Ukraine was granted a “visa-free regime” for European Union member states. Great event for the Ukrainian society. There is still enormous quest for biometric passports. At the same time, oftener stories related to troubles to foreigners who violate laws of Ukraine in the sphere of border crossing occur.
Ukrainian guests become more worried of that they will be prohibited to come to Ukraine because of so-called “overstay”. These difficulties are related to the requirements of EU, the national safety of Ukraine to guarantee that foreigner stay in Ukraine legally and are not dangerous neither to Ukraine nor to its EU-partners. Therefore, more and more foreigners experience the denial of entry to Ukraine or even ban to enter Ukraine. The situation with introducing the specific rules of entry to Ukraine for Russian citizens is a colorful example of that Ukrainian government seeks to get larger control over Ukrainian border.
1. What is overstay and how it occurs?
According to Ukrainian legislation, Ukraine gives a right for many countries` citizens to stay in the territory of Ukraine without obtaining a visa for 90 days within the 180 days period. How is it calculated? The officials take a specific date and countdown 180 days in the past. After that, they check whether you have used 90 “visa-free” days within this period. If yes and you continue to stay in Ukraine – you violated the law and “overstayed”. You can easily check your "days" here.
2. What happens if the foreigner has overstayed?
This information is easily checked at the border control. Moreover, now border control system allows combining information on persons who use two passports of one country. According to article 203 of Code of Ukraine on administrative infringements, the foreigner will be punished with a fine in the amount 1700-5100 UAH.
Payment of this fine does not cancel the overstay, therefore, the foreigner will have to wait 90 days to re-enter Ukraine. Moreover, a foreigner may also experience such a penalty as a ban for entrance to Ukraine.
3. How to stay in Ukraine more than 90 days?
There are few ways Ukrainian legislation for non-Ukrainian citizens to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days:1) get a temporary residency;2) get a permanent residency;3) extend a stay in Ukraine up to 180 days.
These regimes give right for a foreigner to enter and leave Ukraine legally (for some period or constantly) with no limitations. But it is also worth noting, for those who consider gaining one of the aforementioned statuses, you will have to cross the border before you get one of them, so you need not to in breach of border rules before applying.
4. What to expect in future?
The border crossing regime is not going to become easier. We expect new rules to be introduced for Russian citizens, more and more foreigners seek of getting legal status in Ukraine because of the political situation in neighbor-countries. The situation in the East of Ukraine also adds complications to that issue as well as the requirement of EU policies that Ukraine has undertaken to implement and perform.