Saturday, July 17, 2010

Commentary on Ukraine's Immigration Policy

If I had had things my way, today I wouldn't be an expat with an English language website about Ukraine for foreigners. I would probably never have taught English in Ukraine, worried out visas and registrations, or had to worry about "border runs." I would just be living somewhere in Ukraine (maybe Russia) doing interesting work that had nothing to do with the English language or the fact that I was born and raised in another country.

But visa and immigration regulations make this nearly impossible. You can't just go to most countries of the world and become a local there and forget about your national passport. Even if you have become completely conversant in the language and the culture and are, for all practical purposes, a local.

When you think about it, these are the kind of people countries should receive with open arms, really. An immigrant with no adaptation issues, who can contribute immediately to the local economy and culture -- certainly this type of person should be Number One in the list of groups to attract for immigration.

But that's not the case. Ukraine's immigration policy is to bring in only relatives of Ukrainian nationals (no matter what their level of adaptation), an occasional rare businessman who has paid $100,000 to get permanent residency, and even rarer celebrities whose immigration is "in the national interests of Ukraine."

People like me (and I know there are not a few) who have been here for a long time, speak the language (or both) fluently, and are young enough and skilled enough to provide the country with years of productive activity can only "get in" if they marry a Ukrainian.

That might not seem like such a bad requirement for foreign men whose sole purpose in life is precisely this. However, what if you happen to marry another foreigner who is also well adapted to life in Ukraine?

Furthermore, experience shows that most foreigners who come here hoping to get married do not integrate into the language and culture and ultimately end up back in their home countries -- along with their Ukrainian spouses, thus robbing Ukraine of yet more young people who have just entered their adult years of maximum productivity.

When you think about it, it's in the economic interests of a country to attract people either right before college or right after college, have them spend their entire working lives in the country, then send them back home as soon as they retire. This way the receiving country gets all the economic benefits of immigration without having to provide many free services such as schooling and social security.

Conversely, the worst is when you invest money into your citizens' schooling and upbringing and they promptly leave upon reaching adulthood. This is Ukraine's situation. Many of the country's brightest and most industrious citizens have left, leaving behind those who are, on average, somewhat less productive and capable (not all, of course, but on average this would seem to be true).

To be fair, many elderly and working-age Ukrainians have also successfully emigrated to Europe to enjoy the retirement and jobless benefits.

Ukraine could partially offset its "brain drain" by making it attractive for bright, young, well-adapted foreigners to stay and work in Ukraine indefinitely. Not as come-and-go language teachers, under-the-table document editors, or under-the-bridge second-hand clothing vendors, but as full-fledged members of society.

I know an Iranian MBA student who speaks Russian fluently and cannot work in Ukraine legally during his studies. Other foreign students are in the same boat. Ukraine's policy is to get foreigners here to study (not without hoops, of course), prevent them from working while they study (but they usually must, so they work illegally), then get them out of here.

If regulations were changed, many of these same students would stay in Ukraine and work indefinitely as productive members of society. By the end of their studies most of these people are already well adapted to Ukraine and are fluent in one of its languages. They have Ukrainian friends and are no longer socially and culturally isolated from the rest of society. Ukraine should welcome these people in. For practical purposes, they're basically Ukrainians already.

Likewise expats like myself who see no compelling reason to leave Ukraine, but like it here and fit in. The reason this category of people sticks to English-related work is because that is the only work you can expect to get a work permit for, since part of the process is proving that a Ukrainian citizen cannot perform your work.

Thus, you have highly skilled professionals who limit themselves to teaching English because that's the only work they can hope to legally perform. Wouldn't Ukraine be better off trying to get these people working more productively in its economy?

After all, being a poorer country, Ukraine is not going to attract people who come to earn money to send home to their families in the U.S., Europe, or even Turkey. Economically, it doesn't matter if an expat comes and earns $5000 a month or $500, as long as the money is spent in Ukraine.

Of course, there are also plenty of expats who don't have intentions of staying here for a long time and who don't make much effort to learn a language. This is actually the category of people that should predominantly be teaching English and other foreign languages, which is generally unskilled labor (with a high burnout rate) consisting of generating conversation in one's native tongue and occasionally correcting errors.

Ukraine, like east Asian countries, should set up a policy of facilitating the legal temporary employment of foreign language teachers. Let them come here and work for a year, or two or three, and return home. Let Ukrainians learn foreign languages from natives, for heaven's sake.

Alas, Ukraine's national policies are often not aligned with its national interests. Furthermore, its de facto policies often differ significantly from its official regulations.

To be fair, this is true to some extent of every country. We Americans are xenophobic about hard-working Latinos who contribute immensely to our economy. Western European countries let in unqualified, poorly adapted Turks, Africans, and Arabs and yet have no route for highly qualified and adaptable Eastern Europeans just out of college.

If it were up to me, I would instate immigration routes for the categories of people a country is interested in economically and socially. The family member route would remain and is, I believe, dictated by international law. The businessman route and the celebrity route can remain, as almost no one uses them anyways.

But I would also add a route for contributing members of society who have adapted to Ukrainian culture and learned its language(s). A requirement of two or three years spent in the country plus advanced Ukrainian or Russian language skills and at least a low-intermediate knowledge of Ukrainian would be appropriate. Furthermore, the person should have at least 10 years left till retirement and should be easily employable in Ukraine.

This would give successful foreign students the possibility of continuing their lives legally in Ukraine, as well as expats who have a lot to contribute and have made an effort to fit in. The policy would be: "Want to live in Ukraine? Then learn the language(s), develop professional skills, and demonstrate that you are willing and capable of getting by here."

Finally, as mentioned above, I would establish routes for temporary legal employment of native teachers of foreign languages, as is done in China, Korea, and Japan. This is important in the long run if Ukraine seeks to expand its economic and cultural ties with the rest of the world.

Implementing these common-sense policies could be a lot of work in a country where private language schools aren't even allowed to declare "language instruction" as a business activity, but pretend to engage in "consulting services" because all commercial education services require accreditation by the uncooperative Ministry of Education.


A reader named Michael brought to my attention another group of foreigners who might want to emigrate to Ukraine and contribute to its economy: senior citizens who have assets to support them or who receive pensions from foreign governments. I can see no good reason to prevent these people from moving to Ukraine indefinitely, especially if they draw no additional money out of the Ukrainian government budget. 


  1. Bravo. Well-said. Just curious - what sort of work would you chose to do if you had some sort of residency or work permit?

  2. Good question. To be honest, I'd probably still be working for myself. But I am working towards going back to school and pursuing a sub-career in geography. Doing something that in Ukraine would be a lot easier without the bureaucracy games.

    1. Do you have a quick link on steps to obtain a temporary residency work permit?

    2. I seen on the their website that you can become permanent residency if you have a relative who is a resident. My father has lived there for 6 years with his wife my step-mom who is Ukrainian. How would i go about getting the right paper work for that ???

  3. Hi Rick. I am currently in Turkey getting another visa to Ukraine. For the past six visas I have had an invitation from a company in Ukraine. This year the Consul informed me that a company invitation is no longer valid. Invitations must be from OVIR (since 1st January 2011). You may like to confirm this and include it in your page.
    I like your commentary - well said!

  4. Hello,

    I was just told at Kiev State OVIR that my 6 month extension will be invalid if I leave the country to visit, Turkey, Germany etc. I am on my 2nd 6 month OVIR extension and married to a Ukrainian! I was told that if I cross the border I must go to the Ukrainian Consulate in the country I visit and apply for a new visa with a letter of invitation (from my wife no less)! Upon entering Ukraine, receive a new visa stamp in my passport and then I must leave again and do it over. I was told I would no longer qualify for an extension and that I may be turned back at once of the border crossings. Strange, since Ukraine family Law says they can't do that. But, this is what I was told today, March 29, 2011 at the state OVIR office in Kiev. I was told I need to stay in Ukraine until I have been married two years and of course apply for PR status, which I had planned on doing since I live here. I wanted to travel but was told NO.

    I wonder if they are in the process of cracking down on the 90/180 day law and she was confused. I will try to confirms this with the US Embassy as well as OVIR in Kiev again in the next two days, and report back.

  5. We'll be looking forward to your update. Even with a Ukrainian wife, getting P.M. status is not easy. Years of rigamarole...

  6. Well, the immigration policy is simple: they supply to demand! People who live in Ukraine drink to forget where they live...Why would anyone who does not have family, business, or would like to do missionary work in Ukraine would want to live in Ukraine?

  7. i am a 43yr old american, going to divorce my wife after 23 years due to our not getting along any more. I am planning to marry a woman in ukraine, and bring her back to los angeles, california. I am looking at ukranian marriage agencies. If i go on a tour to ukraine, and find a woman i really like, and ask to her to marry me, and i get married while in ukraine, how much trouble or what problems am i going to run into bringing her back to the usa?? And do you know if a ukranian marriage certificate is a legal document as far as the us government is concerned? I mean will the us government consider me married??? don

    1. Hello, I met a lady in Ukraine, made a total of two trips to get to know her. First visit was for three weeks, 2nd was for 10 days. She came to the USA on a K-1 Visa, and we were married within the 90 day required period. My suggestion is email or visit the US Embassy in Keiv and get the info from the horses mouth, as they say. Rumors and assumptions will not get you through DHS! My fiance had to get a local police clearance, visit the Embassy in Kiev where she was interrogated at length as to her motives, then an FBI investigation from her birth place in Russia, 52 years earlier. We were married in April 2005, advised by Immigration personnel that they had never seen a marriage from Russia or Ukraine work out, Thanks. We have been happily married into our 7th year. Her children and grand-children love me, and her grand-daughter cried terribly when I left on my last visit in 2010. We will be together for the remainder of our lives. By the way, I married a Russian, not Ukrainian. A stranger on a boat ride in the Black Sea, when told that I was an American, married to a Russian, said, "He will be a happy man the rest of his life!" The Russian ladies love and care for their men. He is Lord of the house and they will protect you and die for you. Just don't abuse them in any way, and they will be loyal and faithful to you.

  8. Don, unfortunately I don't know a whole lot about whawt you're asking. My impression is that the process of getting a bride visa for the U.S. is quite straightforward. I believe marriage certificates from one country are automatically held valid in all countries of the world.

  9. Don,

    Go to for info.

    But to be frank, and sorry to rain on your parade, but if you think that showing up in the Ukraine and waving your American passport will find you a wife you are sorely mistaken.

    The marriage agencies are a business, and they tell their customers (ie you) what the customer wants to hear. Ultimately, they sell a fantasy and an illusion.

    There is probably lower than a 1% success rate of those who start towards marrying FSU( former soviet union) woman and actually get married.

    As far as whether a marriage in the Ukraine is considered valid, the answer is yes, but it is very unlikely you would be able to conclude that in one visit (documents required, translations, etc).

    I've been dating a Ukraine woman long distance for 18 months. We've met 8 times and she has visited my home in Canada. And she is still very nervous about the possibility of living the Ukraine.

    Please do a LOT of research on this before you spend any money.

  10. The processes of gaining paperwork approval in any foreign country are complex. Additionally, if you are not a local and not Ukrainian then you are a foreigner and a "guest" in this country. Find out the details to be successful and bear with the process. Entitlement is not part of the culture here. Also, if you don't think it is great living here then kindly leave and go where you can appreciate the opportunities.
    All countries have positive and negative aspects to them.

  11. rw2011, we all know that the Ukrainian residency requirements are an absolute pain in the **** and are, like many bureaucratic processes in Ukraine, illogical and inhumane. I spent over 100 man-hours securing my U.S. national wife a work permit and temporary residency. I don't think this is us expats feeling we are "entitled" to special treatment (e.g. reasonable paperwork with reasonable effort), it's about rational and humane national policies. With Ukraine at the bottom of the lists for ease of doing business and time spent paying taxes, I think a bit of complaining about the bureaucracy and irrationality of it all is well-justified. After all, Ukrainians do this all the time, and many of them would love to leave for these very reasons.

  12. Nice information for the new people, who plan to study in Ukraine.

  13. Hello Rick
    Your article is very much informative and perhaps is going to save me from a potential fraud person. One of Consultant agency from Ukraine told me that once you stay in Ukraine for min 2 years you are eligible for PR. I was planning to look for masters over there thinking that i might get chance for PR without getting married, or other ways you mentioned, but purely on my stay of more than 2 years over there.

    Now after reading your article, its evident that no matter even if i stay for 10 years, i wont get PR/Citizenship. Its bad policy on part of Ukrainian Government to use the cream part of once's life when he can give something to society,economy and then throw him like a bag full of waste.


  14. But isnt there a law that if you live in ukraine for 5 years you can apply for citizenship. I read it on the ministry of foreign affairs website.

  15. I agree with most of what you wrote, with a few exceptions:

    First, teaching English is not "unskilled labor." Although some schools hire anyone who speaks native English, many schools require a college degree, CELTA, and years of experience.

    Second, I looked into the "invest 100k in Ukraine" route to permanent residency. That doesn't mean buying a flat in Kiev for 100k, or even building a 100k factory or paying 100k to Ukrainians in wages. It means, I've heard, a donation of 100k to the Ukrainian government. Although nobody on the forums I follow, nor a law firm I spoke with, knows anybody who went this route.

    Third, "hard-working Latinos who contribute immensely to our economy" don't pay taxes. I worked with them for 15 years and speak fluent Spanish, and every one of the hundreds(?) of illegal immigrants I knew either falsely claimed 16 dependents on his W-4, or was treated as an independent contractor (although he didn't qualify under IRS rules). When the average American owes about $40,000 of the national debt, how can an illegal worker who doesn't pay taxes and earns maybe $20,000 contribute more to America than he takes?

    And fourth, while I definitely agree that Ukraine should encourage foreign workers to contribute their labor and income to the economy, why should it be limited to those who "have at least 10 years left till retirement?" This assumes that there is an age at which people should retire (westerners generally live a lot longer, and have more healthy and productive years than Ukrainians) and is discriminatory. Although it's true of course that people require more health services as they age, there could be restrictions on the health services that Ukraine provides for those who choose to continue working past a certain age. Ukraine would also do well to attract retirees from the west, as do Central and South American countries.

  16. hi

    I need some informations regardng studying in Ukraine

    I don't know whether my decision is right. I want to be a researcher in medicine. Now, I am a medical student in Indonesia. But, the focuse of the teaching is to prepare students to become a general practitioner, not a researcher

    The very outstanding expensive fee to study in US and EU make me to choose Ukraine

    Is my decision right? Please give some comments to this, whatever you know. -M2011

  17. I used to live 37 years in Ukraine and YES OVIR rules are a total nightmare: if you do not have your connections to people working in OVIR and bribe them for every asked by them document, nothing will be done!Corruption and burocracy are 2 biggest problems in Ukraine and they do not change.Erna from Colorado,USA.

  18. Can you tell me that is the immigration closed for foreign students after 15th of November?

  19. Having lived in Ukraine for the past 3 years with my Ukrainian partner we've decided to get married.

    Up to now i have simply crossed the Hungarian border to have my passport stamped for 3 months.

    Ive been informed that they have impossed an old law which states that you can only stay here in Ukraine for a period of 180 days in every 360 days.

    I have been to many offices here in Uzhgorod all with conflicting information. I have even been in contact with the English Embassy without success

    With getting married next month (Dec 2011)can i apply for Ukrainian citizenship/ resendcy visa?


  20. Alan, I'm pretty sure you can get some kind of temporary residence permit almost immediately, but it takes something like 2 years before you can get permanent residency. I haven't done enough research on the topic because it's irrelevant for me at the moment, but there's a ton written on it at the forum.

  21. Thank you Rick for your quick reply. I will check out ""


  22. I am a retired US citizen married to Ukraine National for more than 8 years; I will have residency w/o property in Florida and plan only to spend 2-3 months renting there in winter while spending the rest of my time in Kyiv and Krim where my wife has bank accts & property; I have nothing in my name (by choice but do support my wife and her family thru my pension, investments & US Social Security kept in NYC banks; I do not plan to work or run a business in Ukraine. I plan to help my relatives planting & harvesting on thier small farm outside Kyiv w/o compensation. I am retired; I want to enjoy my hobbies of traveling w/wife, fishing & hunting and I do not want to become a Ukraine citizen but remain US citizen.
    I just want to be able to live in Ukraine more than 180 days in a year. I have no problem registerning with the local OVIR which I have heard i must do. What type of multi-entry Visa do i register for? they have changed visa structure. I do not want to immigrate to Ukraine but can I establish part time residency there? I am not famous (lol) or do I want to bribe someone $100K to officially live here.
    What are some of my options?

  23. If your wife is a citizen of Ukraine you should be able to obtain residency through your marriage to her. Unfortunately, I don't know much about this process because I haven't been through it, but many people have. The forum is a good place to learn more about the details. It is not easy, but there are signs that the procedure might become easier.

  24. Please, if anyone out there can help me with getting a passport and visa for my girl friend in Ukraine to leave her country to come visit me. I'm ready to pay a reliable company that provide this type of services. James.bkk

  25. Hi, I have been married to a Ukrainian national for two and a half years. I have worked on contracts in Arab countries for the last 7 years, and spent my free time in Crimea with my wife and our new daughter. I have never had more than 90 days of free time so I just didn't worry about paperwork.
    Now thatI am through with the contracting I thought I could just "get my permenant residency done and live happily ever after.
    You must go to the local authority to get "permissions " to live in their city, and this one required invasive medical testing, medical proof that I am not an alcoholic, proof that I am not a drug addict, police documents letters from our banks house documents all in the original, and all "fresh" (less than two weeks from date of issue) after three tries and an enormous amount of stress, they kept delaying even looking at our documents till the last hour they were open before the holiday. We were then informed that they would not do it right now and would not reopen till after Jan. 7. She also pointed out with, I think, a little obvious glee, that my 90 days is up before then and I must leave the county, come back in six months and start over.
    (kind of makes you see the wisdom of hell.)
    Nice suprise that! there goes my Christmas with the family. I am calling embassies Monday to see if I can border hop and get a visa and come right back.
    I don't know what to do about this little Stalinina. I have to go through her to get my residence and she is obviously a sick sadistic freak.
    I have heard that none of these "requirements" are nessisary, but because I need her "permissions" there is nothing I can do.

    Ideas, anyone?

  26. Have lived in Crimea on and off for 6 years now, on business visas (living with my wife and her daughter). I pretend to be in business here and the government pretends to accept that excuse. My second visa (a 3-year business of course) is about to expire in late March and I'll be returning to America for at least some amount of time ... to be determined by immigration at the airport. Last time they just slapped me with the 640 grevna fine for not keeping my registration current (I'm somewhat limited in my mobility and can't make the quarterly trek to the border in Lviv) and I expect somewhat the same treatment this time (although it depends on how the government is 'feeling' at the time). The local OVIR office in Crimea is run by a sadistic, greedy bastard who tries to extort money from every foreigner who crosses his path. I'm sure the woman who is jerking you around is looking for a little 'grease' under the table at which point she will cooperate. It is a part of living in this wonderful country that never changes. One needs to get used to the idea of paying for services that should be free.

    I'll be evaluating my options this time around as I doubt the business visa charade will work anymore. It might be best to get the 'D' visa and see what happens but I'm not expecting miracles. Crimea is one of the most corrupt oblasts in the country and anything can (and usually does) happen. Good luck with your efforts to get a residency permit ... I expect it will be a major hassle and expensive.

  27. Імміґраційна політика України є досить консервативною. В даному випадку, окрім відсутності подвійного громадянства, все решта там таки оптимальне. Я згоден з автором, що Україна втрачає свої молоді ресурси і не дає можливість заповнити їх місця якісними іммігрантами, але Ви, автор, зрозумійте питання зі сторони української реальності: взявши до уваги всю корупцію і незграбність системи, якщо впровадять полегшене імміґраційне законодавство, то замість інтеліґентних юних американців чи європейців, в Україну попруть натовпом дешеві китаяшки-африкашки: щось типу того, що зараз твориться в західній Європі. І буде плачевно, бо ці люди своєю кількістю і нахабством витіснять міґрацію якісних кадрів, вони просто не дадуть тим можливості нормально міґрувати: всюди будуть смердючі черги і бардак, та й до того ж, знаючи всю корумпованість органів влади та на підприємствах, робочі місця будуть віддані отим низькокваліфікованим міґрантам зі сходу. Я українець, легально живу в США.

  28. Як і в багатьох інших сферах, офіційна імміґраційна політика України принаймні непогана, але фактична політика визначається місцевими органами й урядовцями, які роблять, що хочуть. Це створює великі проблеми для вузького кола людей — таких як я, наприклад. Але є інші речі, які створюють проблеми майже для всіх українцев. Звичайно, вони є більш суттєвими, ніж імміґраційна політика країни. Я американець з України, тепер живу в Грузії:))

  29. Що значить американець з України? яка мова вам рідна?

  30. Англійська та фактично російська. Я є автором сайту

  31. Good job. Ви маєте російські корні? Як так вийшло, що російська Вам рідна?

  32. The question is if i can extend my stay in Ukraine more than 90 days on shot term visa if i am married to a ukranian woman?

  33. Nothing like ruining my day. I love Ukraine and have spent much time there but enough is enough. Bob

  34. hi! i really need help because i am really confused i'm a first year medical student and i intend to go back to my country for summer holidays. in fact, i have already bought my ticket but i have been told that i can't live Ukraine because if i do i will not be allowed to come back. Is it true? or is just a rumor??

  35. Anonymous, if you are a student on a student visa, it shouldn't be a problem. But you will need to check with your university's international student office and make sure that you understand the procedures. Unfortunately procedures in Ukraine are always complicated and the officials themselves often don't know how to interpret them. Best luck!

  36. Hi everybody. Just completed the process of getting the permanent residency permit. Not that I needed it, but just to prove a point that according to all "their" laws I could. If you have a wife/husband who are ukrainian, or a kid that was born in ukraine you can do it. You just need to know the regulations and be able to stand your ground.

    1. My wife is Ukrainian. We have been living in America but are considering moving to Ukraine one year from now. Given that we have been married longer than two years, I am eligible for permanent residency. The Ukrainian embassy in America told us that I need an immigration visa for a one-time entry to Ukraine and then can start the process from there. However, I'm not sure how long the process will take once I arrive in Ukraine (or really what the process is). If I can't leave Ukraine during the entire process, I probably don't have enough vacation days to stay through (months?) and I don't want to leave my job just yet.

      So, can you share your experience and include references to online information?


  37. hi i just want to ask a question, i have a work permit in Ukraine, and i bring my wife to deleiver a baby in Ukraine, if i get a baby in Ukraine we will get permit residence?

  38. I am seriously considering marrying a Ukranian Citizen. I understand that I can apply for permanent residency after we have been married 2 years. Is there a hefty price associated with applying for permanent residency?

  39. Can anyone tell me:
    We can visit Ukraine for 90 days out of 180 days. If I schedule a visit for May, June and July of 2013 that would be 90 days out of the first half of the year. Can I stay for August, September and October for my 90 days out of the second half of the year? In other words, can my 90 day periods be back to back as long as they are each within a 180 day period?

  40. Sorry for the much-delayed answers to your questions.

    1. Anonymous, unfortunately, having a baby in Ukraine is not grounds for obtaining residency.

    2. Hal, you are correct. I have not heard that getting permanent residency after marriage requires paying substantial bribes, so I don't think it will cost much. The process is, however, lengthy. Lots on that at the forum.

    3. Anonymous, the 180 days are counted back from the current day, so your plan wouldn't work. According to your plan, when you leave the country at the end of October, you will have been in Ukraine for 180 days out of the preceding 180 days and would therefore be fined.

  41. I wonder if you know of anything that would help us.

    I am a US Citizen and my fiancee is Belarusian. Neither of us is much interested in living in the US, and things have gotten so bad in Belarus we don't want to live there. Ukraine would be ideal for us: she knows the language and could find employment relatively easily, and it's close for her to visit her family & friends, and for me I can do my job anywhere with internet and a reliable post office (I'm a commission artist with clients all over the world). But I am not famous, not wealthy -scraping together $100k for personal-kept investment such as Brazil allows for would be difficult but maybe possible, but a $100k donation is impossible). I am not a doctor, engineer or with other skill often listed as easy-entry by many countries, and she has no relatives in Ukraine.

    She thinks there might be some way for us to move there but I'm not seeing it. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

    Thank you.

  42. Laughing Ferret,

    That's tough... but at least you have a few options. That's strange; I had heard from several Ukrainians that Belarus was "nicer than Ukraine." I'm not sure whether Belarus citizens enjoy the same privilege that Russians do (for now), i.e. being allowed to pass the border and come back every 90 days in Ukraine. That would not necessarily confer any privileges on you, though. There might be people at the forum who can offer other suggestions. You might investigate Russia, since she will probably be able to legally find work there and can simply border hop every 90 days. I've heard Russian immigration policy is more progressive than Ukrainian.

    If neither of those are options, next I would consider Georgia, with its very liberal immigration policy (for now, at least) and Argentina (perhaps too far away...). Ukraine and Georgia are my current home bases due to the 90/180 rule in Ukraine. Professionally I'm in the same category as you.

  43. Thanks for the response Rick!

    I loved Belarus when I was there, and would have been happy to stay there- I stayed the allowed 90 days a couple years ago, but the economic and political situation has deteriorated a lot since then. There is no problem at all for her to cross the border into Ukraine and stay for extended time and seek employment, the problem is more about me being able to stay there with her, and us together getting residency.

    Hopping in & out of a country every 90 days would be rough on us, financially and for her employment. My business is mobile, but having to move into new places in different countries 4 times a year sounds like a real difficulty (not sure how you manage it), and paying for 2 homes/apartments year-round while only using one at any given time is also problematic financially. Plus, while she could go back to Belarus anytime needing to leave Ukraine, I'd only be able to stay in Belarus for 90 days out of a year: another problem.

    Thanks- I'll look into Georgia & Russia.

    As for Latin America, the best option looks like Chile. Amazing in fact. No 'investment' requirement, and if changing to residency status while within the country- 'upgrading' a travel visa, it is an easy and quick process without much wait time or background checks and one of the countries with the least corruption on the continent. The only issue there is the distance, but a good backup option if we can't find a home in Europe.

    If you have any other info or ideas, or run across anything I'd be happy to hear of it.

    Thanks again!

  44. With all the online dating and social sites, is it possible to find true love there? It was a question I ask to myself and many people for sure asking themselves the same question and I found the answer on There are a lot of different people in different countries, but some good ones too. I had been doing it for about 2 months, when I met someone. We have been dating in person for one month and we traveled together, it is going really well. I don't know if we will ever be in love or spend the rest of our lives together, but I am enjoying being with him while I can. My suggestion to anyone doing online dating is be safe, cautious, and honest. I guess that will help you a lot.

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  46. I am wishing retire here in Ukraine, I am in my late 60's with a high social security retirement ($2,700/mo) plus IRA in excess of 2.8 million. I do not think that I will be a burden to Ukraine, but I do not want to have to move every 90 days. There needs to be an option for people with their own funds to come to Ukraine and live out their later years.

    1. I hear you. Hopefully this will change some day. Ukraine could be a great place for retirees.