Work and Business in Ukraine
This section contains a mixture of useful services and practical information for those interested in working, doing business, and investing in Ukraine. The information and services presented here are really useful.
These days many people from the West and East alike are interested in coming to Ukraine to work and do business. Hundreds or thousands of expats are already living and working here successfully. Although each person has his own reasons for coming to Ukraine to work, there seem to be several main reasons:
Ukraine appears to be on its way to becoming a European country, which means that during the next few decades the country will require intensive economic and infrastructural development. If the new government* makes good on its campaign promises, Ukraine will soon become a more attractive place to do business.
*I wrote this before Yanukovich became the Prime Minister!
Many foreign men are interested in meeting and marrying Ukrainian women, and coming here to work and live for a period of time seems to be a good way to meet people in a natural environment, as well as get to know the culture and language.
Students of Russian and Ukrainian see Ukraine as a good place to obtain work and language experience for a future career related to Eastern Europe.
Ukraine, with its low cost of living, transition economy, and "backward" society (from a western standpoint), seems to attract adventurous souls looking for a new kind of lifestyle.
Make sure you read about who has a good chance of enjoying long-term success in Ukraine.
Getting a job in Ukraine
One way to come to Ukraine and make a decent living is to teach English or another foreign language. We have created a special service to help you do this and save you a lot of time. Some kind of teaching certification or experience is usually required, so we recommend getting an English teaching certificate online (after taking an online teaching course) at a site like www.onlinetefl.com
Another path is to get a job with an international corporation or organization that hires foreigners. Everyone dreams of going to work in Ukraine and earning a Western salary doing the same thing they do in their home country. However, such openings are hard to come by and are usually not advertised widely. Many international corporations look for foreign employees through their branches overseas, not by posting job ads on the Internet. If you are intent on finding a job with an international corporation, find companies' contact information on the web and write to them telling what you are looking for and what your qualifications are. Have a resume ready to send. Many companies are eternally on the lookout for good, qualified employees. Be persisent, and maybe you'll eventually find something, if you are truly qualified and have something to offer the organization.
To legally hire a foreign citizen, Ukrainian employers need to apply for a work permit. In the past this requirement was often ignored, but not anymore. To get you a work permit, the company needs to demonstrate that your work cannot be done by a Ukrainian. The process of obtaining a permit from the city employment office can be difficult. I have heard of companies getting foreigners work permits as "translators" even if they are there to do completely different work, since foreigners' uniqueness as a native translator is easier to prove. Some companies still pay foreign employees under the table, but this may not be a good long-term strategy. However, you might be able to register as a private entrepreneur (and pay taxes in Ukraine) or eventually apply for permanent residency, which is basically the equivalent of a U.S. "green card," allowing you to work and live on the same grounds as Ukrainian citizens.
Internships in Ukraine
***NOTE: As of fall 2007 internships are no longer being offered. This service may be reopened some time in the future.
A great way to get to know Ukraine better, perfect your Russian and/or Ukrainian skills, and test the waters for a possible career in Ukraine or Eastern Europe is to come here for an internship. At the moment we offer this service only to Ukrainian or Russian speaking foreigners. Read more about internships in Ukraine and organizations that are interested in foreign interns.
Creating your own business in Ukraine
Another option is to create your own business and register it. While the law requires a work permit to work for someone else, you can work for yourself with the same rights as Ukrainians. Foreigners have successfully created numerous language instruction firms, bars and nightclubs, and even publishing companies. Creating a business may be difficult if you do not know Ukrainian or Russian and have not been in Ukraine for very long. You can create it yourself or use the pricey services of numerous law firms with English (French, German, etc.) speaking attorneys, or find an independent legal consultant.
Investing in Ukraine
Historically, Ukraine's investment climate has gone up and down and has not yet become sufficiently attractive to bring in the needed amounts of capital from the developed world. Factors that are typically cited as hindering investment in Ukraine are poor legal protection of investments, corruption and double standards, and ambiguous or contradictory legislature. The situation will likely not change much for the better in the foreseeable future, as these factors are deeply ingrained in the system and mentality. This makes investing in Ukraine unpredictable, but potentially very lucrative because the economy is expanding at a rate above the European average.
- Investing in Ukrainian real estate - article from TryUkraine.com
- Ukrainian business culture - article from TryUkraine.com