Posts Tagged ‘Immigration’

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Is working in Ukraine as a foreigner about to get easier?

April 24, 2013

As it is my umteenth anniversary today, and thus via the “ball and chain” and the goodwill of Ukraine, I have permanent residency here, this entry really does not affect me in any way.

In fact it doesn’t affect anybody I know either.

It will undoubtedly affect some readers however – both currently and in the future.

It seems that the State Employment Centre has made assurances that the current (and no doubt overly bureaucratic) systems for granting work permits and temporary resident status (for the purposes of work) are going to be simplified – requiring far less documentation than currently is required – especially so as far as renewals/extensions are concerned, and which will subsequently be gratis if granted for those who have navigated the bureaucratic circus before.

They also state that consideration is being given to raise the duration of such permits from 1 year to 3 years.

A particularly good idea should the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and DCFTA actually be signed – as not only will foreign confidence increase (to a greater or lesser degree) relating to entering the Ukrainian market at an SME/entrepreneurial level, those who want to do so, may actually stand a reasonable chance of navigating the bureaucratic hurdles that prevent so many currently.

It is necessary of course, to see just how the bureaucracy will be reduced – if at all – and I suspect not at all, other than the more expedited time line requirement for the bureaucracy to function and process applications.

Which documents will be subsequently scrapped from the current list will be far more interesting, as currently some of the documentation required is the barrier to entry – rather than the business environment itself!

Best guess thus far is here.

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Out with the old and in wih the new – Ukrainian Visa system changes today

September 10, 2011

Out with the old and in with the new. Well yes and no, depending upon what you read and who you pay attention to.

To cut a long story short 16 Ukrainian Visa types are no longer issued with effect from today and are replaced by only 3, Transit, Short Term and Long Term. Not news to you dear readers as I did tell you months ago this was going to happen and when.

Well, today is that “when” in question.

I also promised to try to keep you up to date about the intricacies where ever possible.

So, click here for the Ukrainian Embassy to the UK announcement and click here for the US Embassy Kyiv announcement.

If you are incredibly brave click on both as there are some inconsistencies and people who are subject to Visas do tend to get quite emotional and frustrated when they are being told different things.

An example being, for those still holding valid visas for Ukraine, the US Embassy states, “If you have a valid visa and OVIR registration but not a residency permit you can stay in Ukraine as long as your current registration is valid. Once you leave the country, however, you will need to obtain a new visa abroad to qualify for legal residency under the new system. Regardless of the expiration date, “old” pre-September 10 visas will no longer be valid for entry into Ukraine after September 10.”

That is not mentioned by the Ukrainian Embassy to the UK and therefore infers that existing Visas will be allowed to run their course until expiry date under the old rules.

That was in fact confirmed by Mr. Andriy Olefirov, Director-General for Consular Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine at an open meeting only a few days ago duly attended by many foreigners currently holding Visas under the old scheme. They do not need to get a new Visa until the old Visa expires.

The US Embassy is therefore apparently misinformed if you work on the premise that the Ukrainian Embassy issuing Visas for applicants from England and Wales and Mr Olefirov of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine know more about issuing Ukrainian Visas than the US Embassy in Kyiv that doesn’t issue Ukrainian Visas.

I told you some months ago this would not be a seamless process and it would seem an absolute nonsense to make visa holders of the old system, some with considerable time still to run before expiry (indeed some only issued last week), have to buy new visas should they have occasion to leave Ukraine before the expiry dates of the old system visa.

The problems will concentrate themselves in familiar places. The OVIR offices and which Visas, if any, of the old system they will continue to extend (or not) and the height of the qualification bar for the new Long Term Visa as intgerpreted at the issuing Ukrainian embassies and consuls around the planet.

One has to suspect the US and Ukrainian embassies will end up being right half the time, depending on individual OVIR decisions throughout the regions. T’was ever the case the regional interpretation was the only one you were concerned about under the old system anyway.

Nobody has said, as yet, how high the bar for the new Long Term Visa is set. As it replaces most of the 16 Visas that existed before, all of which had different criteria to reach to be granted. Is the bar for the Long Term Visa set at the height of the old IM-1 which required a veritable tome of paperwork from applicant and employer, is it based on an official invitation as per the old Student Visa or God Squad Visa from a recognised national institution, or is it as low as the Private Visa and Business Visa used to be, requiring nothing more than an invitation from a Ukrainian citizen or entity.

The Private Visa was after all requested by many an OVIR prior to registration passed 90 days for those married to Ukrainians who were under the 2 years of marriage point where upon reaching said 2 years, can apply for Permanent Residency.

It is as yet, unclear whether there is a set height for the Long Term Visa or whether, depending upon your reason for applying for it, the numerous different heights still apply.

Feel free to write up your experiences in the comments section for the other readers or simply let me know so I can pass on your experiences of joy or woe.

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Radical Changes to the Ukrainian Visa System – 10th September 2011

July 2, 2011

Well I have been tempted not to post this until a better picture of how the rather radical changes to the Visa rules appears.  However, posting this now will at least allow for preparation time for what is likely to be a system that will work itself out as it goes along until there is some clarity of interpretation by those enforcing the new rules.

On 1 June 2011, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine passed Resolution №567 on Approval of the Rules for Issuing Visas for Entrance to and Transit through the Territory of Ukraine (“The Resolution”).  The Resolution comes into force on 10 September 2011.

The Resolution changes the types of visas required for entering Ukraine, and reduces the number of visa types from 16 to 3 (i.e., transit, short- and long-term visas).  It also consolidates information that previously existed in different acts in respect of visa validity, grounds for issuing, state fees, and the issuing authorities.

According to the new rules, foreign individuals working in representative offices will be able to obtain temporary residence permits based on their long-term visas.  Moreover, dependents of holders of Ukrainian Temporary Residence Permits will be able to apply for short-term Ukrainian visas based on their marriage certificates, or any other document confirming family ties, i.e., visa invitations issued by local immigration authorities will not be required.

The above mentioned Decree revokes the visa types existing at present.  In the place of cultural, religious worker’s, business, private or other visa types the following three types are going to be implemented:

1.    Transit visa (B).
2.    Short-term visa (C).
3.    Long-term visa (D).

The short-term visa allows foreigners to stay in Ukraine no more than 90 days during 180 days from the day of their first entry.  The short-term visa may be a single-entry, double-entry or multi-entry type for a period of six months or for any other period that does not exceed five years.  However, the list of countries citizens of which may enter Ukraine without a visa for 90 days during the 180 days from the day of their first entry has not changed.

The foreigners wishing to stay in Ukraine longer than 90 days must obtain a Long-term visa that may be issued as a single entry visa for 45 days to enter Ukraine in order to get a temporary resident’s registration.

Therefore, pursuant to the above mentioned Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, a foreigner desiring to stay in Ukraine longer than 90 days seemingly must first obtain, in particular, work permit for employment in Ukraine or have an invitation from a religious organization approved by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, then he must get a 45-day long-term visa, and then, upon his arrival to Ukraine, receive a temporary resident’s registration during these 45 days.

It is probably foolish to expect a seamless and smooth transition despite the apparent and obvious simplification by reducing the number of Visa types from 16 down to 3.  It will be wise to wait and see how high the bar is set for the obtaining of a Long-term Visa.  Will it be the height which currently dictates the IM-1 or will it be the far lower height for the Private and Business Visa?   It is expected that more changes in respect of obtaining residence permits will be introduced in the near future, as the respective draft laws are submitted to Parliament.

Will do my very best to answer that before 10th September 2011 when these changes come into effect.  In theory this seems to be a step in the right direction.  In practice…….well we will have to wait and see!

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