Pursuant to Ukrainian law, a Ukraine-based company may employ non-citizens only after obtaining a work permit (with some exceptions), Moldova.org reported, referring to Ukraine Legal Alert. On April 8, 2009 the Ukrainian government adopted a new procedure for obtaining work permits for non-citizens, replacing the procedure originally adopted in 1999. The new procedure is effective May 15, 2009.

The new procedure does not change the process for obtaining work permits in principle, but makes it more complicated, more expensive and less predictable. In particular:

The new procedure increases the number of documents to be filed with the Centers of Employment of the Ministry of Labor of Ukraine. In addition to the documents filed pursuant to the old procedure, a company must now also submit:

(a) two color photos of the potential employee;

(b) a certificate from the Center of Employment confirming that a company is not in debt to the Compulsory State Social Unemployment Insurance Fund;

(c) if the potential employee resides within Ukraine, a certificate of conviction (or absence thereof) issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine;

(d) if the potential employee resides outside Ukraine, a certificate confirming that the potential employee is not serving a sentence or is not under

criminal investigation, issued by authorized bodies of the country of origin or residence; and

(e) copies of all pages of the potential employee`s passport with identification data.

The new procedure changes the terms of work permits issued for specific categories of employees, for example, secondees or intra-corporate transferees. Under the old procedure, a work permit was granted for the term of hire, but pursuant to the new procedure work permits are obtained for a term up to three years, with term extensions of two years.

The new procedure increases the application fee 15 fold, from US$21 to US$300.

The revised procedure introduces new grounds for the Centers of Employment to refuse issuance and extension of a work permit: (a) the potential employee is serving a sentence or is under criminal investigation; (b) an employer failed to timely file the documents for extension of a work permit; and (c) state or regional labor markets changed making it unnecessary to use non-Ukraine workers.

The new procedure provides that if a non-citizen works for a company on terms other than described in a work permit, that permit must be cancelled.

If a work permit is cancelled or the non-citizen has not started work without a legitimate reason, the non-citizen may be deported from Ukraine. The company that invited the non-citizen to work must reimburse the state for the expenses of the deportation.

Work permits issued according to the old procedure remain valid until the expiration of their terms.