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Acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship: new conditions and simplifications for foreigners serving in the Armed Forces and other categories of persons

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Acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship: new conditions and simplifications for foreigners serving in the Armed Forces and other categories of persons

In the fall of 2023, Law No. 2996-IX came into force, amending the conditions for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship. Find out more about the current rules and what simplifications certain categories of citizens, including foreigners serving under contract in Ukraine, have received

Legal assistance on entry and stay in Ukraine
Legal assistance on entry and stay in Ukraine
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On October 27, 2023, the Law of Ukraine No. 2996-IX "On Amendments to the Laws of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine" and "On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language" regarding the Conditions for Admission to Ukrainian Citizenship" came into force. Thus, the process of acquiring Ukrainian citizenship was changed. In addition, some simplifications have come into force, in particular for foreigners who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


For more details on the current conditions for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship, please read the article below.


To find out how many foreigners obtained Ukrainian citizenship in 2023, please follow the link.


Conditions for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship


The Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine" establishes an exhaustive list of grounds for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship and being admitted to Ukrainian citizenship.  

In accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine", a foreigner or a stateless person may be admitted to Ukrainian citizenship upon their application. 


The conditions for admission to Ukrainian citizenship are:

1. Recognition and observance of the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine;

2. Submission of a declaration on the absence of foreign citizenship (for stateless persons) or an obligation to terminate foreign citizenship (for foreigners);

3. Continuous legal residence on the territory of Ukraine for the last five years, except for:

– persons who have been married to a citizen of Ukraine for more than 2 years;

– persons who have been married to a citizen of Ukraine for more than 2 years, which was terminated due to his/her death;

– persons recognized as refugees;

– persons performing military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine under a contract;

– persons performing military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine under a contract and awarded a state award;

– persons who have outstanding services to Ukraine;

– persons whose admission to the citizenship of Ukraine is of state interest to Ukraine;

– persons who have been granted a temporary residence permit in accordance with part 20 of Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons".

4. Obtaining an immigration permit, except for:

– persons performing military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine under a contract;

– persons who are performing military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine under a contract and have been awarded a state award;

– persons who have outstanding services to Ukraine; persons whose admission to Ukrainian citizenship is of national interest to Ukraine;

– persons who have been granted a temporary residence permit in accordance with part 20 of Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons".

5. Proficiency in the state language in accordance with the level established by the legislation of Ukraine - confirmed by a certificate of proficiency in the state language issued by the National Commission for State Language Standards based on the results of the exam, except for:

– persons who have outstanding merits before Ukraine or persons whose admission to Ukrainian citizenship is of state interest to Ukraine;

– persons who have received a temporary residence permit in accordance with part 20 of Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons".

6. Availability of legal sources of subsistence, except:

– persons recognized as refugees;

– persons performing military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine under a contract and awarded a state award;

– persons who have outstanding services to Ukraine;
– persons whose admission to Ukrainian citizenship is of state interest to Ukraine;

– persons who have been granted a temporary residence permit in accordance with part 20 of Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons".




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Examination on knowledge of the fundamentals of the Constitution and history of Ukraine for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship


In October 2023, Law No. 2996-IX "On Amendments to the Laws of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine" and "On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language" regarding the Conditions for Admission to Citizenship of Ukraine" came into force, which provides for a comprehensive exam on the basics of the Constitution and history of Ukraine for those wishing to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. In addition, in order to obtain citizenship, it is also necessary to confirm the level of proficiency in the Ukrainian language.


The document stipulates that knowledge of the history and Constitution of Ukraine is a condition for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship.


Changes to the acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship by foreigners serving in the Armed Forces and other categories of persons


The new law also changed the terms for mastering the state language at the level determined by law in respect of persons who have outstanding services to Ukraine, including foreigners and stateless persons who, in accordance with the procedure established by law, perform military service under contract in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the State Special Transport Service or the National Guard of Ukraine, persons whose admission to Ukrainian citizenship is of national interest to Ukraine, and persons who have received a temporary residence permit on the basis of part 20 of Article 4 of the Law "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons".


Law No. 2996-IX introduced an obligation for these categories of persons to take exams on the fundamentals of the Constitution, history of Ukraine and the level of proficiency in the state language and submit documents on passing such exams within two years from the date of admission to Ukrainian citizenship. In other words, these categories of persons are granted a 2-year grace period for taking the exams.


The obligation to take the exams on the fundamentals of the Constitution of Ukraine, the history of Ukraine and the level of proficiency in the state language is based on a written application from a foreigner.


Applications and documents on citizenship issues are submitted

– by a person legally residing in Ukraine - to the territorial unit of the State Migration Service of Ukraine at the place of residence in Ukraine;

– by a person who has been granted refugee status in Ukraine or asylum in Ukraine - to the territorial subdivision of the State Migration Service of Ukraine at the place of registration;

– by a person permanently residing abroad - to a diplomatic mission or consular post of Ukraine at the place of permanent residence.


If you need legal assistance or full support on issues related to entering Ukraine, border crossing rules and necessary documents, rules of stay in the country, as well as issues related to obtaining a residence permit or acquiring Ukrainian citizenship, you can order a consultation with a qualified migration lawyer on the Visit Ukraine website. Our experienced specialists can help you with any questions regarding entry and stay in Ukraine, as well as collecting the necessary documents.


We remind you! Foreigners who have signed a contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine have a legal right to stay in Ukraine. However, in order to obtain a residence permit or acquire Ukrainian citizenship, a number of conditions must be met. Read all about the right to reside/acquire citizenship in Ukraine after or during service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in our previous article.


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




We recommend purchasing it for a safe and comfortable trip to Ukraine: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance – safe travel in Ukraine (insurance covering military risks);

Visit Ukraine Legal advice – comprehensive legal support on entry to Ukraine;
Visit Ukraine Tickets – bus and train tickets to/from Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Tours – the largest online database of tours to Ukraine for every taste;

Visit Ukraine Hotels – hotels for a comfortable stay in Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Merch – patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




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