March 5, 2019

Application for a work permit in Ukraine

The Ukrainian labor law establishes a direct peremptory rule allowing foreign nationals or stateless persons to be employed in Ukraine only subject to a work permit, which is the basis for obtaining an appropriate type of visa and for a temporary residence permit in Ukraine effective for the period of the work permit validity.

The first thing to note is that it is not the foreign national but the employer (company) who has to apply for a work permit. A work permit is issued to a particular person for a particular staff position (workplace) and cannot be transferred to a third party.

Therefore, the work permit is limited (it does not grant an unlimited access to the Ukrainian labour market) and is tied to a particular employer.

Foreign nationals or stateless persons who have a permanent residence permit in Ukraine do not need to obtain a work permit. Furthermore, no work permit is required when it comes to employment with foreign representative offices in Ukraine, or foreign nationals or stateless persons are involved in the international technical assistance project implementation.

General provisions

The work permit validity term:

  • As a rule, a work permit is issued for up to one year;
  • For special categories of foreigners and foreign seconded employees a work permit is issued for up to three years;
  • For internal corporate assignees a work permit is issued for the period of effect of the foreign company’s decision on transferring the foreigner to work in Ukraine.

Work permits may be issued for shorter periods at employers’ requests.

Work permits are issued providing a foreigner is paid a salary of at least:

  • 5 minimum wages (UAH 20,865 (appr. USD 740) as of 2019) – for foreign employees of public associations, charitable organizations and educational establishments;
  • 10 minimum wages (UAH 41,730 (USD 1,500) as of 2019) – for all other categories of employees.

The minimum wages requirement is not applicable for special categories of foreign employees (highly-paid foreign professionals, founders and/or shareholders and/or ultimate beneficiaries (of a legal entity established in Ukraine, graduates of universities listed as top hundred in the world university rankings according to the list of university rankings determined by the CMU, foreign art professionals, foreign IT professionals).

Required documents

The following documents need to be submitted when applying for a work permit:

  1. an application;
  2. a copy of the foreign national’s diploma (for graduates of universities listed as top hundred in the world university rankings);
  3. a notarized copy of the foreign national’s passport with its translation into Ukrainian;
  4. one color photo;
  5. а copy of a draft employment agreement (contract) with a foreigner certified by the employer;
  6. the company statement confirming that the applicable Ukrainian laws do not require Ukrainian citizenship as a prerequisite for the position to be occupied by the foreign national and that such a position does not grant access to state secrets;

Foreign employees, belonging to the category of intracompany transferees must additionally submit a resolution of the foreign company on the transfer of the foreign national to Ukraine and a copy of the agreement on the transfer concluded with him /her indicating the work time period in Ukraine.

All documents issued abroad must be apostilled (or legalized) after their notarization and then translated into Ukrainian.

Other provisions

The decision to grant the work permit shall be made by the employment office within seven working days. Ukrainian laws do not set a limit on the number of times the work permit may be renewed. The application for the work permit renewal must be submitted at least 20 calendar days prior to the work permit expiry date.

The fee for issuing the work permit is approximately USD 270 (depending on the work permit validity term). It must be paid to the account of the employment office within ten working days after the decision on granting the work permit has been made. The work permit must be issued by the employment office within three working days after the fee has been paid.

The employer is entitled to appoint a foreign specialist to hold several managing positions (part-time). The employer has to conclude the employment agreement (contract) with a foreigner not later than 90 calendar days from the date of the permit validity and to provide the employment office with a copy of the employment agreement (contract) certified by the employer within ten calendar days upon its signing. A fine (currently approx. USD 2,900) may be imposed on the employer in case of the valid work permit absence.

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