Getting Hitched in Ukraine
All you need to know
Foreign citizens have the same equal rights and obligations when it comes to marriage and family as citizens of Ukraine. The only vital requirement foreigners must be in legal compliance with for a marriage registration to take place is their stay in Ukraine, whereby he/she does not violate the 90/180-day rule as of the day of marriage registration.
It is also necessary to comply with the typical conditions for a marriage in Ukraine, which include that both the bride and groom are the age of consent (18-years old) and not currently married to anyone else.
Expats aiming to register their marriage in Ukraine must provide the Registrar (“RATS”- the department of the Ministry of Justice or other certified state institutions) with the following documents:
- Passport – complete with border guard stamps confirming the legality of stay in Ukraine
- A document confirming the termination of a previous marriage of the foreign citizen (where applicable). Such documents must be issued by the authorised body and appropriately legalised with translation into Ukrainian language.
This second document is rarely required in practice, as authorities don’t typically have access to the previous marital statuses of foreign citizens. It should be noted however that Ukrainian authorities can request this information from the home country of the foreigner.
Steps for marriage registration
Found a suitable partner? The procedure for foreigners and Ukrainians to officially unite in Ukraine is as follows:
- File an application with the Registrar’s office
- The date to register the marriage is appointed on the grounds of agreement between the applicants. In general, the registration occurs one month following application.
- A marriage is registered in the presence of both applicants.
If you just can’t wait a month, a “Married within a Day” option has been possible since 2016 and is available in several cities in Ukraine. The price for this quickie service is from 3 500 UAH (if during the week) to 8 000 UAH (on weekends and holidays). In practice, the period of registration between a Ukrainian and foreigner takes up to seven days, the timing of which is dictated by the State Migration Service regarding the legal stay of foreign citizens on the territory of Ukraine.
Lucky for the foreigner, marriage with a citizen of Ukraine serves as sufficient grounds for the procurement of a temporary residence permit in Ukraine. After two years, and you’re still married, the lucky foreigner can apply for permanent residence!