October 27, 2011
As a follow up to Pro-Link GLOBAL’s 10 August 2011 Global Brief (link) the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has announced that as of October 3, 2011, it will no longer renew residence permits obtained under the “IM-1” visa status and a new “D” visa must be obtained prior to initiating a residence permit renewal application. In addition, as of October 20, 2011, non-working dependents of a work permit holder will be unable to obtain a Temporary Residence Permit until new family “reunification” visa regulations are implemented in early January 2012.
New “D” Visa Requirement for Residence Permit Renewals
Prior to October 3, once a work permit application was approved, foreign nationals obtained an initial residence visa (“IM-1” visa) from a Ukrainian consular post and entered the Ukraine to conclude their Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) application formalities.
As of October 3, once the Centers of Employment of the Ministry of Labor approves a work permit renewal application, TRP renewal applicants must depart the Ukraine and apply for a new “D” visa endorsement with the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate in their home country. All first-time applicants filing for a long-stay visa on or after October 3 will be issued a “D” visa. It is assumed the reason for this change is to bring the Ukraine’s visas in line with the standard Schengen visa designations.
For “D” visa applicants, visas are to be issued by the Ukrainian consular post within 15 days of submitting an application. Most “D” visas are valid for single entry and require travel within 45 days of issuance.
It is strongly recommended that “D” visa holders enter the Ukraine within a few days of their visas being issued in order to file a residence permit application with the State Migration Service (SMS) as quickly as possible, as it may take at least two weeks to receive a residence permit. Failure to file a TRP application within 45 days will require application for a new “D” visa at a consular post.
Once issued, a Ukraine TRP is valid in one-year increments. Future TRP renewals will not require revalidation of the “D” visa provided a TRP renewal application is filed prior to expiration of the assignee’s/family member’s existing TRP.
New “Reunification” Visa for Joining Family Members
On October 20, 2011, the Ukrainian president signed a new regulation (N 3773-VI “On Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons”) that will no longer permit family dependents to file a long-stay “D” visa application at the same as the assignee. Family members will be required to file for a “reunification” visa once the assignee obtains his or her TRP.
Implementation of this new regulation by the Ukrainian consular posts is scheduled to occur on December 20, 2011. However, due to Christmas and New Year holidays, consular posts may not fully implement the new family “reunification” visa requirements until after mid-January 2012.
Prior to this new regulation, once an assignee’s work permit application was approved, the assignee and family members could file together their long-stay visa applications with a Ukrainian consular post.
For family members who wish to accompany assignees to the Ukraine between October 20 and December 20, 2011, application can be made for a short-stay visitor visa (“C” visa). Visa-exempt nationals may also enter under a visitor status. Visitor stay will be limited to 90 cumulative days within a given 180-day period. Visitors wishing to remain in the Ukraine for more than 90 days must apply, prior to the expiration of their existing visitor status, for an extension with their local SM S by evidencing the assignee’s temporary residence permit. The SMS has discretion to issue an extension for family members for another 90 days (180-day maximum period of stay).
For family members applying for a long-stay “D” visa on or after December 20, 2011, under the new regulation, application can only be made after the assignee has entered the Ukraine and received his or her TRP. Once the assignee’s TRP has been issued, the assignee can file a request the SMS to authorize issuance of “reunification” visas to each qualified family member. Upon entering the Ukraine with their “D” visas, all family members will proceed with concluding their TRP formalities.
ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS
These new regulations will require companies to review with their Global Mobility Specialists (GMS) the need for an additional home leave visit to apply for a new “D” visa for TRP renewal applicants. In addition, under the new family “reunification” visa, GMS will also need to consider timing both the travel by family to the Ukraine and the housing/schooling arrangements under a “split-family” relocation package.
New “D” Visa Requirement for TRP Renewals: The absence of advance notification to the new consular process requirement may come as an unexpected requirement for Ukrainian company sponsors and assignee and family members alike. Therefore, if companies have pending resident permit renewal applications on behalf of assignees and their family members, it is strongly urged to contact your immigration supplier to review the potential for assignees and family members to depart the Ukraine and return to their home country to consular process for their new “D” visas and re-enter the Ukraine to conclude all TRP renewal formalities.
Family “Reunification” Visas: The new regulation will not allow family members to file a simultaneous long-stay “D” visa application and will therefore create a “split-family” assignment. For family members wishing to accompany assignees prior to December 20th, short-term visitor status is the only option. After December 20th, ability to file and receive a long-stay “D” visa based on family “reunification” may require patience and flexibility until Ukrainian consular posts implement their visa application requirements.
This news alert was provided in coordination with our Ukrainian KGNM- Roedl & Partner TOV.
Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader
This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.