European Residence and Citizenship options for Ukrainian nationals

In the past few years an increasing number of Ukrainian nationals have been exploring options to secure a second residence or citizenship due to various factors. The motivations behind this trend are multifaceted and rooted in a combination of geopolitical uncertainties, economic considerations, security concerns and the desire for enhanced global mobility. As Ukrainian citizens grapple with these realities, they are seeking alternative options to safeguard their future, embrace opportunities, and build a more secure and versatile life. This article delves into the compelling factors driving this surge in interest among Ukrainian nationals for second residency or citizenship, shedding light on the complex dynamics that underpin this evolving global migration trend.

Europe, with its stable economies, high living standards and strong legal system has become an attractive destination for Ukrainian citizens seeking to enhance their quality of life and secure their future. The attractiveness of Europe for Ukrainians stems from a combination of economic prospects, political stability, access to social services, educational opportunities, and the desire for a higher quality of life. These factors collectively contribute to the increasing trend of Ukrainian nationals seeking to establish a second residence or acquire citizenship in various European countries.

Why are Ukrainians seeking European Residency?

One of the primary reasons why Ukrainian nationals seek European residency and citizenship is their understandable desire for stability and security. As the conflict in Ukraine intensifies, an increasing number of Ukrainian citizens are seeking to relocate to safer territories. Many Ukrainians see European countries as safe shores where they can build a better future for themselves and their families.

In addition to the above; economic opportunities play significant role in driving Ukrainians to seek European residency and citizenship. Despite efforts to reform the Ukrainian economy, economic challenges persist, leading to limited job opportunities and low wages. European countries offer access to better job opportunities, higher wages and social welfare systems that provide a higher standard of living and greater economic security.

Political Stability and Rule of Law

Europe is known for its political stability, strong institutions, and adherence to the rule of law. Ukrainians see European nations as safe places where they can enjoy a more predictable and secure environment.

Educational Opportunities

European countries boast world-renowned educational institutions. Ukrainian students and professionals may pursue educational opportunities abroad to enhance their skills and gain a competitive edge in the global job market.

Access to Social Services

European countries often provide comprehensive social services, including healthcare and education, which can be appealing to Ukrainians looking for a higher quality of life and better access to essential services for themselves and their families.

Visa-Free Travel and Schengen Zone Access

Many European countries participate in the Schengen Agreement, allowing for visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone. This freedom of movement is particularly attractive to Ukrainians, facilitating easier travel and exploration of diverse cultural and economic landscapes.

Geopolitical Considerations

Given Ukraine’s complex geopolitical situation, some individuals may seek to distance themselves from regional tensions and conflicts by establishing a new life in Europe, where geopolitical stability is generally more predictable.

Language Considerations

Many Ukrainians are already fluent in European languages such as English, German, or French. This linguistic compatibility makes the integration process smoother, enhancing communication and facilitating social integration.

Pathways to obtain European Residency and Citizenship for Ukrainian nationals

Ukrainian nationals have several pathways to obtain European residency and citizenship.

A common route is through family reunification, where individuals may join family members who are already citizens or permanent residents of European countries.

Another option is to apply for asylum or refugee status. Under international law, individuals fleeing persecution or conflict have the right to seek asylum in other countries. However, the process of seeking asylum can be difficult, as Ukrainian nationals must navigate through bureaucratic procedures, demonstrate their eligibility for asylum and often face long waiting periods for their cases to be processed.

The most fast and secure way to obtain European residency or citizenship is to opt for a residency or citizenship programme through investment and entrepreneurship that are offered by various European countries. These programs not only provide opportunities for business expansion and investment diversification but also offer the prospects of enhanced mobility, security and access to European markets.

Maltese residency and citizenship by investment for Ukrainian investors and entrepreneurs

A number of European countries offer residence by investment programs, typically requiring investments in real estate or making a contribution to a fund. These investments not only facilitate residency but also contribute to the local economy.

Malta has established itself as a prime destination for non-EU nationals seeking to secure residence or citizenship through investment. With its outstanding location, warm climate, robust economy and strong GDP growth, attractive tax incentives and high quality of life, Malta offers a range of evident reasons for investors to consider.

Currently Malta offers two separate investment migration programs that provide visa-free travel within the Schengen Area and the opportunity to live, work and reside in Europe.

Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP)

Malta’s Residence by Investment Program offers non-EU nationals the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in Malta, providing a pathway to reside in the country indefinitely.

In order to apply, prospective applicants must show that they have in their possession capital of not less than €500,000, out of which €150,000 must be in the form of liquid financial assets.

The application process from submission until approval takes around six-eight months. The investment is only required to be made after a letter of approval is issued by the Residency Malta Agency. Applicants are subjected to a due diligence test, after which they will be required to fulfil the following qualifying investments:

  • To rent or purchase a property in Malta;
  • To donate €2,000 to a charity or a philanthropic organization, and
  • To pay a government contribution and administrative fee of €98,000 if renting a property, or €68,000 if purchasing a property.

A residence card issued under this programme grants applicants the right to live indefinitely in Malta and also the right to travel within the Schengen Area without a visa for 90 days within a 180-day period.

Malta Citizenship for Investors

Malta’s Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment offers a pathway to Maltese citizenship for eligible investors. Upon approval, successful applicants and their families are granted Maltese citizenship, along with the rights and privileges granted to Maltese citizens, including visa-free travel, right of freedom of movement, access to free healthcare, and free education.

Under Malta’s Rules for Naturalisation by Direct Investment, the privilege of naturalizing as a Maltese citizen is only extended to a Ukrainian family upon successfully completing all the eligibility requirements.

These eligibility requirements include evidence of social, commercial and personal integration during the 3 or 1 year legal residency period. Upon receiving the last approval the investor must make a one-time non-refundable direct investment of €600,000 or €750,000 to a Government fund.  Such funds are used in projects of national importance for the social and economic development of Malta.

There are three main requirements to apply for Maltese Citizenship by Investment:

  1. A non-refundable contribution of €600,000 if applying after 36 months of €750,000 if applying after 12 months. An additional contribution of €50,000 applies to include additional family members, and
  2. The purchase or rent of a residential property in Malta at a minimum value of €700,000 (in case of purchasing) or €16,000 per year (in case of renting). The property should be kept for a minimum of 5 years;
  3. A charitable donation of €10,000 to a local non-governmental or charity organisation.

Malta Licensed Agents

Our immigration lawyers advise on the various immigration routes in Europe.

At the core of our practice is a client-oriented approach, where we prioritize understanding of each client’s unique circumstances, concerns and goals. By tailoring our services to meet individual needs, we ensure that every client receives personalized attention and guidance throughout their immigration journey.

As Maltese residence and citizenship agents with extensive experience of Maltese citizenship and investor immigration programs, we offer a holistic coverage of all immigration and relocation and all relevant tax and legal services.

ACC Immigration Advisors (Malta company registration number C-44042) is duly authorized to act as a licensed agent in Malta and holds licence number AKM-ACCA.

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