How to enlist in the Ukrainian army

Updated: Mar 9


UPDATE

Ukraine canceled any visas for those foreigners who want to join our army and made an international legion. Here is a detailed instruction on how to enlist: https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3415220-ak-priednatisa-do-internacionalnogo-legionu-oboroni-ukraini-algoritm.html

The article is in Ukrainian but Google translate will do a good translation.


Also this is a video instruction in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25Clpvw1Q6c


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(Below is the old version of this article)


The topic of joining the Ukrainian army has become very popular among Ukrainian expats and overseas foreigners due to the recent threat of a Russian military invasion in Ukraine.


Even though we are a law firm dealing mostly with business support and immigration, we also have been receiving now many inquiries from foreigners asking for information on how to join the Ukrainian army. Therefore, we have prepared this brief guideline to help you enlist in the Ukrainian armed forces if you wish so.


As a rule, we will start with laws in case you want to research this subject in more details. There are 2 main laws that regulate military service of foreigners in the Ukrainian army:

  • the Law of Ukraine On Military Duty and Military Service (hereinafter the “Law”);

  • the Regulation On Military Service in the Ukrainian Armed Forces by Foreigners and Stateless Persons (hereinafter the “Regulation”).

*The Ukrainian army accepts not only foreigners but also stateless persons. For the ease of reading, we are going to call both foreign citizens and stateless persons as “foreigners” in this article.


REQUIREMENTS TO CANDIDATES


An enlisting candidate should meet the following criteria:

  • have a clean criminal record background;

  • be legally staying in Ukraine;

  • be aged from 18 and up to 45 years;

  • have a proper health and physical conditions;

  • completed a relevant selection.

All checks and selections mentioned above are done by relevant Ukrainian agencies so a candidate is not obliged to provide any relevant document in this regard.


By the way, foreign women can also enlist as well as men.


Those candidates that have been selected for the service have a 2-month probation period.


BENEFITS


Foreign military personal receives the same salary as Ukrainians of the same rank. There is no difference between foreign and Ukrainian soldiers.


Ukraine also guarantees a payment of one-time financial aid to a serviceman in case of his death or injury caused during his service. In the case of death this aid is paid to the family of the killed soldier.


*Military service also provides foreigners with a right to obtain Ukrainian permanent residence and also Ukrainian citizenship.


MILITARY JOBS AND RANKS


Military ranks available for foreigners are limited to:

  • private;

  • sergeant;

  • master sergeant / petty officer.

Higher ranks are possible only after obtaining Ukrainian citizenship.


A foreigner also is limited to a number of military specialities that he can have. The list of such specialities is approved by the General staff of Armed Forces of Ukraine.


WHERE TO ENLIST


For the purpose of enlistment to the Ukrainian army foreigners should contact territorial military registration and enlistment offices as per their place of residence in Ukraine. On the official website of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine here you can find contact details of all of them (information provided only in the Ukrainian language).


SIGNING A CONTRACT


Foreigners can’t be drafted but can be voluntarily enlisted in the army based on signed contract for military service.


The text of such a contract is approved by the Regulation so it is always the same and for everyone.


Here you can download its template. It is the official version so it is in the Ukrainian language. Please use Google Translate, for example, to translate its text into your native language.


Privates can conclude a contract for 3-year military service while sergeants and master sergeants (petty officers) can sing a contract for 3 to 5 years. In case of war or another emergency the contracts can be extended. Also, it is possible to extend a contract for a new term when it is going to expire.


After being enlisted a foreign serviceman receives a special military ID that confirms that the person is a Ukrainian army personnel.


TERRITORIAL DEFENCE GROUPS


In case you are not going to join the army but would like to be useful in case of a military conflict, you can join territorial defence groups in your region. There you will find basic defence tactics and other obtain other skills vital for a firefight. Full advice about this you can receive from the official call-center by calling 0800507028 (information provided in the Ukrainian language).


If you served in the Ukrainian army and need legal assistance with your immigration case, Legal Ideas law firm will support you free of charge. Just contact us. Lest we forget.


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