Over the past year, a number of legislative provisions have been added to Ukrainian legislation that governs the stay and residence of the Republic of Belarus citizens in Ukraine. In particular, the permitted period of stay in Ukraine has increased. Instead of 90 days within 180 days, the Republic of Belarus citizens can legally stay in Ukraine 180 days a year.

When deciding on immigration to Ukraine, it should be borne in mind that in order to reside in Ukraine for more than 180 days, the Republic of Belarus citizens shall obtain either a temporary residence permit or a permanent residence permit.

The difference between them lies in the legal grounds for obtaining such a document, terms of documents consideration, and terms of their validity.

The most common legal grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit, in particular among the Republic of Belarus citizens, are:

– marriage to Ukrainian citizen;

– studying;

– employment;

– volunteer activity.

The temporary residence permit is issued not later than 15 business days after applying. The Republic of Belarus citizens may apply for its obtaining no later than 15 business days before the end of the permitted period of stay.

It is worth paying attention to what documents are required by the migration service to confirm each of the legal grounds for receiving the temporary residence permit.

  • The Republic of Belarus citizens who are married to Ukrainian citizens only need to provide a marriage certificate in order to apply for a temporary residency. If marriage is registered outside Ukraine, such a certificate shall be apostilled or legalized for further use in Ukraine;
  • Foreigners who arrived in Ukraine in order to study shall provide a document confirming the fact of study and the obligation of the educational institution to notify the migration service in case of expulsion of a foreigner from such an institution;
  • The basic documents for obtaining a residence permit on the legal ground of employment are a work permit and the obligation from the employer to notify the migration service and the state employment service about termination of the employment contract with such a foreigner;
  • In order to receive a residency based on volunteering activity, it is required to submit a special invitation from an organization or institution that involves volunteers in its activities in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Volunteering”, along with a certificate of state registration of such organization or institution. The information about the organization shall be posted on the official website of the Ministry of Social Policy as well.

The abovementioned documents only confirm the legal ground for obtaining a temporary residence permit. In addition, a passport, its notarized translation into Ukrainian, a health insurance policy, and a receipt of payment of the state fee shall be also submitted.

As a general rule, a temporary residence permit is issued for 1 year. However, in the case of studying or employment, a residence permit will be issued for the period of study or work in Ukraine.

In order to reside in Ukraine for 10 years, the Republic of Belarus citizens can receive a permanent residence permit. It is necessary to note the difference between the procedures for obtaining permanent residency and temporary residency. The process for obtaining the permanent residence permit is more time-consuming and complicated, given that it is issued in two stages. Thus, the permanent residence permit can be issued only after obtaining an immigration permit. The said document is issued during one year and requires different legal grounds other than for a temporary residence permit.

The most common legal grounds for obtaining a permanent residence permit are:

– marriage with a Ukrainian citizen for more than 2 years;

– territorial origin from Ukraine;

– investment in the economy of Ukraine.

Highly qualified specialists and workers that are needed for Ukrainian economy, foreign Ukrainians, children, parents, full siblings, grandparents, grandson/granddaughter of Ukrainian citizens can also obtain a permanent residence permit. The Law of Ukraine “On Immigration” defines a number of other legal grounds, but in this article, we will discuss only the most common ones, in particular, among the Republic of Belarus citizens.

All of the grounds for obtaining a permanent residency are divided into quota and non-quota ones. Every year the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approves quotas. This means that the maximum number of foreigners who can apply for an immigration permit on each of the grounds is set annually. Applicants belonging to the quota category may submit documents only when the quotas for the following year are defined.

Recently, foreign IT specialists have been granted a right to obtain an immigration permit within the immigration quota as persons who are highly qualified specialists and workers that are needed for Ukrainian economy.

Ukrainian legislation establishes an exhaustive list of IT specialties that can be applied for by foreign IT specialists. Therefore, the first step in the procedure for obtaining a permanent residence permit is the confirmation of the qualifications of a certain employee. The said professional must meet the basic and at least one of the additional requirements (there are several). A mandatory requirement for IT specialists is the work experience in the relevant profession (position), which can be confirmed by employment records, contracts on providing services, etc. Additional requirements include higher education, an income of 24,000 US dollars in the previous calendar year, knowledge and ability to work with certain computer programs, and others.

Only after obtaining the approval of the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine and assigning a specific employee to the category of highly qualified specialists, a foreign IT professional can apply for an immigration permit and a permanent residence permit.

The fact of applying for an immigration permit is the basis for extending the period of stay of a foreigner in Ukraine. However, in order to simplify the immigration procedure for the Republic of Belarus citizens, the exhaustive list of grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit has been supplemented by another one. When the Republic of Belarus citizens apply for an immigration permit as persons who are highly qualified specialists and workers, they can obtain a temporary residence permit on the same legal ground. Such a residence permit is issued not only to applicants but also to parents, husbands (wives), and minor children of such foreigners, which greatly facilitates the process of immigration to Ukraine. It is important to note, that these persons can apply for a residence permit only after the submission of documents by the applicant.

In cases when Ukrainian citizen is husband/wife/child / full sibling/grandfather or grandmother/grandson or granddaughter of the Republic of Belarus citizens, the latter are entitled to apply for an immigration permit. However, the following points should be taken into account:

  • the marriage shall be registered for more than 2 years;
  • in case of marriage registration abroad, the marriage certificate has to be legalized/apostilled;
  • when one of the child’s parents is a Ukrainian citizen and the other is the Republic of Belarus citizen, it is necessary to obtain a certificate on registration of the child as a Ukrainian citizen prior to applying for an immigration permit;
  • full siblings, grandparents, grandson/granddaughter of Ukrainian citizens belong to the quota category of applicants.

Territorial origin is perhaps the most common legal ground for applying for an immigration permit. At the same time, this basis is the most problematic for implementation in practice.

Due to the territorial proximity of the countries, very often the grandparents or one of the parents of the Republic of Belarus citizens, or even the person oneself were born or permanently resided before August 24, 1991, on the territory that became the territory of Ukraine. This fact is sufficient ground to apply for an immigration permit.

Another legal ground for obtaining the immigration permit is an investment in Ukraine’s economy. It is one of the quota grounds, and the amount of such investment shall be not less than 100 (one hundred) thousand US dollars. In order to confirm the said investment, the applicant shall submit copies of the charter and/or registered agreements (contracts) on investment activities, as well as a bank certificate on the receipt of such foreign investment in Ukraine’s economy.

In general, immigration to Ukraine is a rather complex process and requires extreme attention to the preparation of the document, as well as taking into account all the specifics of the current Ukrainian legislation. The process of documents preparation should be carefully handled, as in case of a refusal, a foreigner can re-apply for an immigration permit no earlier than one year.

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