Foreign nationals may temporarily stay in Ukraine on the basis of their passport and relevant entry visa. The stamp affixed to the foreigner’s passport by legal authority after initial entry into Ukraine is considered an automatic registration.
Note: The period of time for which this initial registration is valid is 90 days for citizens of non-WTO (World Trade Organization) countries and 180 days for citizens of WTO countries, which include the European Union, United States, and most developed countries. However, the visa-free period is still 90 days for citizens of the EU, USA, and some other countries. Foreign national can only stay in the country for longer than that if holding a visa.
If a foreigner stays in Ukraine more than 90 days during 180-days period – the passport must be registered with the local immigration authority (Ukrainian abbreviation UGIRFO, formerly OVIR). A written application of the foreign national and the inviting party must be submitted not later than three working days before the three-month period expires. The extended registration will be evidenced by the registration stamp in the passport.
Those foreigners who have Ukrainian work permits should obtain a temporary residence permit instead of a registration.
In Ukraine exist two types of residence permits:
- Temporary residence permit;
- Permanent residence permit.
* When speaking about a simple temporary registration mentioned above – it should be noted that such registration does not guarantee free entry into the country once a foreign individual leaves Ukraine after exceeding the 90-days period.
* Temporary residence permit allows the individual to stay in Ukraine and travel freely in and out of the country. Another advantage of a temporary residence permit is no obligation for periodic registration at Visa and Registration Department.
* A permanent residence permit is not common.
Temporary residence permit
Temporary residence permit – is stamp or mark in the passport with limited validity. The basis for a temporary residence permit is work permit for foreigners in Ukraine.
Besides already mentioned advantages temporary residence permit has the additional ones:
- As a citizen of another country, foreign national will have the right to reside permanently in the territory of Ukraine;
- A foreigner with the temporary residence permit do not fill in an immigration card when passing through the checkpoint;
- Temporary residence permit gives an opportunity to receive a loan for the purchase of something in Ukraine (including housing and a car).
The duration of temporary residence permit is determined by the validity period of issued work permit that, in general, is up to 1 year.
List of documents required for a residence permit application
Foreign national needs to apply for the permit before expiration the 90-days period of stay in the country on his or her IM-1 visa.
- copy of the first page of the foreigner’s passport with an official translation, as well as a copy of the page with the IM-1 visa and most recent entry stamp
- notarized copy of the work permit certificate
- copy of the foreigner’s taxpayer code certificate ( personal tax ID number)
- copy of the employer’s certificate of registration
- copy of the document from the Statistics Buro certifying that the employer (company or organization) is an economic entity (a “subject of entrepreneurial activity”)
- copy of the bank certificate showing that the employer has a bank account
- Ukrainian police clearance certificate for the foreign applicant (original, meaning that a foreigner must get a new one, because the previous certificate has been submitted to labour authorities to obtain work permit )
- AIDS and tuberculosis test results for the foreign applicant
- contract of housing purchase or a rental contract registered in the ZHEK (local housing administration), with the foreign applicant’s name
- filled out Form No. 3 and written statements from all family members over age 17 that they do not object to the foreigner being temporarily registered at the address; these must be certified by the ZHEK
- copy of the state emergency medical insurance certificate for foreigners, issued for the period of the applicant’s work permit by UKRINMEDSTRAKH (Ukrainian Medical Insurance organization )
- 6 matte, black-and-white 3×4 cm photos of the foreign applicant
- receipt of payment of the UGIRFO fees
- paper loose-leaf binder and 4 envelopes
- certificate from the tax body showing that the employer has paid all taxes (valid for 1 month)
Note: For the foreigner, the most difficult points have to do with the ZHEK (since many or most landlords refuse to register foreigners at their apartments in order to avoid dealing with the ZHEK and tax authorities), AIDS and tuberculosis tests (one have to figure out where to get them), and the police clearance certificate (a few daytime trips to an office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). Many, or maybe even virtually all foreigners end up having to be registered at an apartment where they don’t actually live, because their landlords refuse to deal with the ZHEK.
Getting a temporary registration within local housing administration (ZHEK)
Within 10 days after receiving temporary residency permit foreign national have to visit ZHEK once more to be formally registered at his or her address of residence (to get registration stamp). This registration is called a “propiska” and is a big reason why landlords don’t want to register foreigners. Certain operations – such as selling the property – cannot be performed without the consent of all those registered at a given address (which typically includes only close kin).
Note: It is quite important to get the form to unregister someone while at the ZHEK, and fill it all out except for the date. This way the landlord is ensuring that he will be able to unregister the foreigner should the foreigner suddenly leave the country and never come back.
Procedure of obtaining the “propiska”: it is needed to get a special form at the ZHEK, fill it out, get the signatures of any other people who have permanent propiskas at the address (once again, see No.10 from the list of documents required for a residence permit application), and come back with the apartment owner to get the propiska. The owner will need to bring his documents of ownership and the foreign national will need to provide a copy of the his residency permit and pay a service fee at a nearby bank according to the ZHEK’s instructions. All that will get stapled together at the ZHEK along with a couple of new forms. After that, the ZHEK officer may take these documents to the UGIRFO to finish off the process.
And only after that the temporary residency process is completed.
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