As a Ukrainian immigration lawyer, I can tell you not many people are asking this question: is the time to move to Ukraine?
And that might not seem very surprising.
The country is defending itself against invasion, many have died and even more have become refugees. What is happening here is a tragedy.
Long term direction of travel
One of the reasons behind the invasion was Russia’s fear of Ukraine leaving its orbit: becoming more European and more independent.
The war has hit the Ukrainian economy but has confirmed the western orientation of the country (Ukraine applied to join the EU four days after the invasion).
The blockade highlights the importance of Ukraine to the world economy, particularly its food supplies.
The world is now familiar with many Ukrainian towns (often for all the wrong reasons) but also the country’s vital place in the history and culture of Europe and Asia.
Refugees are spreading the country’s cultural and linguistic reach directly into homes across the world.
To many, Ukraine is a beacon of democratic resistance against an aggressor.
After the war
After the war – perhaps even before it officially ends – it is likely that there will be huge investment and Western grants pouring in. It will be like the Marshall Plan.
The country offers an opportunity to those who take the long view.
Like the Black Sea Salmon swimming upriver into Ukraine, it can pay to go against the flow.
How to move to Ukraine: obtaining permanent residence
So, how to move to Ukraine?
To move to Ukraine you can apply for a permanent or temporary residence permit.
The former is issued for a 10 year period. This will give you a right to stay in the country without any limit on the number of your visits, and give you the right to own property and work.
Apply for an immigration permit. You will need grounds for your application, such as being a highly qualified specialist in demand by the Ukrainian economy, being a scientist or cultural figure, being an investor (who has invested at least $100,000) or having various family connections. This process takes up to 12 months, with the fastest in my experience being closer to 8 months.
Up to three months before your arrival: obtain a long term Type D visa from a Ukrainian embassy. The D visa itself is given for 90 days. You can apply for it, get it the next day and arrive in Ukraine the same day. The visa fee fee is country specific, varying from $65 to $120.
At least 15 days before the expiration of your D visa, apply for a permanent residence permit, which is needed if you want to stay here for more than 90 days.
Within 10 days of receipt of the residency permit, register with your local housing administration.
If moving to Ukraine on the basis of being an investor, it is common to set up a company in Ukraine and deposit $100,000 in the bank account.
Moving to Ukraine represents a risk and an opportunity. In war very little is certain, except that it will end at some point.
If you want to explore the options, do get in touch. I’d be delighted to discuss with you.
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