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08 Nov. 2023

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Volunteering in Ukraine: how to obtain a permit and documents for foreign volunteers

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Volunteering in Ukraine: how to obtain a permit and documents for foreign volunteers

Volunteering in Ukraine opens up opportunities for foreigners who want to help and support Ukrainian society. However, there are certain procedures for obtaining permits and documents for foreign volunteers. Lawyers of law firm "Pravova Dopomoga" provide professional advice and support during this process. Read more about obtaining a permit in our material

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Every day foreign volunteers arrive in our country, ready to help Ukrainians in the conditions of war. However, even in this difficult and important period for Ukraine, when help is needed, foreigners are faced with complicated legal issues related to the expiry of their stay in the country.


An important aspect is the complicated visa process for foreigners, especially those states whose citizens are required to obtain a D-10 visa before entering Ukraine. This procedure, of course, complicates and delays the arrival of foreigners and their ability to provide assistance as quickly as possible. Additionally, foreign volunteers should consider the importance of having a residence permit and the procedure of its exchange, especially when they change their type of activity. Today we will address these issues, providing you with useful information.


Legalization of stay as volunteers for foreign citizens in Ukraine


Many people often make the mistake of thinking that once they arrive in Ukraine and start volunteering, receive volunteer status or sign a volunteer contract, they automatically have a legal right to stay. It is important to realize that these documents do not ensure legal status. In order to stay legally, a temporary residence permit must be issued. In addition, it should be clarified which organizations have the right to invite volunteers from other countries.




Who can invite foreign volunteers to Ukraine?


The most popular option is volunteering in charitable or public organizations. But it should be remembered that not every organization has the right to accept volunteers. There are certain requirements for this:


    1. The organization must operate on a non-profit basis.

    2. The charter must include information about the direction of volunteer activities.

    3. Information about the organization is available on the National Social Service website.

    4. The organization must have sufficient financial resources to invite foreigners as volunteers.


As for the volunteers themselves, there are also requirements for them:


    • The desire to volunteer is voluntary.

    • Helping the poor, disabled, elderly, homeless, etc., or providing the organization with environmental conservation, cultural heritage, participation in other social initiatives.




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Can I change my volunteering organization? Will the residence permit be lost?


Foreign volunteers in our country, despite their initial priorities, in cases when they arrived in Ukraine before the military conflict, have significantly changed their activities after the outbreak of the war. If at first they focused on language training or cultural exchanges, now their work is oriented towards helping the victims, evacuation of people, psychological and humanitarian assistance. But this change of direction may create certain legal difficulties in their status in Ukraine.


Most often foreign volunteers have the following concerns and questions: "What steps should we take if we have already worked in Ukraine for a certain organization, but now we plan to change the nature of our activities? Will this lead to the loss of our temporary residence rights? How can we properly draw up all the necessary documents if our new work is related to volunteering?".


Foreigners can change their status and change the nature of their activities. For example, foreign volunteers came to Ukraine first to carry out activities in the cultural sphere, but eventually their organization turned into a humanitarian center. In such a case, it is necessary to prepare a package of documents, inform the SMS about the change of activities and prepare for the exchange of residence permits. Of course, each individual case has its own procedural nuances.


Consequently, foreign volunteers can carry out a variety of volunteer activities in Ukraine, ranging from organizing cultural and social events to providing humanitarian aid. However, in order to achieve success in this case, it is always necessary to follow the correct legal form, fulfill legal regulations, obtain a timely visa for a volunteer when traveling to Ukraine and consider obtaining, extending or exchanging a residence permit.




Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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