As an expat visitor to Ukraine, whether for business or pleasure, it is important to understand the permitted period of stay. Typically, the number of allowed days in country will be stated on your visa (if indeed you need a visa), otherwise it is 90 days within a 180-day period – the so-called 90/180 rule) from the date of arrival (if visa-free entry applies). But what happens should a foreigner overstay his visit? Read on.
Official Warning or Fine
An expat who overstays his visit commits an administrative offense under Ukrainian law! He/she can be issued a warning of the violation or can be fined in the amount ranging from 510 UAH (approx. USD 20) to 850 UAH (approx. USD 33) by officials of the State Migration Service. In addition, the individual how played host to the expat, shared lodgings with him/her, or otherwise aided or facilitated the individual’s illegal stay can also be fined: from 5 100 UAH (approx. USD 200) to 8 500 UAH (approx. USD 327). The fine must be paid within 15 days from the date of issue.
Such a decision may be appealed, however an appeal must be submitted to the authorities which first imposed the fine within 10 days of issue. If the appeal is rejected, the expat must pay the fine within 15 days upon the date of receiving the rejection. The fine can be paid via any bank unless such a fine was imposed by officials of the State Border Service of Ukraine, in which case the fine can be paid on site.
In certain cases, a foreigner may be banned from entering Ukraine. Authorities can ban the foreigner from entering the country if, during his/her stay in Ukraine, such an individual did not comply with the decision of the authorities on the imposed penalties and/or did not pay the fine. The statutory ban period is three years. The ban can be appealed to the regional department of the State Border Service of Ukraine or to a relevant court. Once the fine has been paid, the ban will typically be cancelled.
What to do?
If you know that you have exceeded the permitted stay in Ukraine, the pragmatic solution would be to go to the office of the State Migration Service according to your place of residence, report your overstay, receive a copy of the decision on imposition of administrative penalty, and pay the fine (if imposed) within the required period. Such actions will facilitate the process of passing border control and ensure no additional fines from the State Border Service. It is also advisable to contract a lawyer who will be able to act on your behalf before the authorities should you happen to experience any issues.
WO 2 Cents
Of course, the smart thing to do would be to follow the rules regarding length of stay in the first place…