Moving to Ukraine

Moving to Ukraine

Moving to another country is always an adventure and a stress at the same time. If for any reason you consider moving to Ukraine – whether you met love of your life, established a business or just felt like at home here and decided to get a permanent residence in this beautiful country – you have to be ready to face and solve particular issues. Let`s see what you need to know before moving to Ukraine.

Legal Status

Being a country with interesting culture, beautiful nature and wide opportunities for business, Ukraine attracts more and more foreigners who would like to live here for a long time or even on full-time basis.
Nowadays, there are three types of visa for foreigners in Ukraine. B category visa is a transit visa given for a short period (not more than 5 days). Type C (short-term visa) allows foreigners to stay in the country not more than 90 days within 180 days from the date of the first enter to Ukraine. It should be mentioned that residents of some countries do not need to get C type visa and can stay 90 days in Ukraine without visa at all.  Type D (long-term visa) is for foreigners who are planning to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days. Such visa can be used to apply for residence permit.

welcome to Ukraine
Residence permit

It is an official document, which proves one`s identity and certifies the right of a foreigner or a stateless person to stay in the country temporarily or permanently. As any other country, Ukraine has its own requirements and rules for immigrants who would like to get a residence permit. Ukrainian Law offers two types of such permit – permanent and temporary. Any of them will free you from the need to prepare documents before entering the country and to renew your registration. In order to apply for a residence permit, you have to go to the Embassy or Consulate of Ukraine in your country. If you are already in Ukraine, you should go to State Immigration Office of Ukraine. You might also ask for assistance of some reliable law company, which specializes in getting residence permits – it will definitely ease the process.
two men with documents
Temporary residence permit is usually issued to people who are officially allowed to work in Ukraine. This applies to those who work for already existing companies as well as to those who are willing to start their own business in Ukraine. The document is also issued to students getting education in Ukrainian universities. The maximal term of temporary residence permit validity is one year. After this time, the duration of document can be extended.
Permanent residence permit is issued to people who have right for it on the basis of Ukrainian Immigration Law. The Law states that the following categories of people might apply for a permanent residence:
– scientists and culture experts who are willing to do their job for the benefit of Ukraine;
– specialists and experts with hard-to-fill occupations;
– persons, who have officially invested more than USD 100 000 in Ukrainian economy. It can be investment in property;
– relatives of Ukrainian citizen (siblings, grandmother or grandfather, grandson or granddaughter);
– ex-citizens of Ukraine;
– parents, spouses or infant children of immigrant;
– foreigners, who have been permanently living in Ukraine from the date of being assigned a status of a refugee;
– foreigners, who have been married to Ukrainian citizen for two years;
– trustees and persons in trusteeship of Ukrainian citizens;
– foreigners born on the territory of Ukraine;
– Ukrainian citizens, who were living in other countries, and their spouses and children – on the condition that they enter Ukraine together.
lady sitting on luggage
Below you will find the list of documents needed to get a residence permit:
– application for receiving permit for immigration to Ukraine;
– passport or identity certificate and a copy of this document;
– notarized translation of all passport pages/identity certificate pages into Ukrainian language;
– justification of immigration permit (certificate of marriage with Ukrainian citizen, confirmation of kinship with Ukrainian citizen etc).
– document stating place of residence in Ukraine and in home country;
– receipt confirming the payment of State duty or document confirming reduction of such payment;
– 4 photographs 3,5×4,5 cm on matte paper;
– copy of registration in State Register of Natural Persons – Taxpayers (if present);
– police clearance;
– procedural request of host side about processing of your residence permit in accordance with category of foreigners and stateless persons, who entered Ukraine for temporary residence (if other is not stipulated by International agreements).
– confirmation from host side (bank statement or certificate of employment). This document must prove that your host has money to support an immigrant.
You will also have to provide particular certificates about your health. There is a list of diseases, which make official immigration to Ukraine prohibited. This list includes alcoholism, drug addiction, tuberculosis, HIV and some other diseases.
After you supply the whole pack of documents, it can be under consideration of State Immigration Office up to 1 year. If everything is all right, you will receive immigration permit. Then you have to do a 1-year visa, come to Ukraine and go to Immigration Office within 5 days. After this, you will receive your residence permit in a week.
The persons who have received residence permit may apply for Ukrainian citizenship in future. The list of requirements for receiving Ukrainian citizenship includes some additional points, for example, appropriate knowledge of Ukrainian language and renunciation of home country`s citizenship.
Ukrainian passport


The next thing, which will undoubtedly interest you while moving to Ukraine, is specifics of the region you are going to live in. It is very likely to know traditions, customs and national character of local people before arriving to a new destination. In the West, in cities such as Lviv and Ivano Frankivsk, and also in the most of small towns and villages of Ukraine, people tend to be more tradition-bound and religious than in other parts of the country. In this sense, you can find Kyiv or Odesa society little more open-minded and relaxed. Generally, all Ukrainians in any corner of the country are hospitable, friendly, laborious and fun-loving people.
The next important issue about moving to Ukraine is buying or renting an apartment. Medium price for square meter in Kyiv in a new building under construction is USD 850, in other cities it is usually cheaper. Prices per renting a studio or one bedroom apartment in central areas of Kyiv differ a lot and depend upon many characteristics. They start from USD 300 per month. In Odesa, an average price for square meter ranges from 500 to 900 dollars. As for rent, a one-room apartment in the city center will cost from USD 250 to 300 per month. The price for two rooms and up starts from USD 370.
couple bringing heavy box
Ukrainian law does not distinguish between property rights or right of ownership in regards to non-Ukrainian citizens versus Ukrainian citizens. Foreigners purchase real estate going through the same process. However, non-Ukrainian citizens are not allowed to purchase land.
After the acquisition property has been identified and price has been agreed upon, it is necessary to sign a preliminary purchase agreement. As a standard a deposit is involved - this typically is 5% of the purchase price. On the date of the actual deal, the remaining balance is paid also in the presence of a notary. At this point, the title of the property is officially signed over to the new owner and is registered within the state structure. The notary also requires that the state duty and pension fund fee have been paid. After the purchase contract is executed before a notary, the buyer should then apply for the transfer of the property to be registered at the appropriate BTI office. Transfer only becomes effective when sale purchase documents are registered.
However, if you are involved in the process of buying a flat or a house in Ukraine, it is highly recommended to get assistance of a good real estate company.
getting keys from appartment

Cost of living

It is another important point for those who choose moving to Ukraine Comparing to EU, the USA and many other countries, prices in Ukraine seem to be very inviting. However, if you prefer to live in a big city such as Lviv, Odesa and especially Kyiv, you should remember that prices there are much higher in comparison with smaller Ukrainian cities and towns. On the other hand, in big cities you will enjoy advantages of developed infrastructure, vivid social life and plenty of interesting events.
Moving to Ukraine can undoubtedly become one of the most interesting and challenging happenings of your life. Welcome!
Photo source: All photos belong to their rightful owners.


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