With the beginning of a full-scale invasion, more and more foreigners are coming to Ukraine to provide volunteer aid for Ukrainian civilians and the Armed Forces.
However, they have the right to legally stay in Ukraine for a total of only 90 days out of 180 days. To stay in Ukraine for a longer period, you need to get a temporary residence permit. One of the reasons for obtaining it is the implementation of volunteer activities in Ukraine.
In this article we will tell:
- which organizations have the right to involve foreigners in their work;
- does the volunteer need to sign a contract with the organization that involves him;
- how a foreigner can get a volunteer visa and what documents need to be prepared;
- how is the process of obtaining a temporary residence permit for volunteering;
- whether a foreigner-volunteer can be refused a residence permit;
- whether a foreign volunteer has the right to work or open a private entrepreneur in Ukraine.
Can every organization involve foreign volunteers in its activities?
No, not every one. In order to attract volunteers, the organization must be non-profit and be entered in the Register of non-profit institutions and organizations.
If the organization aims to cooperate with foreign volunteers and obtain them documents for residence in Ukraine, then information about such an organization must be posted on the official website of the National Social Service of Ukraine. The website contains a list of institutions and organizations that have submitted information on the involvement of foreign volunteers.
To publish information on the website, the organization must submit a corresponding letter to the NSSSU and attach the necessary package of documents to it.
Therefore, before inviting foreigners, the organization should take care of its inclusion in the list of NSSSU.
Foreigners are advised, before starting cooperation, to check the availability of information about the organization that invites you to volunteer on the NSSSU website.
Is it necessary to sign a contract between a foreigner and a volunteer organization?
No, not necessarily, but preferably. The contract will make it possible to clearly regulate the relationship between the volunteer and the organization, the scope of rights and obligations, the list of work to which the volunteer will be involved and the conditions under which cooperation can be terminated.
What is the sequence of documents for a foreign volunteer?
1. Obtaining a visa
First of all, a volunteer organization planning to attract a foreigner should prepare an invitation to Ukraine. The invitation is drawn up on the organization's letterhead and must contain the foreigner's personal data and the purpose of his trip. In addition to the invitation itself, the foreigner should also send copies of the organization's registration documents and information from the NSSSU website, certified by the head's signature and seal.
A foreigner will need to apply to the diplomatic mission of Ukraine to obtain a D-10 visa. Documents can be submitted to Embassies, Consulates of Ukraine, as well as visa centers that cooperate with Ukraine. For example, VFS Global.
You must first fill in the visa application form and prepare the following documents:
- passport and its copy;
- printed and signed visa application form;
- one photo measuring 35 x 45 millimeters;
- health insurance policy for the entire period of validity of the visa with a coverage of 30,000 euros;
- a document confirming the availability of sufficient financial support for the period of the planned stay in Ukraine (usually the organization's invitation itself is such a document, however, a foreigner may additionally be asked for a bank account statement, etc.);
- invitation of a volunteer organization;
- documents confirming the registration of a volunteer organization;
- a receipt for the payment of the consular fee (with the exception of citizens of countries for which visas are issued free of charge) - usually paid when submitting documents for a visa.
Pay attention! To apply for a visa, it is necessary that the passport, in which the visa label will be pasted, be valid for at least three months after the declared date of departure from the territory of Ukraine (at least 6 months) and contain at least two free pages.
Do all foreigners need a visa?
Citizens of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan do not need a visa to enter Ukraine and submit documents for a residence permit. For citizens of these countries, it is only necessary to comply with the norm of applying for a passport no later than 15 working days before the end of their legal stay in Ukraine.
Citizens of all other states must obtain a D visa to be able to apply for a temporary residence permit.
2. Entry into Ukraine
After obtaining a visa, a foreigner must make sure that the border crossing of Ukraine will take place no earlier than the date of validity of the visa. For example, if the visa begins to be valid on 03/15/2023, and the border was actually crossed on 03/14/2023, then such entry will be considered as a visa-free border crossing, and not under a D-10 visa. Thus, a foreigner will not be able to submit documents for a permit, because will not fulfill one of the mandatory conditions for its issuance.
Citizens of visa-free countries simply enter Ukraine with the appropriate package of documents.
When passing through passport control, it is worth paying attention to put a mark on the passport about crossing the border in the direction of entry with the correct date, which is clearly visible on the stamp.
In addition to the passport, one will need a copy of the invitation or a copy of it and a health insurance policy for the crossing.
3. Obtaining a temporary residence permit in Ukraine
When a foreigner is already in Ukraine, it is necessary to apply for a temporary residence permit. Documents for obtaining it can be submitted both to the divisions of the Migration Service, and to the Passport Services and the Administrative service centers (provided that they have been given the appropriate authority).
We advise not to delay the submission of documents, because It is only possible to apply to the Migration Service no later than 15 working days (19-23 calendar days) before the expiration of the visa or the period of legal stay (for citizens of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Uzbekistan) .
To issue a temporary residence permit, ot is needed to collect the following package of documents:
- passport and translation of the personal data page into Ukrainian;
- health insurance policy with any coverage for a period of 1 year;
- submission and registration document of a volunteer organization;
- a receipt for the payment of the administrative fee (paid directly during the submission of documents).
The processing of documents by the Migration Service will last 15 working days (3 weeks), the process can be tracked on the website of the SMS of Ukraine.
During the examination of documents at the address that the foreigner indicated as his address of residence, an inspection may come. Also, a foreigner may be called to the Migration Service for an interview.
In the event that the documents are completed correctly and the foreigner has successfully passed all checks, the Migration Service issues a temporary residence permit.
The permit will be valid for 1 year from the date of its issuance. It is allowed to extend the permit an unlimited number of times, provided that the reason for its issuance is preserved. That is, documents can be extended as long as the foreigner performs volunteer activities in Ukraine.
The extension procedure is no different from the obtaining procedure. It is necessary to collect the same package of documents + attach to it a temporary residence permit and a certificate/excerpt from the registration of the place of residence. Documents for extension (in the legislation the procedure is called "exchange") must be submitted no later than 15 working days (19-23 calendar days) before the expiration of the permit.
4. Registration of place of residence in Ukraine
You must register/declare your place of residence in Ukraine within 30 days from the date of receipt of the permit.
Documents for the registration of the place of residence are submitted to the Administrative service centers at the place of residence. It can also be made through declaration of place of residence through the Diya Portal.
Usually a volunteer organization also takes care of the registration. This moment must be discussed in advance. If the organization does not provide an address for registration of the place of residence, the foreigner must independently search for such an address. For example, one can contact the landlord with a request for registration, or find options on the Internet.
Can issuance of a permit be refused?
Yes, such a situation is quite possible.
Most often, the issuance of a permit is refused in the following cases:
- the foreigner submitted false information about himself (usually this point concerns the address of residence);
- the foreigner could not explain at the interview what his volunteering activities are;
- a citizen of a "migration risk" country applied for a permit and his migration is contrary to the state interests of Ukraine;
- the foreigner has debts, unpaid fines or unclosed executive proceedings;
- submitted incorrectly executed documents.
If the reason for the refusal to service is unpaid debts or errors in the documents, the reasons must be eliminated, and the documents must be submitted again. If, in your opinion, the negative decision was issued by mistake or illegally, such a refusal should be appealed to the SMS of Ukraine.
Can a foreign volunteer work in Ukraine?
Yes, foreign volunteers have the right to work on the territory of Ukraine. However, a mandatory condition for their employment is that the employer obtains a permit to employ foreigners and stateless persons at the Employment Center. For obtaining such a permit, the employer must pay a state fee of UAH 8,000 - 27,000, depending on the validity period of the permit itself.
Also, any foreigner has the right to open a private entrepreneur in Ukraine and provide his services on the basis of civil law agreements. A foreign entrepreneur, like any Ukrainian citizen, has the right to register under the simplified taxation system, provided that the types of economic activity of the sole proprietorship will correspond to the selected single tax group. Most often, foreigners stop their choice on the 3rd group of EP.