January 10, 2012
We avail ourselves of this opportunity to express to you assurances of our highest consideration and feel it appropriate to inform you on the changes regarding entrance into force on December 26, 2011 the law of Ukraine “On Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons” (hereinafter – “the Law”).
Amongst other, the Law extends the list of grounds for staying of foreigners and stateless persons (hereinafter – “foreigners”). Before only the foreigners who arrived to Ukraine for an employment could obtain a temporary residence permit, from now on the temporary residence permit might be issued on the following grounds (the Law contains complete list of grounds):
- participation in implementation of projects of international technical assistance;
- participation in branch offices or representation offices of foreign banks;
- work in representation offices of foreign entities in Ukraine;
- with the purpose of family reunion.
The novelty is introduction of changes in the legal status of foreigners’ family members. In accordance with the Law foreigners who arrived to Ukraine with the purpose of family reunion are eligible for a temporary residence permit and thus to be considered as lawfully staying within the territory of Ukraine. Hereby from now on family members of foreigners who received the temporary residence permit may freely enter or exit Ukraine.
In order to obtain the temporary residence permit family members, depending on the citizenship of the person they arrived to Ukraine to, shall submit additionally: if the person is a Ukrainian citizen – the document which certifies the fact of being married; if the person is a foreigner – the document under which they are considered to be family members (requires legalization of documents unless otherwise provided for in the law or international agreement with Ukraine).
The Law foresees the establishment of national system of biometric verification and identification of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners. As the system starts functioning foreigners are obliged to present their biometric data for fixation during the border control at the state border checkpoints.
The following issues were regulated by means of law for the first time: the simplified procedure of registration of foreigners at the state border checkpoints, the list of persons released from registration obligation, the question of transit, the list of grounds for visa refusal, visa cancellation, list of documents confirming financial support or guarantee of its presence, procedure of reimbursement of losses connected with forced deportation.
The changes have touched upon the following questions as well: return of foreigners who are not allowed to enter Ukraine, shortening of terms of temporary stay, prohibition of forced returning or forced deportation or extradition or transfer of foreigners, deportation from the state, extradition of foreigners.
The Law for the first time settles the question of voluntary return of foreigners who have lost grounds for staying in Ukraine.
Over the past six months the following legislative acts (except the Law) entered into force: Rules for Visa Application for Entrance and Transit Through the Territory of Ukraine (approved by Resolution of Cabinet of Ministers as of June 1, 2011, N 567), Procedure on Consideration of Applications for Extending the Period of Stay in Ukraine for Foreigners and Stateless Persons (approved by Order of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine as of August 23, 2011, N 601), Procedure for Processing and Issuing a Temporary Residence Permit (approved by the Order of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine as of August 23, 2011, N 602), all together introducing comprehensive changes in the regulation of the legal status of foreigners.
We trust that the above information will be useful for you.
The above commentary presents the general statement for information purposes only and as such may not be practically used in specific cases without professional advice.