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Obtainment of work card for employees of a branch in Ukraine

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When registering its representative office, a foreign company immediately faces issues of employment of foreign citizens in Ukraine.

Ukrainian legislation in force provides certain requirements regarding employment of foreigners.

As a general rule, foreign citizen can work in Ukraine only upon receiving special permit from Employment center, called work permit. Later on this document is used to extend allowed duration of stay in Ukraine (above the 90-day limit) by means of temporary residence permit obtainment.

However, the general rule has its exceptions. Thus, when speaking about employment of foreigner at a representative office of foreign company in Ukraine, the legislation in force does not require obtainment of work permit. As instead it is sufficient to have a work card (employment authorization document). Such card, similarly to the work permit allows to stay in Ukraine for an extensive period of time.

Thus, each employee of foreign company’s representative office has to get this work card.

The Procedure of work cards provision to employees of foreign business entities’ representative offices was approved by the Order of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine number 179 dated the 15th of June 2007. According to the Order, manager of the representative office or other person who acts based on letter of attorney issued by the manager and duly formalized (certified by the manager’s signature and seal) files the following documents with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine:


  • Application printed out on the office’s letterhead with director’s signature and seal;
  • Copy of Ukrainian representative office registration certificate;
  • List of foreign employees specifying duration of their stay as well as two colored photos of each (3 cm x 4 cm);
  • Copy of passport of foreign employee (the first page).


According to the procedure provided by the law, the term of work card issuance must not exceed 15 days starting with the day when documents were submitted. Its validity term is three years. However, if a foreign citizen plans to resign from work prior to expiration of three year term, such card is subject to return.

One should note that Ukrainian labor law applies to a foreign employee as well. In this regard an employee must have official employment record. The obligation of employment history maintenance lies upon representative office.

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