The Verkhovna Rada intends to simplify the procedure for granting citizenship to foreigners who protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The adoption of the relevant bill No. 5630 at the first reading was supported by 302 MPs at an extraordinary plenary session on Tuesday.
The bill proposes to simplify the procedure for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship by citizens of a state recognized by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as an aggressor or occupier who have been persecuted for political reasons, by foreigners and stateless persons who are doing military service under contract in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and are also directly involved in measures to ensure national security and defense of Ukraine, the containment of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In addition, the final and transitional provisions of the draft law provide for the possibility of submitting a declaration of renunciation of foreign citizenship by persons who received Ukrainian citizenship before the entry into force of this draft law.
All foreigners and stateless persons who stay in Ukraine on a legal basis can be vaccinated against COVID-19 following the same procedure as Ukrainian citizens, the Ministry of Health said on Facebook.
According to the report, foreigners and stateless persons who permanently reside in Ukraine, as well as refugees or persons in need of additional protection, have the right to free vaccination. They can book their vaccinations online at the nearest location or vaccination center.
At the same time, for foreigners and stateless persons who temporarily stay on the territory of Ukraine, medical services should be covered at their own expense, voluntary medical insurance funds or from other sources not prohibited by law. The COVID-19 vaccine itself is free of charge.
All foreigners and stateless persons can obtain an International Certificate of Vaccination against COVID-19 in Ukraine.
PwC Ukraine developed a free guide – Expats’ Handbook to help foreigners coming to Ukraine for personal or business goals.
It aims to give a general overview of the key rules and issues that foreigners need to know about the Ukrainian tax and legal environment to allow them to become comfortable and to avoid being overburdened with formalities.
The Handbook is available in many languages, including English, Polish, German, French and Chinese.
“Our country is building a business-friendly climate and opening new opportunities for investors from across the globe. We still have some way to go on this journey – the Ukrainian legal landscape is a work in progress, undergoing changes which will bring it in line with international good practices. But as long as you have a trusted guide to steer you safely through burdensome taxation or immigration compliance issues, you are safe” – commented Slava Vlasov, Partner, Leader, Tax and Legal Services, PwC Ukraine.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in 2020 did not allow more than 19,500 foreigners to enter Ukraine, head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Serhiy Deineko said.
“Since the beginning of the year, for various reasons, we have not allowed more than 19,500 foreigners into Ukraine. In most cases, these are those who could not confirm the purpose of their travel, had restrictions on entry or illegally visited the occupied territories, exceeded their stay or traveled with invalid documents. The majority of foreigners are citizens of Russia, Moldova and Turkey,” Deineko said in an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
According to him, more than 8,000 people were also identified, both Ukrainians and foreigners, who illegally visited the temporarily occupied Crimea.
“At the same time, it was the officers of the border department that issued more than 7,800 bans on entry to our country against foreigners for various violations. In addition, I will add that in 11 months we found more than 8,000 people – both Ukrainians and foreigners – who illegally visited temporarily occupied Crimea. We find up to 40 such people per day,” Deineko said.
The head of the State Border Guard Service explained that since the beginning of the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the issue of illegal visits by Ukrainian and foreign citizens to the occupied territory has been raised. “At the same time, some of the foreigners then try to get to the territory of Ukraine under all sorts of pretexts, there are many clerisy people and actors among them,” he said.
“We have no alternative. Our position is principled: if a citizen of a foreign state visited the territory of the occupied Crimea, the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, contrary to Ukrainian legislation, he receives three years of a ban on entry into Ukraine and will not be allowed into the territory of Ukraine,” Deineko said.
If a citizen of Ukraine visits the relevant territories in violation of the law, he will be brought to administrative responsibility, the head of the department added.
Ukraine reopened its borders to international visitors at 00:01 a.m. on September 28, the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service said.
“A decree which also set out restrictions on foreigners’ entry continues to be valid. This is Government Decree No. 641. At the same time, it imposed a ban on foreigners’ entry to the territory of our country precisely from August 28 and until 00:01 a.m. on September 28. Thus, as a matter of fact, this norm that banned foreigners from entering our country ceased to be in effect overnight. From now on, foreigners are allowed to enter our country,” State Border Guard Service spokesman Andriy Demchenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.
Border guards are acting in compliance with the law that regulates passage across the state border of Ukraine, i.e. the law “On Border Control”, and in compliance with the government’s decree on foreign citizens’ exit and entry to Ukraine, he said.
There are currently no separate requirements for foreigners to self-isolate or have travel medical insurance when coming to Ukraine, he said.
“This norm has ceased to be in effect. Therefore, there are presently no separate requirements that the government would have imposed on foreigners who enter Ukraine during the quarantine,” Demchenko said.
As reported earlier, Ukraine banned foreign citizens from entering its territory from 00:01 a.m. on August 28 and until 00:01 a.m. on September 28.
The Ukrainian government has made changes to the list of exceptions for foreigners who are not denied entry in the country, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Facebook.
The new rules scrap the provision allowing foreigners who are in transit on the territory of Ukraine to enter the country.
Exceptions from the entry ban are made for people who are spouses, parents, children, or grandparents of a citizen of Ukraine.
Children are given legal status before they become full of age.
If people are sent to Ukraine to study, they only have to go to higher education establishments.
According to earlier reports, the Ukrainian government closed the borders to foreign citizens until September 28.
The restriction did not affect people who have residence permits, are members of international and humanitarian missions, who enter the country in transit, who drive cargo road vehicles, are instructors of NATO states, culture figures, people who have invitations from culture establishments, and also some other categories of people.