Last Updated: June 16, 2021
Ukraine Student Visa
Ukraine is an affordable and safe place for international students as a study destination. The official Ukrainian admission center has made the process convenient for international students. The second-largest country in Europe already has more than 80,000 international students enrolled in its various universities. Moreover, Ukraine has lower tuition fees compared to Europe and other countries. With a plethora of choices, Ukraine is a popular place of study for a majority of international students.
Choosing a Course
Universities in Ukraine offer a lot of courses, so it is important to research and find a course that the student is interested in and then zero in upon the university which is the best for them. The courses in Ukraine are offered in Ukrainian, Russian and English languages, so it is important for the student to choose the course offered in a language that they want. There are three levels of higher education offered in Ukraine:
- First level - Junior bachelor/Bachelor
- Second level - Master
- Third level - Doctorate
Types of Student Visas for International Students and their Validity
Ukraine offers only one type of student visa - long-term Type D visa - for international students aspiring to stay in Ukraine for higher studies. The Type D visa is valid for 90 days but the student can apply for a temporary residence permit after arrival in Ukraine, which is valid for the entire duration of the course.
Who Needs to Apply for the Ukraine Student Visa?
The students who are citizens of Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, or Russia do not require a student visa to study in Ukraine. They just have to obtain an Invitation to Study from a host university. Citizens from all other countries have to apply for long-stay Type D visa.
Cost of Ukraine Student Visa
Although the cost of a Ukrainian student visa varies from country to country, on average the cost of the regular application is $65 and $130 for expedited applications. Some other ancillary fees might also be associated with the visa application which can be found out from the consulate or the embassy that the student is applying at. Note that all the fees are non-refundable irrespective of the decision outcome.
There is an additional fee of 2550 UAH collected by the MFA visa divisions at the border checkpoints at the airports.
Steps to Applying for a Ukraine Student Visa
Obtain the 'Invitation to Study'
The first and foremost step in applying for a Ukrainian student visa is to obtain an 'Invitation to Study' letter from a Ukrainian university. 'Invitation to study' undergo mandatory registration at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine before being issued to applicants. The original letter has to be submitted along with the visa documents. Students who are citizens of a country that is exempt from visa requirements, are also required to obtain an invitation letter from the host university and need to produce it when crossing the Ukraine border to prove their intent of the visit.
It can take up to 4 weeks for the issuance of the Invitation to Study letter so it is imperative that the student applies for the letter well in advance. Once issued, the invitation letter can only be canceled by the host university.
Financial resources to cover up the costs
International students must prove that they can cover the financial costs of tuition fees and daily expenses and proving the full payment of tuition fees. This can be done in one of three ways:
- Providing original bank statements or proof of another steady source of income.
- Providing proof of cash in Ukrainian hryvnia/other convertible currency.
- Bank cards that can be used in Ukraine.
- If there is a sponsor, for example, a parent, then proof of financial support from them.
- Proof of scholarship, grant.
Apply for medical insurance
International students need to have medical coverage for the entire duration of their stay in Ukraine. This medical coverage has to be through an insurance company registered in Ukraine or a foreign insurance company with a representative in Ukraine. The minimum coverage of the medical policy should be € 30,000.
Obtain medical health certificate
The student has to undergo medical tests to prove that they are physically fit and don't pose any threat to the health of the general population of Ukraine.
Obtain HIV/AIDS free certificate
An HIV/AIDS-free certificate has to be obtained prior to application of the visa to prove that the student does not suffer from HIV.
Translate and legalize all the documents
All the documents to be submitted along with the visa application need to be translated either into Russian or Ukrainian language. It is important to get the transcriptions. They should also be certified (almost similar to being notarized) by:
- getting them legalized by the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Embassy of Ukraine in the student's country OR
- getting them certified by Apostille stamp and legalized at the Embassy of Ukraine in the student's country
Apply at the Embassy of Ukraine
Upon the receipt of the study invitation and obtaining the required documents, the student can apply for the Ukraine student visa at the Ukraine embassy.
Arrange for airport pick-up
The last and most important part of the visa process is to inform the university or the sponsor in Ukraine about the arrival date/time and flight details so that they can arrange for the pick up at the airport. It is important to have a representative from the university, sponsor, or an approved consultant to arrange the pick-up at the airport to gain entry in Ukraine.
Documents required while applying for student visa
- Completed visa application form
- International passport that:
- has at least 2 blank pages
- is valid for at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from Ukraine
- is not older than 10 years
- 3 recent passport size photographs with white background of size 35mm x 45mm
- Original Invitation to Study sent by the host university
- Proof of previous academic achievements - higher secondary school certificate and degree certificates
- Proof of funds
- Proof of medical insurance policy
- Medical health test certificate
- HIV/AIDS free certificate
- Receipt of payment of visa fee
Visa Processing Time
The processing time for the visa can be around 10 business days for regular applications or 5 business days for expedited applications. The turnaround time can exceed up to 30 business days if there are problems with the application or additional documents are needed.
Steps to be Taken to Extend the Stay in Ukraine
The student has to apply for a temporary residence permit if the duration of their course exceeds 90 days. This can be done by applying in person at the State Enterprise within the jurisdiction of SMS, Center of Providing Administrative Services, and territorial bodies/units of SMS at least 15 business days before the termination of their student D visa, which is the amount of time taken to process and issue the permit.
Cost of Temporary Residence Permit application
There are government charge of 34 UAH and administrative service fee of 857 UAH applicable when applying for a temporary residence permit.
Documents required while applying for temporary residence permit
- Fully completed application
- 4 passport size photographs of size 35 x 45 mm
- Passport of the student that has the Ukraine visa
- Legalized copy of the information pages of the passport
- Proof of enrolment in the continuing Ukraine educational program from the university
- Letter from the institution attesting that the university is undertaking the responsibility of informing the SMS in case the student's enrolment is cancelled for any reason.
- Proof of valid medical insurance
- Original and a copy of the payment proof of government charge
Working While Studying in Ukraine
The rules related to working are the same for all international people in Ukraine. A work permit is required to legally work in Ukraine which has to be applied for by the employer. It sometimes poses difficulty because employers have to meet the minimum employment rate which can be quite substantial for part-time employees. As such they are hesitant in hiring international students. If an employer does apply for the work permit on behalf of the student, the student can then work for that employer upon approval of the permit. Working online or in the local community without a work permit is something that many international students choose to do, but bear in mind that it is illegal to work in Ukraine without a work permit and it can lead to revocation of the student visa or temporary residence permit if caught.
Some Things to Remember
- The application process for the visa and the residence permit has to be started on time
- The documents have to be translated into Ukrainian or Russian language
- The request for permit exchange should be submitted at least 15 business days before the expiration of the current permit
- Any non-compliance of law/rules in the country can result in the cancelation of the visa or the residence permit