Applying for a visa
The list of required documents for a visa includes:
- a passport document that must conform to the following requirements:
be valid for at least three months after the declared date of departure from the territory of Ukraine;
contain at least two free pages;
be valid no more than 10 years;
- filled in and signed visa application;
- one color photo measuring 35 x 45 millimeters;
- a valid medical insurance policy with the coverage of at least 30,000 EUR or equivalent in another currency;
- documents confirming the availability of sufficient financial security for the period of the planned stay and return to the state of origin;
- a document confirming the payment of the consular fee, unless otherwise provided by law and international agreements of Ukraine.
At the same time, it is obligatory to submit a document, provided by the law, that confirms the purpose of the trip to Ukraine. This document is different for each ground (depending on the type of visa). It should prevent visa refusals on the mentioned ground. However, in practice, this is different.
Grounds for refusal to issue a visa are:
- a threat to national security or public order;
- a threat to the health care, protection of rights and legitimate interests of Ukrainian citizens and other persons residing in Ukraine;
- the presence of information about a foreigner or a stateless person in the database of persons who are not permitted by law to enter Ukraine or temporarily restricted from leaving Ukraine;
- establishing that the passport document of the foreigner or stateless person is forged, destroyed or does not correspond to the established sample or belongs to another person;
- submission of deliberately false information or forged documents;
- absence of a valid health insurance policy in case it can be issued in the territory of the country in which the visa application is submitted;
- the absence of sufficient financial security for the period of the planned stay and return to the state of origin;
- lack of evidence confirming the purpose of a visit;
- the absence of documents that confirm the intention of a foreigner or stateless person to leave the territory of Ukraine until the visa expires;
- the applicant`s request to stop the application processing.
Paragraph 8, unlike the others, does not contain a clear list of evidence or documents that must confirm the purpose of a foreigner’s planned stay in Ukraine. This is the reason for the huge number of refusals on this basis. Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine # 118 from March 1, 2017, On approving the Rules of Visa Requirements for Entry and Transit through Ukrainian Territory determines only the list of documents that must be submitted by the foreigners for each specific reason, depending on the type of visa. However, as practice shows, even if all the documents required by law are submitted, it is possible to get refuse because of a lack of evidence.
Why is this happening?
Firstly, it is related to combating illegal migration. Foreigners from countries of so-called “migration risk”, that is, from those where the economic situation is too difficult or in which wars take place, often use a visa to Ukraine to permanently leave their country of citizenship. Sometimes, Ukraine is only a “transit” country for further migration to EU countries. As a result, citizens of such countries, even if they have good intentions, can get a refusal on this ground.
There are also widespread cases when a foreigner submits the list of documents required by law, but during the interview cannot explain the purpose of the trip or the purpose told by him/her does not correspond to the purpose indicated in the documents. In such cases, dishonesty is obvious and, as a result, such foreigners are denied based on paragraph 8.
Many similar examples exist, including fictitious marriages, but the reason for a visa refusal in all of them is one – the real intentions of a foreigner do not meet the purpose of a trip, which is specified in the documents. What to do for those who apply for a visa with good intentions?
The appeal of a refusal decision
Such people should file an appeal letter to the authorized body that was processing the visa application to appeal the decision of refusal.
An appeal letter can be filed within two months after a foreigner has received a decision on visa refusal. There are several points to consider before writing the appeal letter:
- Make sure that the reasons for refusal do not exist and that all documents that you submitted are in compliance with the law.
- While writing a letter, it is important to confirm your opinion only regarding the legislation. For example, if the ground for the refusal is the absence of sufficient financial security, you should provide a reference to legislation where:
- is indicated in what ways sufficient financial security can be confirmed;
- is indicated what amount of funds is established by law as sufficient for the period of planned stay and return to the country of origin.
- Only the applicant can file an appeal letter, as well as a visa application. The host party cannot appeal to the refusal of the visa.
- Appealing a refusal does not give you any guarantees that a visa application will be reviewed again. If the appeal letter does not have a result and the application is not reviewed again, the consular fee (as in case of visa refusal) will not be refunded. If you have doubts about submitted documents, it is better to apply for a visa again. This will save a lot of time. However, keep in mind that when you apply again, you should eliminate the shortcomings that caused a visa refusal and pay the consular fee again.
- In case when the foreigner appeals to the refusal based on paragraph 8, it is necessary to indicate with which evidence you confirmed the purpose of a trip. If it is possible, add other evidence to confirm your true intentions of the visit to Ukraine.