Work permit in Ukraine

Foreign citizens must obtain the work permit to work in Ukraine officially. To get the work permit in Ukraine for the potential employee the company-employer (or private entrepreneur) files the application form to the local employment center.
Work permit in Ukraine does not give right to foreign citizen to choose the place of work and position at his/her own discretion. One work permit is for one position. And the employer keeps this document. 

Ukrainian legislation divides foreigners into several categories, that affects the list of documents required for the work permit application. To apply for the work permit the employer needs to define the group to which his potential employee belongs.

So, there are such categories of foreigners:

1) regular foreign employees;
2) special categories of foreign employees:
- foreigners-founders of enterprises;
- IT professionals;
- foreign high-paid professionals;
- graduates of TOP-100 universities according to world rankings;
- seconded foreign employees;
- foreigners who have been decided to issue documents to resolve the issue of recognition as a refugee or a person in need of additional protection.

Special categories of foreign employees in Ukraine have some privileges, which relate to the salary rate and validity period of work permit.

It is worth noting that there are some requirements to salary rate for foreign employees. In case of regular employee, a minimum salary rate is 10 minimum wages (specified in the law of Ukraine). If the employer is a public association, charity or educational institution, the minimum salary rate should be 5 minimum wages. As for 2019, these are respectively 41 730 UAH and 20 865 UAH. 
Special categories of foreign employees are paid in the same way as citizens of Ukraine. That means, their salary shall not be less than 1 minimum wage (in 2019 it is 4173 UAH). The minimum salary rate for foreign high-paid professionals should be at least 50 minimum wages, (i.e. in 2019 - 208,660.00 UAH). Seconded foreign employees do not receive salary in Ukraine, it is paid by their employer abroad.
The validity period of the work permit varies within the category of foreigners. For the general category validity term of work permit is from one month to one year. Work permit for special categories can be issued for up to three years. Employers have the right to extend the duration of the work permit unlimited number of times. 
Common list of documents required for the work permit application includes the following: 
- a certified translation of a foreigner's passport into Ukrainian language,
- his/her photo card (size 3.5*4.5 sm);
- a draft of a future employment contract. 

Specific documents are:

- a certified translation of the relevant diploma (for a graduate from one of TOP-100 university in a world ranking);
- a copy of the secondment agreement concluded between Ukrainian and foreign economic entities (for seconded foreign workers).
The law also establishes a list of foreigners whose employment does not require a work permit in Ukraine:
- foreigners with permanent residence permit;
- employees of representative offices of foreign companies in Ukraine;
- employees of foreign accredited media;
- participants of international technical assistance projects;
- teachers and scientists conducting their activities in higher education institutions at their invitation;
- representatives of foreign naval (river) fleets and airlines serving such companies in Ukraine;
- foreigners who have refugee status or who have been recognized as persons in need of additional protection or who have been granted temporary protection in Ukraine;
- athletes who have acquired professional status;
- artists and art workers;
- clerics in religious organizations that invite them to carry out canonical activities.
It takes 7 business days to pass the decision on granting the work permit and 3 business days in case of extension of the validity of the work permit in Ukraine.
The validity period of the work permit varies within the category of foreigners. For the general category validity term of work permit is from one month to one year. Work permit for special categories can be issued for up to three years. Employers have the right to extend the duration of the work permit unlimited number of times. 

The period of validity affects the amount of the state fee for work permit, which in 2019 is: 

1) for permits of one to three years - 11 526 UAH;
2) for permits with a term from six months to one year - 7 684 UAH;
3) for permits up to six months - 3 842 UAH.

After the employer gets the work permit, he has 10 business days to pay state fee and 90 calendar days to sign the employment contract. The copy of such contract must be provided to the local employment centre. Failure to submit a copy of the contract is also grounds for cancellation the validity of a work permit.

Work permit does not give the right to stay in Ukraine, but in can be used as the ground for the following immigration to Ukraine: on the ground of work permit foreign citizen can apply for the temporary residence permit (for the same validity period as the work permit). 

TETIANA YASHCHENKO

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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.