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Did you know that Leonardo DiCaprio, Milla Jovovich, Mila Kunis, Sylvester Stallone, David Duchovny, Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Steve and Liv Tyler, all of them have Ukrainian roots and so can become overseas Ukrainians?

All those foreigners who are citizens of other countries but have Ukrainian roots can obtain a special legal status called “overseas Ukrainian” (aka foreign Ukrainian). The main laws that regulate the process of receiving this status is the Law of Ukraine On Overseas Ukrainians and the Procedure of Issuance of the Overseas Ukrainian ID.

This status gives quite essential privileges to its holder:

  • A foreigner holding the overseas Ukrainian status does not need to obtain a work permit to work in Ukraine;

  • Simplified process of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship;

  • Free scholarship in Ukrainian universities within annual quotas;

  • 5-year multi-entry visa without an invitation for overseas Ukrainians from countries having the visa regime for visiting Ukraine;

  • Right to obtain Ukrainian permanent residence.

The 5-year multi-entry visa and Ukrainian permanent residence are granted not only to an overseas Ukrainian but also to their spouse and children.

An overseas Ukrainian is a person over 16 years old who is a citizen of foreign country or a stateless person while having the Ukrainian ethnic origin or comes from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian ethnic origin is a belonging of person or their ancestorі to the Ukrainian nation and acknowledgement by them that Ukraine is the motherland of their ethnic origin.


A person willing to obtain the status of overseas Ukrainian should submit the following documents to a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the territory of Ukraine or to an overseas consulate of Ukraine abroad:

  1. Application of the established form;

  2. Passport;

  3. Copies of documents evidencing the Ukrainian ethnic origin or coming from Ukraine (e.g. birth certificates of Ukrainian relatives, document proving the person lived in Ukraine, other documents if necessary);

  4. Two color photos 30x40 millimetres;

  5. Bank receipt of paying the state duty for issuance of the overseas Ukrainian ID that is an equivalent of USD 10.00;

  6. *The applicant can add other documents like written testimony of Ukrainian citizens or overseas Ukrainians (not less than 3 persons) who confirm the applicant’s Ukrainian ethnic origin or coming from Ukraine, as well as a request of a non-government organization of overseas Ukrainians the applicant is a member of.

The application together with the documents is considered by the National Commission which takes up to 150 days. The National Commission notifies the applicant about its decision in writing.

The overseas Ukrainian ID is issued for 10 years and can be extended.

Contact Legal Ideas law firm to get advice on your personal case.

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