VISA-FREE REGIME WITH UKRAINE – WHAT IT MEANS IN PRACTICE?
VISA-FREE REGIME WITH UKRAINE
On 11 June 2017, the visa requirement for Ukrainian citizens traveling to the European Union will be abolished*.
This decision does not apply to entry to Great Britain and Ireland.
CONDITIONS OF ENTERING THE SCHENGEN ZONE
The abolition of the visa requirement does not mean exemption from the obligation to meet the other entry conditions set out in the Schengen Borders Code. Above all, Ukrainian citizens will have to:
- have a valid biometric passport,
- justify the purpose and conditions of the planned stay,
- have the required financial resources and insurance.
They also may not be listed in the databases as persons for whom the entry has been made to refuse the entry and who are threats to public order and internal security.
DAYS OF STAY ARE SUMMED
Remember! A stay without the visa requirement may not last longer than 90 days during each 180-day period. The 90-day period shall also include previous short-term stays, eg based on a previously held Schengen visa (also before 11 June 2017). According to the EU regulations, all short-term stays of foreigners are summed up.
WHEN CAN THE ENTRY PERMIT BE CANCELLED?
In order to improve visa-free travel, the Ukrainian State Border Service has equipped all international border crossings with biometric control measures.
The consular service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated in its Facebook page the cases when, after the introduction of the visa-free regime, the citizens of Ukraine may not be allowed to cross the border with EU countries. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the permit to enter EU countries may be cancelled if the citizen:
- is in the list of persons posing a threat to public policy, public health or internal security,
- is in the list of persons whose entry into at least one of the EU countries is forbidden,
- was convicted in any EU country for criminal offenses providing for imprisonment for a period of at least one year,
- is the addressee of the expulsion decision from the host country, in particular in cases of illegal stay,
- if there is evidence of their involvement in criminal activities or evidence of any intention to participate in such activities,
- does not have all the necessary documents confirming the purpose of the trip.
The department of consular service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also informed that representatives of the consular service will be present at many Polish border crossing points on the first day of the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU. The statement issued reported that:
“In order to control and monitor the situation at the control points within the state border of the Republic of Poland, on June 11, from 8.00 to 15.00 local time, consular presence of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Poland and the Ukrainian Consulate General in Lublin will be assured at the key control points “Dorohusk”, “Zosin”, “Medyka”, “Hrebenne”, “Korczowa”, at the international F. Chopin airport in Warsaw.”
TRAVEL TO TURKEY
Relying on the information provided by the “Ukrinform” portal, it is also worth reminding that Turkey has officially approved a travel agreement for Ukrainian citizens on the basis of identity cards, without passports. Citizens of Ukraine will be able to travel to Turkey, as well as transit its territory without passports, with an ID card.
According to earlier regulations, Ukrainian citizens may be in Turkey for no more than 90 days for every 180 days. The citizens of Turkey can visit Ukraine on the same basis. Citizens of Ukraine who are not holders of ID cards will be able to travel to Turkey as before, on the basis of a national passport, without the need to obtain visas.
MINIMUM AMOUNTS TO HAVE WHEN CROSSING THE BORDER
In reference to the abolition of the visa requirement, the EU launched a website addressed to Ukrainian citizens as regards the principles of the visa-free regime, specifying the minimum amount of money Ukrainians must have during visa-free crossing of the border.
The lowest requirement is in Hungary (3.2 euro per day), and the highest in Spain (71 euro per day, at least 637 euros).
If, as a citizen of Ukraine, you want to go to Belgium and stay in a hotel, you should have an average of 95 euro per day. In case of travel to specific persons in a given country, the required amount is much lower at only 45 euro per day.
In case of other countries, the possession of minimum amounts of cash is as follows:
- Norway: 500 Norwegian kroner (1580 hryvnia),
- Sweden: 47 euro per day (1370 hryvnia),
- Finland: 30 euro per day (880 hryvnia),
- Latvia: 14 euro per day (400 hryvnia),
- Lithuania: 40 euro per day (1100 hryvnia),
- Estonia: 86 euro per day (2.5 thousand hryvnia),
- Netherlands: 34 euros (1000 hryvnia),
- Poland: 300 złoty (2,000 hryvnia) during stay up to three days, and 100 złoty (800 hryvnia) if the stay is for more than three days,
- Germany: 45 euro per day (1300 hryvnia).
Some countries, such as Austria and Luxembourg, determine the amount individually.
RENEWAL OF THE VISA REGIME AND STAY PERMIT
An important issue is the stay of foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Poland during the proceedings before the Voivodeship head for granting a permit for temporary stay, permanent stay, or a permit for EU resident’s long-term stay.
When the application was lodged with the office on time and does not have formal errors, the applicant’s travel document shall contain an appropriate stamp confirming the submission of the application.
As stated by SG ppor. Agnieszka Golias, KGSG spokeswoman, having a stamp in the passport confirming the submission of the application for a residence permit within the time limit required is not a basis for crossing the state border to enter Poland. When a foreigner has that stamp in the travel document, they may enter the Polish territory under the visa-free regime only if they have not used up to 90 days during the 180-day period during and before the procedure. If the period of the stay under the visa-free regime has already been used up, re-entry to the Republic of Poland may take place on the basis of a long-term visa.
STAMP BASIS FOR STAY
Note! To calculate the permitted period of stay under the visa-free regime, the stamp-base stay alone is not included, although the period of stay with the stamp basis begins not from the date of its reception, but from the date of the end of the period of stay to which the foreigner was entitled under the visa-free regime. This means that only after using the entire period of stay within the visa-free regime shall a smooth transition take place to the rights resulting from submitting the application for temporary residence, permanent residence or EU resident’s long-term residence.
VISA ABOLITION AND POSSIBILITY OF PERFORMING WORK
According to the information by ppor. SG Agnieszka Golias, Citizens of Ukraine crossing the border under the visa-free regime may work in the Polish territory, provided they have the appropriate documents for this purpose, for example, a declaration of intention to work or the relevant work permit.
Those who intend to work alone or through intermediaries must be careful and remember that they will legally be able to work in Poland only if they have the relevant documents.
As emphasised by the vice chairman of the State Employment Service, Serhiy Kravchenko:
“You may be asked at the border with Poland where you are going. If you say to whom you are going, and your employer does not confirm this, they simply refuse entry.”
Please note that according to the current immigration regulations regarding the employment of foreigners, the persons whose basis of stay is a job should obtain a temporary residence and a work permit in Poland.
Other foreigners who are staying in Poland on the basis of a visa or a temporary residence permit, who would like to work in Poland, may legally work provided they have a work permit.
Citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine may work in Poland without a work permit for a period not exceeding 6 months in the next 12 months on the basis of a declaration of intention to entrust work with a foreigner.
Legal status as at 08 June 2017.
- Regulation (EU) 2017/850 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Ukraine) (OJ L 133 of 22.5.2017)
* This regulation is a consequence of the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2017/850 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 amending Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Ukraine) (OJ L 133 of 22.5.2017)
Author: Trainee Attorney-at-law Marta Szczepanowska
Editorial Supervisor: Attorney-at-law Paweł Tokarski