Permanent Residence in Ukraine (Part 2) – Rights, Renewals, Citizenship
So you have successfully become a Permanent Resident of Ukraine. What next? What are your rights and obligations? How do you maintain your PR status? How do you renew it? What if you lose your PR card or it gets stolen? How can you obtain citizenship of Ukraine? Read this guide for answers.
Key Benefits of PRP
This is part 2 of our guide on Permanent Residence (via Investment Scheme) in Ukraine. You may also refer to our guide Permanent Residence in Ukraine – Part 1 for detailed information on eligibility requirements, procedure, and timeline, if you have not yet applied for permanent residence in Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian law, foreigners who have obtained a PRP enjoy the same rights and obligations as citizens of Ukraine, except when otherwise stated by Ukrainian laws and international treaties.
The key benefits of the PRP are as follows:
- right to reside in Ukraine unlimited period of time during the PRP validity, freely leave Ukraine and re-enter its territory;
- right to extend PRP unlimited periods of times (each time for 10 years);
- spouse, parents and underaged children of PRP holder are eligible to obtain PRP in Ukraine;
- a permanent residence permit opens up an opportunity for obtaining citizenship of Ukraine (subject to certain conditions as listed below);
- right to work in Ukraine without necessity to obtain work permit ;
- right to obtain visas to third countries (if needed) at the embassies and consulates of other states on the territory of Ukraine;
- right to be registered as a private entrepreneur in Ukraine and enjoy Simplified Tax Scheme;
- right to do get access to free health care on the same level, as citizens of Ukraine, including (among others) free COVID-19 vaccination;
- during COVID-19 pandemic, no medical insurance is required to enter Ukraine during COVID pandemic for PRP holders;
- right to get a higher education on an equal grounds with citizens of Ukraine, including free higher education (at the expense of the state or local budget in Ukraine);
- right to obtain a driver license under the same procedure as citizens of Ukraine;
- permanent residence provides same rights, as rights of citizens of Ukraine with exceptions prescribed by law. Among the rights which do not apply for PRP holders are the following:
- right to vote at the elections
- being a civil servant
- acquisition of ownership of agricultural land
- the right to enter countries with a visa-free regime for holders of Ukrainian passports to travel abroad, if the citizenship of a foreigner requires a visa to travel to a specific country;
- some others as listed in law.
Obligations of a person who receives a PRP
A foreigner who obtained permanent residence permit is required to perform number of steps in order to inform on his/her resident status to number of institutions in Ukraine and fully enjoy PRP rights.
Here are key post-PRP tasks:
1. Address registration. After acquiring a PRP, foreigners must register their place of residence in Ukraine within 30 (thirty) calendar days after obtaining the permit or arriving at the new place of residence. Failing to comply with this procedure may result in a fine.
2. Compliance with Ukrainian law. All foreigners (including those who hold a PRP) who reside in Ukraine are required to comply with the Constitution of Ukraine and obey Ukrainian law.
3. Paying taxes. Note that obtaining a PRP does not automatically make a foreigner a Ukrainian resident for tax purposes. The tax residency of a person is defined by the Tax Code of Ukraine and any double-taxation treaty to which Ukraine is a party. In most cases, a person is recognized as a tax resident in Ukraine if he or she actually is living permanently in Ukraine and has his/her center of vital interest in Ukraine. In addition, according to the Tax Code of Ukraine, any foreigner registered as a private entrepreneur in Ukraine is a Ukrainian tax resident. Anyone deemed to be a tax resident of Ukraine is required to pay taxes in Ukraine on his/her worldwide income.
4. Becoming a banking resident of Ukraine. Note that a foreigner who has obtained a PRP is considered a “resident” with respect to Ukrainian banking law. Therefore, they must inform any banks in Ukraine where they hold personal accounts of their resident status, by providing the bank with their PRP information. This ensures that the foreigner’s account privileges are the same as for citizens of Ukraine (being able to receive payments from residents of Ukraine, etc). At the same time, limitations applicable to Ukrainian citizens will also apply to PRP holders, including a limit on the amount of funds that can be sent outside the country, up to the equivalent of EUR 200,000 per year.
5. Replacement of Driving License. Foreigners may continue using a foreign driving license for up to 60 days after the date their PRP was issued, provided that the particular license is acceptable under Ukrainian law and international treaties. During those 60 days they must apply to exchange it for a Ukrainian driving licence in order to drive a car in Ukraine. The exchange of driver’s license will be carried out after the individual has passed a medical examination to prove their fitness to drive and passed written and practical tests. (They are not required to take training at a driving school, as is required for holders of a temporary residence permit.)
A PRP holder who wants to obtain a Ukrainian driving license and does not have a foreign license can apply to a local driving school, pass the written and practical exams and get a Ukrainian driving license in the usual way.
6. No residency requirement. Unlike some countries that require foreigners to be present for a certain minimum period to maintain a permanent residence permit, in Ukraine there is no minimum (and no maximum) number of days that a PRP holder is required to stay in Ukraine to keep his/her residency.
Requirements for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship as a PRP holder
PRP holders are not required to apply for citizenship but are eligible to do so, subject to certain conditions as listed below.
Please note that Ukraine does not recognize dual citizenship. Therefore, anyone who wants to become a Ukrainian citizen must give up his or her previous citizenship.
To acquire citizenship, a PRP holder must:
- Declare the absence of foreign citizenship or sign an obligation to renounce it;
- Have lived legally in Ukraine continuously for five years as a PRP holder. Under Ukrainian law, residency is considered to be “continuous” as long as no single trip abroad exceeded 90 days, and days absent during a given year totaled no more than 180 days.
- Pass a Ukrainian language test;
- Provide evidence of having a legitimate means of earning a living;
- Recognize and comply with the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine.
Procedure for renewing a PRP
It is important to meet the deadlines to ensure your PRP is renewed on time
The following situations make it necessary to exchange an old permanent residence permit document for a new one:
- changes in the information entered in the permanent residence permit (e.g. change of name, surname);
- detection of an error in the information entered in the PRP;
- unfitness of the PRP for further use (mechanical damage);
- loss or theft of PRP;
- expiration of the PRP
- If there are circumstances, other than expiry, that make it necessary to exchange the permit, required documents must be submitted within one month after the event that prompted the exchange.
- If a change of surname and/or first name or patronymic creates a discrepancy in the records and makes it necessary for the foreigner to get a new passport, documents to obtain a revised PRP must be submitted no later than one month after receipt of the new passport.
- When the PRP expires, documents to get it renewed must be submitted no later than 15 working days before the expiration date.
Exchanging a PRP requires applying in person to the State Migration Service OR to a service center that provides administrative services on behalf of the State Migration Service.
Foreigners who are living abroad will need to plan a trip to Ukraine when the need to renew their PRP arises. PRP processing time is 15 working days.
Documents required to exchange a PRP:
- The original PRP document (except in cases of loss or theft);
- In cases of loss or theft of the PRP, an extract from the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations;
- Foreigner’s passport and a certified Ukrainian translation;
- In cases where a change of information is required (e.g. change of name, surname, etc.), documents confirming the circumstances or legal facts that make the PRP subject to exchange. (Documents issued by authorities in other countries must be legalized in a prescribed manner, unless otherwise designated in international treaties.)
- Original receipt confirming payment of administrative fee.
- Copy of immigration permit (the old one) OR documents that, in accordance with Ukraine’s immigration laws, confirm the grounds for obtaining an immigration permit.
If the PRP document has been lost, the foreigner must:
Step 1. Report the loss to the nearest police department. (If the loss took place abroad, report it to the nearest foreign diplomatic mission of Ukraine.)
Step 2. Obtain an extract from the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations.
Step 3. Collect the documents required to renew the PRP (see above).
Step 4. Apply for a new PRP to the State Migration Service OR to a service center providing administrative services on behalf of the State Migration Service.
When a PRP has been lost or stolen, a new document will be issued in its place in accordance with established procedures.
Consequences of violating these terms:
- When a foreigner has not applied for a new PRP document within the specified time limit, the original PRP will be revoked, declared invalid and destroyed;
- A foreigner whose PRP has been cancelled must deregister their place of residence and surrender the original PRP document to the Migration Service of Ukraine;
- After that, in the absence of grounds for remaining in Ukraine, the foreigner is obliged to leave the country within seven days after being notified that the PRP has been cancelled.
Please note that it is prohibited to use a cancelled PRP document. Violating this rule will result in administrative penalties in accordance with Ukrainian law.
Obligation to inform the Ukrainian Government of a change on passport
Please note that a change of passport where there is no change of personal details listed in the passport does not trigger any change to the PRP. The PRP doesn’t actually include any of the holder’s passport details.
However, a foreigner who, during their stay in Ukraine, has obtained a new passport must inform the State Migration Service in writing within 3 business days upon exchange of the passport.
Additionally, a PRP holder is obliged to apply to the State Migration Service to place a PRP stamp into the new passport. To do this, the PRP holder must provide his/her new passport, PRP card and certified translation of the passport.
Procedure for withdrawing a PRP
A foreigner who has decided to cancel a valid PRP should:
- Deregister his/her place of residence;
- Submit the PRP document to the State Migration Service, along with an application to cancel it;
- Leave Ukraine within seven days from the date of receipt of the decision of its cancellation.
Please note that in law there is no clear direct rule regarding the cancellation of a permanent residence permit at the foreigner’s own request, so this advice is made by analogy with the procedure for cancelling a temporary residence permit.