Ukraine has a rich culture, a great location near many other European cities, and a relatively low cost of living, which has made it an attractive destination for expats who wish to work remotely, or work for a Ukrainian company.
But what do you need before you can move to Ukraine? In this article, we’ll discuss the basics.
1. Start With A Long-Term Visa
There are three basic types of visas available in Ukraine for foreigners.
- Type B – This is a transit visa, allowing you to stay for in Ukraine for no more than 5 days.
- Type C – This is a short-term visa. You can stay in Ukraine for no more than 90 days, within the first 180 days that you enter Ukraine.
- Type D – This is the type of visa you should apply for if you want to move to Ukraine. You can stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days, and apply for a residence permit, which you will want if you plan to permanently move to Ukraine.
As outlined here, if you have a type D permit, you can move to Ukraine, but you will likely not be able to purchase a home, and you may have difficulty renting properties. To settle permanently in Ukraine, you will need a Residence Permit.
However, we recommend visiting Ukraine with a long-term visa first, so you can get an understanding of whether or not you like the country. If you plan on settling permanently, this is a good first step – you don’t want to move somewhere if you’ve never been there before.
2. Getting A Residence Permit
We recommend hiring a lawyer in Ukraine who has experience preparing official documentation for applying for a residence permit. This is especially critical if you are not yet fluent in Russian or the Ukrainian language.
There are two types of permit – permanent and temporary. To apply for a permit, you need to go to the Ukrainian Consulate or Embassy in your country.
If you are already in the country on a type D visa, you can go to the State Immigration Office of Ukraine.
A temporary permit is easier to get, and issued to people who are officially allowed to work in the country, or who are starting their own business in Ukraine, as well as students studying in Ukrainian universities. It’s valid for 1 year, but can be extended.
A permanent residence permit is harder to obtain. It’s usually given to:
- Scientists or other specialists who are willing to work for the benefit of Ukraine
- People who have invested more than 100,000 USD in the Ukrainian economy – purchase of property or a business, for example
- Relatives of current Ukrainian citizens (immediate family only)
- Ex-citizens of Ukraine
- The immediate relatives of an immigrant
- Foreign refugees who have been permanently living in the country
- Foreign citizens who have been married to a Ukrainian citizen for at least two years
- Persons in trusteeship of a Ukrainian citizen
- Foreigners born in Ukraine
There are a few other situations in which you can gain permanent residence. If you are approved for permanent residence, you may be able to apply for citizenship in the future.
3. A Source Of Income
Before you move to Ukraine, it’s a good idea to have a job or source of income, such as a business, lined up. You are unlikely to be approved for a residence permit if you do not already have proof of the occupation you are planning to do in the country.
In addition, a source of income is typically required to do basic tasks in Ukraine, such as rent a home, or get a vehicle or other type of transportation.
You will also need to work out taxes with your home country and Ukraine – understand your tax status, and how to pay your dues to the Ukrainian government, and your home government. This is important for avoiding legal trouble.
4. Finding Accommodations
It’s best to consult information about the particular city to which you’re moving when you’re thinking about accommodations. As a rule, both renting and purchasing property in Ukraine is cheaper than it is in America and other western countries.
For example, a one-bedroom studio apartment in Kyiv goes for around $300 USD per month for a rental, and the price for buying a new apartment is usually around $850 per square meter.
If you are interested in purchasing property, it’s important to note that Ukraine doesn’t distinguish between property ownership rights of foreigners and Ukrainian citizens. Non-Ukrainian citizens have the right to own property in Ukraine.
This means that foreigners can purchase real estate using the same process as a citizen. However, they are not allowed to purchase land.
If you are going to move to Ukraine permanently, it’s a good idea to invest in an apartment or home of your own, rather than rent, particularly if you already have a lot of money saved.
5. Moving To Ukraine
If you are moving permanently to Ukraine, you likely have a lot of furniture, clothing, heirlooms, and other such items that you will need to move to the country. While you could simply move and purchase everything again, this is usually not cost-effective – if you choose the right moving company, moving your items to Ukraine is quite reasonable in cost.
If you choose a reputable Ukrainian moving company, they can help advise you on shipping rules to the country, what items you can (and can’t) bring, and import/export rules. They will aid you throughout the entire process, and ensure that your most important items arrive undamaged, and in a timely manner.
Know What To Expect Before Moving To Ukraine
Hopefully, this basic guide has helped you understand what you need to relocate permanently to Ukraine. If you do choose to move to Ukraine, you’ll enjoy a rich culture, low cost of living, and friendly people. So consider your options, and think about what you’ve learned in this guide before you move to Ukraine!