Obtaining citizenship of Ukraine

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The grounds for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship are listed in the Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine".

Section II of the Law is entitled “Acquisition of Ukrainian Citizenship”. Article 6 of the section lists all existing grounds for becoming a citizen. These include: by birth; by the territorial origin of the applicant; upon admission to citizenship; upon restoration of citizenship; as a result of adoption (adoption); as a result of the establishment of guardianship or guardianship over the child, as well as when the child is placed in a healthcare institution or a children’s institution, in a foster family, a family-type orphanage, when he is transferred to the upbringing of the family of a foster caregiver; as a consequence of the establishment of guardianship over a person whom the court has declared incompetent; as a result of the citizenship of Ukraine in one or both parents of the child; due to the recognition of maternity or paternity or the establishment of the fact of maternity or paternity; on other grounds, which are provided for in the international treaties of Ukraine.

By birth (Article 7 of the Law)

Article 7 of the Law describes in detail the grounds for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship by birth, namely: if the parents (or at least one of them) at the time of the applicant’s birth were citizens of Ukraine; if a person was born on the territory of Ukraine from stateless persons who stay in the state legally; if a person was born outside of Ukraine from stateless persons who permanently reside in Ukraine legally; if a person was born on the territory of Ukraine from foreign citizens who legally reside in the state, and did not acquire the citizenship of either of the parents; if a person was born on the territory of Ukraine from a person who is a refugee or received shelter in Ukraine, if he did not acquire the citizenship of the parent; if a person was born on the territory of Ukraine from a stateless person and a foreigner legally staying on the territory of Ukraine, if he did not acquire the citizenship of the parent; if a newborn child is found in Ukraine, whose parents are unknown (foundling).

By territorial origin (Article 8 of the Law)

Article 8 of the Law specifies the grounds for acquiring citizenship by territorial origin. A person can acquire Ukrainian citizenship if he or his close relatives (parents or one of them, grandfather, grandmother, sister or brother, daughter or son, granddaughter or grandson were born or permanently resided: before 24.08.1991 in the territory that now is the territory of Ukraine by the Law of Ukraine “On the succession of Ukraine”; in the territories that are part of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic, Transcarpathian Ukraine, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR), Ukrainian State, Western Ukrainian People’s Republic, Ukrainian People’s Republic. An application for the acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship can be made by a stateless person or a foreigner who undertakes to terminate foreign citizenship (or citizenship of all states, if he is a citizen of several states). A person submits an obligation to terminate foreign citizenship in writing, together with an application for acquiring citizenship. Together with the applicant, the citizens of Ukraine register his minor children. Ukrainian citizenship is granted to a child at the request of one of the parents, guardian, or custodian, if the child was born or permanently resided on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR, as well as on the territories indicated above. If the child is a citizen of another country, an obligation to terminate foreign citizenship is submitted along with the application. Ukrainian citizenship is granted to a child at the request of one of the legal representatives (parent, guardian, or custodian) if the child was born in Ukraine after the declaration of independence (after 24.08.1991). If the child is a citizen of another country, an obligation to terminate foreign citizenship is submitted along with the application. Foreigners with the status of refugees or those who received shelter in Ukraine can acquire Ukrainian citizenship.

Acceptance of citizenship (Article 9 of the Law)

In some cases, foreigners and stateless persons may be admitted to the citizenship of Ukraine. The general conditions for this are: recognition and observance by the applicant of the Basic Law (Constitution) and the current laws of Ukraine; confirmation of statelessness or acceptance of the obligation to terminate the citizenship of another country; continuous residence on the territory of Ukraine (we are talking exclusively about legal residence!); the exception is persons who have been married to a citizen of Ukraine for more than 2 years; for refugees and persons granted asylum in Ukraine, the residency requirement is 3 years; obtaining an immigration permit; knowledge of the Ukrainian language in a volume that is sufficient for communication; having legal sources of livelihood. Ukraine may refuse to grant citizenship if it turns out that the applicant: committed genocide or committed a crime against humanity; has an unexpunged or outstanding conviction in Ukraine for committing a grave or especially grave crime; committed an act in the territory of another country, which, according to Ukrainian legislation, is regarded as a grave or especially grave crime.

Restoration of citizenship (Article 10 of the Law)

A former citizen can always return to the citizenship of Ukraine, regardless of whether he lives on the territory of Ukraine or in another country. For example, due to the official ban on dual citizenship, persons traveling abroad for permanent residence often renounce Ukrainian citizenship upon taking the citizenship of a new country of residence. However, they can always return it by renouncing the citizenship of the host country. But there are also some limitations. A person who: carried out genocide or committed a crime against humanity cannot return Ukrainian citizenship; has an unexpunged or outstanding conviction in Ukraine for committing a grave or especially grave crime; has committed an act in the territory of another country, which, according to Ukrainian legislation, is regarded as a grave or especially grave crime.

As a result of adoption (Article 11 of the Law)

Upon entry into force of a court decision on adoption, a child who is a stateless person or a foreigner becomes a citizen of Ukraine if: he was adopted by citizens of Ukraine; he was adopted by a married couple in which one spouse is a citizen of Ukraine, and a second is a stateless person; he was adopted by a married couple in which one spouse is a citizen of Ukraine, and the second is a foreigner. It does not matter where the child lives, in Ukraine or abroad. Ukrainian legislation provides that in exceptional cases an adult person may also be adopted (part 2 of article 208 of the Family Code of Ukraine). An adult person with the status of a stateless person who permanently resides in Ukraine, from the moment the court decision on adoption comes into force, also becomes a citizen of Ukraine.

As a result of the adoption of guardianship (guardianship) (Articles 12, 13 of the Law)

A child with the status of a foreigner or a stateless person, from the moment a court decision (or a decision by a competent authority) on establishing guardianship or guardianship over him, becomes a citizen of Ukraine, if: the guardian (trustee) is a citizen of Ukraine; if one of the appointed guardians (custodians) is a citizen of Ukraine, and the other is a stateless person; if one of the appointed guardians (trustees) is a citizen of Ukraine, and the other is a foreigner (if the child does not acquire the citizenship of a foreign guardian (trustee)). The child also receives the citizenship of Ukraine from the moment of registration in a specialized institution, the administration of which acts as a guardian or trustee about him; a foster family, a family of a foster caregiver, a family-type orphanage, if at least one of the caregivers (foster parents) is a citizen of Ukraine. But in the case of social institutions (houses, families), for a child to acquire Ukrainian citizenship, one of the following conditions must be present: the child’s parents have died; the parents of the child are deprived of parental rights; the parents of the child are declared missing; the parents of the child are declared incompetent; The child’s parents were not found. A foreigner or a stateless person recognized by the court as legally incompetent becomes a citizen of Ukraine from the moment the decision on the establishment of guardianship over him by a citizen of Ukraine comes into force.

If parents have citizenship (Article 14 of the Law)

A child with the status of a foreigner or a stateless person may acquire Ukrainian citizenship if: one of the parents has Ukrainian citizenship, and the other parent is a stateless person; one of the parents has Ukrainian citizenship, and the other parent is a foreigner; both parents have Ukrainian citizenship. A child acquires Ukrainian citizenship at the request of a Ukrainian parent.

As a result of the recognition of motherhood (paternity) (Article 15 of the Law)

A child with the status of a foreigner or a stateless person may acquire Ukrainian citizenship if: one of the parents has Ukrainian citizenship, and the other parent is a stateless person; one of the parents has Ukrainian citizenship, and the other parent is a foreigner; both parents have Ukrainian citizenship. A child acquires Ukrainian citizenship at the request of a Ukrainian parent.

Obtaining citizenship of Ukraine enables a person to enjoy the entire set of rights and freedoms that citizens of Ukraine have, the observance and protection of which is the responsibility of the state.

But it should be remembered that the very fact that a person has Ukrainian citizenship also imposes certain obligations on him, which must be strictly observed and fulfilled!

The holder of a passport of a citizen of Ukraine has the opportunity to freely and visa-free visits to European countries, as well as many other countries in the world, which provides more extensive migration opportunities.

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