Work permit in NGO or charitable organization in Ukraine for a foreigner

Recently, more and more citizens of foreign countries are coming to Ukraine with the purpose of providing assistance. Basically, these are volunteers who act voluntarily and without compensation.

An organization that attracts volunteers must organize such activities properly to avoid questions about improper use of funds by tax and other state authorities.

Particular attention should be paid to organizations that involve foreigners in their activities, not only as volunteers, but also as employees. It is very important to comply with all the requirements and not to violate the restrictions established by law.

We will talk about the possibilities, pros and risks of the situation when a foreigner plans to get a Temporary Residence Permit in Ukraine through volunteer activity or official employment in a Ukrainian public or charitable organization.

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Peculiarities of the work of a foreign volunteer in Ukraine

It should be understood that this is not a job, so organizers cannot pay royalties or salaries. Already at this stage, the public organization or charitable foundation faces the first challenges:

  • how to organize a volunteer's stay;
  • how to arrange catering for the volunteer;
  • how to organize the delivery of material goods (e.g., humanitarian cargo);
  • in case of violations, how to bring to justice, to recover the damage caused, especially from a foreign citizen.

The next point that is mandatory for volunteer activities is social orientation, that is, the focus on helping specific segments of the population, animals, etc. (a way to solve complex problems of the individual, society and environment).

Please note! Volunteer activity can by no means be profitable.

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What is the difference between volunteering and employment?

Labor legislation, including the Labor Code of Ukraine, does not establish labor rights or guarantees for volunteers. That is, on the one hand, there is no provision for working hours, vacations, social benefits, and on the other hand, there is no liability, for example, in case of harm.

Therefore, many organizations strive to conclude appropriate agreements with volunteers to stipulate the procedure for carrying out volunteer activities. However, this approach doesn't provide a 100% effective solution, because both the volunteer and the organization don't receive adequate legal protection and guarantees compared to the norms established for labor relations.

Considering all these risks, more and more public and charitable organizations choose such form of cooperation with foreign citizens as employment. It has fewer risks, correctly regulated by labor legislation, therefore both the employee and the employer receive certain guarantees.

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Procedure for employment and obtaining a work permit with a Ukrainian non-profit organization

A public or charitable organization enters into an employment agreement or contract with a foreigner, accordingly, these relations fall under the regulation of labor legislation. Thus, clear rights and obligations of the parties, working hours and vacation time, social guarantees, liability of the parties, the procedure of compensation for damages, conditions of termination of employment relations, dispute resolution procedure and many other important aspects are established.

Based on such agreement one can proceed to obtaining a work permit in Ukraine.

If necessary, you can provide a procedure for protection of personal data and regulation of intellectual property relations.

Also a foreigner receives payment of wages, and this is a legal way to receive income in Ukraine, that is, there will be no questions about the foreigner's funds for living.

A public or charitable organization, for its part, by paying taxes additionally contributes to the development of the Ukrainian economy, and by deducting the military tax, supports our Armed Forces.

Our lawyers analyze the specifics of this or that public or charitable organization, which intend to attract foreigners, and recommend to choose the employment as the more reliable and effective option.

This year more than ten public organizations and charities have applied to our company to attract foreign citizens to their activities.

In most cases after a detailed study of organizational matters together with their management and our lawyers employment was chosen as the most reliable, effective and safe option. Only two Clients were recommended for volunteering, and one was offered to bring foreigners as members of a representative office of a foreign organization.

For example, we were contacted by a non-governmental organization that actively involves foreigners in the implementation of its programs, while having the status of a volunteer organization. However, after conducting an analysis and studying all the peculiarities of its activities it was found that there was a need to protect property and intellectual rights. Given these points, our lawyers suggested involving foreigners through employment.

Such analysis works both ways - for Ukrainian organizations, having their own vision of doing business and for foreign nationals, who have their own goals and plans in Ukraine.

We will find the best and safest solution for any client.

Cost of obtaining a Work Permit in Ukraine here.

Cost of obtaining a residence permit in Ukraine, including a work permit here.

Publication date: 28/12/2022

About author

Name: Ryzhova Tatiana

Position: Lawyer

Education: INTERREGIONAL ACADEMY OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT KYIV

Knowledge of languages: Russian, Ukrainian

Email: [email protected]

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