Is it possible to obtain citizenship of Ukraine if you have relatives here?

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Today, many foreigners who have relatives in Ukraine move to the country and later intend to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. A Ukrainian passport gives a lot of opportunities, including free travel to European countries. It’s difficult to decide independently how to acquire citizenship, because each case has its own algorithm of actions.  

One of the most common cases of applying for Ukrainian citizenship is when a person has relatives who were born or lived on the territory of Ukraine. This is the so-called “territorial origin”, which may be used as a ground for obtaining citizenship. However, even if you have relatives in Ukraine - you should understand whether this ground will work for your case.

Today, we will provide general information, which will help you better understand the topic and possibly find answers to your questions. If you want to proceed to action, don;t hesitate to contact our experts.

You may also like: Grounds for Obtaining Ukrainian Citizenship

Who has the right to acquire Ukrainian citizenship due to their territorial origin?

The first thing to pay attention to is the degree of kinship. You are entitled to citizenship only if you have the following relatives:

  • parents (mother, father);
  • grandparents, great-grandparents;
  • brother, sister (including half-brother/half-sister);
  • son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter.

This does not apply to the following relatives: husband, wife, cousins and third cousins, aunt, uncle, etc.

Second, such relative must have been born or permanently resided before August 24, 1991, in the territories that:

  • became the lands of Ukraine after the collapse of the USSR;
  • were part of any of the Ukrainian republics (Ukrainian People's Republic (UPR), West Ukrainian People's Republic (WUPR), Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR) of Transcarpathian Ukraine, etc.

This question should be studied from the historical point of view, because, for example, before the First World War, the Ukrainian lands - Eastern Galicia, Bukovina and Transcarpathia - were part of Austria-Hungary, and the territory of Crimea became Ukrainian officially in 1954.

It is also necessary to take into account that the vast majority of settlements have already been liquidated, renamed or merged with others.

Note that a foreigner can acquire Ukrainian citizenship by territorial origin:

  1. if he/she was born or lived in the specified territories;
  2. together with their minor children (under 18 years of age).

Documents to be prepared for submission to the migration service:

  • passport;
  • obligation to renounce foreign citizenship or a corresponding declaration;
  • documents confirming the birth or residence in these territories before August 24, 1991 (e.g., birth certificate, court decision establishing the fact of birth or residence);
  • documents confirming family relations with a relative who was born or lived in Ukraine (birth certificate, marriage certificate, name change, etc.).

A foreigner must have documents confirming the legality of stay in Ukraine: a Permanent/Temporary Residence Permit, visa, if staying visa-free, up to 90 days (in total) within the last 180 days.

Due to the fact that the documents are submitted at the place of residence of a foreigner, in case of absence of place of registration, a foreigner must specify the address of actual residence and then register the place of residence.

After a careful study of your documents, our lawyers will be able to offer you the best option, prepare documents for submission to the migration authorities and will accompany the entire procedure.

Please note! Obtaining Ukrainian citizenship is a process which may take many months. It is necessary to keep abreast of the process without missing any deadlines.

See the cost of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship by territorial origin here.

We offer you the assistance of a team of migration lawyers in Ukraine. We do not close our doors even in difficult times and will help you find an easy solution to your legal issues.

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Everything about Acquisition of Ukrainian Citizenship here.

Publication date: 05/04/2022

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