Cancellation of a work permit for a foreigner in Ukraine

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Revoking a foreigner's work permit is a complex and significant legal process. It is not uncommon, for example, in cases such as the termination of a foreign employee's contract or their transition to another company; these situations provide valid grounds for permit cancellation.

This procedure necessitates adherence to the relevant regulations and legal requirements that safeguard the interests of both the company and the rights of the foreign worker.

This article will delve into the fundamental aspects and procedures associated with revoking a foreigner's work permit. Furthermore, we will offer practical advice and recommendations for effectively executing this process within the confines of the law. Learn how to properly and legally revoke a foreigner's work permit, mitigating risks for both the employee and the employer while ensuring full compliance with all necessary regulations.

You may also like: New Rules for Obtaining Work Permits in Ukraine in 2023

What is the mandatory procedure for both employers and foreign workers after termination?

The process of terminating foreign employees requires as much attention as the initial steps for obtaining work permits and residence status in Ukraine. 

When entering into a labor contract or agreement with a foreign worker, it is typically for a fixed term, explicitly aligned with the duration of the work permit. If this term has expired, the process of terminating the foreign worker is relatively straightforward: the employer issues the corresponding termination notice. The termination procedure follows the guidelines established by the Labor Code of Ukraine and is similar to the procedures for Ukrainian citizens.

Please note that during a state of war, residence permits, regardless of the grounds for their issuance, remain valid until the end of the conflict. Consequently, we recommend that our clients, who decide not to renew their employment relationship with a foreign worker after issuing the relevant termination notice, inform both the Employment Center that issued the work permit and the migration service to cancel the authorization documents.

In cases where there is a need to terminate a foreign worker's employment before the permit's expiration, the situation unfolds as follows: concurrently with the foreign worker submitting documents to obtain a residence permit, the employer must also submit an undertaking to notify the State Migration Service and the Employment Center of the premature termination of the labor contract with that employee. This notification results in the decision by both the Employment Center and the migration service to revoke the documents issued for employment and residence in Ukraine.

The action plan for an employer entails the following steps:

  1. Identify the reasons for terminating the employment relationship.
  2. Issue a termination order.
  3. Notify the Employment Center and the State Migration Service in writing about the termination of the employment contract with the foreign worker by applying any convenient format.

The action plan for a foreign worker in the case of premature termination is as follows:

  1. Upon receiving a copy of the termination order, visit the immigration service to surrender the residence permit and obtain a decision to cancel it.
  2. Deregister the registered place of residence due to the cessation of the grounds for further residence in Ukraine. To do this, apply to the Center for the Provision of Administrative Services.
  3. The final step involves leaving the territory of Ukraine within 7 days from the date of receiving a copy of the residence permit cancellation decision from the immigration service.

You may also like: Processing and Renewal of Work Permits for Foreigners During Times of War

How to Properly Cancel a Work Permit and Residence Permit in Ukraine?

Regulations do not prescribe standardized forms for notifications to the State Migration Service and the Employment Center regarding the early termination of an employment contract (agreement) with a foreign national. Therefore, employers may send notifications in any convenient format.

The notification should include the foreign worker's full name, nationality, passport information, details of their residence permit, and the date of the employment contract termination. If the notification is addressed to the Employment Center, it should contain the permit number and issuance date of the foreign worker's work permit, which is to be revoked.

To mitigate risks, we recommend sending notifications by registered mail with an itemized description of the enclosure and a delivery notification. Alternatively, you can deliberately request a receipt to obtain an incoming document number.

Both the Employment Center and the State Migration Service shall be notified within 10 calendar days from the date of termination.

Why is this important?

According to the Administrative Offenses Code, company executives can be subject to administrative penalties, such as fines for violations related to the employment process and other infractions that facilitate foreign nationals in avoiding departure from Ukraine upon the expiration of their authorized stay or that are aimed at their unlawful registration or residence permit acquisition.

However, employers must recognize that, under immigration legislation, they are the hosting party responsible for covering all state expenses associated with the forced deportation of foreign workers (Article 32, Part 2 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons").

There are also additional risks for employers as hosting parties. For example, this could contribute to the foreign worker's unlawful presence and their subsequent illegal re-entry into Ukraine, as the residence permit is effectively considered valid during a state of war, irrespective of the expiration date specified therein.

Furthermore, violating the procedure for canceling a work permit, in addition to potential fines, may result in the permit being revoked on alternative grounds (e.g., non-payment of the employee's social security contributions), making it possible for the employer to reapply for such a permit only after a year.

You may also like: Causes for Revoking Work Permits and Their Impact on Previously Issued Temporary Residence Permits

Real-Life Examples and How We Assist Our Clients

We recently had a case involving a US citizen who had previously held a managerial position in a Ukrainian real estate company. He had obtained a work permit and temporary residence permit in Ukraine. 

However, due to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, he decided to leave the country. To do so legally, he needed to properly terminate his employment in Ukraine. With this objective, he reached out to our company to ensure compliance with all Ukrainian legal requirements and minimize risks for both himself and the company.

Our lawyers conducted a thorough analysis of the foreign national's situation and guided the necessary personnel documentation. Since our client exclusively communicated in English, we also assisted him during his visit to the Center for the Provision of Administrative Services to deregister his place of residence.

We also prepared draft notifications for the Employment Center and the State Migration Service regarding the termination of the company's employment relationship with the foreign employee. Furthermore, we accompanied the client to the State Migration Service to facilitate the surrender of his residence permit.

After successfully completing all the necessary legal procedures and obtaining a copy of the decision declaring the residence permit invalid, our client was able to safely leave Ukraine, effectively minimizing associated risks. He now eagerly anticipates the conclusion of hostilities to return to Ukraine and resume his activities.

As your trusted legal partner, we stand ready to provide professional support in similar situations. Should you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our company. Our highly qualified attorneys will offer the necessary consultation and help you address all issues related to employment relationship termination, immigration procedures, and compliance with legal requirements.

We guarantee that your rights and interests will be diligently protected and considered throughout all legal processes.

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Publication date: 08/08/2023
Kuzava Vlasta

About author

Name: Kuzava Vlasta

Position: Junior lawyer

Education: Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko

Knowledge of languages: Ukrainian, English

Email: [email protected]

Joined the company in October 2022 as a legal assistant in the field of economic and migration law. During this time, he actively develops and sets himself the task of professional growth.

Her purpose is to provide high-quality and effective support to lawyers in their daily work. Thanks to the constant study of new legal trends and expansion of his knowledge, he helps to ensure the provision of quality legal services to our Clients. Believes in continuous self-improvement and is always ready for new challenges.
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