Head of migration law practice, master of law, expert in the field of migration law.

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HOW DOES QUARANTINE AFFECT THE MIGRATION SPHERE IN UKRAINE?

 Starting from January 8, 2021, a lockdown began to operate on the territory of Ukraine, in other words (from English) – a lockdown, a policy aimed at introducing a number of restrictive actions that are introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease. According to preliminary information, the lockdown will last until January 24 inclusive.
 During this period, a significant decrease in the number of cases on the territory of Ukraine is expected, as well as a positive trend in the number of people who can be cured from coronavirus infection. In a global sense, nothing bad (negative) should happen during this period, neither in the economy, nor in other areas. Given the restrictions due to infection in all spheres of human life, before going to government agencies, you should carefully read all the information posted on the official websites of government agencies or even call there in order to avoid an unpleasant situation with a “closed door”. On the urgent recommendations of the authorities in Ukraine, state bodies have transferred their work to a remote mode, or have limited their work in the number of receiving persons. It is also worth paying attention to the work of the migration service during the quarantine period, and especially the lockdown. In the early days of the lockdown, no clear instructions were received from the SMS of Ukraine to the territorial divisions of the SMS regarding the reception of persons and the provision of administrative services to them. In the future, recommendations and instructions from the SMS of Ukraine are still worth waiting for.
 During the quarantine period (from March to the present day), significant changes have occurred in the field of migration, which are further marked by positive progressive changes in work with foreign citizens in Ukraine.
  What should you know and what should you look for? Let’s take a look at a few points:
  Peculiarities of crossing the state border for the period of quarantine and lockdown in general. According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated December 9, 2020, quarantine on the territory of Ukraine was extended from December 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021, respectively, restrictions were introduced in relation to foreign citizens, namely, all foreign citizens who cross the border of Ukraine are not having at the same time a temporary or permanent residence permit (or, if they do not belong to certain categories of persons determined by the state), they must necessarily have a medical policy with them that covers all the necessary costs in connection with treatment for coronavirus infection for the entire period of stay on the territory of Ukraine.
  All terms for the provision of administrative services have stopped. All the terms for applying for an administrative service from the date of the announcement of the beginning of quarantine, other services, as well as the terms for their provision, are stopped. The next day after the end of quarantine, the terms are activated, and also, on this day, a foreign citizen will have 30 days in order to apply for paperwork or provide other administrative services.
  Administrative liability in the form of a fine for violation of the legal period of stay on the territory of Ukraine during the quarantine and lockdown period, including for foreign citizens, is abolished. In relation to foreigners who, within the timeframe established by law, could not / did not have time to submit documents for extending the period of stay / obtaining a temporary or permanent residence permit due to coronavirus infection, administrative liability in the form of a fine will not be applied. The main requirement is that the end of the legal period of stay on the territory of Ukraine should take place exclusively during the quarantine period.
  Belarus: instead of 90 days – 180 days! According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated December 23, 2020, the corridor of the permitted legal stay on the territory of Ukraine has increased for citizens of the Republic of Belarus. Now, instead of 90 days for 180 days, citizens of Belarus are allowed to stay in Ukraine for 180 days with a corridor of 365 days, which makes life much easier for citizens of Belarus in Ukraine. Unfortunately, this provision is only valid until December 31, 2021.
  When applying for an immigration permit, you can immediately apply for a temporary residence permit on the territory of Ukraine. In the event that a citizen of the Republic of Belarus applies to the migration service for obtaining an immigration permit for him on the basis of article 4 of part 2 of paragraph 2 of the Law of Ukraine On Immigration (namely, as a highly qualified specialist, an urgent need for which there is in Ukraine) at the same time you can also apply for a temporary residence permit on the same basis. In this case, the period for obtaining a temporary residence permit will not be 15 working days, but only 3 working days, which is very significant.
  From October 9, 2020, all citizens of countries with which Ukraine has a visa-free regime of entry and who are legally on the territory of Ukraine may not leave / check-in for a temporary residence permit to change the purpose of the trip. When there are grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit, you can immediately apply for its registration. Documents are submitted as before – no later than 15 working days before the end of the corridor of a foreigner’s legal stay in Ukraine.
  Citizenship of Ukraine and the status of a stateless person. During the quarantine period, in Ukraine, the question was also asked about the need to make changes, namely, a complete modification of the legislation on citizenship of Ukraine, as well as the need to create a single separate normative legal act that would regulate the procedure and procedure for obtaining the status of a stateless person in Ukraine. So, as this issue is still not really “spelled out”. And although today this issue has been paused (as the bill was wrapped up), but this is the first step on the road to big changes. This branch of migration legislation has long been in need of adjustment.
 So, all the horror that the coronavirus infection has brought with it to the whole world and Ukraine, including, can be overshadowed by those actions by the state in relation to migration legislation, migration service and migration in general. Maybe, if there was no such “sadness” in the country, the government would not have found time for what has been done since March 2020 for a long time.
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