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NOTIONS AND TERMS
Residence permit (RP) is an official document certifying identity and affirming the right of an alien or a stateless person to reside in the host country. Depending on the reasons, the residence permit can be permanent or temporary.
The main distinguishing feature of the two types of residence permits is their validity: permanent RP is valid indefinitely, and temporary RP has a validity term of 1 year (and it is renewable). Residence permits are issued to individuals above 16, however, in exceptional cases, the document may be issued to younger people upon provision of notarized consent of both parents.
The Law On Immigration says that in Ukraine foreigners granted residence permits have the same rights as its citizens (unless expressly provided by law, for example, they cannot vote or buy agricultural land, etc.).
What sort of civil rights can foreigners enjoy with residence permits in Ukraine? It is hard to list all rights in a single article, but some of the most essential are the right to education (children can get free education), troublefree banking services, right to employment without additional permits (only for foreigners with permanent residence permits) and the right to pension benefits.
Among the possible disadvantages of obtaining a residence permit is the fact that from the point of view of taxation there is a good chance that you will be classified in the category of tax residents – and this is fraught with additional taxes. For example, you will have to report annually to the tax authorities about incomes sources of which are located beyond the borders of Ukraine.
Permanent residence permits are issued in Ukraine either to former Ukrainian citizens, permanently residing in Ukraine after termination of Ukrainian citizenship, or those persons who have the right to immigrate to Ukraine for permanent residence by the power of immigration permit.
That is, a preliminary step in obtaining a permanent residence permit in Ukraine is registration of an immigration permit. However, in order to avoid confusion, I should be mentioned that immigration permits and permanent residence permits are issued within the framework of a single process.
So, who can get the immigration permit and, therefore, the permanent residence permit? The list specified by the Law On Immigration includes various reasons, for example, aliens have the right to obtain a residence permit in Ukraine in case their brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson or granddaughter is a citizen of Ukraine. That is a citizen of the United States, for example, can get a permanent residence permit in Ukraine if his grandmother is a citizen of Ukraine. Another common ground is the territorial origin, that is obtaining a permanent residence permit by foreign citizens is possible if they or any of their relatives have resided on the territory of presentday Ukraine before July 16, 1990 (date of the proclamation of the Declaration of State Sovereignty). In addition, permanent residence permits are issued to parents, spouses and children of aliens who have already obtained residence permits in Ukraine. Similarly, those are issued to refugees or guardians of Ukrainian citizens.
So, in case you have one of above reasons to get an immigration permit, you should contact the embassy (consulate) of Ukraine in your country – depending on whether you are outside the territory of Ukraine or in Ukraine, or else the visa office (department of visas and registration) in a local police station according to the place of residence in Ukraine.
Remember to attach to the application three photos, a copy of your ID, a document about the place of residence (those are issued by housing departments), data about your family, a copy of the marriage certificate (if you are married), a health certificate confirming that you are not suffering from chronic alcoholism, drug addiction, substance abuse or infectious diseases, the list of which is specified in a legal act (such certificates are issued in any clinic). In addition, you will have to submit special documents confirming your reasons for obtaining of immigration permit.
One of the documents shall be paid special attention. Most often foreigners do not have an opportunity to get a socalled registration. To solve this problem in no time there are two illegal and one legal options. The first option for you is to go to the Internet and find a bunch of “registration for sale” ads. You may agree to pay US $300 to get a residence permit with registration. Seems like everything is good, you’re happy. The second option is to find “experts”, which will register a residence permit and help you solve this problem. You agree and pay US $600 to get a license. So, you may ask what is wrong about it. Nothing, except the fact that buying a residence on the Internet you may easily come across scam artists, who will simply forge the document, and that would be a violation of the Criminal Code (restriction of the freedom up to 2 years). Buying a residence from the “experts” you take the risk of running into the use of the socalled mass registration addresses, which are often used to register more than 50 people, and the entire fraud scheme works due to a precinct policeman who could be easily fired at any moment, and then you will face “submission of false information”.
Both options may result in cancellation of residence permit and in some cases even forced return to the country of departure with a ban on entry into Ukraine. So, what can you do? You should ask for help from some friends, that is what you need. Ask one of them to register you temporarily in their apartment. This is the third and the legal option.
NOT TOO LONG FROM NOW
When your immigration application is granted, you shall apply for issuance of a certificate for the right of permanent residence in Ukraine. The certificate shall be issued within one week from the date of submission of the application.
Upon receipt of the certificate you are no longer a foreigner within the meaning of the laws of Ukraine. This means that you will be able to work in Ukraine without obtaining permits for foreigners (they are required for all foreigners under the law), you will not need to obtain any permits to stay in Ukraine (the socalled registration) – you will be able to stay here as long as you wish without any need to obtain a visa to enter Ukraine, etc.
Finally, it should be noted that international treaties between Ukraine and some countries may provide some particularities and differences from the above procedure.Printable version