Visa Updates – Ukraine……….Again!!

April 26, 2009

Ok, this post is not for those coming here on the current Visa-less 90 day stay…….but those here with Visa’s intending to stay more than 180 days per year……..now that’s narrowed down my readers for this post already.


To get straight to the point, regardless of which Visa you hold, be it Private, Business, Private Entrepreneur et al, after 180 days in Ukraine you are here illegally, even if your Visa is a 5 year Multi-Entry Visa…………unless you are registered with the OVIR………That is it.  That is the law……..There is no getting around it!!


The first confirmed “deportation” of an American with a Visa has been reported at Odessa Airport because they had not registered with the OVIR and had been in the country totalling more than 180 days in the year…..even though they were not concurrent but sporadic throughout the last 365 days. 

In other words, despite his Visa, and despite not staying 180 days in a row, the number of days he had spent in Ukraine within a 365 day period exceeded 180 days allowed without OVIR registration……and he was sent back to the USA……..at his own cost!


So what does it take to get OVIR registration?

Firstly you need to register with another government department called the ZHEK………which involves your landlord, if you are renting like most Expats staying here for more than 180 days per year, going with you and registering you at their apartment.

Simple?……..Indeed it is…….except that most landlords will not want to do this because they will not be declaring your rent as income to the Tax authorities…….so will point blank refuse!!


If you find someone who will register your at their property with the ZHEK, you then take the registration to the OVIR……another governmental agency, who will register you in Ukraine and extend your “days allowed” by another 6 months……..making you good for 1 year legally.

OVIR registration takes 1 week……..so start the process about 10 days before you get to 180 days.

There is………as there always is in Ukraine, a slight problem should you have reason to leave Ukraine after your OVIR registration has happen………..in that it is automatically cancelled when you leave Ukraine for whatever reason.


“This is a pain in the arse and not fair” I hear you cry!!

Well, it is not that bad……….If you have kept your OVIR registration up to date prior to leaving, regardless of how many days you have been in Ukraine before you left………you have 10 days upon returning to renew your OVIR registration.

Yes, it is your choice to do this, you are correct, you are already back in Ukraine and nobody will know if you do it or not……..until you leave next time, are fined for not registering and subsequently refused entry to Ukraine next time you try!!


So, having gone through all the correct channels, got all the necessary registrations……..only to have to “pop to Berlin” on business………thus cancelling immediately your OVIR registration because you left Ukraine, you are now faced with a 10 day window to go through the whole process…….again……which wouldn’t be so bad, if your company had not decided that you will be going to Berlin every month for a day or two…….life really can be a bitch can’t it?

Fear not.  There is no need to go through the landlord and ZHEK procedure again as long as the registration with the ZHEK is still valid.

If your ZHEK registration has not expired, your Visa has not expired, you simply need to……..let me rephrase that………you simply MUST return to the OVIR within 10 days o return and get a small stamp in your passport which states they know you are back, all registrations are in order and you are good for another 180 days from this date…..or to the date of your Visa expirey, which ever is the sooner.

Clear as mud?………Well, if you have any problems, pop me a comment, get yourself down to Odessa from Kyiv and for a “fee”, my wife will hold your hand through the process and keep you on the “right side of the law”…….Ok?


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