Council of Ministers of Ukraine Resolution no. 118 “On approval of regulations for issuing visas for entry to Ukraine and transit through its territory”, dated March 1, 2017, came into effect on April 16, 2017.
The new regulations are designed to adapt Ukraine’s migration and visa policy towards achieving European Union standards, and the normative-legal base regarding visas conforms with modern requirements. The document introduces unified, clear and transparent procedures for the issuance of Ukrainian visas. These are as follows:
- It is no longer necessary to provide invitations, issued by the State Migration Service of Ukraine, for foreign citizens’ entry to Ukraine for private or business purposes;
- The validity of long-term visa D has been increased – according to the new regulations, it will look like a 90-day multiple entry visa;
- The flat rate for processing all visa types has been reduced to USD 65;
- A single rate has been established for processing visas at checkpoints across the state border in the amount equivalent to 150 times the amount of a citizen’s untaxed minimum monthly wage (2,550 hryvnia);
- The time period for issuing visas has been shortened – an urgent visa requires five business days, while a standard visa requires up to 10 working days;
- It is now possible to submit visa applications online through the web page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine;
- The list of countries whose citizens may obtain visas for travel for business and tourism purposes has been expanded at checkpoints across the state border of Ukraine;
- It is now possible to submit a package of documents in order to obtain a visa at a foreign diplomatic establishment in Ukraine or an external service provider in person, through a legal representative or through the postal service;
- Applicants were interviewed using remote means of communication, allowing for the visual identification of the applicant.
Some of these changes, in fact, significantly improve and help foreigners to avoid certain inconveniences when visiting Ukraine.
Thus, one very important step is to remove the need to obtain an invitation from the State Migration Service of Ukraine, on the basis of which foreigners used to obtain an entry visa for Ukraine. This procedure previously required gathering a large number of documents, and the decision about the design of the invitation of the host migration service within the period from 10 to 20 calendar days. After this requirement was abolished, in order to obtain a visa to enter Ukraine, a foreigner shall present one of the following documents, together with the other documents, to the Consulate of Ukraine:
1.An invitation that has been registered in Ukraine by a legal entity, drawn up on a company’s official letterhead, indicating the company’s EDRPOU registration number, date, last name and first name of the invited person, information about his date and place of birth, citizenship, passport details, place of residence, purpose of the visit, planned duration of the visit to Ukraine, number of entries, place of residence in Ukraine, and the legal entity’s obligation to cover the possible costs associated with the invited person’s stay in and departure from Ukraine;
2.A notarized invitation from an individual who is a Ukrainian citizen, foreigner or stateless person and who is lawfully residing in Ukraine (temporarily or permanently), including his surname, name and patronymic, passport details and a permanent or temporary residence certificate (for foreigners and stateless persons), place of residence, the first and last name of the invited person, information about his date and place of birth, citizenship, passport details, place of residence, purpose of the trip, period for the planned visit to Ukraine, number of entries required and place of residence in Ukraine, and statement obligating the individual to assume the possible costs associated with the invited person’s visit to and departure from Ukraine. The invitation shall be accompanied by a copy of the passport document and type of permanent or temporary residence (for foreigners and stateless persons) of the inviting individual in the host country (Ukraine).
A no less important event is to increase the term of the long-term visa D from 45 days to 90 days and to provide opportunities to use such a visa as multi-entry. Such changes primarily allow a foreign citizen more time to process a residence permit in Ukraine and also removes certain restrictions for foreigners, in addition to entitled the foreigner to leave Ukraine prior to actually registering a residence permit.
Thus, prior to adopting these regulations, a foreigner arriving in Ukraine on the basis of long-term visa D had to first receive a residence permit, after which time he could leave Ukraine. At the same time, the process of registering residence in Ukraine, followed by registration one’s place of residence takes no less than 15 calendar days. During this time, a foreigner has limited opportunity to leave Ukraine due to the fact that, if he crosses the border of Ukraine to process a residence permit, visa D is automatically considered that visa D was used.
Taking into account the above changes in legislation, according to EBS lawyers, visiting Ukraine will become more accessible and transparent for foreigners and it will also make it easier to obtain the documents required for crossing the Ukrainian border.
Author Maxim Leschinsky