Procedure for Issuing Work Permits for Foreign Nationals and Temporary Residence Permits is Simplified
On 27 September 2017, Law of Ukraine No. 2058-VIII "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine On Eliminating Barriers to Foreign Investments" dated 23 May 2017 (the "Law") comes into effect.
The Law, among others: (i) extends the list of grounds to apply for the temporary residence permit (the "TRP"); (ii) amends the application documents for the work permit issued for employment of foreign nationals and stateless persons (the "Work Permit"); (iii) extends the terms of the Work Permit and the TRP; (iv) establishes the minimum salary that must be paid to certain categories of foreign employees; and (v) provides for an option to amend the Work Permit.
New ground to obtain the TRP
The Law provides that founders, participants and/or beneficiaries of a legal entity established in Ukraine may obtain the TRP for two years, if they come into Ukraine to control the activities of such legal entity and they own a share (or a share is owned by a foreign legal entity whose beneficiary is a foreign national) of at least EUR 100,000 (at the official rate of the National Bank of Ukraine at the date of making investment) in the charter capital of a Ukrainian legal entity.
Application for the Work Permit
To obtain the Work Permit, employers no longer have to file: (i) a medical certificate evidencing that a foreign national does not suffer from certain diseases; and (ii) a clean criminal record. However, employers will be required to file a draft employment agreement (contract) that will be concluded with the foreign national.
Term of the Work Permit
Under the Law, the term of the Work Permit depends on the category of foreign employee for which the employer applies for the Work Permit, in particular:
- for special categories of employees (highly paid foreign professionals; founders, participants and/or beneficiaries of a legal entity established in Ukraine; graduates of certain universities; foreign IT professionals, etc.) as well as seconded foreign employees - a term of up to three years;
- for intra-company transferees - the term of the foreign company's decision to transfer the relevant employee to work in Ukraine and the relevant transfer contract;
- for other categories of employees - a term of up to one year.
The TRP for foreign employees will be issued for the term of the Work Permit.
Minimum salary requirements
To obtain the Work Permit, employers must pay foreign employees a minimum salary amount, namely:
- not less than five times the minimum monthly salary (currently, UAH 16,000, or approximately USD 615 at the current exchange rate) - for foreign employees of civic associations, charitable organizations and certain educational institutions;
- not less than 10 times the minimum monthly salary (currently, UAH 32,000, or approximately USD 1,230 at the current exchange rate) - for other categories of foreign employees, except for special categories of foreign employees.
Amendments to the Work Permit
The Law provides that the Work Permit can be amended to reflect: (i) changes in the employer's name; (ii) a foreign employee obtaining a new passport or changing his/her name; and (iii) changes in an employee's position and/or transfer to another position.
By way of reminder, previously, except for certain cases, the Work Permit and the TRP were issued for one year only. Also, employers could not amend the Work Permit.