Also, the persons who gave consent to self-isolate using the Act at Home application are not subject to observation.
Besides, no self-isolation is necessary for the foreigners with the residence permit, both permanent and temporary, as well as the persons with the refugee status, and persons in need of protection, who are already based on the territory of Ukraine.
Rules of Isolation
Since March 11, 2020, those crossing the state border of Ukraine may choose one of two options:
1. Stay at the observation space or isolation unit
2. Stay for a 14-day self-isolation term at the place of residence, with the permanent reporting within the Act at Home application.
Through the application, the user reports of the place of self-isolation by sending a photo with automatic determination of geolocation, in order to confirm the stay at the place. The app also provides the option for an Emergency call to the hotline of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, where you can get the necessary information about COVID-19 and ask for emergency help if necessary. The functionality to monitor the course of symptoms is expected with the app.
If a person prefers to stay self-isolated by using the app, the confirmation of this decision has to be provided during the passport control in the state border (by providing the phone number and the address of the expected place of self-isolation). We recommend to download the application and log in before arriving to save time.
Act at Home is available at App Store and Play Market. You can also download the app by scanning the QR code from the information board in the passport control areas. Please take note the Act at Home app can be used only with the Ukrainian phone numbers (starting with +380, and that will be active for the next 14 days).
By following all the steps necessary for the registration, please allow the app to send push messages (the switch to the left of the phone number entry box), fill in the boxes on the place of your expected self-isolation. Please note, you have to specify the location of the place of residence, not the current location.
At the point when you see the question “Are you already at the address of self-isolation or observation?” on display, please pause and show it to the representative of the State Border Guard Service to confirm that you have downloaded and installed the app properly.
Please confirm arrival only when you reach the address of self-isolation, and send a reference photo only when arrived at the place of isolation (at the moment of sending the reference photo, the geolocation will be indicated auto
matically). It has to match the address you specified when logging in to the application.
How is the self-isolation stay monitored by the app?
When a person confirms arrival at the place of self-isolation, the address indicated when using the app while crossing the border, the photo must be taken and sent through the app. The first photo taken when authorized in the app shall be considered as a reference photo. It is with this photo that artificial intelligence will compare the following photos. So please take a photo of your face.
After the reference photo has been taken, the main screen will show the days left until the end of quarantine. The countdown starts at 14. On the last, 14th day of self-isolation, you will see: 0 days left. When the self-isolation period expires, the message “Your self-isolation or observation period has expired” will appear. After 14 days of self-isolation, the Exit button activates, and the user can quit the application and, optionally, remove it.
When and how do I evidence my conscious self-isolation through the app?
Randomly during the daytime, you will receive the request to evidence your self-isolation. Within 15 minutes, you have to take a photo in the application and send it via the app. Artificial intelligence compares this photo to the reference photo and checks the geolocation. The geolocation is fixed only at the moment of sending the photo confirmation. The application does not collect any data, except for this moment. No messages shall be sent during nighttime (11 p.m. – 09 a.m.)
Failure to send a photo, or if you provide a photo of another person or geolocation does not match the location, leads to the verification failure. The app resends another notification, and in the event, a person does not send a photo after the fifth warning, the application automatically sends a verification failure notification to the National Police. Verification fails if the app is removed or the phone registered with the app is inactive.
Please take into consideration that verification failure is the only case when the user data shall be sent to the National Police. In this case, the police will get your full name, location of self-isolation, and the telephone number.
Where can I go during the 14-day isolation term?
Persons staying in self-isolation, except persons suffering from COVID-19, with no care provided to them by other persons are allowed to visit groceries, household stores and pharmacies, medical device stores, located within a distance of 2 kilometers from the place of self-isolation, by using personal protective equipment, including respirators or protective masks without an exhalation valve.
What do I have to do if my card with a Ukrainian phone number remains in Ukraine or I haven’t got it?
If at the time of crossing the border you have only a foreign sim card in the phone, you have to show to the Official that you have installed Act at Home app and stopped at the point where you have to enter the Ukrainian phone number for self-isolation registration. If no Ukrainian sim card, you are welcome to buy at the close shops where available. You have to provide the Official with the information on the Ukrainian phone number that shall be active for the next 14 days and used with the app, as well as the location of the expected self-isolation. These data will be recorded in the information system of the State Border Service.
Please note, you have to activate the app within 24 hours after you have crossed the border. If failed to do so, or made it via the wrong telephone number, the verification is considered unsuccessful, and the notification of such failure is automatically sent to the National Police.
If you have not provided the representative of the State Border Guard Service with the proof the app has been installed, you will have to be transferred to the observation space/isolation unit for hospitalization.
That foreigners who were tested negative by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for COVID-19 can be released from self-isolation or observation.
How to get a temporary or permanent residence permit in Ukraine
Despite Ukraine’s deep economic crisis in 2014-2016 and its de-facto war with Russia, foreign nationals from all over the world, including US and EU countries, consider temporary or permanent residence in Ukraine with increasing interest.
Ukraine attracts foreigners with its huge economic potential, developed infrastructure, heartwarming people and, of course, the relatively low-cost living. Many foreigners see Ukraine as an attractive place for starting a business. Ukraine has relatively mild taxation for small and medium businesses and also lots of government programs for stimulating business activity in certain areas. Recently Ukraine has made great strides towards implementing e-government programs, and increasing the transparency of administrative services; however, many areas still need to be reformed.
Business opportunities in Ukraine exist in almost any sphere that you could think of: IT area, manufacturing, agriculture, marketing, advertising, and other services. As an employer you can benefit from Ukraine’s rich and underutilized labor pool, higher education is available to all citizens and education is compulsory here. At the same time, Ukraine is a desirable destination for global nomads who work remotely and can do their job wherever they choose, such as IT workers, designers, translators, consultants, copywriters, etc. Many of these foreigners can earn a good salary from serving Western clients and then take advantage of Ukraine’s low-cost living to enjoy comfortable lives here. Read about simplified procedure of TRP Issuance.
How Can Foreigners Stay in Ukraine Legally?
Citizens from a long list of countries can enter Ukraine without a visa: citizens of EU countries, the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Georgia, South Korea, Japan, and some other countries can stay in Ukraine for 90 days during six-month. In case of violation of this rule, a foreigner who overstays in Ukraine gets “illegal status” and thus can’t use government services, notaries and other official services. For example, foreigners who have overstayed their time in Ukraine cannot obtain a Ukrainian tax ID, get married, nor give a power of attorney to a lawyer. A foreigner who breaks the 90-day stay rule can also be fined (as per article 203 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine) or even be banned from entering Ukraine for 3 months to 3 years period. Of course, such inconveniences can considerably disrupt the business activity or the personal life of a foreigner who has been residing in Ukraine.
Official Employment in Ukraine
There are several ways for a foreigner to avoid such inconveniences and stay in Ukraine legally for a continuous period. The most common and transparent way is official employment in Ukraine. Any foreigner has a right to be employed in Ukraine if he or she obtains a work permit as per the legislation of Ukraine. After getting a work permit, a foreign citizen is eligible to apply for a temporary residence permit in Ukraine for 1 year (for the employed owners of a business in Ukraine the term may be up to 3 years) with the unlimited right to extend it (and the work permit also) each time.
Recently, the procedure of getting a work permit in Ukraine became easier to understand. The list of required documents no longer includes diplomas, criminal records clearance, and medical documents, making the permit easier to obtain. An employer now has the option to choose the term of a work permit’s validity (up to 1 year for “regular employees” and up to 3 years for owners of a business).
Being an Employee versus Registering One’s Own Business
Using employment at a company as a means of legalizing one’s stay in Ukraine does have certain risks. The foreigner is dependent on the employer and can lose the residency right in case of dismissal from the position. Conversely, using employment to legalize one’s stay in Ukraine is much easier and safer for foreigners who register their own business in Ukraine and become the director or a deputy director of their own company. Using this method, potential investors and foreigners who want to run a business in Ukraine (no matter how big or small) won’t have any problems maintaining a temporary residence in Ukraine for as long as they need. Moreover, such owners of the business can obtain temporary residence status for up to 3 years.
It’s worth noting that with the recent changes to work permit procedures, an employer in Ukraine now has relatively high expenses when employing foreign citizens as “regular employees”: the monthly salary of a foreign specialist has to be not less than 10 minimum salaries as per the legislation of Ukraine (currently it is 32,000 UAH or about $1,200) plus taxes calculated on this amount. At the same time, the owner of a business can have a minimum salary of 3,200 UAH (or about $120).
Family reunification is also the reason for issuing a temporary residence permit. This can include reunification with one’s parents, a spouse who is Ukrainian and those who have already obtained permission to stay legally in Ukraine. For instance, if a foreigner has started a business in Ukraine, received a work permit and temporary residence permit, then all his family may join him and also acquire legal status in Ukraine without a need to obtain a work permit or some other legal basis for staying in Ukraine. For residence permits based on family reunification applicants need to apply for a D type visa and after that – for permanent residency in Ukraine. This is how family reunification works.
It is much easier to obtain residency if you have some family connection in Ukraine: for example, marriage to a Ukrainian, having a child who is a citizen of Ukraine or having relatives who are (were) Ukrainians or were born on the territory of Ukraine.
However, getting married to a Ukrainian citizen does not automatically grant you permanent residency: you need to prove that your marriage lasted for more than 2 years, otherwise you can only apply for a temporary residence permit.
Overseas or Foreign Ukrainian
Being an “Overseas(Foreign) Ukrainian” is another efficient mechanism that gives foreigners who identify themselves as Ukrainians, have a blood relationship with Ukrainians or someone who was born on the territory of modern Ukraine. This special status gives foreign citizens the right to get free of charge a long-term 5-year visa, an immigration permit and thus, apply for a permanent residence permit, work in Ukraine without obtaining a work permit and thus, apply for a temporary residence permit (Law of Ukraine No. 4381-VI On Foreign Ukrainians, Law of Ukraine No. 5067-VI On Employment of Population).
How to get residence permit in Ukraine?
Ukrainian legislation sets out the grounds for issuing a permanent (for life) residence permit. They include the following:
● Marriage with a citizen of Ukraine for more than 2 years
● Being a parent of a citizen of Ukraine
● Being a child of a citizen of Ukraine
● Being born on the territory of Ukraine
The aforementioned grounds are unconditional. But Ukrainian legislation also recognizes some grounds for issuing an immigration permit (and, therefore, a permanent residence permit) within the annual government-established quotas. These quotas are used in the following cases:
● Investors, who invest at least 100,000 USD in the Ukrainian economy are permitted to apply for an immigration permit and, thus, receive a permanent residence permit;
● Scientists and cultural activists, Ukraine is interested in;
● Brothers, sister, grandparents or grandchildren of Ukrainian citizens;
● Parents, spouses, and minors of immigrants to Ukraine;
● Highly-qualified specialists in high demand in Ukraine.
Additionally, Ukraine currently supports repatriation processes and provides possibilities for acquiring special status for those foreigners who used to be citizens of Ukraine in the past.
To acquire residency in Ukraine (temporary or permanent) foreign citizens need to obtain a D type visa at a Ukrainian consulate abroad. This is one of the steps for obtaining a residence permit. The cost of such a visa differs. It depends on your country and is based on the principle of reciprocity (i.e., the cost of visas in your country for Ukrainian citizens). Exceptions to this requirement include citizens of Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, and Russia, who do not need to obtain a D type visa for residency.
The good news is that obtaining a temporary or permanent residence permit provides you with almost the same scope of rights and duties that a Ukrainian citizen has. Those foreigners who obtain a permit may stay within the territory of Ukraine, leave and re-enter the country within the validity term of their permit, work, study, and obtain government services. But foreign citizens, willing to acquire legal status in Ukraine, need to remember that any violation of the laws of Ukraine related to the legal status of a foreigner (including overstaying in the country, providing of forged documents or false information) may result in forced expulsion from Ukraine and a ban on re-entering.