Specifics of foreigners` employment in Ukraine

At a stage of rapid development and constant internal change, Ukraine is increasingly attracting the attention of foreigners. Every foreigner who intends to perform some work or, for example, register one`s own business, is obliged to obtain a Work permit for foreigners and stateless persons. Every year, the number of foreigners who come to Ukraine for employment is growing rapidly, and therefore the number of Work permits issued is increasing every year.

Every foreigner who legally resides in Ukraine and intends to perform some work or, for example, register one`s own business, and subsequently pursue business in Ukraine, is required to undergo the procedure provided by the Law of Ukraine “On Employment of The Population”, namely: obtaining a Work permit for foreigners and stateless persons. Otherwise, if a foreigner performs work without the abovementioned Permit, the employer may be subject to administrative liability.

History of changes and analysis of current legislation

Due to the adoption of the Law of Ukraine „On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Removal of Barriers to Attracting Foreign Investments” of September 27, 2017, the procedure of foreigners` employment in Ukraine undergone certain changes. Comparing the previous and the present procedure, it can be argued that such changes have greatly facilitated the process of obtaining the Permit.

Formerly, it was necessary to provide the Employment Service with information about the demand for the vacancy, which a foreigner should take in the future, in 15 days before applying for the Permit, but now it is not necessary. Such changes minimize the time spent, in the first place, for the foreigner himself. The exhaustive list of documents for obtaining the Permit has also changed, but that is not all, since the current changes have also affected salaries. See more details below.

The procedure for obtaining a Work permit

The Work permit is issued by the authorized territorial bodies of the State Employment Service (hereinafter – SES). In Lviv you should contact the Lviv Regional Employment Center.

As a general rule, in order to employ a foreigner, an employer shall obtain a Work permit. Notwithstanding, there are a certain categories of foreigners, who can be employed without such a Permit – for example, foreigners who hold a permanent residence permit in Ukraine.

Prior to adoption the abovementioned changes, only employers-legal entities (enterprises, institutions, organizations) could obtain such Permit, and now individuals entrepreneurs have been granted the right to employ foreigners and obtain the Permit.

The Permit shall also be obtained in the case of employment of seconded foreign workers, intra-corporate cessions and foreigners, recognized as refugees or those who need additional protection.

Консультація юриста

Nonetheless, there are special categories of foreigners and stateless persons whose employment has their advantages. The following categories are:

1) foreign highly paid professionals whose wages are at least 50 minimum wages per month;

2) founders and / or participants and / or beneficiaries (controllers) of a legal entity established in Ukraine;

3) university graduates of the first hundred world rankings (their list is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine);

4) foreign workers of creative professions;

5) foreign IT professionals (new special category).

The advantage of each special category are that the employer does not have an obligation to pay foreign workers a salary of 10 minimum wages (as of 2019 – 41 730 UAH). For employment of all other categories of foreign employees such a new salary condition is obligatory!

Консультація юриста

List of Documents for Obtaining the Work Permit:

  • An application (it is obligatory to specify the foreigner`s position, validity of the Permit, information about the foreigner and the employer).
  • A copy of the foreigner`s passport with a notarized translation into Ukrainian;
  • One color photo (3.5 x 4.5 cm);
  • A copy of the draft employment contract with a foreigner (the employment contract shall specify the position, basic rights and duties, the wage, conditions of work and working hours and, most importantly, that all contract provisions should comply with the current labor legislation of Ukraine);
  • Power of Attorney, if the documents are submitted by a representative.

It should be noted that the list of documents for obtaining the Work Permit may differ, depending on the main purpose of applying to the SES. For example, if you want to extend the Permit or make changes to the Permit, the list of documents will be different.

It is important that there is a legally specified term to make changes to the Work Permit. That is, the employer shall apply to the SES within 30 days from the occurrence of circumstances according to which changes to the Permit needs to be done.

The permit is issued within 7 working days from the date of applying. The decision to issue the Permit, together with the details for the payment of the official state fee, shall be sent by mail to the employer (and also sent to the e-mail specified in the application).

The employer is obliged to pay the official state fee within 10 working days since the decision on issuing the Permit, otherwise such decision is automatically canceled.

The official fee for the Permit is:

  • for permits, issued for 1 to 3 years or its extension for the same term – 6 living wages (in 2019 – 11526 UAH);
  • for permits, issued for 6 months to 1 year or its extension for the same term – 4 living wages (in 2019 – 7 684 UAH);
  • for permits, issued for 6 months or its extension for the same term – 2 living wages (in 2019 – 3842 UAH).

There are no official state fees for making changes to the Permit.

A very important legislative provision is connected with the conclusion of an employment contract with a foreign employee, in particular, the employer shall sign the employment contract not later than 90 days from the date of issuing the Permit and provide a copy of such employment contract to the SES within 10 days after its signing.

It should be borne in mind that procedure of obtaining a work permit is difficult, as the State Employment Service takes into account even the smallest details. That is why it is necessary to carefully prepare all the necessary documents and keep track of the deadlines for their submission.


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