IRF - Institute for Religious Freedom, Kyiv, Ukraine

A new Law – foreign religious leaders will be able to obtain a permit for temporary residence in Ukraine PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 September 2011 22:47

    Law simplified the visa requirements for foreign religious leaders

 
KYIV – The Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a new version of the Law "On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons" (draft law # 8570) on September 22, reports the Institute for Religious Freedom.

The document contains a number of new provisions in the regulation of foreigners’ religious activities in Ukraine. The new version of Law will come into force in two months after its publication, on condition that it is signed by the President of Ukraine.

The most important in the context of the freedom of religion are changes which involve solving complications of visa procedures for foreign religious leaders. Thus, parliamentarians took into account the comments of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations on this issue.

According to the paragraph 6 of Article 4 of the Law, foreigners and stateless persons have the right to reside in Ukraine "for the purpose of preaching, performance of religious rites or other canonical activity at the invitation of religious organizations". It will be recalled that prior to the adoption of these amendments, Government Resolution # 567 dated June 1, 2011, provided for foreign religious leaders only possibility of employment in religious organizations.

Therefore, a new formulation of the purpose of visit will ensure the rights of foreign religious leaders that guaranteed to them by the Article 24 of the Law of Ukraine "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations".

According to the paragraph 6 of Article 5 the bases for issuing a permit for temporary residence of foreign religious leaders are:

  • an application of foreigner (or stateless person);
  • valid medical insurance policy;
  • presentation of the religious organization (that invites a foreigner);
  • an approval of the government agency that registered an apprpopriate religious organization.

The law also allows religious organizations to obtain an approval at the place of statutes’ (regulations) registration (ie at the level of regions, an Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Kyiv and Sevastopol cities) and do not apply to the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, as required by the above-mentioned government resolution.

According to Article 15 of the approved Law, foreigners and stateless persons who reside in Ukraine in connection with participation in the religious organizations activities, enter and leave Ukraine with a passport document and permit for temporary residence. Without such a permit – with an appropriate visa or on the conditions of visa-free regime established with certain countries.

 
Translation by Svitlana Sydorenko
 
© 2011 The Institute for Religious Freedom Kyiv, Ukraine

 

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