What you need to know about temporary residency permit law

Generally, foreigners from the EU, USA, UK, Canada, South Korea, Poland and some other countries have the right to stay in the territory of Ukraine legally under the visa-waiver regime (within 90 calendar days during the last 180 days). About non-visa countries you can read by this link. If foreigners are nationals of countries with which Ukraine has a visa regime, may temporarily stay in Ukraine on a visa basis. See the list of countries which citizens are required to obtain a visa to enter Ukraine here.
The procedure of calculating 90 days of stay under the visa-waiver regime in Ukraine is carried out according to the relevant rules. You can read about it here.
So, how to extend your staying in Ukraine for more than 90 days?
Of course, you must obtain a temporary residency permit (permission) in Ukraine.A temporary residence permit entitles a foreigner to reside legally in Ukraine with the right to extend such a temporary residence permit in Ukraine.Temporary residency permit is the official document, that gives the right to its holder to legally stay in Ukraine, leave and reenter the territory of Ukraine an unlimited number of times within the term of validity.Temporary residence permits` validity term may be: from several months up to several years (for example, in case of the work permits 3-year validity or long-lasting international project etc.).
The law of Ukraine establishes the following list of grounds for getting temporary residence permit:• Official employment;• Participation in international projects for technical support (such programs should be registered);• Performance of religious activity or invitation by a religious organization (officially registered and with permission to involve foreigners);• Employees of affiliated companies or representative offices of non-governmental organizations of foreign countries, registered in accordance with the legally prescribed procedure in Ukraine;• Employees of representative offices of foreign business entities, banks;• Participants of international cultural, educational or scientific activities, prescribed in international contracts of Ukraine or specific programs, participants of international or regional volunteer programs, or participation in work of Ukrainian organizations that are permitted to involve foreign volunteers (there is a special governmentally approved list of such organizations);• Education in Ukraine (it must be already arranged, not just an intent)• Investing at least 100 000 EUR in Ukrainian business;• Marriage with the citizen of Ukraine.
Moreover, before applying for temporary residence permit the applicant will have to get type D visa (read more about visas to Ukraine).

Temporary residency permit though employment in Ukraine

The most common and transparent way is official employment in Ukraine. Any foreigner has a right to be employed in Ukraine if he or she obtains a work permit in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine. After getting a work permit a foreign citizen is eligible to apply for a temporary residence permit in Ukraine for 1 year (for the employed owners of business in Ukraine the term may be up to 3 years) with the unlimited right to extend it (and the work permit) each time.
Recently, the procedure for getting a work permit in Ukraine became easier to understand. The list of required documents no longer includes diplomas, criminal records and medical documents, making the permit easier to obtain. An employer now has the option to choose the term of a work permit's validity (up to 1 year for “regular employees” and up to 3 years for owners of a business).

Being an Employee versus Registering One’s Own Business

Using employment at a company as a means of legalizing one’s stay in Ukraine does have certain risks because an expat is dependent on his or her employer and could lose his or her residency right in the event that he or she is fired from his or her position. By contrast, using employment to legalize one’s stay in Ukraine is much easier and safer for expats who register their own business in Ukraine and become the director or a deputy director of their own company. Potential investors and foreigners who want to run a business in Ukraine (no matter how big or small) won’t have any problems maintaining temporary residence in Ukraine for as long as they need, if they use this method. Moreover, such owners of the business can obtain temporary residence status for up to 3 years.
It’s worth noting that with the recent changes to work permit procedures, an employer in Ukraine now has relatively high expenses when employing foreign citizens as “regular employees”: the monthly salary of a foreign specialist has to be not less than 10 minimum salaries as established by the legislation of Ukraine (currently this figure is 41,730 UAH or about $1,630) plus taxes, calculated on this amount. At the same time the owner of a business has a minimum salary of 4,173 UAH (or about $163).

Family Reunification

Family reunification is also grounds for issuing a temporary residence permit. This can include reunification with one’s parents, a spouse who is Ukrainian and with those who have already obtained a permission to stay legally in Ukraine. For instance, if a foreigner has started a business in Ukraine, received a work permit and temporary residence permit, then all his family may join him and also acquire legal status in Ukraine without needing to obtain a work permit or some other legal basis for staying in Ukraine. Applicants for residence permits on the basis of family reunification just need to apply for a Type D visa and after that – for temporary residency. This is how family reunification works.It is much easier to obtain residency if you have some family connection in Ukraine: for example, marriage to a Ukrainian, having a child who is a citizen of Ukraine or having relatives who are (were) Ukrainians or who were born on the territory of Ukraine.However, getting married to a Ukrainian citizen it does not automatically grant you permanent residency: you need to prove that your marriage lasted for more than 2 years, otherwise you can only apply for a temporary residence permit.

Temporary residence permit on the basis of marriage 

It is much easier to acquire temporary residence permit when a foreigner has family ties in Ukraine, e.g. when a husband or a wife of a foreigner is a Ukrainian citizen. In case of marriage, the place (country) of its registration is inconsequential. However, in case of getting married abroad a foreigner should pay attention to the rules of legalization and apostilling of the documents, issued in a foreign state, for their further usage in Ukraine.
Temporary residence permit issued on the basis of marriage with a Ukrainian citizen is valid for 1 year with the right of its further extension.
Furthermore, after 2-years of marriage with a Ukrainian citizen, a foreigner could apply for a permanent residence permit in Ukraine. 

Education in Ukraine - an opportunity for getting temporary residence permit

Temporary residence permit could be issued to the foreigners, who came to Ukraine for studying at the Ukrainian higher educational establishment. Everyone could get acquainted with the list of accredited Ukrainian higher educational establishments published at the website of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
A foreigner, who desires to study in Ukraine and get a temporary residence permit on the basis of studying, should receive an invitation for studying from the Ukrainian higher educational establishment, that will be registered at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
In this case it is important to verify that all the documents for studying comply with the rules of legalization and apostilling for their future usage in Ukraine.
On the basis of invitation for studying in Ukraine a foreigner gets a long-term visa type “D” at the Consulate of Ukraine located abroad and, afterwards, files all the necessary documents with the State Migration Service of Ukraine for temporary residence permit issuing.
Such necessary documents are a document confirming the fact of studying in Ukraine (duly certified copies of the higher educational establishment`s order for admission and determination of the studying period for a foreign student) and a document expressing higher educational establishment`s obligation to inform the State Migration Service of Ukraine about student`s expulsion from such establishment.
Temporary residence permit validity depends on the term of studying of the foreign student in Ukraine. In common, such temporary residence permit is valid for 1 year and after the expiration date it could be prolonged (or exchanged) on the basis of a new document confirming the fact of studying in Ukraine. There is no need to get a new long-term visa type “D”, if the deadline established by the Ukrainian legislation for prolongation (or exchanging) of the temporary residence permit is adhered to.
Documents for temporary residence permit exchange should be filed at the latest of 15 working days before the end of the studying period, determined at the higher educational establishment`s order for admission of the foreign student.

Temporary residence permit for overseas journalists 

Foreigners, working as journalists at the foreign mass media outlets could obtain a temporary residence permit if they arrive to Ukraine to carry out their professional activities and have the letter from their employer – foreign mass media outlets.
The procedure of the temporary residence permit issuance for the overseas journalist includes the following stages:
1. Obtaining a long-term visa type “D” on the basis of the letter from the foreign mass media.
2. Filing a request to the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine with the letter from the foreign mass media concerning formation of the petition to the State Migration Service of Ukraine on temporary residence permit issuance.
Please, pay attention to the fact that there are established requirements to the foreign mass media request filed to the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine aiming at receiving the petition to the State Migration Service of Ukraine.
3. Submitting the documents to the State Migration Service of Ukraine including the foreign mass media request on temporary residence permit issuance.
Generally, a temporary residence permit for the overseas journalist is valid for 1 year with the right of further extension.  

Temporary residence permit for overseas sportsmen and cultural workers

The opportunity for foreigners to obtain a temporary residence permit on the grounds of carrying out cultural, scientific and educational activities is established by the Ukrainian legislation. In such a case, foreigners should have the petition from a corresponding state authority responsible for the implementation of cultural, educational, scientific, sports, volunteer programs, for participation in which foreigners arrived in Ukraine.
Such activity (cultural, scientific, educational, etc.) should be confirmed internationally by signing international treaties between the Government of Ukraine and Government of the foreigner`s country of citizenship or should be foreseen at the specific state programs.
As an example, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports could invite a foreigner for carrying out professional sport activity on the territory of Ukraine or a foreign cultural worker could arrive in Ukraine upon the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and then obtain a temporary residence permit on this ground.
Moreover, foreigners, who are volunteers, could get a temporary residence permit in Ukraine for carrying out volunteer programs only in case they have the corresponding invitation from volunteer organization, registered by the Ministry of Social Politics of Ukraine.
Temporary residence permit issued for overseas volunteers, sportsmen, scientific and cultural workers is valid for 1 year.
To sum up, obtaining temporary residence permit in Ukraine grants foreigners almost the same rights and imposes almost the same obligations as the Ukrainian citizens have. Such categories of foreign citizens could stay on the territory of Ukraine, freely leave and enter the territory of Ukraine during the validity of their temporary residence permit, work, study and receive state services.
However, foreign citizens, who would like to get the legal status in Ukraine should remember that any breach of Ukrainian laws concerning the foreigner`s legal status (including the breach of the allowed terms of stay in Ukraine, filing the forged documents or false information) could result in forceful expulsion from the territory of Ukraine and banning any further entries for such a foreigner. 

About EXPATPRO
EXPATPRO is a leading boutique law firm in Kiev that focuses on immigration to Ukraine and offers personalized, top-quality legal services for foreign expats. Our clients are foreign individuals, businesses and investors who are pursuing business, employment or personal opportunities in Ukraine. Through comprehensive knowledge of legal, political and business areas, our migration experts will walk you through the jungles of Ukrainian law.