Ukraine: further simplification of employment and immigration procedures for foreigners

On 23 May 2017, the Ukrainian Parliament passed the law changing the procedure of obtaining work permits and temporary resident permits (the “Law”).

The Law aims to establish clear, transparent and foreigner-friendly work permit and temporary resident permit procedures.

The principal changes to be introduced by the Law are as follows:

On work permit procedure:

  • overall number of documents required for a work permit for a foreigner in Ukraine has been significantly reduced;
  • maximum validity term of a work permit has been increased from one year to three years for certain categories of foreign employees including, among others, (i) founders / participants / beneficial owners of Ukrainian companies, (ii) ‘highly paid’ professionals (with a salary of more than UAH 160,000 or ca. EUR 5,500), (iii) IT specialists, (iv) secondees and (v) graduates of top 100 world universities;
  • minimum salary level to be paid to foreigners employed in Ukraine has been established: UAH 16,000 (ca. EUR 550) for those employed by public associations, charity funds or some other types of NGOs; and UAH 32,000 (ca. EUR 1,100) for all others. However, such minimum salary requirement does not apply to specific categories of employees, listed in the paragraph above;
  • clear rules for parallel employment of foreigners by two or more Ukrainian companies have been introduced: this is now possible subject to obtaining a work permit for each position (with exception to highly paid professionals, who may not necessarily need several work permits for their parallel jobs).

On temporary resident permitting procedure:

  • foreign founders / participants / beneficial owners of Ukrainian companies are entitled to obtain temporary resident permits, provided that:
  • they are duly registered as founders / participants / beneficial owners of Ukrainian companies with the Ukrainian state company registry; and
  • they hold a participatory interest (shares), directly or indirectly, in the Ukrainian company with a nominal value of EUR 100,000 at the moment of making their foreign investment.

The Law is an important step forward towards improving the investment climate in Ukraine and engaging foreign-trained managers and employees, who are now in great demand at the stage of ongoing reforms in Ukraine.

The Law is yet to be signed by the President and will come into force three months after its official publication.

Legislation: The Law No 4541 On Amendments of Certain Legal Acts to Cancel Barriers for Foreign Investments.

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