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Exceeding the period of staying in the Ukraine for foreigners

As practice shows, exceeding the period of stay in Ukraine is one of the most common forms of violation of the migration legislation.

In particular that concerns non-residents whose citizenship allows the visa-free entering the territory of our country.

General rules of stay

The law of Ukraine provides two procedures of border crossing and stay in its territory from the standpoint of duration:

  • by visa – for citizens with visa-based procedure of entry. Duration of such stay is specified in the visa itself, however it may not exceed 90 days (according to procedure of visas issuance of visas approved by the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 01.03.2017 under number 118). Besides that, the visa also establishes a so-called visa corridor which provides the time frame for entry and stay;
  • by passport – for foreign citizens with visa-free border crossing. Both in case with visas, duration of stay according to the general rule cannot exceed 90 days, but there is no visa corridor. And for citizens of visa-free countries, the rule 90/180 is provided, according to which a person for the last half a year cannot spend more than 3 months in the country.

Possibilities of prolongation of stay

Since due to circumstances it is not always possible to leave the territory of the country in time, the current law, among other things, defines the corresponding Procedure approved by the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine under number 150 dated 15.02.2012 which provides the possibility of prolongation of foreigner’s legal stay in Ukraine.

The key criterion for successful approval of prolongation of the period of stay by the State Migration Service (hereinafter referred to as the SMS), there are sound reasons which made impossible leaving the country in time, and namely:

  • illness/medical treatment, and also pregnancy/child-bearing;
  • care for a sick relative;
  • registration of inheritance;
  • performing the journalist’s duties;
  • natural calamity;
  • repair of transport vehicle.

The list of reasons which may be considered as sound is inexhaustible, and therefore the stay can be prolonged theoretically for other reasons, too, for which a foreigner can give documentary evidence.

You should also understand that some reasons may be applied only in case this or that visa is available. Thus, repair of transport vehicle by default may put off the date of leaving (in case a transit visa is available and the travel by own transport)

Depending on the type of visa/visa-free status, the stay in Ukraine can be prolonged:

  • for the validity period of circumstances which make the leaving impossible, but in any case for not longer than 180 days from the last entering (for short-term visas (type C) and citizens for whom the visa-free travel is provided);
  • for transit visas (type B visa), the definition for “prolongation” is vague and it is linked only to the validity period of circumstances which do not allow continuing the travel in transit;
  • for persons who plan to migrate in Ukraine and got the type D visas – for not more than one month.

In cases of submitting documents for permit for migration, citizenship, or for a number of other reasons, the period may be prolonged even for a longer time (as agreed with the head of the corresponding authority of the State Migration Service).

All foreigners who cannot leave the territory of Ukraine in time should remember the tight deadline for submitting the corresponding applications:

  • not earlier than 10 days before expiration of the period of stay/of visa
  • not later than 3 days before expiration of the allowed stay.

For prolonging the period of legal stay in Ukraine, a foreigner should prepare the following documents:

  1. standard application form;
  2. certified translation of the passport document;
  3. photo;
  4. document about official payment for prolongation of the period of stay;
  5. documents from the inviting party.

 The inviting party shall provide:

  1. a documented confirmation of its financial state or a letter of guarantee about undertaking non-resident’s financial obligations;
  2. a document of ownership for the room where the foreigner will live, or owner’s permission for such living, in case the inviting party leases the premises;
  3. the passport of the citizen of Ukraine or a residence permit (in case a foreigner has come to a natural person);
  4. in case a non-resident was invited by a company or organization with a status of a legal entity, the following is submitted to the Migration Service:
  • director’s (or other head’s) passport
  • an extract from the Unified State Register;
  • a copy of the order under which the official who is engaged in registration of foreigners was appointed.

Options for citizens with a visa-free status who have no reasons for prolongation of the period (of stay)

The main advantage of the procedure of prolongation of foreigner’s stay is absence of the need of leaving the country. However, for those foreigners who have no problem with leaving Ukraine for a time, there are several options of “alternative” prolongation of stay.

For example, for citizens with visa-free entry into Ukraine, the advantages can be used which the 90/180 formula gives, and namely: the period of 180 days is measured back not from the date of the first entry, but from the approximate date of leaving. Namely for that reason, as soon as a foreigner leaves the territory of the country, his days for the future arrival begin to recover (one day outside the country gives an additional day in Ukraine).

It should be noted at once that such a scheme depends on a number of factors:

  • the dates and number of entries/leavings for the last 6 months;
  • leaving the country before expiration of 90 days (to avoid administrative violation).

Besides that, both for foreigners with visa-free travel and for other non-residents there is a possibility for getting a new visa, for example, a type D visa (which may be obtained for citizens of visa-free countries, too). You should understand that for getting such a visa, special reasons are required, such as: official work in Ukraine, family reunification etc. However, essential advantages of such a visa will be:

  • no need of waiting for a long time for “recovery” of days on the visa-free entry;
  • possibility of stay in the country for 90 days with the right of multiple entry/leaving;
  • possibility of getting a residence permit in Ukraine (usually it is actual for foreign citizens who need a long stay in the country).

Sanctions

Importance of the timely leaving Ukraine or prolongation of legitimacy of stay is stipulated by sanctions which are applied for breaching the corresponding norms of the law. This is especially exigent, if taking into consideration the changes in the legislation about administrative offences in part of strengthening the responsibility which were adopted in February 2018.

How it used to be

Before the said changes came into effect, the most common punishment for a foreigner was paying a fine in amount from 510 to 850 Hrn. which by standards of the most of citizens of foreign countries is not big money. Besides that, it was impossible to enter the country within 3 months.

How it happens now

The current version of the Administrative Offences Code of Ukraine and namely Article 203 provides stricter sanctions, and namely a fine in amount from 1700 to 5100 Hrn.

Besides that, the Law which regulates the legal status of foreigners and apatrides in Ukraine now provides that failure to pay the said fine (this concerns other administrative penalties and failure to fulfill financial obligations before private law persons, too) before leaving the territory of our country is a reason for entry prohibition in the future. With that, the prohibition can be both temporary and permanent – being entered in the corresponding national databases.

With the first such offence, the entry prohibition may be set for 3 years, and in case the foreigner tries to enter the territory of Ukraine earlier than that, then a 10-year entry prohibition will be for him. The period remaining from the 3 preceding years is added thereto, too.

Conclusion

Prolongation of stay is a common legal matter which foreign citizens in Ukraine face.

The main criterion for prolonging stay is availability of the corresponding reasons (illness, care for a sick relative, registration of inheritance etc) for which a foreigner should give documentary evidence.

Besides that, the inviting party, for a number of cases a natural person or a legal entity who invited the non-resident is to be engaged.

Although it is not always easy to find a reason for prolongation (and more than that, to give documentary evidence for it), it is important to react quickly to any circumstances which do not allow leaving the territory of Ukraine in time. Since, as of today, the problems may cause not so much of financial sanctions (which nevertheless is significant) as the potential prohibition of entering Ukraine in the future.

If you want to prolong the period of foreigner’s stay in Ukraine, please call.

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