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How to Become a Citizen of Ukraine. Instructions for Foreigners | InLaw

Annually, about 1000 applicants acquire Ukrainian citizenship. Statistically, the most often citizens of Ukraine become by birth and territorial origin. Meanwhile, many people acquire citizenship on the basis of naturalization, ie voluntary acquisition of citizenship by a foreigner, on the basis of a presidential decree. According to the Office of the President, during the lasr year, 177 such decrees have been issued.


According to the Law of Ukraine “On Citizenship”, any foreigner or stateless person can acquire Ukrainian citizenship if all the 6 conditions provided by the Art. 7 of the Law are met.

1. Absence of other citizenship.


In Ukraine, the principle of single citizenship is established, so before becoming a citizen of Ukraine, a person must 1) present:

  • declaration of the absence of another citizenship;

  • obligation to renounce the citizenship of another state;

  • declaration of renunciation of the citizenship of another state;

and 2) return the passport of a foreign state to the authorized bodies of that state.


Almost 90 countries in the world follow a different approach, allowing dual or even triple citizenship. Recently, initiatives to introduce multiple citizenship have been intensified in Ukraine as well. In particular, Bill №4640 was created, which provides for the permission of dual citizenship with the European Union and other friendly states, but with the exception for an aggressor state. But while the changes are only under consideration for the future, the candidate must provide confirmation that Ukrainian citizenship will be unique, but closely monitor innovations in the legislation.


2. Recognition and observance of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.


The requirement seems quite declarative and formal, as a clear mechanism for verifying compliance with this condition is not established by law.


The only thing, Article 9 of the Law "On Citizenship" provides that a person who:

  • sentenced in Ukraine to imprisonment for committing a serious or especially serious crime (until the expiration or removal of a criminal record), taking into account the level of threat to national security;

  • committed a crime in the territory of another state, recognized by the legislation of Ukraine as grave or especially grave.

At the same time, in obtaining citizenship, it is important to comply not only with Ukrainian law, but also with international law. Thus, a person who has committed such grave violations as crimes against humanity or genocide is not admitted to the Ukrainian citizenship.


3. Continuous legal residence in Ukraine for the last 5 years


To obtain Ukrainian citizenship, a foreigner must prove that he is in Ukraine legally., and so must present a permanent residence permit in Ukraine.


Take a note! Continuous residence means such accommodation for which it is allowed to go abroad for a period of up to 90 days once, and for a period of up to 180 days in total per year. A person is also allowed to go on business trips, study, vacations, treatment, etc.

4. Obtaining an immigration permit.


To confirm the legality of stay in Ukraine, the candidate must present an immigration permit, which can be obtained in the manner prescribed by the Law of Ukraine "On Immigration" under the quota (for persons provided for in Part 2 of Art. 4 of the Law of Ukraine "On Immigration") or out of quota (Part 3 Art.4).


To do this, you need to contact the diplomatic missions or consular posts of Ukraine abroad, or to the territorial divisions of the LCA in Ukraine.


5. Proficiency in the state language.


Knowledge of the language of the State of which a person acquires citizenship at a sufficient level is obviously an important condition for naturalization, inherent in most countries of the world.


In Ukraine, a candidate for citizenship must pass an exam from the National Commission on State Language Standards and obtain a certificate of proficiency in the state language. The exam is based on a clear program and consists of passing two tests: written (includes reading, writing, listening) and oral (ie speaking) according to the program.


6. The presence of legal sources of livelihood


An applicant for Ukrainian citizenship must submit a document confirming his / her ability to provide for himself / herself and not be a burden to the state. It may be:

certificate of salary for the last 6 months;

tax certificate if there is a business;

certificate from the local council on agricultural activities;

certificate of opening a bank account (with at least 12 minimum wages in the account).


Take a note! There are special requirements for certain categories of candidates for citizenship:

  • if you served military service under a contract, awarded a state award - the minimum period of continuous residence for you is reduced to 3 years.

  • if you are the person who has outstanding merits before Ukraine, or whose acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship is of state interest for Ukraine, as well as a person temporarily residing in Ukraine on the basis of Part 20 of Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine "On Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons" "- only the first two conditions of admission to citizenship will apply to you.

  • if you are the refugee or a person with asylum in Ukraine, or a stateless person - the minimum period of continuous residence for you is reduced to 3 years.

  • if you have been married to a citizen of Ukraine for more than two years (including if the marriage ended in marriage consequence of his death) - the requirement to reside in Ukraine will not apply to you.

  • if you are the child living in Ukraine and one of the parents (or legal representative) has an immigration permit to Ukraine - you will be subject to only the second requirement for citizenship.

So, how can a foreigner get Ukrainian citizenship step by step?


STEP 1: Draw up all the necessary documents (application, 3 photos, as well as all documents to confirm compliance with 1, 2-6 requirements).


STEP 2: Submit them at the place of residence in the territorial division of the LCA.


STEP 3: Obtain a certificate of registration of a person as a citizen of Ukraine.


STEP 4: Obtain a Presidential Decree on citizenship.


From the moment the decree is issued - you are a citizen of Ukraine!


Our Legal Center is ready to help you if you have any questions about acquiring Ukrainian citizenship. Contact us by phone or via CHAT at the bottom of the page.



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