Permits For Employment Of Foreigners

In Ukraine it is permissible to employ a foreigner who holds a special permit for such employment. Ukrainian laws stipulate that the employer but not the employee should apply for a work permit.

The following categories of foreigners do not need a work permit to work legally in Ukraine:

• persons being permanent residents and in possession of a special permit;
• persons with refugee status;
• persons working on projects connected with the exploration for and production of mineral resources under concession agreements;
• persons working in Ukraine under international treaties (e.g. the Treaty between the governments of Ukraine and the USA for humanitarian and technical and economical assistance. Article 2 of the Treaty gives to foreigners the status of administrative and technical personnel under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Article 47 of which exempts administrative and technical personnel of diplomatic and consulate institutions from any work permit requirement);
• persons working in not-for-profit and charitable organisations;
• representatives of foreign mass media;
• executive directors of duly registered representative offices;
• actors and actresses, as well as other "artistic employees" working in Ukraine under their specialty;
• employees of foreign emergency relief services performing urgent works in Ukraine;
• representatives of foreign sea (river) fleets;
• service and technical staff of foreign airline companies.
• Foreigners from countries of the European Union are known as "intra-corporate transferees".

In the Partnership and Co-Operation Agreement between the European Union and its member states and Ukraine an "intra-corporate transferee" is defined as a natural person working within an organisation in the territory of the countries of the European Union and temporarily transferred in the context of the pursuit of economic activities to the territory of Ukraine. The organisation concerned must have its principal place of business in the territory of the European Union and the transfer must be to a branch (subsidiary) of that organisation which is effectively pursuing economic activities in the territory of Ukraine.

"Intra-corporate transferees" are mentioned in the Partnership and Co-Operation Agreement between the European Union and its member states and Ukraine as:

(a) persons working in a senior position within an organisation who primarily direct the management of the establishment, receiving general supervision or direction principally from the board of directors or shareholders of the business or their equivalent, including:

– directing the establishment or a department or subdivision of the establishment;

– supervising and controlling the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees;

– having the authority personally to engage, dismiss or recommend to engage or dismiss or to take other personnel actions;

(b) persons working within an organization who possess special knowledge essential to the establishment's operation, research equipment, techniques or management. The assessment of such knowledge may reflect, apart from knowledge specific to the establishment, a high level of qualification referring to a type of work or trade requiring specific technical knowledge, including membership of an accredited profession. It should be taken into account that this category of employees applies only to foreigners from countries of the European Union to whom the work permit is given for the term of the labour agreement.

A Work permit is made and issued by the State Centre of Employment at the Ministry of Ukraine for Labour, or under its instructions, by the corresponding Employment Centres of the Autonomic Republic of Crimea, regions, Kiev city and Sevastopol city.

To receive a permit, the employer submits to the corresponding Employment Centre the following documents:

• 1. application (in free form);
• 2. grounds for the necessity of employing foreigner(s) and the ability to establish for him(them) the necessary conditions;
• 3. notarized copies of the Statute of the company and its Certificate of State Registration;
• 4. list of foreigners with full name, sex, date of birth, passport number and job title;
• 5. copy of the draft of the labour agreement between said employer and said foreign employee(s);
• 6. act (Order, Protocol, Power of Attorney) authorizing a representative of the employer to represent its interests at the employment centre;
• 7. copies of documents on education and qualification of said foreign employee(s);
• 8. extract from the State Tax Authority confirming due payment by employer of taxes and duties;
• 9. receipt confirming payment of fees for the application amounting to 10 non-taxable minimum salaries (170 UAH ).

Upon submission, the Centre considers the said documents and issues a decision whether to allow or refuse an issue of the work permit within 30 working days.

The permit is valid for the term mentioned therein but not usually for longer than a year. Upon expiry, the permit may be extended for a further one year. To receive such an extension, the employer resubmits the above mentioned documents not later than one month before the expiration of the period of validity of the work permit.

The work permit is cancelled if the labour agreement between employer and foreigner is terminated beforehand or where some incorrect or false information was submitted in order to receive the work permit or the foreigner is deemed to be undesirable for a stay in Ukraine.

Irrespective of labour market conditions or development tendencies, the permit for employment cannot be issued if:

• documents submitted in order to obtain a permit for employment contain information that contradicts the requirements of the law and international agreements of Ukraine;
• a contract stipulates lower labour conditions for foreigners than for Ukrainian citizens working in the same position;
• incorrect information or falsified documents are deliberately submitted by an employer or an employee;
• a foreigner intends to obtain a position or conduct a labour activity that, according to legislation, is restricted to Ukrainian citizens;
• a foreigner breaches Ukrainian legislation during his stay in Ukraine;
• less than one year has passed since the date of a previous refusal to of an entry visa.

An employer may appeal a refusal of a work permit to the State Employment Centre at the Ministry of Ukraine for Labour or to a court at the location of the Employment Centre.

Establishing the labour relationships between an employer and a foreigner without obtaining a permit for employment is treated as a direct infringement of the labour laws of Ukraine and affects both parties:

•  foreigner employed without a work permit may be extradited out of Ukraine by the Internal Affairs Authorities under the Resolution # 1074 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 29 December 1995 “On the Rules of Foreigners’ Entry into Ukraine, their leaving Ukraine and transit through its territory”.
• The Employment Service imposes a penalty in the amount of fifty non-taxable minimum salaries (850 UAH) on the employer.

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