There are special rules will apply to certain categories of foreign employees such as:

(i) so-called “highly paid” professionals with a salary not less than fifty statutory minimum wages (approximately EUR 5,000),

(ii) founders/shareholders/beneficial owners of legal entities incorporated in Ukraine,

(iii) graduates of the top 100 universities (per the list approved by the government),

(iv) professionals in the art industry, and

(v) IT professionals (“Special Employees”).

All these categories of employees are entitled to a 3-year work permit. A temporary residence permit – a document allowing an expat to freely stay and enter and exit Ukraine without the need to comply with a 90/180-day limitation under the visa-free regime – can now be granted to Special Employees for three years too.

Proof documents will have to be provided to qualify for such status. For example, professionals in the art industry will need to provide notarized copies of documents confirming their IP rights to artistic work; graduates of the top universities will have to provide copies of their diplomas.

While the minimum salary for regular foreign employees must be not less than ten statutory minimum wages (around EUR 1,400 at the current exchange rate), this rule does not apply to (i) Special Employees (except for highly paid professionals, whose salary cannot be less than fifty statutory minimum wages (approximately EUR 7,000)), and (ii) social and charity organizations and educational institutions where a salary cannot be less than five minimum wages (approximately EUR 700). It means that most of the above-mentioned categories of employees could be paid a minimum salary (approximately 150 EUR).

On the downside, the Law expressly provides that a Ukrainian individual, who is registered as a private entrepreneur, may employ expats under the same conditions as companies. In addition, as a part of the work permit application package, the Law reinstates the requirement for an employer to submit a copy of a draft employment agreement to be entered into with a foreign employee. This requirement applies to both legal entities and individual entrepreneurs. Apparently, this could be viewed as an additional safeguard for expat employees because non-compliance of the employment agreement with Ukrainian law (employee-friendly) can lead to rejection of a work permit.