Ukrainian Immigration Rules in 2016

Once upon a time, Ukraine established a so-called “visa-free” regime, allowing citizens of certain countries to enter its territory without a visa for a period of up to 90 days, followed by an obligatory departure for the next 90 days before such citizens could return on the “visa-free” status.  In reality, foreigners routinely overstayed their allotted time without any real consequences (at most, paying a nominal fine upon exiting the country).  It was that easy...

One confusing issue in this deceptively simple approach was the absence of a formula for calculating the exact period a foreign individual temporarily resided in Ukraine.  To clarify this matter, Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine № 884, dated July 20, 2015, and registered in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on August 5, 2015, under № 994/27389, set forth the procedure and a corresponding formula, which are currently used to calculate the exact term foreign citizens have temporarily resided in Ukraine on the “visa free” regime.

Specifically, as of September 9, 2015, the Ukrainian border guards started to calculate the period qualified foreign citizens remained in Ukraine by counting 180 days backwards from the day of actual entrance or departure.  For instance, if a foreign individual entered Ukraine on September 9th, the border guard would deduct 180 days in order to learn whether such foreign individual exceeded the term of his or her stay within this period of 90 days.  The same method is used to calculate as of the date of departure.

If a border guard discover that a foreign individual exceeded the acceptable term of residence in Ukraine, they will automatically issue a formal refusal to allow such indivicual to enter Ukraine.  Moreover, a State Customs Services representative will prepare a formal citation impose upon such foreign individual administrative liability under Article 203 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Violations.  In this citation the foreign individual signs off on all of his/her violations,  which is followed by assessment of an administrative penalty (paragraph 2 Article 203 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Violations), and specifically, a fine in the amount of 850 Ukrainian Hryvnas.

If the foreign citizen fails to pay the above penalty within a 15-day term as of the date he or she received the citation (paragraph 1 Article 307 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Violations), such individual will be required to pay double the penalty amount (1,700 Ukrainian Hryvnas) on the basis of p. 2 Article 308 of the Code.  Far worse, the border guards have a rather broad list of powers, including denying entrance to Ukraine for a term of 3 years for failure to comply with the state government bodies that are authorized to impose administrative penalties.   

Dealing with Ukrainian immigration authorities is surprisingly easy and pleasant, if one only follows the basic rules that are implemented elsewhere in the world.  If you have follow-up questions about Ukrainan immigration laws, if you wish to obtain a foreign work permit, or require any legal assistance in dealing with the Ukrainian immigration authorities, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Frishberg & Partners 2022