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Visiting Ukraine – The Individual

March 6, 2009

Sigh……….this is a thread that will no doubt be updated many times as the guidelines either change or are enforced with varying consistency.

The average tourist from the EU or USA can enter Ukraine without a visa.  You cannot, however, carry out any paid employment or business related activity.  You are entitled to remain in Ukraine for 90 days within a 180 day period either in a block period or as a sum of many different visits.  Those are the rules.  Breaching these rules can cost you a fine upon leaving Ukraine of up to 680 UAH (local currency) and lead to you not being allowed to return for a period of 6 months.

Enforcement of these rules varies dramatically as does the amount of fine you will receive.

Your stay can be extended over and above the 90 days, even as a tourist, by registration with the OVIR, which entitles you to a further 90 days………thus providing 180 block staying facility.

Not as simple as you may think though.  The OVIR require you to have a registered address to stamp your passport with the extended stay status.  Many landlords will not provide you with this documentation, not because they do not want you to carry on renting their apartments but because they will not be declaring the earnings from rental for tax purposes.

If you do manage to accomplish registration with the OVIR, then it is not necessary for you to remain at the address you are registered at during your stay in Ukraine.

All forms must be completed in Ukrainian or Russian, and therefore the vast majority of people from outside the FSU will require help completing these forms from the OVIR as the OVIR will not help you complete the forms.

If you intend to work whilst in Ukraine as an individual, rather than for a company, (the documentation for which will be covered in Business Admin thread), then the simplest way to achieve this is as a Private Entrepreneur or (PE) status.  This is not easy to achieve either and will invariably require the aid of an advocate (lawyer).  You will then also need a Work Visa after getting your PE visa.

 When this is done, you will, having declared you will be working in Ukraine, need to register with the Tax officials and get a tax ID Card and number.  This is a very simple process, involving simply making the application (in Russian or Ukrainian) and providing a copy of your passport.  Return to the Tax Office a week later and your card is ready……………….by this point it seems the administration considers you to have negotiated enough hurdles to make life a little more easy for you.

It should be noted that you cannot by property, land or a car without a tax number……..although you can get your tax number even as a tourist and there is no need to have any visa or work permit to get one.

For most people though, the 90/180 days rule in Ukraine is enough…………..as they are invariably tourists.

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