The legislation of Ukraine provides for liability for offenses committed by foreigners on its territory. In fact, citizens of other states have dual legal status in Ukraine. On the one hand, they are under the jurisdiction of their country; on the other hand, they must comply with the legislation of our state.
Under Ukrainian legislation there are some rules providing for the liability of foreign citizens for their offenses. In particular, the so-called “immigration” offenses include: staying in Ukraine with an expired passport or residence permit, untimely registration of the residence place and violation of employment rules. All this entails administrative responsibility.
Types of “immigration” offenses
Immigration offenses include any actions or omissions of foreign citizens that contradict the requirements of Ukrainian legislation in this area. The grounds for bringing to administrative responsibility include such violations of the law by foreign citizens:
- residence without documents which give the right of residence in Ukraine/ residence with invalid documents or documents whose validity has expired;
- employment without appropriate permission to do so;
- failure to comply with the established procedure of movement or place of residence changing;
- evasion from leaving Ukraine after the end of the relevant period of stay;
- failure to appear without good excuse to a specific place of study or employment after entering Ukraine at a certain time;
- intentional non-compliance by a foreigner or stateless person with a decision of an authorized state body on the entry ban into Ukraine.
For commission of the abovementioned administrative infractions, the law provides for fines. Representatives of state control bodies after the detection of a committed offense draw up a report in which such an offense is recorded. After that, a foreigner who is responsible for an offense is imposed a fine, the amount of which is also regulated by law.
It is important to take into account that in 2018, the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses was amended. So, today the minimum amount of administrative fine for the listed offenses is about 1700 UAH and may increase to 5400 UAH.
As practice shows, determining the size of a fine depends on a number of circumstances and is determined at the discretion of the authorized person who makes the decision on its imposition. However, quite often the size of the fine is unreasonably high. This is due to the fact that legislation does not regulate this issue. Therefore, in order to avoid abusing from the authorized persons, person should know his/her rights and refer to extenuating circumstances (for example: committing offense for the first time, voluntary appeal to the competent authorities for drawing up a report and so on). However, foreigners do not always know their rights and fully rely on the good faith of authorized persons.
Responsibility of the host party
Not only foreigners can be brought to justice for immigration offenses. As a rule, while applying for residence permit in Ukraine, information about the person who is the host party is indicated. Such persons are responsible for such types of offenses which are related to the stay of foreigners in Ukraine. For example, in case of employing a foreigner, the employer will be responsible for employing a foreigner without permit.
Responsibility of the host party is provided for in article 204 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses. So, the grounds for bringing these persons to administrative responsibility are:
- Violation by officials of enterprises, institutions and organizations, regardless of ownership, including foreign business entities operating on the territory of Ukraine, by individuals – entrepreneurs using wage labor of the established procedure of employment, admission to study of foreigners and stateless persons, the provision of accomodation, as well as other violations if they in any way contribute foreigners and stateless persons to avoide leaving Ukraine after expiring the period of allowed stay or focus on their illegal registration, obtaining residence documents.
Legal support in immigration offenses
The presence of a lawyer while drawing up a report on administrative infraction should not be underestimated. As already noted, foreigners do not always know their rights, and therefore cannot protect themselves. Unfortunately, it is not seldom when a decision on entry ban is made against a foreigner. In 70% of cases, such a decision could have been avoided, because the rule on imposing sanctions in the form of an entry ban is not obligatory for applying, it is only facultative and provides for an opportunity, not an obligation.