April 16th, 2020

Coronavirus crisis - impact on Ukraine, update from ABEA Relocation

Coronavirus impact, ABEA Relocation, Ukraine

Today is exactly a month since Ukraine is quarantined in order to save the population from COVID-19 infection. On March 17, 2020, the first measures were introduced, about it below.

What became interesting and unusual in Ukraine (even for Ukrainians themselves) was that the Ukrainian government took precautionary measures against COVID-19 before the virus spread. At the time of quarantine, official statistics said only about five cases.

We suggest to look at the quarantine measures from the foreigners’ point of view.

Border crossing

1. The first step was to close all borders giving 3 days to enter and exit, the next was to forbid for foreigners without a residence permit to enter Ukraine.

That is, only those foreigners who have a temporary or permanent residence permit can enter Ukraine. Those who work in Ukraine in shifts or part-time were in an unenviable position. Often, such foreigners don't apply for a residence permit in order to save money, since they stay in Ukraine less than for 90 days out of 180 in fact. Given the circumstances, this category of foreigners will be able to enter only when the borders open officially.

2. Regular flights by air and ground transport were canceled. Even if a foreigner has a residence permit, he can only come in his own car.

3. Moreover, 2/3 of ground checkpoints were closed. It's necessary to be extremely careful when you choose the entry path, and check whether the checkpoint is open.

4. Foreigners who were in Ukraine at the time of quarantine can leave Ukraine on their own car through the working checkpoints. Alternatively, you can leave Ukraine by notifying the Embassy of the country of citizenship. Many countries organize irregular flights to evacuate their citizens.

Foreigners’ documents

1. To encourage everyone to remain on self-isolation, the Migration Service abolished administrative responsibility for violation of the deadlines for applying for obtaining / extension of a residence permit. In such a way, the migration service temporarily allowed unlimited staying in Ukraine of foreigners who entered Ukraine before the quarantine and did not have time to leave the country or legalize their status.  It means that after quarantine is over, everyone will be able to apply for a residence permit, even with missed deadlines.

2. The calculation term of 90 out of 180 days period also stopped for foreigners who entered Ukraine on a common basis, that is, without a visa. That will allow to leave Ukraine within a month after the end of quarantine, without being held accountable.

3. Difficulties were encountered by foreigners who received work permits and arrived in Ukraine, but can not be employed, as they cannot obtain a taxpayer code. Unfortunately, it is not possible to obtain the code during the quarantine. Thus even if you have a work permit in Ukraine, you cannot work officially.

What should we expect?

Like most people on the planet now, we also expect that the authorities and doctors will be able to stop COVID-19 as soon as possible. Right after that, the borders will open and the flow of tourists and the workforce to Ukraine will resume. The procedures for their coming and staying's legalization already exist, and we are ready to support.

For our part, we can confirm the following: we know lots of foreigners who wanted and planned to come to Kyiv this spring. But no worries - in the summer, borsch is also delicious!

Prepared by Svitlana Mozharivska, Head of Immigration Department, ABEA Relocation, Ukraine

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