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Consequences of filing documents for residence permit close to deadline

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Even though D visas to Ukraine grant rather extensive window for stay in Ukraine, many foreigners, including some of our clients, are unable to visit Ukraine immediately after visa issuance. This, at times, leads to situations, when arrival happens right before or even on the regulatory deadline.

In this publication our lawyer explains what is considered “in time and” what is “too late” from the perspective of current regulatory framework as well as from the perspective of practical application of the former.

The law provides that foreign nationals submit paperwork for temporary residence permit not later than 15 business days in advance before expiration of their visa. Taking into consideration wording of the Civil code of Ukraine in regard to calculation of terms and deadlines, one can reach the conclusion that the paperwork for permit must be submitted at latest on the 16th business day before expiration of visa.

Now that we have established regulatory deadline for documents submission, let’s go through practical aspects of such late filing.

First of all it should be clarified that business day means working day for the authority (in this case the Migration service of Ukraine) which does not include most Saturdays, all Sundays as well as official state holidays. The latter are especially tricky since they mostly do not coincide with foreign holidays and are not widely known abroad. Also, official days off are often rescheduled by the government to extend holidays and this should be considered as well.

Another problem that a foreign person may face when coming to Ukraine for residence permit obtainment is formalization of documents. Of course if such person has D type visa this means that major documents that serve as a ground for permit (e.g. work permit, marriage certificate etc.) are with the person. However, what many foreigners do not consider is that some minor documents must be prepared as well. The most common documents that are left out are:

  • notarized passport translation into Ukrainian;

  • medical insurance (in addition to the one received for D visa obtainment, each year of residence permit has to be supported by appropriate insurance);

  • official translation of other documents, e.g. marriage certificate;

  • obligation of employer to notify appropriate authorities about termination of employment.

Even though these documents are quick to get, poorly scheduled late arrival may be a problem:

  • translation agency may not be able to cope with timely translation due to high workload;

  • head of the employer may not be available;

  • other reasons.

Even though circumstances above seem unlikely we have seen such scenarios before that ruined plans for many people.

One of the worst problems that a foreign person may encounter when filing for permits are queues at the immigration offices. Even if the person manages to get everything right there is no guarantee that he or she will make it in time. Usually the lines are quite moderate however we have seen situations when foreign nationals were unable to submit documents for several days without outside help.

Overall, last day submissions are possible if everything is organized properly. If you encounter such a problem, please do not hesitate to contact our firm immediately and we will do our best to make it happen for you.

What if authority does not issue the permit on time?

Even though the law says that the Migration service has 15 business days to process the application and issue the permit, in practice this term is not always followed due to various reasons. While for those applicants who have many days on their visa this does not pose a problem, foreign citizens who made a last minute arrival may face problems with proving legality of their stay in Ukraine.

Possible solutions are:

  • get a certificate from the immigration office confirming that the processing of application takes longer time (not all authorities issue such a document and even when they do, such certificates are not provided by the law which means that other authorities will most likely disregard them);

  • try to extend duration of stay in Ukraine (done by the Migration service as well);

  • stay in Ukraine without any additional proof of legality if you are sure that the submitted documents were prepared properly. Even though this last option seems unlawful, it has some legal basis supporting it. The thing is that once the permit is issued it will have the date of issuance within the 15 business days as required by the law so technically you wouldn’t be in violation of immigration law;

  • leave the country before expiration of the visa. The permit will be issued regardless of whether you stay in Ukraine. Once it is issued you will have 6 months to come back and pick it up.

What if deadline is missed?

If the deadline is missed there is not much that can be done to submit the documents. Such scenario does not prevent foreign citizen from applying for D visa again. Considering the latest changes of the law that allow applying for D visa within territory of Ukraine for a number of foreigners it may not be too much of a problem.

For citizens of some countries failure to submit documents during first attempt may pose serious problem since due to various reasons embassies of Ukraine may deny new D visa applications.  

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