How can a foreigner enter into marriage in Ukraine?

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You came to Ukraine, met your love and want to take your relationship to the next level? This is a lovely desire, which needs to be properly executed.

As far as marriage will affect the rights, interests, obligations of the fiance and fiancee in the future. 

Laws of Ukraine often differ from laws in foreign countries. Thus, some rights and obligations that arise due to marriage may also differ. 

Marriage is your ticket to Ukraine, the opportunity to get a residence permit in the country and stay with the person you love. Take care of making this step safe.

Please note! A Temporary Residence Permit through marriage is the only type of the Temporary Residence Permit, which can be replaced by any other type of the Temporary Residence Permit without leaving the country. That is, if you have a Temporary Residence Permit in Ukraine on the basis of a Work Permit, you can apply for a Temporary Residence Permit by marriage at least 15 business days before the end of its validity period without going abroad.

Note: at the end of this text you will find the cost of legal services that you may need when getting married in Ukraine.

Related article: Staying In Ukraine On The Basis Of Marriage: Is It Possible To Check Your Soulmate In Advance?

What law regulates the marriage of a foreigner in Ukraine?

Since you want to register your marriage in Ukraine, it is worth applying the legislation of Ukraine, namely, the provisions of the Family Law.

A qualified specialist will draw your attention to the peculiarities of the procedure, as well as to rights and obligations that arise due to marriage. This will help you understand whether the situation is acceptable by the laws of your country of residence.

What a foreigner needs to get married in Ukraine?

If a Ukrainian citizen and a foreign national want to register their marriage in Ukraine, they shall submit a certain package of documents.

The fiance and fiancee should file an application with the following documents:

1. A Ukrainian citizen:

  • a passport;
  • a divorce decree or a certificate confirming dissolution of a previous marriage (if any).

2. A foreign national:

  • a passport, as well as its translation certified by a notary;
  • a passport page with an entry stamp;
  • a divorce decree or a certificate confirming dissolution of a previous marriage (if any).

Depending on the home country of one of the future spouses, the submitted documents shall be legalized or apostilled.

Our lawyers can help you to properly execute these documents, as well as provide legal support and assistance with the marriage registration.

Related article: D-Type Visa In Ukraine: What To Do If Visa Expires?

Where shall a foreigner submit an application and documents for marriage?

In Ukraine, marriage is registered by local bodies of the State Registration Service of Ukraine. This is the official authority that registers marriage both between Ukrainian citizens and between Ukrainians and foreigners.

When submitting an application, it is required to pay the state fee for the services provided.

The application should be submitted personally by the future spouses. This method will also save them from improper execution of documents. The applicants can also file the documents online. However, in this case, they shall have the scan copies of all the documents and an electronic signature.

Marriage can also be registered by a Consular Office or diplomatic mission. But in this case, the laws and regulations of the relevant country, not the Ukrainian legislation, will be applied.

Please note! The norms of the Ukrainian law can be used in any other country when registering marriage, if the fiance(e) is a citizen of Ukraine. However, you shall also take into account foreign legislation, as you will apply to a foreign authority.

What is the difference between the registration of marriage between Ukrainians and foreigners?

The marriage registration procedure remains absolutely the same. The only peculiarity is that a foreigner shall submit a few more documents.

Can a foreigner conclude a Prenuptial Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement can be concluded when registering marriage. The future spouses can explicitly specify the law which will be applied to regulate the Prenuptial Agreement.

Signing a Prenuptial Agreement is a sensitive and complex process, as it affects the property and personal rights of the fiance and fiancee.

If a foreigner doesn’t know properly the Ukrainian laws or the Ukrainian language, he/she may not understand the terms and conditions specified therein. And the worst part is that a foreigner may fail to keep track of the restrictions imposed on his/her property and personal rights. However, an interpreter with knowledge of legal terminology or a lawyer with good knowledge of the language will help in this matter.

On the other hand, it is a reliable way to protect your rights and set forth such issues as spousal maintenance, potential child support payments, etc. We can advise you on the full list of property rights and obligations that can be envisaged in a Prenuptial Agreement.

Related article: How To Execute A Prenuptial Agreement In Ukraine?

What problems may a foreigner face when getting married in Ukraine?

Inconsistency in laws. It’s worth remembering that in case of interethnic relations, the law governing personal rights and responsibilities will always be a critical point.

In the future, a parent and child born in marriage may be citizens of different countries, or a person may have property in one country and his/her place of residence may be in another country.

For example, in case of death of one of the spouses, the inheritance may be in different places - in Ukraine and in another country thousands of miles away. This may cause some problems - the national law that applies to the inheritance may not allow you to  receive the inheritance. And vice versa - in some cases, foreigners are  not entitled to accept the inheritance in Ukraine

Sometimes a foreigner from a country where polygamous marriages are legal wants to register the same kind of marriage in Ukraine. Yes, a Ukrainian woman can get married, become a second or third wife, but if she returns to Ukraine with her husband, their marriage will be void and invalid, even if it was concluded in Ukraine.

All issues concerning the registration of the marriage can be regulated by the Ukrainian law, but if the spouses decide to divorce in another country, the divorce laws of a foreign country may be inconsistent with the Family Law of Ukraine. 

Such controversial points can result in long court proceedings. Therefore, lawyers advise to anticipate all such issues and prescribe such nuances in the Prenuptial Agreement. 

Legal support of the marriage in Ukraine

Our law firm in Ukraine offers its services for the smooth celebration of marriage between a non-resident and a citizen of Ukraine, as well as further registration of legal stay in Ukraine, if necessary.

We are most often addressed on the following questions:

  • Is it possible to get  married in Ukraine quickly, before the term of the foreigner’s stay is over?

  • Is it possible to get married in Ukraine and obtain a Temporary Residence Permit on its basis?

  • Is it possible to get married in Ukraine within the legal period of the foreigner’s stay and then live as a family in another country?

We usually offer our Clients several possible algorithms:

Option 1: If you want to get married in Ukraine and get a Temporary Residence Permit through marriage.

In this case we offer the following services (we give an approximate service price for your convenience):

  • Issuance of an invitation letter from a legal entity for 2-4 weeks so that a foreigner can enter Ukraine (the need for this step depends on the foreigner’s country of residence) - USD 400;

  • Organization and legal support of marriage in Ukraine, including urgent marriage - USD 900;

  • Preparation of documents for departure and entering Ukraine, and obtaining a D-type visa (including the invitation from the bride) - USD 200;

  • A health  insurance policy for 1 year with coverage for COVID treatment, which is a prerequisite for obtaining a D-type visa and the subsequent obtainment of a Temporary Residence Permit through marriage - USD 200;

  • Full guaranteed support for obtaining a Temporary Residence Permit through marriage (after returning with a D-type visa) - USD 550.

Option 2: If you want to get married in Ukraine within the stipulated period of the foreigner’s legal stay without further obtaining a Temporary Residence Permit.

In this case, we offer you a slightly reduced block of services:

  • Issuance of an invitation letter from a legal entity for 2-4 weeks so that a foreigner can enter Ukraine (the need for this step depends on the foreigner’s country of residence) - USD 400;

  • Organization and legal support of marriage in Ukraine, including urgent marriage - USD 900;

  • Consultation on the legalization of the Ukrainian citizen in the country of residence of a foreign spouse, if necessary - USD 200.

Option 3. If you want to get married in Ukraine and get a Temporary Residence Permit here, but you cannot do this on the basis of marriage for certain reasons.

This situation may arise, for example, if your country of residence is included in the list of “problematic” countries, and at the consulate you may have problems at the stage of obtaining a visa or entry by invitation. In this case we offer the following services:

  • We start the procedure for obtaining a Temporary Residence Permit without grounds through the registration of a Ukrainian company. To do this, we establish a company, obtain a Work Permit for a foreigner in Ukraine and draw up other documents needed to enter  Ukraine and obtain a Temporary Residence Permit - the first part is paid at once - USD 2,500 (this amount is divided into two payments).

In this case, a foreigner will have a year to get married and after a year a person will decide on what basis to renew the Temporary Residence Permit. This option is perfect if:

  • You plan not just to get a Temporary Residence Permit, but to organize and develop your business in Ukraine;

  • You want the status of your Temporary Residence Permit does not depend on your marriage.

Note: After 2 years of marriage you can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit in Ukraine.

Protection of rights to real estate with a marriage contract and other issues that can be spelled out therein

We were contacted by a married couple: the wife is Ukrainian and the husband is a German citizen. Despite the number of years they have lived together, they face the need of a legal “safety cushion” for each partner in the case of the dissolution of the marriage. 

A marriage contract can be concluded both before and during the marriage. However, in the first case, the marriage contract will enter into force on the day of the marriage, and in the second - on the day of registration of the contract. 

The situation of our Clients had a lot of nuances. So, the family had real estate in Ukraine, and not only, and wanted to pregotiate the possibility of its division.

First of all, we consulted them and explained that in case of need in the property division in their situation, it will be better to do this with a separate act. Having clarified this point and the issues that should be reflected in the agreement, we proceeded to the stage of drafting the marriage contract. 

Please note! The Internet today offers you a plethora of marriage contract templates. Why not use any of them? The fact is that when drawing up the marriage contract, one must take into account the characteristics of each of the partners: property, citizenship, etc., to make a contract based on the needs and desires of the couple – it will be extremely difficult to do, because the template was made for another couple or based on the most common requests, and will not meet the specifics of your case. In such templates you will not find any settlements, for example, related to the procedure and the amount of support for the common children, or a special procedure of using the property. It is also important to consider the specifics of each couple and their property: how it will be divided in case of divorce.

A special feature of our Clients’ contract was the fact that the document had to be valid outside Ukraine. Firstly, the spouses were citizens of two different countries, and secondly, they had business, as partners, in the state of which neither he or she was a citizen. Legalization of the marriage contract outside of our state is not the most difficult issue, but a quite time-consuming procedure. 

At the same time the contract specified the law of Ukraine as the one the parties would be guided by in case of the divorce and division of property.

In view of international law, we have compiled a bilingual marriage contract. Such a document can also be drawn up in one language, but in the situation of our Clients, the drawing up of a bilingual contract in the future will save them from the additional expenses on translation.

Then our task was to notarize the marriage contract. The procedure was completed by certifying the apostille, which in the future will facilitate the procedure of recognizing the legal force of this contract. 

Our law firm offers you assistance in drafting a marriage contract at any stage of your marriage. We can help you with:

  • Answers to your questions about the process and nuances of drafting a marriage contract in your particular case;

  • Preparation of the draft marriage contract, taking into account the interests of both parties;

  • Conclusion of the marriage contract, as well as its subsequent legalization in other countries, if necessary;

  • Solution of other issues that may arise when concluding your marriage or marriage contract in Ukraine.

One of the latest trends in the conclusion of marriage contracts in Ukraine is one for the founders of startups, who are counting on a fast-growing business and attraction of investments, including – foreign ones. Such plans can be easily ruined by a divorce without a concluded in advance and well thought-out marriage contract.

Take care of your future – contact professionals who will keep you from making the false moves and taking the wrong actions.
Publication date: 09/01/2020

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