Law of Ukraine
"On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons"
Date of entry into force:
December 25, 2011
The Law determines the legal status of foreigners and stateless persons who are staying in Ukraine, and establishes the procedure for their entry into Ukraine and exit from Ukraine.
Article 1 of the Law provides definitions of the following terms, among others:
- foreigner (person that is not a citizen of Ukraine and is a citizen (subject) of another state or states);
- stateless person (person that no state, according to its legislation, considers its citizen);
- foreigners and stateless persons who are legally staying on the territory of Ukraine (foreigners and stateless persons who entered Ukraine according to the procedure established by the legislation or an international agreement of Ukraine, reside on its territory on a permanent or temporary basis, or are temporarily staying in Ukraine);
- illegal migrant (foreigner or stateless person who crossed the state border outside of crossing points, or in crossing points but with avoidance of border control, and did not immediately apply for refuge or asylum in Ukraine; or a foreigner or stateless person who arrived in Ukraine legally, but after the expiration of their established term of stay lost the grounds for further stay in Ukraine and are avoiding departure);
- foreigners and stateless persons temporarily staying on the territory of Ukraine (foreigners and stateless persons staying on the territory of Ukraine for the duration of their visa or during a period established by the legislation or international agreement of Ukraine, or if the term of their stay on the territory of Ukraine has been extended according to the established procedure);
- foreigners and stateless persons temporarily residing in Ukraine (foreigners and stateless persons who received a temporary residence certificate, unless otherwise provided for by the legislation);
- foreigners and stateless persons permanently residing in Ukraine (foreigners and stateless persons who received a permanent residence certificate, unless otherwise provided for by the legislation).
Article 4 of the Law establishes grounds for the stay of foreigners and stateless persons on the territory of Ukraine, such as entering Ukraine for the purposes of immigration, employment, implementing international technical aid projects, preaching religious beliefs, work in Ukrainian representative offices of foreign business entities, carrying out cultural, research, educational work, etc.
Cases in which a foreigner or a stateless person must receive a certificate of temporary or permanent residence, as well as the grounds and procedure for receiving such certificates, are determined by Article 5 of the Law.
Articles 10-12 of the Law regulate the procedure for the issue of visas to foreigners and stateless persons; establish an exhaustive list of grounds for denying visa (such as providing knowingly false information, forged documents, etc.) and grounds for withdrawing visas; it also points out state bodies that make decisions to issue, deny or withdraw visas.
Reasons to deny foreigners and stateless persons entry to Ukraine are stated in Article 13 of the Law. A foreigner or a stateless person can be denied entry to Ukraine:
- in the interests of ensuring national security of Ukraine or protecting public order;
- if necessary to protect the health, rights and lawful interests of citizens of Ukraine and other persons residing in Ukraine;
- if the person provided knowingly false information or forged documents when applying to enter Ukraine;
- if the passport document and/or visa of such person are forged, ruined, do not correspond to the established standard, or belong to another person;
- if the person, when crossing the state border of Ukraine in a crossing point, violated the rules of crossing the state border of Ukraine, customs rules, sanitary norms or regulations, or failed to observe lawful demands of officers or officials of the state border security bodies, customs and other bodies implementing control measures at the state border;
- if during their previous stay in Ukraine, the foreigner or stateless person failed to observe a resolution of a court or state power bodies authorized to impose administrative sanctions, or if they have other outstanding property liability before the state, its natural persons or legal entities, including those related to their earlier deportation, even after the end of their exclusion from Ukraine.
The procedure for registering foreigners and stateless persons who enter Ukraine or stay on the territory of Ukraine is established by Article 16 of the Law. Article 16 of the Law also determines the scope of persons exempt from registration:
- heads of state and governments of foreign countries, members of parliamentary and governmental delegations, technical staff supporting such delegations (persons) and their family members entering Ukraine by invitation of the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, ministries, other central bodies of executive power of Ukraine; persons and their family members entering Ukraine under credentials of the UN and organizations of the UN system;
- foreigners or stateless persons under the age of eighteen;
- foreign tourists on a cruise;
- crew members of foreign military ships (planes) arriving in Ukraine according to the established procedure;
- crew members of foreign civilian fleet;
- crew members of civilian aircrafts of international airlines, crews of international trains, in case of stay in airports or train terminals (stations) stated in the itinerary.
In addition to the above, the Law establishes grounds to curtail the term of temporary stay in Ukraine, forced return, extradition and deportation of foreigners and stateless persons. The Law states cases in which forced return, extradition or deportation are forbidden. A foreigner or stateless person cannot be forced to return, deported, extradited or handed over to countries where:
- their life or freedom would be endangered based on their race, religion, nationality, citizenship (nationality), membership in a certain social group, or political beliefs;
- they are in danger of capital punishment or execution, torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment;
- their life, health, safety or freedom are in danger due to widespread violence in the scope of international or internal armed conflict, systematic violation of human rights, natural or man-made disaster, or lack of life-supporting medical treatment or care;
- they are in danger of deportation or forced return to countries where the above circumstances may arise.