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Lawyer answers common questions about residence permit in Ukraine

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In this publication we answer the most common questions regarding residence permits and our practical experience.

What exactly is residence permit?

Residence permit is a type of document which allows a foreign national to live in Ukraine for prolonged periods of time. They can be temporary or permanent and serve the purpose of identity verification as well as prove legality of stay in Ukraine. The major difference between temporary and permanent permits is their validity. The former can be issued for the period up 3 years while the latter has a 10 year limitation. Depending on the type of permit foreign citizens may or may not enjoy certain rights. For example permanent permit allows to work without any work authorization document  while temporary requires appropriate employment permit.

What type of permit is the most popular among foreigners?

Our firm mostly deals with foreign businesses and non-profits so in our practice temporary permit is much more popular. It is easier to come up with a valid ground for such a permit and its obtainment is rather swift comparing to the permanent one.

How to get the temporary permit?

This kind of permit can be obtained based on one of numerous grounds that the law of Ukraine provides, for example:

  • marriage with a Ukrainian citizen;
  • volunteering;
  • official employment;
  • studying;
  • religious practices and other.
The most popular grounds among our clients are employment and marriage.

In this publication we will go through the former of the grounds which is opening a company and being employed at it.

How does it happen in practice?

When legalizing long term stay of a foreigner in Ukraine through employment we are mostly following  such an algorithm:

  1. Advise the client on whether it is necessary to get resident status at all and if so what are the applicable grounds.

  2. Since becoming a company founder as well as employee requires individual taxpayer identification number our firm assists in getting such a document.

  3. When tax number is assigned to our foreign client a company can be formed.

  4. Upon company registration the application is filed for work permit obtainment.

  5. This work permit is subsequently used to get D type visa to Ukraine.

It should be noted that for citizens of some CIS countries D visa is not required.

In order to submit documents with the Migration service of Ukraine personal presence of the foreign person is a must due to biometric nature of the permits (photo and fingerprints taken at the Migration service office). Same applies to picking up the documents.

The permit is usually ready within 3 weeks from the the submission date.

The last requirement is registration of client’s address in Ukraine. If such client owns real estate or officially rents an apartment and landlord doesn’t mind the registration then such an address can be used. If not - a nominal address is usually offered.

What makes clients choose our firm?

Our immigration lawyers have represented clients from the United States, Germany, Great Britain, Turkey, Slovenia, Sweden, India, Seychelles as well as many other countries.  

Such a large number of jurisdictions and clients that we have worked with allowed us to grow the necessary expertise so now there is hardly any challenge in this field that we are not ready for.

Our services are not limited to the permit obtainment only. We help the clients during the initial stages (medical insurances, notarization and translation of documents etc.) as well as subsequently, once the permit is received, for example registration of address.

In some cases we can created grounds for residence from scratch, with minimum participation of the client.

Last but not least element of foundation that we build client-lawyer relations on is communication. We do not only understand legal provisions but also communicate them to the clients without unnecessary legalese and in the language that they understand. The latter is an essential criterion when hiring lawyers. This is why all staff members that deal with clients are English speaking. 

What about children? What is the procedure for them?

Minors who hold foreign passports get a separate permit based on application filed by their parents or in some cases themselves.

Personal applications are filed by those children who have reached the age of 16 and came to Ukraine to study.

The parents on the other hand submit applications for their children in cases when the former are foreigners who legally stay in Ukraine and the latter are under 16 and came based on so called family reunion ground (which basically means that children came to Ukraine to live with their parents on long term basis).

Along with the application the following documents have to be gathered:

  • notarized passport translation;

  • D type visa;

  • duly certified birth certificate (for those who came for family reunion);

  • document about admission to the educational institution and duration of the course (for those who came for educational purposes);

  • medical insurance.

Is it possible to extend validity of the permit or the procedure has to be repeated from the very beginning each time?

The extension procedure does exist however it takes the same time and pretty much same documents in order to be successfully completed. This does not mean however that it is irrelevant which path to take. The extension option does not require obtainment of D type visa (which for many foreigners means leaving the territory of Ukraine).
So the extension is possible and it is advantageous comparing to getting a new permit procedure. In order to be eligible for the extension foreign national has to have valid documents and submit paperwork not later than 15 business days before expiry of the permit.

In the event of deadline being missed, the foreign person still can apply for a new permit. In this case the current permit has to be given up, then goes a new D type visa obtainment upon which the person can apply again within 90 days window granted by the visa.


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