Permanent residence permit in Ukraine
Permanent residence permit is, by all means, the most popular and most effective form of immigration to another country. While some countries have favorable immigration policies because of a lack of workforce or poor demographic situation, the others (especially the developed states of the EU and North America) are exceptionally restrictive in accepting immigrants.
Ukraine is somewhere in the middle of this list. This country is unique, because while Ukraine has an attractive business climate and rich educational and social opportunities, the immigration policies and procedures of our country are rather flexible. The number of foreigners applying for a permanent residence permit in Ukraine is growing every year. Fleeing social insecurity, political turmoil, and economic degradation, the people from Asian and African countries often find a new home in Ukraine.
The advantages of permanent residence permit in Ukraine.
Getting a permanent residence permit in Ukraine has many useful benefits. Specifically, if your application is successful, it will allow you to:
- Stay in Ukraine indefinitely without renewal of your residence permit or getting any other documents;
- Enter and leave Ukraine anytime. Once you get a permanent residence permit here, you may stay abroad as long as it may be necessary, and the residence permit may never be revoked. Basically, you may return to Ukraine anytime, and you will be allowed to enter the country unrestrictedly;
- You have full academic rights in Ukraine, meaning that you may apply for enrolment at any Ukrainian university. If you have a good command of Ukrainian or Russian, you may even apply on the same grounds as the citizens of Ukraine do. In such cases, the tuition fees will be 4-5 times lower. For example, while average fees for studying in a school of medicine are USD 6,000 – 7,000 annually for a foreigner, a Ukrainian citizen should pay USD 700-900 only. If you have a permanent residence permit and speak Russian and Ukrainian, using the fee structure “for the locals” will be possible;
- You also have full employment rights in Ukraine. The same employment rules and regulations that are used for the Ukrainian citizens will be applied. The most important advantage in this regard is that there will be no need for your employer to get permission for hiring a foreigner. In the eyes of the Ukrainian labor authorities, you will have the same status, as a citizen of Ukraine does;
- Finally, a permanent residence permit allows applying for visas to the EU, American and other countries from Ukraine. In other words, if you want to go to the USA and do not intend returning to your home country, you may start applying for the visa in the USA Embassy in Kiev.
These are the basic advantages of the permanent residence permit. Practically, the only restriction imposed on the holders of permanent residence permits in Ukraine is the impossibility to elect or be elected in the legislative authorities or be appointed as a government official.
Getting permanent residence permit in Ukraine.
Ukrainian immigration law sets forth many grounds, which may be used to apply for a permanent residence permit in Ukraine. However, while the law is rather straightforward, the practice shows that the process may be lengthy and intricate.
It is our most important recommendation to start collecting documents, which confirm your right to the permanent residence permit in Ukraine as soon as possible. Solid documentary proofs are always requested by Ukrainian State migration service when reviewing applications, and unless you have 100% evidence that you are indeed entitled to the permanent residency in Ukraine, the chances of rejection remain high.
The grounds for getting a permanent residence permit in Ukraine.
Although the law provides multiple grounds for getting a permanent residence permit, our practice revealed that the most definitive ones are the following:
- Ukrainian residence permit by kinship with a citizen of Ukraine. Typically, you should be either child/parent, or brother/sister, grandfather/grandmother or grandson/granddaughter of a current Ukrainian citizen to use this option;
- Ukrainian residence permit by kinship with a legal immigrant in Ukraine. In other words, if you are either child/parent, or brother/sister, grandfather/grandmother or grandson/granddaughter of a person, who already has a permanent residence permit in Ukraine (or other lifetime residency document – e.g., certificate of a refugee), you have a solid ground to start applying for a permanent residence permit in Ukraine;
- Ukrainian residence permit by marriage with a citizen of Ukraine or a legal immigrant. If your spouse is a holder of the Ukrainian passport, permanent residence permit or other document granting lifetime residency rights in Ukraine, you may start your application;
- Ukrainian residence permit by descent. In case your father/mother, grandfather/grandmother, full-brother/full-sister, half-brother/half-sister, son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter and were born before August 24, 1991 on a territory, which later became part of Ukraine or were permanently residing before August 24, 1991 on a territory, which later became part of Ukraine, you have solid legal grounds for filing application for permanent residence permit in Ukraine.
The requirements for getting a permanent residence permit in Ukraine.
Because a permanent residence permit gives exceptionally broad rights in Ukraine, the requirements are quite rigid.
Firstly, an applicant should not have a past criminal record. Practically, it means the following:
You have to produce a police clearance certificate (also known as a certificate of good conduct) in your home country (the country where you have citizenship). The certificate should be issued no earlier than within three months preceding your permanent residence permit application. The certificate should be officially translated and legalized in Ukraine.
You should not be in the international “wanted” list of the Interpol. The State migration service of Ukraine always sends inquiries there, asking whether an applicant has ever been internationally wanted by the law enforcement authorities of any country.
Finally, both you and your relative should have a clean record in the eyes of the Security Service of Ukraine. Practically, that means that neither you nor any of your relatives should have been ever engaged in espionage against Ukraine or any activities, focused on undermining territorial integrity or independence of Ukraine.
Secondly, if you submit your application in Ukraine (not to one of the Ukrainian Embassies abroad), Ukrainian State migration service will send inquiries to the Border Guards Service of Ukraine, checking the way you entered to Ukraine. Your stay in Ukraine should be entirely legal. If your stay in Ukraine is not authorized, or if you illegally crossed the border (i.e., there is no respective stamp in your passport, or a stamp is fake, or your temporary residence permit or D-Class visa expired) your permanent residence permit application will be rejected.
Thirdly, all applicants have to undergo four medical examinations in the accredited Ukrainian hospitals. Specifically, it will be essential to receive the certificates confirming that:
You do not have tuberculosis and you are HIV negative (although recently the courts declared that HIV negative requirement is discriminatory and should not be applied, the practice shows that Ukrainian immigration authorities often ignore this rule. We are experienced in challenging the necessity of making HIV tests).
You also have to undergo an examination by an expert in drugs and substances, who should confirm that you are not abusing drugs or substances banned in Ukraine.
And finally, a therapist should conclude that you do not have any dangerous contagious diseases.
You should also remember that you should have both one of the grounds allowing you to apply for the permanent residence permit in Ukraine and meet all the requirements.
The term of validity of a permanent residence permit in Ukraine.
Because it is a permanent residence permit, in contrast to other residency permissions, it entitles the holder to indefinite stay in Ukraine.
However, you should make sure to change your residence permit when you reach 25 and 45 years of age.
Loss of a permanent residence permit.
In case you for some reason lose your permanent residence permit, the State Ukrainian migration service may re-issue it upon application.
Losing a permanent residence permit while staying abroad is fraught with many inconveniences. In this case, you will have to apply to the nearest Ukrainian Embassy (regrettably, Ukraine does not have many diplomatic missions abroad). The process is lengthy and complicated. We highly recommend you treating the permanent residence permit with care.
Finally, before filing your permanent residence application, you should consider the following issues:
- The law authorizes the Immigration Office to review your application for one year. Our company can help you to make the process ‘fast-track’ and get your permanent residence permit within two months only;
- In contrast to the process of getting a temporary residence permit, application for the permanent residence permit does not require to have a special D-Class visa. However, it is vitally important that your stay in Ukraine should be entirely legal at the moment of application, i.e., you should have some valid visa in your passport. In case you applied for the permanent residence permit having a short-term visa, it will not be possible to leave Ukraine before your permanent residence permit is issued;
- Ukrainian migration service will also require you to submit a document confirming a registered place of residence in your home country. The nature of these documents vary across the different countries – while in some they may be issued by the police stations, in the others village chieftains may be responsible for that;
- Although you have almost the same economic and social rights as the citizens of Ukraine, you are still a citizen of your home country in the eyes of the foreign governments and embassies. Practically, that means that while applying for visas of other countries, the requirements of your home country will be applied. For example, if you are an Iraqi citizen living in Ukraine and having a permanent residence permit and want to visit the USA, the Embassy of the USA will be using the criteria for the Iraqi citizens.
Beware! Some companies are promising to help you to get a permanent residence permit, while in reality, they will give you a forged copy. A genuine permanent residence permit is always (no exceptions) issued only to you personally by the immigration official only and only in the premises of Ukrainian Sate migration service!
Overall, a permanent residence permit has many useful advantages. As we highlighted before, a holder of this document has all business, academic and social rights, not to mention that he may enter and leave Ukraine as if he is a citizen. Our practice reveals that many people use a permanent residence permit as a lifebuoy in case something happens in their home countries. Permanent residence permit in Ukraine is your lifetime key for the doors of Ukraine.
To check whether you meet the requirements, we recommend you to complete our eligibility test here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us anytime.
Ukrainian immigration bureau experts are here to assist. Legal matters, and especially immigration issues, can be very complicated, but our specialists are ready to help inform you of all aspects regarding your case. It’s a great pleasure for us in using our experience for you and we look forward to hearing from you.