According to recent legislation passed in the Ukraine, a foreigner must obtain a work permit in order to legally obtain wages in the country. After a work permit is obtained, the second step is to apply for a work visa. In the past, foreigners had been permitted to register as private entrepreneurs and provide services as a consultant, tutor or translator etc. However, they also needed to pay a fixed monthly tax. This article will address the process of how to get a work permit and then a work visa in the Ukraine.
Why a Work Permit is Necessary
Any expat, who seeks work in the Ukraine for an extensive amount of time, will need to obtain a work permit. The following are two major reasons why a work permit is necessary.
- Your work activities are legalized and you can obtain legal wages
- You have the right to make your year round residence in the country
As previously mentioned in this article, new immigration laws have recently been put into effect. However, they have not yet been widely enforced throughout the entire country. Currently, only students with visas or individuals with work visas are permitted to reside in the Ukraine year-round. The work visa permitting year-round residency is called the IM-1 Visa. There are some other categories of visas which allow you to reside in the country for a term of only 6 months. As it pertains to business visas, these regulations are not yet widely enforced. Potential employers have been hesitant about completing the work permit and visa paperwork. However, this can potentially change as these business owners begin to better familiarize themselves with the process.
Requirements to Obtaining a Work Permit
In order to be considered for a work permit in Ukraine, you need to fulfill the following requirements.
- Have confirmed employment from a Ukrainian company
- Independent contractors cannot complete the paperwork themselves
- Employers must provide a majority of the documents
Steps on How to Obtain a Work Permit
It is important that your prospective employer is accommodating and prompt. Regulations state that the employers need to submit a wide variety of documents. Some of the steps that need to be completed must be done in Ukraine. Other steps should be taken via power of attorney. When the actual work permit is issued, you will then need to obtain the IM-1 Visa. For more details you can contact one of the Ukrainian Consulates near the Ukraine in Poland, Hungary, Russia, Romania or Slovakia. VisaHQ.com offers advice on how US citizens can obtain a Ukrainian visa. The following is a listing of the steps that a prospect must take in order to obtain a work permit.
1. Obtain a Government Stamp of Approval
The first step is also the most time consuming part of the process. Once you are accepted for a job in the Ukraine, you need to obtain a college diploma with apostille. This means that the Ukrainian government gives you a stamp or seal of approval that authorizes your document if valid in all of the countries who signed the Hague Convention in 1961. For US citizens, this step needs to be completed at a US State Government Office. If you were in the Ukraine on a temporary permit, you need to go back to the US to complete this step. Once received, the document must be mailed to the Ukrainian government and officially translated.
2. Tax Identification Code
Once the first step is completed, you must obtain a taxpayers identification code. You will need to visit the Kiev Central City Tax Office which is located at Sholudenka 33/19 during any weekday, but preferably in the lunch hour from 1 – 2 pm. You will need the following documents and to complete a short form:
- Your passport and an official Ukrainian translation of your passport which has been certified by a notary—you will be able to pick up your tax ID number a few days later.
3. Certificate of Police Clearance
A certificate of police clearance is also needed which confirms that you have no criminal record. For those applicants who are not in the Ukraine, they will need to obtain the certificate from the most recent place of residence. However, if you are already in the Ukraine on a temporary permit, the procedure is more direct. You can pick up a clearance form at one of the police administration offices. Every city should have a special window in the station where this can be obtained.
- You must visit the station in person with your passport as well as the officially translated copy which has been certified by a notary. Then you complete the certificate request. Several days later you can return to pick up the approved certificate. It will be valid for one month so you need to then proceed with the permit process.
4. Documents Needed from Employers
While you are working on the initial steps in this process, your prospective employer needs to be completing their own steps. They must make a public announcement of the job you will be taking and then notify the employment center 1 – 2 months before the actual work permit application is submitted. The goal is to validate that they had not been able to locate any viable Ukrainian candidates for the job and that it was necessary to hire a foreigner. The following is the list of documents that are required.
- Completed work permit application
- Receipt of the application fee payment
- Two color photos of the applicant
- Ukrainian police clearance certificate
- Copy of the applicants passport identification page
- Copies of applicants education and qualifications
- Documentation validating the necessity to hire a foreign employee
- Confirmation that the employer can provide for work and residence
- Documentation validating employees right to obtain a permit and visa
- Certification from government validating employer paid all taxes
- Certification that the employer has no outstanding debts to the Unemployment Fund
- Copy of the valid employment contract from the employer
- Documentation of the employers statute and registration certificate
- Statement with the employers seal and signature that confirms the employees prospective position does not require Ukrainian citizenship
Applying for a Work Visa
Once the work permit has been issued, the final step is to apply for an IM-1 Visa. If you are not successful, the employer will need to wait 1 year before reapplying for the visa. You will need to complete the visa application and provide the following: original work permit, 3 x 4 photo of applicant, passport, and letter from employer on official letterhead confirming the job.
Applying for a work permit and visa in the Ukraine can be a complicated process. However, if you and your prospective employer follow all of the requirements and steps correctly, you will increase your chances of successfully obtaining both.
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