Reuniting with the one’s family is important for many foreigners living in Ukraine. Once their stay is legitimatized in Ukraine, the first thought is “how can I bring my family here?”
Although the process is lengthy and complicated, nevertheless it is possible to get reunited with your family in Ukraine, if you have a valid temporary residence permit. In other words, for a successful reunion in Ukraine, at least one family member should be in possession of some residency (permanent or temporary) status in Ukraine.
Who can bring a family to Ukraine?
Currently, the following categories of people are allowed to bring their families to Ukraine, and, correspondingly their family members are entitled to getting a temporary residence permit in Ukraine:
- Refugees or those who successfully received asylum in Ukraine. Be mindful that in order to file a successful application for a family reunion in Ukraine, the status of the refugee or asylum seeker should be officially confirmed (i.e., having a certificate is necessary). Those, who received temporary protection in Ukraine, may bring their families with them. The status of those, who have temporary asylum in Ukraine, should be officially confirmed;
- Foreign employees of Ukrainian companies or foreign companies (including foreign banks) operating in Ukraine. Valid temporary residence permit by employment is necessary;
- Foreign staff of the international aid programs. Valid temporary residence permit by employment is necessary;
- Foreign clerics, practicing in Ukraine. Please note that the clerics should receive an official invitation from a recognized religious organization in Ukraine, approved by the government;
- Foreign employees of the diplomatic missions, foreign governments’ organizations in Ukraine or international non-profit organizations. In all cases, a valid temporary residence permit is needed for bringing a family to Ukraine;
- Foreign volunteers and researchers. Please note that only those who have a valid temporary residence permit are entitled to bring their families to Ukraine. A volunteering organization or a research institution inviting them to Ukraine should be officially recognized;
- Foreign journalists and employees of the accredited mass-media organizations in Ukraine. A valid temporary work permit by employment is necessary;
- International students, who study in Ukraine. A valid student temporary residence permit is necessary in this case.
Who can be brought to Ukraine?
The law expressly says that only children or a spouse of a foreigner who have a temporary residence permit in Ukraine qualify as immediate family members, and are therefore entitled to residency in Ukraine.
The procedure of getting temporary employment permits by family reunion:
Step 1 – Getting D-Class reunion visa for the family members.
The first step to getting a temporary residence permit as a family member of a foreigner residing in Ukraine is getting D-Class visa from one of the embassies of Ukraine located abroad. This visa is used to legitimize arrival of the family members in Ukraine in order to submit a residency application.
To issue this visa, the Embassy of Ukraine will request certain documents. Specifically, it will be necessary to produce the proofs of kinship with the person, who has a residency in Ukraine. Typically, a marriage certificate and birth certificate are sufficient for this purpose. Please note that these documents should be verified and legalized to be able to use them by the Embassy of Ukraine.
In addition to producing the proofs of kinship, applicants will have to submit the copy of a residence permit (or other document confirming residency, e.g., certificate of a refugee) of a family member, who already has residency in Ukraine.
Note that each family member should get an individual D-Class visa for entering Ukraine.
As soon as the Embassy issues the visas, the family members may legitimately enter Ukraine and commence the process of getting a temporary residence permit.
Step 2 – Getting temporary residence permit by family reunion.
After the family members arrive in Ukraine using D-Class visa, the next step is filing applications with Ukrainian State migration service. Provided that the documents are in order, there are seldom any complications at this stage.
Once the State migration service issues the temporary residence permit, your stay in Ukraine is fully legalized.
In contrast to other types of residency in Ukraine, in this case, the temporary residence permit is critically dependent on the validity of a residence permit of person, with whom reunification in Ukraine is planned (“original resident”). In other words, if the resident permit of such person is for some reason invalidated, then the family reunion residence permits of all his family members in Ukraine will be revoked.
An international student Billy, who has a valid study temporary residence permit in Ukraine, wants to be reunited with his wife and kids in Ukraine. Billy arranges all necessary documents, and his relatives all successfully receive family reunion residence permits in Ukraine. Happy Billy organized a big party, got drunk and missed an important exam. He is expelled from the university. Because temporary residence permit of the original resident is annulled, the residence permits of his wife and kids are invalidated.
It is also essential emphasizing that duration of the Ukraine temporary residence permits of the family members may not exceed the duration of the residence permit of the original resident. For example, after an original resident, who has a student temporary resident permit in Ukraine, graduates, his residency expires, and he has to leave Ukraine. Although his family members could have received their residence permits much later than the original resident had, their residence permits will expire as well.
Overall, though getting a Ukraine temporary residence permit by family reunion may seem to be difficult, in reality, the procedure is easier than in the law. The most critical issue is preparing and collecting the necessary documents and submitting them to the proper authorities. Our lawyers are always on duty to answer any questions you may have!