New rules for issuing visas for entry into Ukraine: religious visa cancelled
The Government of Ukraine approved new rules for issuing visas for entry into Ukraine and transit through its territory, reports the Institute for Religious Freedom.
The Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine # 567 from June 1, 2011, abolishes visas demarcation by types, including religious visa (R), instead of which introduces short- and long-term visas.
Short-term visa (indicated by letter C) is issued to foreigners and stateless persons, unless the term of their stay in Ukraine does not exceed 90 days within 180 days from the date of the first entry. In addition to that, it can be a one-time/single, double or multiple visa and is issued for 6 months or another period, not exceeding 5 years.
Long-term visa (D) is issued to foreigners and stateless persons to enter Ukraine for processing documents that give the right of residence or stay in Ukraine for the period exceeding 90 days. This visa is issued by diplomatic representation or the Consulate of Ukraine as single for 45 days. However, in some cases, particularly for foreign journalists visa may be issued on the territory of Ukraine by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine as a single, double or multiple visa up to 3 years.
Importantly, to enter Ukraine for religious matters on a short-term or long-term visit, it is necessary to submit an invitation from a religious organization, registered in the prescribed manner, certified by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.
The government has also set new consular fees for processing visas, which are now calculated as equivalent to the U.S. dollar. For a single visa the consular fee is $85, double visa - $130, multiple visa – $200. It is substantially more.
Although previously the cost for processing religious visas did not differ from the cost of universal visas, its prices were much lower and also the minimum and maximum number of tariff rates were provided.
Before the amendments the consular fees for a visa were:
for single visa – from 15 to 50 U.S. dollars;
for double visa – from $20 to $80;
for multiple visa – from $100 to $200.
Moreover, the mentioned decision of the government envisages the lapse of Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 811 from 05.08.2009, according to which foreign religious figures could register their stay in Ukraine for the whole period of the visa without the 90-day limit. In addition to that the religious visa was issued for a period of 1 to 3 years.
According to new rules, foreigners who come to work in religious organizations on the territory of Ukraine, registered in the prescribed manner, for registration of the right of permanent residence in Ukraine have to:
- have the invitation from a religious organization, registered in Ukraine in the prescribed manner;
- certify this invitation in the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine;
- obtain a type D visa with a special inscription on the visa label “Work in religious organization” (unless otherwise required by the laws and international treaties of Ukraine).