Ukraine Will Allow Its Citizens To Hold Multiple Passports

The current law “On Citizenship of Ukraine” does not explicitly prohibit, but also does not allow citizens of the country to hold several passports.

On 2 December 2021, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy submitted to parliament a draft law which proposes to secure the right to a second citizenship without losing the Ukrainian one.

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Second passport by investment for Ukrainian nationals
Photo: Adobe Stock
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A similar draft law was proposed for parliamentary consideration in 2020. Then the bill was postponed: MPs ruled that amendments to the law "On Citizenship" required amendments to the constitution first.

On 1 December 2021, Vladimir Zelenskiy defined the draft law as urgent. The Verkhovna Rada will consider the first proposals on the bill during the second reading of the plenary session scheduled for 3 December.

What changes are proposed to the Ukrainian Law on Citizenship

Establishing the concept of Ukrainian citizenship as the citizenship of the Ukrainian state. The possibility of having citizenship of administrative-territorial units is excluded. In other words, a Ukrainian cannot be a citizen of, for instance, the Transcarpathian region.

The right to multiple citizenship. The draft law prescribes that if a Ukrainian holds or obtains a passport of another country, he/she will be considered only a citizen of Ukraine with regard to his/her rights and obligations in Ukraine. Such amendments would legalize the possibility of holding multiple citizenships.

The current Law on Citizenship also prescribes that a second passport is sufficient grounds for deprivation of Ukrainian citizenship. The new version of the law does not provide for such a provision.

Right to citizenship by descent. Under the new rules, foreigners will be able to acquire or regain Ukrainian citizenship through the so-called right of descent. For this purpose the applicant must prove that his blood relative was born on the territory of present-day Ukraine before 24 August 1991.

Applications for citizenship by descent will be accepted by Ukrainian embassies and consulates in other countries. When applying, the applicant will be asked to provide written consent for identification and collection of personal data from the authorities of the country of residence.

Second passport by investment for Ukrainian citizens: Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada. The second largest Ukrainian diaspora in the world is in Canada, with 1.36 million ethnic Ukrainians in 2016

A simplified procedure for obtaining a Ukrainian passport will appear for participants in anti-terrorist operations, servicemen of the Ukrainian army and political refugees. 

In some cases, an applicant for a Ukrainian passport will have to renounce his or her first citizenship first. The rule will affect citizens of countries of high immigration risk, aggressor states and occupier states. But there is no list of such countries yet. If the draft law is adopted, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers will compile the list.

The rights of multiple passport holders. If a person has a Ukrainian passport, he is recognised as a full citizen of Ukraine. This includes the right to vote in elections. 

There is one limitation for holders of several passports: they will not be able to participate in elections as candidates for positions in state and local government.

A ban on holding more than one passport. Holding a second citizenship will be prohibited for employees of public services:

  • members of electoral commissions;
  • Official election observers;
  • deputies and assistant deputies;
  • Judges and bankruptcy commissioners;
  • Employees of security services, such as customs officers, the Security Service of Ukraine, prosecutors, police and the Interior Ministry
  • Rectors and directors of state universities, schools and kindergartens;
  • Employees of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine;
  • Notaries and lawyers in the civil service of Ukraine;
  • Employees of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine;
  • Employees of the State Service of Ukraine for Emergency Situations; servicemen in command positions.

Civil servants will be obliged to notify the Interior Ministry of their second citizenship. Administrative and criminal responsibility will be envisaged for violating deadlines for submitting notification, deliberate concealment of information and providing false information.

Liability for violating the rules on notification of second nationality

OffenceProposed penalty
Violation of time limits for notificationPenalty from UAH 850 to UAH 1700
Lack of notificationPenalty from 850 to 1360 UAH
Invalid information in the notificationPenalty from 68 000 to 85 000 UAH

The full text of the draft law with amendments to the law "On Citizenship" is published on the website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

In which countries it is possible to obtain a second citizenship by investment

A second citizenship can be obtained, for example, by living in the territory of another state for several years or by marrying a citizen of the country. However, the fastest and most reliable way to obtain a second passport is through investment.

Malta grants citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment. The investor first obtains a residence permit and undergoes a rigorous due diligence process. If approved, the investor invests €690,000 or more in the Maltese economy by making a non-refundable contribution to a public fund and charity, renting or buying a house.

Caribbean countries offer a second passport through participation in a government citizenship programme by investment. Participants in Caribbean programmes make contributions to government funds, buy real estate and government bonds and invest in local businesses. The minimum investment amount is $100,000.

Vanuatu, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, also allows investors to obtain a passport through participation in a government citizenship programme. There are two investment options: a contribution to a government fund and the purchase of real estate. The minimum investment is $130,000.

Conditions for obtaining a second passport

CountryInvestmentTimeline
MaltaFrom €690,0001 or 3 years
St Kitts and NevisFrom $150,000From 2 to 6 months
Antigua and BarbudaFrom $100,000From 3 to 6 months
GrenadaFrom $150,000From 4 to 6 months
DominicaFrom $100,000From 3 to 6 months
St LuciaFrom $100,000From 3 to 4 months
VanuatuFrom $130,000From 1 month

Maltese citizens have the right to live, work, do business and study in any EU country. They also travel visa-free to over 180 countries, including the Schengen Area, the UK and the US.

Citizens of Caribbean countries and Vanuatu do not need a visa to enter more than 130 countries. For example, up to 90 days per half-year in the Schengen Area and up to 180 days per year in the UK are allowed without a visa. Citizens of Grenada and Dominica can spend a month without a visa in China.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent who helps investors become citizens of Malta, the Caribbean and Vanuatu. If you want to get a second passport, seek advice from investment programme experts.

Autor: Алевтина Калмук
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