What is “marriage” under the Ukrainian legislation?
According to the Ukrainian legislation, marriage is a willful, equal rights union of a man and a woman aiming to create a family, registered by the authority of the state registration of civil status acts (Registrar).
A man and a woman residing as one family without a marriage are not considered to be a spouse.
Legal regulation of marriage
The law of Ukraine defines the procedure of marriage registration in Ukraine between a citizen of Ukraine and an expat or a stateless person as well as a marriage between expats or stateless persons.
Under the current law, expats and stateless persons have equal rights and obligations regarding marriage and family relations as well as citizens of Ukraine.
What conditions should be observed for marriage?
The procedure marrying a ukrainian woman not difficult according to the law. It is necessary to comply with the following conditions to register a marriage in Ukraine:
- a bride and a groom should achieve the marriageable age (18 years old, a right to marry can be obtained by a court decision – following the petition filed by persons who achieved 16 years old);
- A bride and a groom should not be married to another person;
- No other drawbacks for a marriage, such as: marriage between siblings is forbidden, between relatives of direct line ascending, between adoptive parent and adoptive child).
Documents you need for marriage in Ukraine
When compared to a marriage between Ukrainian citizens, a marriage procedure with the foreign citizens in Ukraine is far more complicated.
Expats aiming to register their marriage in Ukraine must provide the Registrar (department of the Ministry of Justice) with the following documents:
1. Original passport or other specified documents (with a notion, confirming the legality of their stay in the territory of Ukraine, unless otherwise provided by the current Ukrainian legislation).
2. If there is no information about the marriage status of an expat in the passport, an expat should submit the legalized certificate, confirming that he does not enter into marriage, issued by the authorized body in a country of an expat`s background with a translation into the Ukrainian language.
3. Foreign citizens, who have entered into marriage before, will be able to register a repeated marriage only if they provide documents confirming the termination of their previous marriage. For example a court decision of marriage termination, if it is ultimate, a certificate of marriage termination, a spouse`s death certificate, or other documents confirming a termination of a previous marriage, provided for by a foreign legislation. Such documents must be issued by the authorized body and appropriately legalized with a further translation into the Ukrainian language.
Steps for marriage registration with the foreign citizens
A procedure of a expat marriage registration in Ukraine is following:
1. Personal application submitting to the Registrar, which future spouse chooses on a stand-alone basis.
In case, the person attempting to enter into marriage is not able to submit an application personally for valid reasons, his/her signature upon the application must be notarized. A notarized application shall be submitted by a representative acting on the grounds of a notarized power of attorney.
2. The Registrar accepts the application, explains to the applicants their rights and obligations, the procedure of marriage registration, duty to provide the correct information and the outcomes of the submitting of false information.
3. The actual date of marriage registration is appointed on the grounds of agreement with the applicants. Generally, a marriage with an expat shall be registered on completing 1 (one) month after the application. Marriage registration shall be performed earlier on the grounds of valid reasons, confirmed by the documents (pregnancy, serious illness etc.
4. A marriage is registered in the presence of both applicants.
Procedure of check of the expat`s legality of stay in Ukraine
The principal point, which is vital for a marriage registration with the foreign citizen, is that an expat as of the day of a marriage registration must stay in Ukraine legally.
After obtaining all the above-mentioned documents, the chief of the Registrar subdivision shall send a request to the State migration service for verifying whether an expat’s stay in Ukraine is legal and finding out the quantity of days, he has before leaving Ukraine.
Based on the inspection results the State migration service issues a conclusion on a legal stay of foreign citizens in Ukraine notifying a quantity of days, the latter has to stay in Ukraine legally.
Urgent marriage procedure
A marriage procedure, when a man and a woman aiming to enter into marriage are citizens of different countries can be both general and urgent.
Since 2016 the project called “A marriage within a day” has been performed in several cities of Ukraine. The price for such service shall amount from 2 500,00 UAH (during working days) till 3 500,00 UAH at weekends and holidays. This price also includes the payment for Registrar services and the state fee.
For an urgent marriage procedure, it is necessary to conclude an agreement with an institutor (commonly it is a state institution) and submit a general application for marriage registration. After services have been paid and all necessary documents have been obtained (conclusion issued by the State migration service, receipts, agreement, application form, passport translation), the future spouses shall apply to the Registrar district subdivision (at the institutor’s location area), where a marriage registration will be carried out.
After a marriage registration, a married couple obtains the marriage certificate.
Visa agreement procedure after marriage
After the marriage registration a foreign citizen, in case of planning to reside in Ukraine, shall apply for temporary residence permit. An expat should leave Ukraine to obtain a new type “D” visa (on the grounds of a marriage certificate). The purpose of visiting Ukraine shall be a family reunification. This procedure (of the re-entering) should be carried out even though an expat is a citizen of a country, which has non-visa regime with Ukraine.
Permanent residence permit
A marriage with a citizen of Ukraine is a ground for obtaining a residence permit in Ukraine. In two years being married to a Ukrainian citizen, an expat can get a permanent residence permit, and later – will obtain a citizenship of Ukraine.
If an expat enters into marriage with a person who is not a citizen of Ukraine but is an expat, who has a permanent residence permit, he will be able to obtain such a permit without observing these two years. But for becoming a citizen of Ukraine in such circumstances, an expat should wait for five years, observing a variety of other conditions.
A Marriage outside of Ukraine
A marriage between a citizen of Ukraine and foreign citizens registered outside its territory is considered to be valid Ukraine. This marriage should not be registered in Ukraine repeatedly. Though, a marriage certificate issued to an expat and a citizen of Ukraine outside its territory should be properly certified (legalized) in a country of its consignment and translated into the Ukrainian language with a notarization.
A marriage termination
A marriage can be terminated in a judicial order or non-judicial (through the offices of the Registrar) depending on certain circumstances (joint children and their age, parties’ motivation, definiteness in children aliment and division of property matters).
Division of Conjoint property
A property which has been acquired by the spouse in a marriage belongs to both wife and husband on the joint ownership title.
Thus, in general in case of marriage termination, a spouse’s property is divided between them into equal parts. At the same time, a separate private property of a wife or a husband is: a property acquired before marriage, in a marriage but on the grounds of a gift agreement or as an inheritance, in a marriage but purchased by his/her own money, an apartment or a land property purchased as a result of privatization.
A married couple is able to conclude a marriage contract. This contract can be concluded both before and after marriage registration (in this case a marriage contract shall be valid as of the day of a marriage registration) and shall be notarized. A marriage contract regulates spouse’s property relations, defines their property rights and obligations.