Visas and Work Permits 8 min

Work permits and visas in Ukraine: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
November 24, 2023
Sally Flaxman


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When hiring employees in Ukraine, international employers must follow local labor regulations, regardless of whether the employer is located in the country. One of the many labor regulations that all employers must abide by in Ukraine is obtaining the correct work visas and permits for employees who require them. Hiring in foreign countries also means accurately deducting and paying local taxes. 

Failing to follow local regulations can lead to litigation, fines, and revocation of business licenses — all issues no business wants to encounter. Luckily, global hiring experts can help you legally employ workers in Ukraine and beyond.

Continue reading our guide to become an expert on all things Ukraine work visa requirements and work permits, so you can get your employees up and running in this European nation in no time.

The importance of immigration compliance in Ukraine

Working in most countries is illegal without obtaining a work visa. 

Failure to meet visa requirements and obtaining the wrong work permit can lead to major issues like fines, litigation, and termination of licensure. Individuals discovered to be working illegally in Ukraine may be deported, banned from the country, face legal trials, or even be detained.

In many countries, you can’t work in a country on a tourist visa.  Countries with work visas do not allow foreigners to come and work there without the right visa. Working on a tourist visa, even for a short period, can lead to penalties or legal issues. You’ll need to check the visa requirements in detail to check whether an employee is allowed to live and work on a tourist visa.

With the trend of digital nomads traveling and working without visas, more countries are cracking down on the issue. Thus, companies need to ensure their workers are set up to work legally when residing in Ukraine.

Who needs a work authorization check in Ukraine?

In Ukraine, non-citizens often require work authorization checks to work here legally. This means checking for a legal document that permits an individual to work where they are residing. Employers should always check whether the employee is authorized to relocate to or work in the country you’re hiring in. 

Citizens of Ukraine do not need a work authorization check. However, non-citizens like permanent or temporary residents and work permit holders will need to undergo eligibility checks. The employer is responsible for ensuring their documentation is up-to-date and legitimate. Otherwise, these employees become a liability for businesses that can also face the consequences of illegal employment. 

Partnering with a global employment solution like Remote helps businesses conduct work authorization checks, allowing for a simple and fast solution to the foreign work visa process. Remote’s comprehensive platform will enable employees to provide their documentation simply, and our Mobility team will carry out the rest. If an existing work permit is invalid or not in place, Remote can set the employee up with the correct visa or permit as soon as possible.

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Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Ukraine?

Non-citizens do need a work visa or permit when residing and working in Ukraine, even for a short-term period. However, citizens of a European Union nation have notable exceptions when it comes to living and working in other EU countries. 

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Ukraine?

In Ukraine, various work visas are available for those who wish to live and work in the country. To hire a talented employee who is not native to Ukraine, employers often assist with the visa process themselves.

To be eligible for a work permit in Ukraine, migrants must have a job offer from an employer based in Ukraine. Employers then apply for the work visa on behalf of an employee, and we will detail this process further below.

As for the employee, they must meet the following Ukraine work visa requirements to be eligible:

  • Over the age of 16

  • No record of criminal offenses

  • Have a job offer in Ukraine OR are an intra-corporate transferee

  • Have a valid passport

Ukraine recognizes a special category of foreigners that are permitted to apply for work permits without obtaining prior Ukrainian employment, which includes:

  • Those who are founders, owners, or shareholders of a company that will get a work permit

  • Highly qualified IT experts

  • Those with higher education degrees from the top 100 world institutions such as Times Higher Education, Academic Ranking of World Universities, QS World University Rankings by Faculty, and Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.

If individuals meet the following qualifications, they do not need to apply for a work visa to work in Ukraine.

What are the long-stay visa types in Ukraine?

In Ukraine, there are three categories of visas defined by the length of one’s stay. 

Non-citizens wishing to work and live in Ukraine for over 90 days will need a type of long-term (D-type). D-type visas are issued for those who intend to apply for a temporary residence permit to stay in Ukraine for longer than 90 days. D-type visas are typically valid for 90 days and allow for multiple entries.

The types of long-term visas here are:

  • Temporary residency: a visa valid for living in Ukraine for up to 3 years.

  • Work permit: a permit for working in Ukraine for up to 3 years.

  • Permanent residency: visa for living and working in Ukraine for over three years.

How do you get a work visa for Ukraine?

In Ukraine, individuals must first have a job offer or be in a permanent role for a company that already has legal operations in the country.

The documents required to apply for a work visa are: 

  • Work permit application

  • Copy of passport, translated to Ukrainian by a notary

  • One color passport photo

  • Copy of employment contract

  • Documents confirming the eligibility of the employer to operate and employ in Ukraine

  • Copies of higher education certificates, if applicable

Additionally, applicants must pay the application fee. 

Applicants can apply for work visas at an official Ukrainian consulate or embassy in one’s home country. The average processing time for a work permit is 10 business days from the application date.

While the work visa application process can be complicated, Remote can manage everything on your behalf. Remote helps businesses with global employee relocation, and can make it easy for you to hire or relocate employees to Ukraine and beyond. Check out Remote’s work relocation program to learn more about this simplified global employment solution.

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Ukraine?

In Ukraine, there is no specific digital nomad visa. Rather, digital nomads must apply for a work visa to work here.

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Ukraine?

For those with job offers or roles at a company, the employer is responsible for carrying out and sponsoring the visa process.

To sponsor a visa for a non-citizen to work in Ukraine, the company must first be eligible to operate in Ukraine itself. This means the company must either be a Ukrainian-based company, have an established subsidiary or entity here, or partner with an employer of record (EOR). Working with an EOR like Remote allows companies to hire internationally without owning foreign subsidiaries.

As the employer, you submit the required documents and application fees, listed above, to a Ukrainian consulate on behalf of your workers. If accepted, your employee(s) can legally work and live in Ukraine for the allotted visa term.

Working with a global employment expert like Remote takes care of the work permit process in Ukraine for you. Our team of Mobility specialists can handle work eligibility checks, work permits, and other visas for employees and candidates. Learn more about how Remote can help employees relocate internationally.

Why use an employer of record to hire in Ukraine?

Even if the employee is authorized to work in Ukraine, you’ll still have to hire and pay them compliantly via your own legal entity in the country. Establishing a new entity in Ukraine to be able to hire employees can be a cumbersome process that can drain your time and resources. Alternatively, you can partner with a trusted EOR who can hire employees in Ukraine on your behalf, and pay and manage team members for you. An EOR typically handles onboarding, payroll, taxes, benefits, immigration, and compliance — making it much quicker and easier for you to hire globally. Learn more about EORs in our article below.

link to What is an EOR? Meaning, purpose, and benefits

What is an EOR? Meaning, purpose, and benefits

Find out the meaning of an EOR and how you can partner with one for fast, reliable international business expansion.

Relocation can be a stressful process for both employees and employers, with visas, immigration, and other legal processes to complete. If you don’t comply with immigration and labor rules, employers might have to face fines, legal issues, or termination of business licenses. Plus, there’s also the risk of permanent establishment to consider.

Hiring or relocating employees to new countries doesn’t have to be complicated. Remote’s EOR services can help you with every aspect of the global employment process, including handling work visas, residency, compliance, taxes, and more. Specifically, Remote’s team of employment experts can:

  • Perform work eligibility and authorization checks according to local labor rules

  • Help you navigate paperwork, apply for the right work permits, and process work visa applications

  • Offer expert advice on every aspect of the immigration process and keep you informed of the latest regulations 

  • Help you with timely visa renewals and extensions as needed

  • Ensure ongoing compliance with local labor rules and tax practices in Ukraine.

Download our expert Relocation Guide for everything you need to know about this crucial process. If you’re ready to begin hiring in Ukraine or relocate an employee to the country, book a consultation with our mobility gurus and get started today!

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