On April 2018 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine pronounced the new Decree regulating the issuance of permanent and temporary residence permits in Ukraine. The decree introduces us the new form of these documents: from now on permanent and temporary residence permits in Ukraine are issued in a form of plastic ID card, instead of a book-shaped document used before. Changes mentioned above were not properly explained to foreigners’ community in Ukraine, so temporary and permanent residence permits holders in Ukraine keep asking similar questions about those changes. Here we present the most popular questions concerning new form of residence permits in Ukraine:

Question: I am a holder of permanent residence permit in Ukraine in the form of a green book which was issued to me before April 2018. I have heard that without changing my old residence permit to the new plastic card, I won’t be able to use it properly and cross Ukrainian border without a visa for example. Is it true?

Answer: According to the new Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from April 2018 holders of residence permits issued before April 2018 use them in the same manner as before, and plastic form does not prevail anyhow above paper-based documents. So there are no restrictions to travel across Ukrainian border with Ukrainian residence permit in the form of a book.

Question: I have been granted immigration permit in Ukraine after April 2018, but Migration service issued me the green book residence permit. How does it work that someone got plastic documents and others obtained paper-based documents?

Answer: The new Decree from April 2018 clearly states, that before some specific State Migration service unites is equipped with the necessary facilities, such unit continues to issue documents in old paper-based form. During 2018 only few State Migration units in Kiev were fully equipped and released new plastic documents. It shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone that in 2019 only 10% of Ukrainian State Migration service units will be able to issue plastic documents and some from that 10 % will continue issuing paper-based documents until their supplies of paper-based documents are depleted.

Question: Is there any way to change my old paper residence permit into a new one?

Answer: the Decree contains neither any provision that requires exchanging of the old document into a new one nor instructions on how to make that exchange just in case a document holder wishes to do so.  At this moment of time we see a few situations when such exchange is still possible: a) old document is lost or stolen; b) old document is badly damaged; c) old document obligatory exchange on reaching 25 or 45 years old. All procedures mentioned above require relevant basis to be able to use them as: a) Police confirmation on effort to discover lost or stolen document; b) Damaged document itself c) Reaching 25 or 25 years old by document holder.

Question: Is there any difference between new and old documents besides their form?

Answer: there is one difference which we consider really important, and this information will be interesting for current or future Ukrainian permanent residence permits holders. If you take a look at old permanent residence permit sample, you will see that it has no expiry date, and before April 2018 there were few situations when the document should be changed or renewed (document stolen or lost, document badly damaged, 25 and 45 years old exchange).  New plastic permanent residence permit cards will be issued for a term of 10 years, what automatically adds tons of headache for new permanent residence permit owners, as Migration service should be visited every 10 years.

We hope that many residence permit holders in Ukraine will find this Qs and As session useful, and what is more important for us, they won’t be fooled by some “specialists” speculating that plastic documents somehow gives you more possibilities then paper-based one.