How to get permanent residency in Ukraine via buying real estate
One of the most frequently asked questions by our clients is “How can I get a residence permit in Ukraine?” Of course, the most common means are via a work permit or marriage to a Ukrainian (more information can be found at: http://www.allstarkievrealty.com/en/useful/1/Temporary-Residence-Permit-in-Ukraine.html). However, do alternative ways to get a residence permit exist? Good news! Yes, they do. You can obtain permanent residency in Ukraine by buying real estate property in Ukraine. Let’s explain how through the investment process.
According to the law “on immigration,” residence permits can be obtained if an investment of no less than US$100,000 is made in the economy of the state in foreign convertible currency. The investment must be carried out and registered via regulations determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
What are the requirements for the investment?
For a foreign investment to be considered a contribution to the economy of the state that allows the right to receive a Ukrainian residence permit, it must meet certain requirements, as seen below:
1. First, the foreign investment must be carried out by creating a new enterprise/firm in Ukraine or by investing capital into an existing company.
2. Secondly, the investment must be made in the amount equivalent of no less than US$100,000.
3. Moreover, the investment must be in a foreign convertible currency. These currencies include US dollar; Australian, Canadian, Hong Kong, Singapore dollars; euro; pound sterling; Swiss franc; Danish, Norwegian and Czech koruna; Polish zloty; Japanese yen; Chinese yuan; Korean won; as well as precious metals.
4. The investment must be officially registered by the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine according to regulations.
5. Finally, the invested money must be of non-criminal origin.
Is buying a house in Ukraine an investment that entitles you to permanent residency?
Foreign citizens wishing to obtain a permanent resident (PR) card in Ukraine may mistakenly think that buying a house on the territory of Ukraine for the amount of US$100,000 gives them this right. However, this is not the case. Since buying a house is an investment of money for one’s own personal needs (whether living in or renting out) that is not aimed at the development of the state’s economy, such an investment is not considered an actual investment.
In order for a money transfer to be considered an investment, it must result in the economic development of the country. The best way to do this is to open a company that will not only bring profit to its owner, but also boost the economy of the Ukrainian state at the same time.
If a person who is planning to buy housing wants to obtain permanent residency via such an investment, he or she needs to purchase real estate at the company’s expense. In such cases, take note that the company that bought the property will officially be considered the owner of the property. However, over time it will be possible to change the ownership of the housing.
Acquired housing at the expense of the company can be used as one sees fit, whether living in or leasing out to others.
Nuances that should be considered when applying for permanent residency based on investments
If you decide to make an investment in the Ukrainian economy intending to acquire a permanent resident card, the following important factors should be considered:
- Registration for a permanent resident card in Ukraine can take from six months to a year. Therefore, immediately after opening a company and submitting documents to obtain a permanent resident card, it is advisable to apply for a temporary residence permit. It is best to do so via a work permit as a company director. This gives the right to temporarily reside in Ukraine for up to one year with the possibility of annual prolongation.
- If you are planning to purchase housing at the company’s expense, such a purchase should be done as soon as possible, since the contributed funds will be converted to Ukrainian hryvnia immediately after the investment. A quick purchase of real estate will help to protect your funds from further devaluation.
- If such an investment is completed for the sole purpose of obtaining a permanent resident card (not for the purpose of doing business), then it is possible to liquidate the company after receiving the permanent resident card. After liquidating the firm, all assets are returned to its owner. Consequently, the ownership status of the real estate acquired at the company’s expense can be transmitted to the individual. Take note that the liquidation of the company will last about 2-3 months. Also, the company should be liquidated only after obtaining the permanent resident card. Otherwise, the permanent resident card may be denied.
Steps to obtain a permanent resident card based on investments
The following is a step-by-step plan of action to obtain residence permit in Ukraine on the basis of foreign investment:
- Open and register one’s own company in Ukraine, preferably in the form of LLC. It is recommended that you identify yourself as the founder of the company. If you plan to buy housing at the expense of the company, it is necessary to include operations with real estate among the activities of the company.
- Commence capital formation and then transfer money from the personal account of the founder of the company to the company’s account. The amount of the investment must be no less than US$100,000 in convertible foreign currency.
- Register the foreign investment with the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine according to regulations. The registration procedure can take up to 2 weeks, and the investment will be inspected by the tax office. Funds are registered within the territorial bodies of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine.
- Obtain a work permit as the director of the company, which gives the right to temporarily reside in Ukraine for up to one year with the possibility of annual prolongation. Obtaining a temporary residence permit is necessary, since the process to acquire a permanent resident card can take from six months to a year.
- Submit documents to obtain a permanent resident card in Ukraine on the basis of foreign investment. The main document for this is a certificate of registration for the investment. In addition, the following documents may be needed: police clearance, residence certificate, and medical certificates.
After completing these steps, you will receive a permanent residence permit in Ukraine in six months to a year.
Frequently Asked Questions from foreigners wishing to obtain a permanent resident card based on an investment
– Does the purchase of real estate in Ukraine itself give you the right to be a permanent resident card on the basis of investment?
No. Only the transfer of funds in the amount of US$100,000 to the account of the company in the form of authorized capital by an alien who is the founder of the company can entitle you to a permanent resident card. Also, such funds should be listed only in the form of funds. An investment in the form of property cannot be used to obtain a permanent resident card.
– Are the funds contributed as an investment blocked or restricted in circulation?
The funds contributed by the company’s founder as an investment can be used by the company without any restrictions, including, for example, the purchase of real estate.
– How can US$100,000 be transferred to the company’s account as an investment?
Funds equivalent to at least US$100,000 can be invested in 2 ways: 1) via cash at the bank’s cash desk if the foreigner declared these funds at the border; 2) via bank transfer from the private account of the investor (founder) to the account of the company.
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