Quite often there are cases when Ukrainian citizens travel abroad temporarily, but for certain reasons, they remain to reside abroad. In such cases, it is important to legalize your residence in another country. In this article, we will take a closer look at the procedure for staying abroad for permanent residence of Ukrainian citizens.
To begin with, it should be noted that the mere fact of departure and permanent residence abroad does not mean that a Ukrainian citizen is considered to be a permanent resident abroad. For official confirmation of residence outside Ukraine, it is necessary to go through the special procedure. Ukrainian citizen who purposely travels abroad for permanent residence is undergoing the procedure of leaving Ukraine for permanent residence (more about this in our material at the link: https://legalaid.ua/en/article/leaving-ukraine-for-permanent-residence-in-another-country/).
Citizens who have left Ukraine for a temporary stay abroad but remain permanently outside Ukraine may undergo a procedure for staying abroad for permanent residence.
The main advantage of an official stay abroad is the ability to contact the diplomatic missions of Ukraine (embassies or consulates) for consular registration. Due to this procedure a person can exercise his / her rights as a Ukrainian citizen, in particular: to apply to the embassy or consulate of Ukraine for the issuance of a passport for traveling abroad, to exercise their electoral rights (voting abroad), the rights to social protection, to obtain the necessary legal protection.
A Ukrainian citizen who temporarily resides outside Ukraine and wishes to stay abroad permanently should contact a foreign diplomatic institution (FDI) of Ukraine (embassy or consulate) in the country of residence. A person under the age of 16 submits the application independently, and for children under the age of 16, their parents or other legal representatives submit the said application.
The following documents are to be submitted:
- an application;
- a valid passport of a Ukrainian citizen for traveling abroad;
- 5 x 4.5 cm color photo;
- Ukrainian citizen’s passport;
- tax ID card;
- a receipt for payment of the consular fee.
Upon acceptance of the documents, FDI performs all necessary checks by sending requests to the Security Service of Ukraine, the State Migration Service of Ukraine, and a decision is made on the registration or refusal of registration of documents for staying abroad for permanent residence.
The decision is sent to the applicant within 5 days after its adoption. Ukrainian citizen is also informed about the need to cancel the registration of his\her place of residence in Ukraine. In particular, within 6 months from the date of decision adoption, the person must submit to FDI a document confirming the cancellations of address registration in Ukraine.
Such a document could be: a stamp in the passport of a Ukrainian citizen on cancellation of address registration or a certificate on cancellation of address registration (if the person has a passport in the form of ID-card or did not receive a passport at all). Failure to submit one of these documents within 6 months is a ground for cancellation of the decision on staying abroad for permanent residence.
The last step is to receive the stamp “permanent residence” in a passport for traveling abroad, indicating the date of the decision, the name of the country, and the data of the FDI official. The citizen is also issued a certificate on registration for staying abroad for permanent residence.
There are several grounds when the FDI may refuse the registration of documents for staying for permanent residence abroad. In particular:
- upon a person’s request for refusal to continue consideration of the application;
- at the request of one of the parents (legal representatives) of the child or of the child (14 to 16 years) for refusal to continue consideration of the application;
- the Ukrainian citizen is aware of information that constitutes a state secret;
- a precautionary measure has been applied to the person under whose conditions it is forbidden to travel abroad;
- a person convicted of a criminal offense;
- the Ukrainian citizen evades the court decision or has other unfulfilled obligations;
- the person is under the supervision of the National Police;
- the Security Service of Ukraine issued reasoned objections (if the applicant had previously had access to state secret).
The most significant difference between staying abroad for permanent residence and leaving Ukraine for permanent residence is the decision-maker. When a person wishes to reside abroad, he\ she should contact the State Migration Service at the place of residence, and if – for staying abroad, the person should apply to FDI.
The deadlines for examining the application also differ: when leaving for permanent residence, the documents are considered for up to 3 months, and if for staying abroad – consideration of the application may take even up to 1 year. This is due to the fact that the FDI sends requests to public authorities through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Service. Responses to requests are usually sent by post, which significantly delays the terms for the application`s consideration.
The process is also delayed due to the necessity of cancellation of address registration in Ukraine. In order to do this, the person must either personally return to Ukraine and obtain the necessary certificates, or prepare a power of attorney and send it to a representative, which may also take some time.