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).

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.

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.