«It is pretty easy to find cooperation options that would satisfy both Belarusians and Ukrainians». An interview with the head of a real estate company in Odessa
In August 2020, the demand for housing in Ukraine increased among Belarusians. Recently, the REALTING platform published an article about what properties to buy in Kyiv and Odessa at the price of an apartment in Minsk.
It is important to keep in mind that an accommodation purchase is not a permanent residence ground in Ukraine. To find out what conditions must a Belarusian meet to legally stay in the country for a long time, we interviewed Dmitry Grabin, the head of the First Real Estate Company LLC.
— Dmitry, for how long can a citizen of Belarus legally stay on the territory of Ukraine? What should be done to extend this period?
— Belarusians have the right to stay in Ukraine 90 days a year. They do not need to get a visa or apply for a special permit. To stay in the country for a longer period, a citizen of the Republic of Belarus will need to issue a temporary or permanent residence permit. As far as I know, Belarusians are rarely refused to get a residence permit.
— What documents are required for obtaining a residence permit? How long will the process take?
— The pendency of an application period usually does not exceed 15 business days. During this time, migration service employees check all submitted documents, find information about the applicant in the database, and then make a decision on issuing a residence permit.
As for the necessary documents, there is no definite answer but a certain standard list includes:
- a copy of an ID;
- family information;
- proof of current residence;
- a copy of a marriage certificate;
- a certificate of no criminal record;
- a medical certificate of no alcohol and drug addiction.
The remaining requirements depend on the grounds on which the foreigner plans to obtain a residence permit.
— Could you please tell us more about the legalization of stay grounds?
— The grounds are widely different. For example, a person married with a citizen of Ukraine can get a residence permit and later citizenship. A born on the territory of Ukraine foreigner can apply for a residence permit as well. Nevertheless, I would like to provide more details on some other ways of legalization: employment and entrepreneurship.
— Let’s start with legalization through employment. How does it work?
— First, it is necessary to get a work permit. A hiring company initiates it. Personal attendance of a foreigner is not obligatory to obtain this special permit. It is enough to provide a passport copy, a digital color passport photo, and an employment contract that specifies the position, salary, working conditions, etc.
The next step is to get an individual taxpayer identification number and a residence permit. Moreover, experts advise starting these two procedures at the same time.
By the way, there is an option to get an individual taxpayer identification number through an official representative. Residence permit processing requires the personal attendance of a foreign citizen.
After receiving the document, an applicant must register their place of residence within 30 days. This is followed by official employment and signing an employment contract between an employer and a foreigner.
— Is this process different from obtaining a residence permit through entrepreneurship?
— There are only a few differences. The main ones are registration of an individual entrepreneur and a single taxpayer registration. To do this, a passport, a residence permit of Ukraine, a document on the assignment of an individual taxpayer identification number, and an application for registration as an individual entrepreneur are required.
It should be noted that entrepreneurship in Ukraine provides for a simplified tax system (5% of income). A foreign citizen can register as an entrepreneur and make a profit not only at a primary place of employment but also from their activities. After receiving the registration of an individual taxpayer identification number certificate, a foreign citizen will be able to cooperate with any Ukrainian company. In this case, the tax will be minimal.
— You may have heard that Belarus has created very good with conditions for IT companies. Members of the Belarus Hi-Tech Park are exempt from paying certain tax fees. However, due to the current political crisis in Belarus, some major IT companies are seriously considering relocation. In your opinion, can Ukraine become a country that will welcome IT specialists from Belarus?
— I’m sure about it. Ukraine offers special conditions for foreign IT specialists. The Ministry of Digital Transformation has announced the creation of quotas for immigration of more than 5,000 foreign professionals with subsequent employment. The quotas provide for obtaining a ten-year permanent residence permit in Ukraine with the possibility of registering a private enterprise. It will not be necessary to update the employment permit annually.
According to Mr. Grabin, there are also some difficulties that IT employees will have to face. Among them are:
- Ukrainian set of legal norms. A lawyer will need to thoroughly study the country’s legislation and pay attention to all the differences from the Belarusian one.
- Opening accounts in local banks. Employees must be paid following the law.
- A new business strategy that will help to avoid problems with regulatory authorities. There are no forecasts about how soon employees will be able to return and work in comfortable conditions in Belarus.
In addition, companies’ management will need to promptly decide where their employees will live. Moreover, in due course, an issue of finding an office or a coworking space may become relevant. Not all companies have an opportunity to work remotely full time.
— Are there any restrictions on buying or renting housing in Ukraine?
— No. The general law of Ukraine does not impose any restrictions on the purchase of the residential and commercial real estate by foreigners.
— And yet, from your point of view, is Ukraine ready for many Belarusian companies to arrive in the country soon?
— I believe it is pretty easy to find cooperation options that would satisfy both Belarusians and Ukrainians. The country can create all conditions for the relocation of IT and other companies.