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.
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.
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)
Read Part I of the article at our Facebook page
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
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.
See also: Non-visa stay in Ukraine. 90 days rule.
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.
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, 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?
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 easily check your “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. According to article 203 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine, the foreigner will be fined 1700-5100 UAH for it.
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:
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.
New rules of getting E-visa to Ukraine
Requirements of E-visa to Ukraine
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has amended the rules on getting visas to Ukraine and abolished the possibility for citizens of certain countries (see the list below) to apply for a visa on arrival. Since 2019 you need to get E-visa before a trip to Ukraine, that is valid for 30 days and is for a single entry only.
The application for E-visa to Ukraine is made through the online application system and it is granted without an actual visit to the consulate. The E-visa itself shall be printed if granted.
Purpose of visit
The list of cases when the E-visa to Ukraine can be issued was extended. It can be issued not only for tourism or business visits but for private visits, health care, journalism, sport or education.
Application for E-Visa to Ukraine shall be filed not earlier than 3 months and not less than 10 business days before the visit to Ukraine and one shall attach the scan copies of the standard documents such as:
1. Passport’s first page;
2. Documents confirming the purpose of your visit (e.g. tourist voucher, hotel and flights booking / private invitation letter / business invitation letter, investment documents / medical documents);
3. Insurance policy with 30,000 EURO coverage;
4. Sufficient funds confirmation (approximately USD 1,600 per 30 days).
At the same time, the E-visa fee was increased up to USD 85. Moreover, obtaining of visa is obligatory for all categories of applicants without any exceptions: children of age less than 6, diplomats, representatives of international organizations, members of an official delegation of the highest officials of states.
Please check the list which nationals used to apply for a visa on arrival and please take new rules in consideration when planning your future visits to Ukraine since 2019:
Antigua and Barbuda
Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Kingdom of Bahrain
Republic of Vanuatu
Republic of Guatemala
Republic of Honduras
Commonwealth of Dominica
Republic of India
Republic of Indonesia
The state of Qatar
People’s Republic of China
State of Kuwait
Republic of Mauritius
Mexican United States
Federated States of Micronesia
United Arab Emirates
Sultanate of Oman
People’s Republic of China
State of Kuwait
Republic of Mauritius
Mexican United States
Federated States of Micronesia
United Arab Emirates
Sultanate of Oman
Republic of Palau
Republic of Peru
Independent State of Samoa
Republic of El Salvador
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Republic of Seychelles
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Republic of Singapore
Democratic Republic of East Timor (Timor-Leste)
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
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.
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.
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.
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
The authorities of Ukraine have begun the gradual easing of COVID-19 quarantine measures.All foreign citizens are now allowed to enter Ukraine having proper medical insurance and after passing the observation (if travelling from the countries with a high prevalence of COVID-19).
On June 12, 2020, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 477 repealed the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the temporary ban on entry of foreigners into Ukraine.
Another Resolution of the CMU, under No. 480, stipulates that foreigners entering the territory of Ukraine, need to have appropriate medical insurance to cover the costs related to COVID-19 treatment. For citizens coming from the countries with significant coronavirus infection spread, the observation shall be required. Please note the foreigners with the PRP (permanent residence permit) as well as the persons recognized as refugees or persons in need of additional protection don’t need such medical insurance. But the foreigners with the TRP (temporary residence permit) need the medical insurance to cover the costs related to COVID-19 treatment.
The Ukrainian Government determined that obligatory observation must be required from the citizens of (or arriving from) the countries with a high incidence of COVID-19.
Countries with a high incidence of COVID-19 are the states where the number of active cases of COVID-19 is more than 40 people per 100 thousand population. The list of such states will be provided to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine every 3 days by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
Therefore, foreign citizens are permitted to enter Ukraine from the day of Resolutions No. 477 and No. 480 entry into legal force, if having legal grounds for such visit and ready to comply with sanitary and epidemiological norms.
Not subject to observation are those citizens of the countries with a high incidence of COVID-19, that have not been on the territory of these states for at least 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. Furthermore, the persons who gave consent to enter into self-isolation by means of the electronic service “ДІЙ вдома” (Act at Home) [DIY vdoma] are not subject to obligatory observation.
Please click here for more information on the electronic service ДІЙ вдома / DIY vdoma (Act at Home app) and self-isolation rules and regulations in Ukraine.
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.