AIN.UA, in cooperation with the first Ukrainian innovation park UNIT.City, has prepared a detailed guide for IT professionals on relocating to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. It contains instructions on moving to Ukraine, a list of necessary documents, as well as everything that companies and professionals need to know to relocate. We will also explain what is so great about Kyiv and why it is interesting to live here.
AIN.UA, in cooperation with the first Ukrainian innovation park UNIT.City, has prepared a detailed guide for IT professionals on relocating to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. It contains instructions on moving to Ukraine, a list of necessary documents, as well as everything that companies and professionals need to know to relocate. We will also explain what is so great about Kyiv and why it is interesting to live here.
According to AIN.UA's estimates, there are about 300,000 IT professionals in Ukraine. Within the next 5 years, this number is set at least to double – the industry has an annual headcount growth rate of about 20%. There are many large tech hubs in the country: beside Kyiv, those are Lviv, Kharkiv, and Odesa; Dnipro and Vinnytsia are actively developing. Some of the world's largest technology companies have offices in the country, while Ukrainian tech companies and startups are successfully operating both in the local and international markets. Local entrepreneurs have managed to create several unicorns and a dozen companies of similar scale.
"I moved to Ukraine exactly a year ago today. And since then, I have been extremely impressed every day, especially in my industry: innovation and IT. Coming from Silicon Valley, I was not expecting to be challenged by tech people, and I was dead wrong. Ranked by StartupBlink as the 29th country in the world in the startup ecosystem, Ukraine keeps raising the bar in terms of tech. The level and the quality of the technology is just amazing, and definitely at the Silicon Valley level.

Tirelessly working on creating the best ecosystem Ukraine is willing to reach the next level in terms of innovation and tech ecosystem. Do you know that there are already 3 unicorns in Ukraine, versus 5 in a country like France? If the entrepreneurial mindset still needs to be encouraged, the talent pool is so large that it's easy to turn an idea into reality. The energy level is definitely present, and the UNIT.City team will help to do it. So this is the moment for Ukraine!"
Dominique Piotet
CEO of UNIT.City
Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine and the country's largest technology hub. Here are concentrated about 50% of all Ukrainian IT professionals, as well as offices of the largest Ukrainian and global tech companies, such as Google, Snap, Oracle, etc. The capital is actively developing, with entrepreneurs launching new startups, international companies opening their offices, and new funds and hubs appearing. Kyiv offers competitive wages and is itself much cheaper to live in than other European cities. At the same time, Kyiv has long been called "the new Berlin." Its gastronomic and bar culture has made great progress. Plus, local festivals and clubs are mentioned in all European "must-visit" guides. Kyiv is an interesting city to live in. Right in the middle of Europe.

In the heart of Kyiv, there is located the country's major technological hub, UNIT.City Innovation Park, a city within the city, where all the segments necessary for a full-fledged tech ecosystem are developed: education, startups, companies, and business, themed events, investment. Most importantly, there is an interaction between all the components: 60% work together in one format or another. It is a great place to start your business or find a job.
~ 50%
of all IT professionals are in Kyiv
~ 3 hours
of flight to the main financial capitals of Europe
~ $2,000
is enough for a comfortable life for a family
< $3,500
is an average salary of a senior professional in the capital of Ukraine
~ over 80%
of the IT industry is focused on export, and international products are being built here
~ up to $20
million in investments can be raised from local investors
Local tech entrepreneurs are not afraid of competition
MacPaw creates its App Store, Readdle makes Spark, the best email client. Ukrainian banks are at the forefront of modern technology
The world's tech giants acquire Ukrainian IT startups and companies
Looksery, Murka, AI Factory have deals on hundreds of millions of dollars
Google, Snap, Oracle, Rakuten, Samsung, Ring (Amazon)

Have their offices or R&D centers in Kyiv and Ukraine
Unicorns, Grammarly and GitLab, were born in Ukraine
Outsourcing / R&D
Before you move to Ukraine to work, it is worth learning more about the country. We will tell you what the situation with visas is, and how to get one.

Citizens of more than 100 different countries need a visa to visit Ukraine. However, there are many countries whose citizens are not required to obtain a visa, and an international travel passport is enough for them.

Ukrainian visa policy has a concept of a full visa-free regime, which has been introduced with several countries (whose residents do not need to obtain a visa of any type). For example, for Belarusian citizens, it is enough to have just their national passport when entering the country. Travelers from Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan need to have their international travel passports; those from Mongolia would be asked to produce documents supporting the purpose of their visit. The time of stay in the country is limited to 90 days within 180 days.

There is also another kind of visa-free access. Under its terms, a foreigner can stay in Ukraine for a total of 90 days within six months. It applies to the countries of the European Union, some countries of South America, the USA, Canada, Japan, and many others (more than 50 countries overall).

Travelers from other places need a visa. And we will tell you how to get it.
The purpose of the visit
Whether the set of documents to prepare is large or not depends on the purpose of entry and stay. There are three types of Ukrainian visas:
Transit visa (type B) serves the purpose of transit passage through the territory of Ukraine to other countries. It allows the holder to stay in Ukraine for five days only.
Short-term visa (type C) commonly grants the right to stay in Ukraine for a total of 90 days within 180 days. There are exceptions, though. For example, for Serbian nationals, the above figures are three times less: they can enter just for 30 days in total within 60 days.
Long-term visa (type D), accordingly, is needed for those entering Ukraine for more than 90 days to settle down documents that give the right of residence or long-term stay in the country.
Under the "Regulations for Visa Issuance for the Entry to and the Transit through the Territory of Ukraine," dated March 1, 2017, for all types of visas there is a minimum set of documents that you would have to provide to a Ukrainian diplomatic mission or another official body entitled to accept such documents:
a passport with at least two blank pages that would be valid for at least 3 months after the entry to Ukraine;
a completed visa application form;
a medical insurance policy with the coverage of at least 30,000 euros;
a color photograph, 35×45 mm;
documents confirming that you have sufficient financial resources for the period of your planned stay in Ukraine (or confirming the possibility of obtaining sufficient resources on Ukrainian soil in a legal manner);
a confirmation of payment of the visa fee.
Next, you need to go by the visa type. The set of additional documents will vary depending on it. The case of applying for a long-term visa (type D) will be covered in detail further on. It is most likely that you will embark on your first trip to Ukraine with a tourist visa (type C), for which you will need to have documents supporting the tourist purposes of your travel: hotel reservations and tickets. If you visit for an interview, your prospective employer should send an invitation to the embassy. All the information can also be found on this website.
When all the papers are prepared and checked, all that remains is to submit them to the consular office, the Ukrainian diplomatic mission in your country, or the visa center.

If you don't like to stand in lines and are a national of Australia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, or any of these 45 countries, here is the good news for you: you have a chance to save time and obtain an e-Visa. Some restrictions apply, though: it allows for a single entry to Ukraine with a business or tourist purpose for a period of up to 30 days.

This requires registering on the platform, filling out the application form, uploading basic documents, and paying the visa fee of $85 online.

Citizens of those countries can also apply for the visa right at the Kyiv airports Boryspil and Kyiv, as well as at the Odesa airport.

The above e-Visa regulations will be valid until November 1. Then, it is all going to become much simpler, cheaper, and faster:
applicants will be able to choose the preferred e-Visa issuance procedure: regular or expedited, with the fee, doubled in the latter cases;
e-Visas will be issued much faster: the expedited processing will take 1 working day, and the usual processing procedure will be 3 working days (so far, the time for considering visa appeals can take up to 9 days);
in addition to the existing single-entry visa, a new type will be introduced: a double-entry e-Visa;
visa fee rates will be significantly reduced: the fee for a single-entry e-Visa will drop from $85 to $20, and a double-entry one will cost $30.
Having a visa does not guarantee entry to the Ukrainian territory. Refusal of entry is possible during border control at the border crossing point, for example, in cases where you fail to provide convincing documents to confirm the purpose of your trip.
Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Kingdom of Bahrain, Republic of Vanuatu, Republic of Guatemala, Republic of Honduras, Grenada, Commonwealth of Dominica, Republic of India, Republic of Indonesia, State of Qatar, China, State of Kuwait, Republic of Mauritius, Malaysia, United Mexican States, Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Palau, Republic of Peru, Independent State of Samoa, Republic of El Salvador, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Seychelles, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Republic of Singapore, Democratic Republic of East Timor (Timor-Leste), Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu.
So, you have come to Kyiv, spoken to your prospective employer, but you are still not sure whether you are ready to stay in the city. Everyone involved in the preparation of this feature has spent between 10 years and all his or her life here. And we love it madly. We will tell you why we would not trade it for the world.
Bars and clubs
A large European capital: over 4 million people live here. Kyiv has an incredible history, and it is one of the oldest cities in Europe. And now, there is an unbelievably promising future: the city is developing as a hub between Europe and Asia.
According to the Nomad List rankings, Kyiv is among the top ten best cities for expatriates. Even a middle-level specialist can live here comfortably. A sum starting from $2,000 a month will be enough for a family of two. Kyiv is an affordable city to live in.
Ukraine and Kyiv are in the geographical center of Europe. It takes 2 or 3 hours to fly to almost any country in Europe. There are the European low-cost airlines WizzAir and RyanAir here, as well as the local SkyUp.
Kyiv is home to one of the largest festivals in Europe, Atlas Weekend. In 2019, over 500,000 people attended it, and the lineup included some A-list stars.
And speaking of accommodation, a flat in a historic part of the city can be rented for $500 a month.
Kyiv is one of the best cities in Europe (or even globally) in terms of the ratio of IT specialist salary and the quality of life available for such an amount of money. Professionals get salaries that are comparable with those in Europe but can save up/invest more because a comfortable level of living is cheaper here. And access to opportunities and entertainment is almost the same. Numbeo estimates that, excluding rent, just $400 per person per month is enough for comfortable living.
Ukraine in general and Kyiv, in particular, is a city of opportunities. Here, people do not shut display windows at 8 pm and are ready to work on weekends if needed. Any entrepreneur would say, there is the most fertile soil here – one just should know how to 'grow' money.
Kyiv is a vibrant city with all-night dancing, the best gastronomy, and world-class bars. Everything is 24/7.
Kyiv is a European city but without European prices. A cup of coffee will cost just $2–3, a hearty breakfast, up to $10, including tips. It is cheap for both living and recreation.
Kyiv is just a small part of the huge country. Even ten years seem not enough to discover it. Meanwhile, you can start from Lviv and Odesa.
Facts about Kyiv:
ЖЗЛ — the best breakfasts;
Любимый дядя — always a good idea;
NAM — amazing pho;
100 років тому вперед — is said to be the best Ukrainian cuisine;
Утиные истории — you've never eaten shawarma like this before;
Канапа — to taste molecular Ukrainian cuisine;
Burger Farm — burgers and ribs. You also must taste burgers at The Burger.
Kyiv Restaurants:
Mimosa Brooklyn Pizza — eat a lot of pizza in the heart of the city;
Noodles vs Marketing in Pechersk — incredible ramen soup;
Beef — delicious meat;
Parovoz Speak Easy
The Bar
Barmen Dictat
Білий налив
City bars and clubs:
101 Wine Bar
Kyiv Food Market is a huge market for all kinds of food. The atmosphere is stunning, especially the location itself. Everything around it is fascinating. It's a place where you want to work, relax, and live nearby.
Park Landscape Alley — taking a blanket, an interesting book and spending time with pleasure.
Long route from Arsenal to Andriyivskyy Descent — it is a way to see countless historical sites, parks, and viewing points within three hours. Informative experience.
Closer and Kyrylivska Street — it goes without saying that these are the best dance floors in Eastern Europe.
UNIT.City — the city of the future in the centre of Kyiv.
VDNG — taking bikes and riding in a huge park.
Atmospheric places:
Kurazh is a weekend festival. Concerts, masterclasses, food courts, a warm homely atmosphere and charity.
Postal Square and River station — looking at the Dnieper River, walking and enjoying the food.
5,000 EXPATS
In early 2020, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine adopted a decree according to which 5,000 IT specialists from other countries can come to Ukraine according to simplified rules and get a job here. In mid-July 2020, the system went live. However, it has some limitations to consider. The gains are also significant. Here's the full story.
Simplified entry regime for IT professionals
What a foreigner gets:
Employment under the same conditions as for Ukrainians. At the same time, there is no peg to a specific company or position;
Possibility of getting a permanent residence permit;
Getting visas on the territory of Ukraine for traveling to other countries;
Things you need to be prepared for:
You can't just come, say that you are an IT specialist, and get a visa. Firstly, there are quotas in fields, and you can read them and the rules for confirming qualification here.
The quota is only 5,000 people. It is very small. Moreover, it is also distributed between cities:
Kyiv — 2,500 individuals;
Kharkiv — 700 individuals;
Dnipro, Odesa, and Lviv — 600 individuals each.
The entire process is far from fast. It might take 3 to 4 months to complete the process, including verification of documents.
Travel outside Ukraine and return without the need to apply for a visa;
There is an opportunity to immigrate to Ukraine with the family;
You do not need to obtain an annual permit to employ a foreigner;
You need to register just once per 10 years. The annual renewal is required only in the case of a working visa.