Life in Ukraine: Things You Should Know And Things To Expect
Last updated on January 17th, 2023
Every time I get to ask others, who are not Ukrainians, what they know about life in Ukraine, they always give different answers. Some people immediately think of Chernobyl, somebody else remembers a famous football player, model, or boxer. Other folks base their opinion on what they currently hear from the media, especially about the conflict with Russia.
Not many people get involved. But at the same time, there are quite a few who show genuine interest in Ukraine as a country and intend to live here, at least for some time.
I have spent 24 years of my life in Ukraine before moving to the US. But then after living in America for almost 10 years, I returned back to Ukraine where I am living for part of the year now. Life in Ukraine today is very different than it used to be before the war with Russia. And of course, it is more different than it was in the 90s or even at the beginning of the 2000s.
Nothing stands still and things are changing, so Ukraine is changing too of course. Something changes for the better, something for the worse (depending on your perspective and values). But overall, from my experience and perspective, I can honestly tell that I see big positive changes. In fact, there are so many of them that they prompted me to return and make a base here.
If in the past, everything I wanted was just to immigrate and leave, today I am pretty happy to call Ukraine my home. And I am genuinely happy to be back. I deliberately choose to live here, not in the US and I have many reasons for that.
Alright, without making my introduction too long, let me answer some of the most common questions that people ask about life in Ukraine. There is definitely a lot of confusion about this country. Allow me to share all the details I know from my personal experiences.
If you are looking to travel to Ukraine soon, read my long and detailed guide on Ukraine travel tips. Wondering if you should rent a car? Check my post on car rental and driving in Ukraine.
If planning a trip to Kyiv, start with the guide to Kyiv weather and the best month to go. Or, simply check my page on Ukraine travel to have a better understanding of where to go and how to plan your trip.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE IN UKRAINE
Is Ukraine Safe To Travel And Live In?
Since 2014 Ukraine has been getting a lot of attention due to Crimea annexation and war with Russia (yes, exactly, war with Russia, not a civil war as media presents it and many people follow.)
With political and social unrest investments sank, the number of international visitors decreased and the country’s safety question got compromised. To this very day, every potential visitor wants to know if Ukraine is safe enough to visit.
You know, even before war-related events took place, not many tourists were choosing Ukraine as a country of interest, thinking it was not safe or developed enough. Hence, how can they change their opinion today when the country is in conflict, right?
Ukraine is my home country and I always felt safe here before moving to the U.S. But once war broke out it scared me out of my wits and I had no desire to go back, even for a short visit. Before leaving America for good and traveling to Ukraine with Mark in the fall of 2017 it’s been 6 years since my last time here. I felt uncertain and frightened to return.
But to be honest, when I eventually went I regretted I didn’t do it earlier. Together with Mark, we felt absolutely safe, comfortable, and secure. And we had such an amazing time in Ukraine (and still do when spending a few months a year.) In fact, now we are seriously looking into purchasing a home in Lviv and thinking to move to this beautiful city.
As with any other country, you have to know where it is safe to go and where it is not. Obviously, anywhere near the war zone is not safe.
Unlike most countries in the world, Ukrainian cities and villages don’t have ghettoes or extremely poor areas where you can feel in danger. Definitely, there are ugly looking neighborhoods with poor infrastructure but their depressing looks (especially during the bad winter weather) have nothing to do with safety.
Just make sure you are not walking by yourself at night in less populated areas. Stay away from drunk people, protests, big events with crowds, gypsies, and beggars. But this is what we personally did in the States and many other countries around Europe and Asia. Ukraine is very similar in that sense.
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Cost of Living in Ukraine
Unfortunately for many Ukrainian people, whose average salary equals approximately $500, the cost of living in Ukraine is expensive. In total, the average annual income comes to $5000-$6000. It can be enough if the person lives in a smaller city and has his own apartment.
Otherwise, $500 per month is not enough. Especially now, with the massive inflation after covid. (Do you feel it too? Or we are just having it in Ukraine?)
But please, when I am saying that the average wage in Ukraine is $500 dollars per month, do not automatically assume that everyone here is poor, struggling, and wants to immigrate. There are also a lot of people whose average salary is $1500-$2000 per month, $3500-$5000 per month (and more) and who have a good life.
Like if I have to talk about my surroundings, for example. All my friends and acquaintances have a very good life here. They could never understand my desire to move to the States because they were pretty established and had a high standard of living.
For someone who makes even $1000 per month things will be very affordable. If you are a freelancer, working online, having a thriving business, or working for an international company, you can have a very good quality of life in Ukraine. If you are planning to teach English or volunteer, most likely your room and board will be covered and a salary will be enough for your monthly expenses.
Renting a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment in a good location in cities other than Kyiv will cost you between $350 – $400 per month. Just don’t choose apartments on Airbnb where they are offered for daily rent and are very expensive.
If planning to move to Ukraine for a longer period of time than one month, you need to look for flats on local resources and book them directly from the owner or through the broker. In that case, prices will be much lower.
The cost of living in Kyiv, as a capital, is more expensive. Rent for a decent but average apartment there will be somewhere between $500-$600 per month. For this price, you get a nice looking one or two-bedroom flat with furniture. In my hometown, for example, in Khmelnytskyi, it’s possible to rent a new flat in a new building with new furniture for $250-$300 per month.
Depending on the city you choose to live in, expenses for groceries and occasional eating out in Ukraine go between $200 and $300 per person. A cup of coffee to go costs around $0.75-$1.00 (depending on the location) and street coffee in Ukraine is very good! Street food like kebab, crepes, stuffed potato, or sandwiches cost between $2-$3. A cappuccino and a cake in a coffee shop will be between $3-$5.
Public transportation is incredibly cheap. Metro ride in Kyiv is around $0.50 cents, city bus or marshrutka shared taxis cost between $0.35-$0.50 cents (depending on the city), a trolley costs way less, like 20 or 25 cents.
Services like haircuts, manicures, tailoring clothes, shoe repairs are very popular and affordable too. For example, a trip to a barbershop to get a simple man’s haircut will cost around $4-$5. Services of professional hairstylists are priced between $15-$20. I pay for my haircut hair dyeing around $30.
Unlike the EU zone, where taking a plane most times costs less than taking a bus, in Ukraine low-coster market is not fully developed yet. To fly in and out of Ukraine is also more expensive than fly between countries in the EU.
A major airport is in Kyiv, but there is also an opportunity to fly to Lviv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv. Some flights to these cities can be more costly though.
Every year low-cost carriers enter the Ukrainian market opening new budget flights, so with time flying to Ukraine will be possible at lower tariffs. So far my favorite company to use is SkyUp. They offer awesome deals to the Balkans, Caucasus, and other destinations.
The easiest and probably the most comfortable way to travel in Ukraine is by train. Trains have a few class types to choose from and always run on schedule. They are way better than those in the States and a lot of them are as good as trains in Europe.
Taking a bus or blabla car is another option on how to get around the country. However, traveling by bus in Ukraine is not very popular (mainly between towns and villages) and buses do not offer the highest level of comfort, so keep in mind that. Blabla car drivers rarely speak English and you may have difficulty communicating.
Uber or Bolt operate in a number of cities, getting a lift is not a problem.
However, what is now improving in Ukraine is the car rental service. Roads are being built all over the country, renting a car is easy and traveling by car in Ukraine is so enjoyable now!
Many people will tell you that Ukraine is the only destination in Europe with the worst roads. But that’s not the case anymore. Finally, our new government started to build roads and you can safely plan a trip and travel by vehicle. I recommend you check my post about car hire and driving in Ukraine (if you haven’t yet) to learn more about it.
Especially these days, during corona, it is a perfect option to travel around the country on your own terms while staying away from crowds.
Quality of Life in Ukraine Today
The quality of life in Ukraine is a rather controversial subject and depends on a few factors. First of all, what do you imply by the “quality of life”? How qualitatively you personally are going to live as a foreigner? Or how do Ukrainians live? Second, what is your own definition of the quality of life?
If I have to compare Ukraine with the rest of the world then let’s take official United Nations ratings. They use a variety of aggregated data, such as income and wealth, jobs and earnings, housing conditions, life-work balance, personal security, education and skills, and a number of other indicators from all areas of life. For more details, you can read their official measurement of well-being here.
So, according to the UN’s data, the quality of life in Ukraine at the end of 2020 got the 77th position among 195 countries. According to Numbeo, the position is 59th. Other resources show something else. I personally do not trust just one single resource because there can be always an under (or over) estimation of objective numbers, manipulations or simple miscalculations.
What I can definitely attest to is that many Ukrainians do not have a high standard of living when compared to the West. But many more do and even higher than you think.
Yes, there is a percentage of people who live under the poverty line and barely make their ends meet. Especially those people who live in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Or people in smaller towns or villages. That’s really so.
The reason why more people in the East and South have a lower level of life is that because a big number of Ukrainians from Western Ukraine work abroad – in nearby Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc. So they bring money home which increases the quality of life.
At the same time, what is also true, you take any country in the world and you’ll find many people who also live under the poverty line. The difference between western world countries and Ukraine is in the fact that in the Western world, people have access to social welfare and free money when in Ukraine they don’t. This is the only difference.
Take away all the benefits from some people in the US or the EU, what’s their quality of life is going to be like?
In Ukraine, there are so many opportunities for growth and development and tons of ways to start a business. While in the West, the market is already saturated, in Ukraine it is still developing and offering just so much potential for making money. Taxes are some of the lowest in the world and people are open to innovations.
So that brings me to my next point – do not assume that the quality of life in Ukraine is the same as it was years and years ago. Because it’s not. It is improving and getting better. Yes, you’ll see poor people (as everywhere else) but there is also a very high percentage of those who feel pretty comfortable living in Ukraine and would not trade it for any other place.
The sense of community is strong, much of the poor in the country is lifting out of poverty and becoming middle class.
Ukraine is developing and moving in the right direction. There is a lot of potential and future.
I am not saying this just because I believe my home country will see better days. I make these conclusions based on personal experiences, observations while living in the country, and seeing how many improvements actually took place.
Quality of Life in Ukraine for You Personally
The main question is what type of life are you personally going to have in Ukraine if you move here? There are so many nuances to take into consideration. What you like, what you are used to, how easily you can adjust to a new culture and mentality, learn a new language, etc.
When it comes to my personal definition of quality of life, I do not pay much attention to what worldwide statistics show. I evaluate what I personally will be able to afford, how much my life is going to improve, and how much value I can add to other people’s lives.
My life in the U.S. was a struggle although this country was one of the best places where to live. And even though my salary was pretty high. Last year Mark and I were thinking about the opportunity to move to Norway where, again according to statistics, is the highest standard of living. But after lots of brainstorming and calculations we figured if we really moved there, the quality of our personal life would be way below average.
Why? Because we are not Norwegians and the money we make is not going to guarantee the same level of comfort we are used to. We will also have to pay crazily high taxes just to be able to live there.
But it’s not even about the money. There are other factors that define the quality of life for us. Like food quality, for instance, or health care access, culture factor, climate, etc.
Determine what the quality of life is for you. If you are thinking to possibly move to Ukraine, come to spend some time at first and feel this county. And only then you’ll have a clear understanding if living in Ukraine as a foreigner is for you or not.
LIVING IN UKRAINE AS A FOREIGNER
Where to live in Ukraine?
If you are considering an opportunity to move to Ukraine, I suggest looking into Kyiv (of course, capital always comes first,) Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Dnipropetrovsk. These large cities have excellent infrastructure, opportunities, and lots of things to do.
However, besides them, there are many more fantastic cities where to live in Ukraine! Chernihiv, Summy, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, and even my hometown Khmelnytskyi are just some of them.
Although Lviv is one of our favorite cities. It is attractive and cozy. It consists of a mixture of different influences and styles and is close to the Carpathian mountains. Somehow in Lviv, the charm of the city makes you feel comfortable right from the first minutes of the arrival. Lviv also has some of the best coffee not only in Ukraine but the entire world. So if you ever get there, make sure to taste it in one of the most atmospheric cafes around the city.
If you are considering Lviv, here is a must-read guide to Lviv apartment rental. There, I discuss all districts and talk about the pros and cons of living in each of them.
Besides Lviv, a lot of expats and tourists also love Odesa because of its own vibe and seaside. Yet Odesa is one of those love-hate cities when you either enjoy it or totally dislike it. There is nothing in between.
Kyiv, as a capital, is more diverse, constantly developing, and improving. At the same time, the cost of living is higher and sooner or later but traffic with crowds start to annoy.
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Communication in Ukraine
People in Ukraine speak either Ukrainian or Russian language. English along with other foreign languages is not widely spoken, that’s why communication with locals can become a challenge. If you are based in Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, or Dnipro, you’ll find plenty of restaurants in the city center with English menus, and employees speaking English. Smaller cities do not see many foreigners, that’s why having an English menu is not common there.
Train stations in big cities and subway in Kyiv have schedules, signs, and announcements in Ukrainian and English.
If you are living in Kyiv, there are a few smaller cinemas that show movies in English. Plus, locals who are eager to practise their language skills with foreigners, often organize English-speaking clubs, music events, and shows. Check out an English newspaper in Kyiv for all events in the capital. Or here is an online magazine “Ukraine Travel Center” for events and things to do around Ukraine.
For other services, it may be tricky to communicate with locals. You may want to use a translator and learn a few basic words in Russian or Ukrainian.
Overall, people in Ukraine always try to help non-Russian or non-Ukrainian speakers who are visiting or living in their country.
If you are moving to Ukraine, especially to a large city, and do not speak any Ukrainian or Russian language, relax and remember that you’ll be OK. With time, you can go to one of the language schools to learn the basics. But I definitely wouldn’t stress out about it at the beginning.
Some of my friends who are foreigners have been living in Ukraine for years but they still don’t speak any local language. And each of them is doing just fine.
What Language Does Ukraine Speak? What Language Should You Learn?
I had some people email me and ask what language should they learn if they will live in Ukraine. Should it be Russian or Ukrainian? Hmm, tough choice.
Well, the official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. In all regions of Western Ukraine (not just Lviv) as well as some parts of Central Ukraine people speak Ukrainian for the most part. In Eastern and Southern Ukraine people speak Russian. Although recently, a new law came into effect that requires all public and private businesses all over the country to provide services in the Ukrainian language only. Those who refuse to do so will be fined.
So. If you intend to work in the private service sector or public sector (anywhere in Ukraine) – definitely learn Ukrainian. Even if you don’t plan to work in the service but plan to live/work/study anywhere but Eastern or Southern Ukraine, then also learn Ukrainian. Otherwise, if you move to Dnipro, Kharkiv, Poltava, Zaporizhzhya, Odessa or their regions – learn Russian instead. Once you speak Russian, it will be easier to pick up Ukrainian.
Overall, what I can add from myself here. The situation with the Ukrainian-Russian language is somewhat ambiguous. But the truth is that more and more people speak Ukrainian these days. Not only at work or school, but in life. As a matter of fact, some people (mainly in the West) can’t speak Russian well. That’s also something to consider when deciding which language to learn.
Yes, definitely, everyone in Ukraine understands Russian but not everyone can respond in the Russian language.
For example, Mark who is a foreigner but who also knows Russian tries to use it here everywhere he goes. But in many places, it is difficult for him to communicate with others because many Ukrainians (surprisingly) don’t speak Russian well.
On many occasions, I have to be his interpreter (like in doctors’ offices, banks, some shops) because people can’t speak Russian. They try but often use Ukrainian words that confuse him. We were in many situations when people were apologizing for not speaking Russian admitting that they don’t use it often and forgot some words. So they asked me to translate from Ukrainian into Russian or English because they were not fluent in speaking Russian.
To be honest, that’s how my family is. No one in my family (besides my mom) speaks Russian. They certainly can understand it but they don’t use it in daily life and it’s really difficult for them to concentrate and speak this language. Not because they don’t want to speak Russian but because it’s really not their first language and they don’t feel comfortable. And they live in Khmelnytskyi and Vinnytsia, not Lviv.
So my answer – yes, everyone in Ukraine understands Russian but not everyone can speak it well and not everyone is going to respond in Russian. Especially the newer generation.
This is why, finally to make a long story short – if you plan to live and work in Ukraine long term – learn Ukrainian. Learn Russian only in that case if you know you’ll be living in the East or South.
Healthcare in Ukraine
As a foreigner, you will not have access to free healthcare (which is below average anyways.) But going to a private clinic or seeing a specialist is cheap and you’ll be definitely able to afford to pay for it.
If you are going to work for a company then expect them to provide insurance for you. In any other case, if working remotely, for example, there is no need to apply for insurance.
More and more doctors of any specialization in Ukraine are delivering the highest standard of care and professionalism, they are experienced and easily accessible. If you need a treatment or a regular checkup you can get it within a day or two. The same applies to Ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, dentists, and doctors of any specialization.
I remember when I was in the States, the wait time to see a specialist on average was about a few weeks. One time I was waiting for more than three months to get something as simple as an ultrasound. In Ukraine, it is unheard of. If you need to see a doctor, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment within the next few days (sometimes hours) unless he/she is on vacation or on leave.
A lot of people in Ukraine are also into natural remedies and treatments, so finding an acupuncturist, homeopath or naturopathic doctor won’t be difficult too. Unlike in Western countries, where services of these specialists usually cost a lot of money, in Ukraine, they are very affordable.
To help you understand the pricing, here are a few examples. Consultations usually cost between $15-$20 (in an opulent clinic it’s not going to cost more than $50,) blood tests between $10 and $20, a back massage between $20 and $35.
Dentist work is also very affordable. A filling costs between $15 and $30 (depending on material), tooth extraction within the same range.
Prices for MRI start from $15, X-ray, and ultrasound between $15-$25. Homeopath visit is between $15-$20 (a few hours long detailed appointment.) One acupuncture treatment is between $5-$15 (depending on the city and clinic you are in.)
Dentist care is of high quality and one of the cheapest in the world. I know there are a lot of patients from Western Europe who come to Ukraine to do all dental work. It is way cheaper for them to pay for tickets, accommodation, and all the procedures than just get medical treatment in their own country.
I have some foreign friends who come to Ukraine for dental work and a ski holiday in Bukovel at the same time because it is still cheaper than go see a dentist in their own countries.
NOTE: If you are visiting Ukraine any time soon, don’t forget to purchase medical insurance that covers costs associated with Covid treatment. You won’t be allowed into the country if there is no such insurance. Check it on the official site here.
For travel insurance, you can check SafetyWing. This company has various plans and affordable prices.
WORKING IN UKRAINE AS AN EXPAT
Getting a visa for Ukraine
As with many other countries in the world, to be able to get sponsorship from a company in Ukraine you have to be a highly-skilled professional. Knowing a language is not always mandatory but of course, preferred. During my working years in Ukraine, I had colleagues from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the EU. And they held all different types of jobs.
One of the easiest ways to get a temporary residence permit is through school, mission or volunteering. But there are also ways how to get a residency based on your online work and digital nomad lifestyle.
If you can prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself you’ll be allowed to live in a country from 3 months to a year, with a possibility to extend. For detailed information, check the website of one of the local law firms.
Jobs for foreigners
The most popular jobs in Ukraine for Americans, Canadians or Western European expats are in Finance, Audit, Consulting, Education (teaching English or other disciplines in English), and IT. Also, there are lots of volunteering projects in Ukraine. I know a lot of people from America who are on an evangelical mission, work with orphanages, summer camps, in renovation and construction. Some of them even work in agriculture and archeology. Those who volunteer usually get free accommodation, meals, and sometimes even pocket money.
Based on long-term volunteering projects you can get a residency permit and apply for side jobs. If you are a native English speaker, the sky is the limit when it comes to teaching English. Ukraine is in need of English Teachers. Schools, daycare centers, early childhood development centers, universities look for teachers on a regular basis.
Another option of how to stay in Ukraine long term while making money is to start your own business. The most popular one would be to open a restaurant with international cuisine. Ukraine is probably one of a few countries in Europe where you won’t find many international foods yet. A lot of those that exist are not even authentic.
So, if you are a foreigner who has skills and experience in the food business, Ukraine has a lot of potential for you. The process of establishing it will definitely take some time and money. But in the end, it is worth the effort, that’s for sure.
LIVING IN UKRAINE PROS AND CONS
Ukraine, like any other place in the world, has its own pros and cons. What I may consider as an advantage, may come as a disadvantage for you. And vise versa. I am going to mention what I personally consider to be the pros and cons. But you decide if that’s going to play the same role for you or not.
So, in my opinion, among the biggest advantages of living in Ukraine are affordability and a good standard of living. But of course, if your monthly income is higher than the average wage I described above. So, for about $1000-$1200 per month, you can have a very decent life here.
You can be renting a very stylish apartment in a nice new neighborhood paying fraction of what you’d pay in many other European countries. If you decide to base yourself in Ukraine and want to travel around Europe, it is also very easy to do without spending much on flights.
Another advantage is the quality of food, cheap and affordable healthcare, very good internet (for people who work online), and possibilities for travel.
The disadvantages of living in Ukraine are the bad quality of air (mainly in the fall when some people start burning leaves), bureaucracy, cold weather (Ukrainian winters are long and there is not much sun), and the fact that not many people communicate in English. Oh, and service. It’s just pretty average.
Although for the service, sorry (not sorry) but overall, it is very common for Europe to have poor service. So Ukraine is not an exception here. A lot of restaurants, cafes, banks, grocery stores, etc. deliver a very nice service. But in many places, omg, it can be just non-existent. So be ready for that but don’t take it personally.
Then the air. That’s a totally separate topic which I am really upset about. Yet unfortunately, the quality of air in Ukraine is one of the worst in Europe. Because of the old diesel cars that flood the cities and burning of leaves and trash in the summer and fall, the air stays polluted.
Ukraine is not an environmentally friendly country and has a deficient physical infrastructure in many places. A lot of buildings are in bad repair, some types of transportation are old and falling apart. Some rivers and lakes are dirty which in turn creates difficulties for recreation.
Nevertheless, that is also changing, slowly because it takes time, but the progress is obvious.
Another note to make is communication. If you are not going to learn at least some Russian or Ukrainian and won’t have English speakers around you all the time, communication is going to come as one of the cons of living in Ukraine. And bureaucracy. It is another challenge if you are moving to Ukraine for work or want to open your own business.
OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT LIFE IN UKRAINE
Racism In Ukraine – Anything to Worry About or Not?
I decided to update this post and also include a section about racism in Ukraine since it looks like this is an important subject for many these days. Once in a while I get an email or comment where people ask me if it is safe for him/her as an Asian, African, Indian, Pakistani or African-American to travel to Ukraine. Interestingly no one from South America asked me that. So I guess they do not worry (good). But let’s see if others have to worry or not.
And here is what I have to tell you guys. No personal feelings or emotions, just an objective view of how Ukrainians perceive foreigners of a different race. Of course, as with anything else I can’t speak for everyone. But this answer is good to go as the answer from the general masses.
Racism in Ukraine is actually quite an extensive topic. We could be talking about it with you for hours, if not days, especially if you provide specific concerns or experiences.
But when people ask me “I’ve heard that racism is on the high end in Ukraine, is it true?”, “Is there racism in Ukraine?”, or “How do Ukrainians look at black (Indian, etc.) people?” I am honestly not 100% sure what to answer. I can’t say that no, there is no racism in Ukraine. But I also can’t say that there is a problem of racism in Ukraine.
Is racism on the rise? No, quite the contrary, it goes down every year. How do Ukrainians look at black people? In an absolutely normal way. But there are a few things to know.
In touristy cities or cities with universities where foreigners study, everyone is used to foreigners and people with different skin color.
In smaller towns and particularly villages where no tourist has set foot and where meeting a non-white person is a rare event, you can expect extra attention and possible talks. Yeah. But not because people have the intention to harm you but because they are curious. Most likely they will be looking at you like at a giraffe that ran away from the zoo, some may point at you while talking to others, but they will not be chasing you on the street like wild animals.
Also, do not assume this is something that happens on each corner because it does not. Yes, it may happen in villages or some towns, be aware of that but don’t stress about it. If you are not comfortable about going somewhere on your own, go with a guide or join a group tour.
I, as a white person, often encounter this type of experience on my travels. I remember when in Indonesia and Vietnam people were staring at me, giggling and talking about me with their peers. Even in Turkey where I live for a few months a year, when visiting villages, people do the same.
But overall, Ukraine is not on Mars. It is in Europe. Meeting an African-American, Asian person, or someone from the Middle East is not something extraordinary.
In the 90s and even early 2000s, we’ve heard the news about gangs harassing and bullying people of different races (it could happen in the subway in Kyiv, Lviv, or Dnepropetrovsk or in distant neighborhoods). That was scary. By the way, in the 90s Lviv was one of the most gangster-like cities with the highest crime rate but today it’s so prettily lovely safe. And those gangs were attacking not only black people but also anyone from Central Asia, India, and China. Ukrainians were afraid of them, not to mention foreigners.
But thank God such times have passed. We do not hear anything about gangs anymore. Racism is not a problem in Ukraine that should be your concern.
However, problems occur indeed. They happen when a foreigner abuses the system, stays illegally without any money, works without permission, and/or harasses locals for any reason.
Also what I can add, people in Ukraine do not like anyone who comes to Ukraine to take advantage of the country, taxpayers, and get free stuff without any return. Ukrainians do not welcome refugees, foreign beggars, or those who look for better life without doing any work or putting in the effort. Do not expect to find a job if you are not highly qualified or can offer skills that locals do not have.
In Europe or the US, it is very common to come as a refugee or just overstay a visa and apply for various social programs where taxpayers cover all your needs. No need to work or study. Sweet.
In Ukraine, all of this brings hostility. Ukrainians are used to working hard. When they go to nearby countries for work, they look for any work available, not to apply for financial aid.
This is why when some foreigners from disadvantaged countries come to Ukraine and abuse the system in any way (overstay visas, work illegally, get fake documents to stay longer, cheat locals, etc.), people meet that with resistance and fury. This is why it can bring up spite towards others of the same race.
At the same time, Ukrainians will not look at your skin color if you are an intelligent person with good intentions who came to visit the country (or live) and bring money in.
Life in Ukraine During Covid
I thought to update this section of my post and mention a few words about life in Ukraine during corona and how things here are. And you decide how to feel about them.
From the beginning of corona and until this day, Ukraine lives life according to the same scenario as the rest of the world – everything is spinning around covid like nothing else exists, media occasionally continues to spread fear (but does it less frequently now since the topic about the war is more catchy), government constantly pushes nonsensical decisions, and so on and on. Nothing new, really.
Except for one thing. The majority of Ukrainians have never taken the pandemic seriously, rebel against the rules until this day, and live their life as they did before.
Compared to many countries in the EU, Ukraine is so lax. And this is how it was pretty much all the time.
If you come to visit Ukraine, you’ll see how chill everyone is. People barely follow any rules and recommendations and do their own thing. Not that they don’t care, they are just tired I guess. Tired of following the rules that don’t help in any way but make life only harder.
Also, people don’t trust vaccines. Recently, the government pushed a decision for green passports which only increased resentment and created a bigger bridgehead for cheating the system. You can’t even trust numbers that show how many people got the vaccine. Because purchasing a certificate is very common.
That being said, if you are planning to come to Ukraine to work, study, live while working remotely, or just visit and you prefer strict anti covid rules, then Ukraine is not the right place for you.
Things here are lax. And as mentioned earlier, people don’t take covid seriously. Even if there are any restrictions set by the government, they are broken all the time, the toughest lockdown in Ukraine seemed barely like a lockdown at all.
Ukrainians are also very comfortable with despising rules good or bad and going against the government when they don’t like something. Which is not that popular in the Western world. Last year proved just that. This year, the situation is the same.
You can’t even tell that corona madness is real because again, life goes on as it did before, with only a few interruptions from the government.
It may look like Ukraine is enforcing the same rules as other countries but that’s only on the surface. In reality, people do their own thing.
WHY DO I LOVE LIVING IN UKRAINE
I am not a foreigner. So the way I see life in Ukraine is different from someone who comes from another country. But I spent too many years overseas and can compare living in Ukraine to other countries.
One of the first things I appreciate here is the sense of freedom. And not only in terms of religion, political views, free press, opinions, etc. The freedom I am talking about goes much further than that. Freedom to be able to stand up for my rights, raise my voice for a change, and be a change.
Ukraine is only one of the former communist countries, which had not one or two, but three large-scale revolutions – in 1990, 2004 and 2013. People learned after these revolutions that it is not enough to just take to the streets to achieve political change.
After the last revolution and with the beginning of the war, Ukrainians got determined to transform their country. People have learned from their own mistakes that change must take place after revolutions. What should be the logical continuation is the improvement, modernization, reforms, and real change. So people started to take action into their own hands while not becoming politicians.
People started to care and Ukraine started to change rapidly. And that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to return because I noticed this change when I came to visit before making my final decision to leave the States.
Yes, Ukraine has been living in a state of ongoing war and will continue living like it for quite some time. But despite the risks associated with it and constant attacks from Russia, the government keeps the entire situation under control, the country stays firmly on its feet, continues to grow and develop confidently.
This brings me to the next point – I feel very safe in Ukraine. In fact much safer than anywhere in the US or many places in Europe. Yes, even with the war in the east and tensions on our borders.
I, like many other people, just learned to live with the conflict in our backyard. If there is an aggressive neighbor whose agenda is to eradicate Ukrainian culture and independence and invade Ukrainian land, then there is no other choice than to be alert all the time and learn how to fight back.
Ukrainian people, although they don’t smile to your right and left, are actually very friendly and hospitable. They are also sincere and generous. If you need help with anything, you can go ask your neighbor or someone in the community and get help immediately. Ukrainians also don’t snitch on each other but will try to understand instead.
Among other things… I love the quality of food, amazing coffee, low taxes, abundance of nature and things to do, cheap prices, and nice housing. And if I feel like traveling, I just buy a ticket and go somewhere new. Ukraine has an excellent central location from where it is easy to travel to many places.
I’d say the only reason why it’s difficult for me to live in Ukraine year-round is the weather. I don’t like cold and get pretty depressed from long grey days without any sun. Also, my desire to see other countries and experience new cultures is just too big to keep me home. But after spending a few months somewhere else, I always love returning back!
So this is it for now. If you have more questions about life in Ukraine, drop me a comment. I will be happy to answer!
I am also working on many other posts, so hope to see you on this blog again! Would you like to receive updates about Ukraine when a new post is up? Subscribe to my email.
– For long-distance flights, I recommend you to compare prices on Google Flights and Expedia. I noticed that on flights from the US, the price can differ in the amount of $70-$100. Sometimes Expedia finds better deals than google.
– For short-distance flights, refer to SkyUp. It’s relatively a new low-cost airline that has many flights at a good price with many destinations. What I like most about them is that they offer cheap flights to the Balkans, Scandinavia, some cities in Europe and the Caucasus region.
– Use i-Visa to check if you need a tourist visa for Ukraine and apply for an expedited visa online.
– If you are coming to live in Lviv, find out what the best neighborhoods and districts are.
– Find the best Ukraine hotel deals on Booking.com or find a unique Airbnb.
– Find the best cities to visit on your trip and cities to avoid.
– Learn a few important travel tips for Ukraine before your visit.
– Order a copy of an illustrated book about the culture and history of Ukraine.
– For the best city tours, day trips, family trips, private and group tours, and genealogical research, get in touch or check here everything we offer here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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I’m on disability, am I able to collect it there?. Ukraine sounds and looks gorgeous!
Hi Cheryl! I am not sure if I understood your question, if I didn’t, please let me know. If you are a Ukrainian citizen, for sure you can apply for disability payments once you are in Ukraine, otherwise, unfortunately, you won’t be able to. But to be honest, those payments are so low here, people barely getting their needs met on that amount of money.
Is this what you meant?
Ukraine’s cities are for people, not cars. Cars can go fast on W. European and US city streets because they have from 4 to 8 lanes, because faster cars can pass slower cars, and because green lights give drivers the assurance that they can drive fast through intersections.
On the narrow streets of Ukrainian cities, not even a center line is painted and there are no traffic lights or stop signs, so cars must drive slowly and carefully! This is good for pedestrians. Also good is that the cities are spared the loud din of thousands of cars driving by (noise pollution), and pedestrians don’t have to cross wide, dangerous streets to walk anywhere.
Cities in “developed” countries are sprawled out for miles and miles due to many-laned streets, cars parked at all curbs, big parking lots, and gas stations on every corner. This sprawls the cities out; Houston, Texas for example is almost 300 square miles! In contrast, Ukraine’s cities lack all that “modern infrastructure,” and thus are dense, compact; one can walk anywhere in just a few minutes.
When cities have suburban sprawl, everything is too spread out to walk to, so there are almost no pedestrians, everyone is in a car. Without pedestrian life there can be no true community. Everyone is isolated in private vehicles; no one meets their friends & neighbors on the street. Yes you walk past many people in shopping malls and big box stores, but these draw customers from many miles around, not just from your neighborhood. Thus you seldom meet people from your community. Driving to a mall & walking around it does not create a community.
Ukrainian cities are pedestrian also because they are built UP, not sprawled OUT like American suburbs. In Ukraine the centuries-old buildings are 4 to 8 stories high, and the streets are narrow. This density makes the cities very walkable. Everything is close. This is true not only for a small “center,” like American cities retain, but for the entire city for miles around.
Ukrainian citizens are blessed by not needing (& not being able to afford) cars. This further adds to the pedestrian-friendly nature of Ukrainian cities. The fare on tramvais (electric trollies/streetcars) is a mere €.15 (15 cents). (In the West fares cost about €2.50, which is 18 times as much!)
There are small privately owned vans everywhere, called Marshrutkas, that for €.20 take people to even the smallest village. People don’t have cars and they crowd into these things; sometimes a small van will have 20 people in it. Hand-lettered signs in the corner of the windshield tell you where they go. They pick up and let out anywhere you want. The driver, his cashier attendant, & some of the passengers gladly give you directions and advice about where you’re going!
On any principal street these Marshrutkas are stopping to pick up passengers approx. 1 every 20 seconds! Few Ukrainians have cars, so they support the transit system. Compare: In the West, few people support the system and thus the system has very few buses and trains, that go few places, and with long waits for the next one.
Ukraine’s capital Kiev also has a huge and comprehensive underground Metro system. It costs only €.27, with trains in your direction departing every 4 minutes.
Long distance trains are also extremely affordable in Ukraine, and are the best way to travel. There are 3 classes; I suggest 2nd class, it’s the most sociable, and gets you a bed with clean sheets in a 4 person compartment. Just ask for cupé. It’s much better to have 3 seats facing 3 seats, than sitting in a train car where all the seats face forward like an airplane. Sleeping a night on a rolling train is fun, and a free hotel!
Ukraine is blessed with roads in poor condition (bumpy etc.) The reason I say blessed is that that is one of the things that keeps people taking the trains. Without large numbers taking the trains, the train service wouldn’t be so comprehensive. It wouldn’t go to so many cities & towns. It would be like it is in the US.
Because most people are not in cars, Ukrainian cities are extremely walkable. The pedestrian is king in Ukraine. (So much for being an “undeveloped country!”)
After all, an automobile is an expensive, dangerous, and environmentally destructive personal isolation chamber and unpaid part-time job, which disrupts, disperses, and destroys compact pedestrian communities.
Ukraine’s cities are for people, not cars! Local shops, cafés, etc are patronized. The beauty of the city is appreciated much better on foot than it would be from a whizzing car.
Wow, Joseph, so many more details, great to read them from a foreigner!
What a fascinating comment, beautifully thought about and described. I so agree with you
Thank you Anya. I find the people of Ukraine to be among the sweetest in the World. They are a besutiful, Proud people l who I have learned a great deal about. I am intending to visit Odessa as soon as things open up.
I appreciate your insights. Thank you.
That is music to my ears, thank you, Todd, for the compliment. I hope you will get an opportunity to visit, sooner or later but things should definitely calm down and open up!
I was in Ukraine and loved it.
Thank you, Wally. I am glad to hear you loved it!
Where are you in Ukraine can i have your number
No, you can’t. I don’t give my number
I have honor to inform that your published” calling”road just like stunning..!!!
I approciated from bottom my heart. keep going in your smiles. i must to come Ukrain and explore all the magical place. i wish i could meet up . thanks .. I love you. God bless you
If you are a U.S. citizen, you are able to continue to collect retirement, disability, or survivors’ benefits while overseas.
However, benefit payments cannot be made to certain countries, such as Cuba, Ukraine, North Korea, and Vietnam. go to:
Thank you, James for this info, it’s very helpful!
Am from India and it’s my dream to work in Ukraine as a software engineer,but now am just 17yrs old from this age am planning how to work or settle in Ukraine even my parents dont know in future I will go in Ukraine also uts a great thing for indian to get job in ukraine,also I will try my best,but for me is important I need a person from ukraine who can guide for settle in ukraine(is someone is reading kindly text me on my insta id:chillimaxs_420 ) this will be very helpful for me.so am now 17yrs old wanna get IT job in ukraine some one please tell I can get that I will be become more skill full in software engineer only thing is to guide me(from india)
Hi Sonu, I would really love to help you or give an advice but I am not the right person for that. Yes, I know that Ukraine is hiring Indian citizens but if you have an education from Ukraine or if you are a highly skilled specialist in your field with a lot of experience.
The recommendation that I can give you is to look into a school. There are many excellent schools around Ukraine with good education. Many foreigners come here to study.
I am from Philippines but currently living and working here in USA. Not until lately relocating there in Ukraine suddenly just crossed my mind. I am looking for changes. Should I decide to move there how much money should I need to bring to survive living there. I want put up a small business there. Thanks for the feedback
Hi Herbert! Based on the events that are taking place in the US, it doesn’t seem that it is a good place to live now. In Ukraine, things will be definitely more relaxed and way cheaper.
Speaking of money, if the goal is to save as much as possible and be able to survive, then you can definitely live on $400-$500 per month, especially if you choose a smaller city to live in. For example, Khmelnitskiy, Ternopil, Summy, Lutsk (cities that are very safe and good to live in) have 1-bedroom apartments for rent for about $150-$200 per month.
$400-$500 per month in a smaller city will cover a flat, food, transportation, phone, and anything else you really need on a daily basis. It will be simple life but you can definitely make it with this amount.
But if the goal is not only to survive but actually have pretty decent life, then I’d say you need to budget at least $800 per month. If you choose a smaller city, this amount is good to live comfortably. In Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro or Odessa, you can also live on this amount but without too many expectations. I hope that helps. If you have other questions, feel free to ask!
P.S. oh, and if you will be moving anytime soon, you’ll need to have insurance that covers covid to show on the border. Americans (or residents) can enter Ukraine without a problem but they need to have insurance at the passport control desk. And the insurance company needs to be authorized in Ukraine. I can send you suggestions if needed.
I loved reading this. I have lived in the US for 40 years I am originally from Ireland. I have met Someone from Kyiv and I am seriously thinking about moving there . Everything you said about the country appeals to me except the weather and Air quality but i have spent 30 years in the Chicago area so the weather sounds similar. My friend lives in Kyiv but she speaks Russian normally but now because of the war she is speaking Ukrainian . I want to learn the language but you are suggesting Ukrainian language. I would like to Live in Lviv or some smaller city and be near the mountains. If i am going to take some classes in the US to start to learn a language is Ukrainian the wise choice ? Also i am 62 so i am close to retirement so money will not be a problem even though its a small amount in US it is a large amount in Ukraine.I am a General Contractor by trade in residential restoration would my qualifications be useful in Ukraine if i was to start a business ?. I am an Irish citizen and a member of the European Community and a US citizen . How difficult will it be for me to stay with my friend and live there for a long period ? I would love your feedback.
Hi Fergus, sorry it took me a while to respond! So let’s answer your questions one by one:
1.) Language. Yes, I am strongly convinced that you should learn Ukrainian instead of russian and here is why.
Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine and it has nothing to do with the war. I cannot really understand what you mean by “now because of the war she is speaking Ukrainian”. Her personal preferences of the language to use have nothing to do with the official language in the country.
If you want to start your business, go to see a doctor, open a bank account, etc. you need to know Ukrainian. Yes, some people will surely be able to assist you in Russian but not all and that’s just not right to expect from them. It will equal the same situation if I go to the US and ask which language should I study English or Spanish. Why can’t I use Spanish and expect people to understand it everywhere I go or serve me in Spanish too just because I know it and just because a big percentage of the American population has Spanish as their native language? That’s just not the right thing to do.
Again, the official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian. Do you want to live in this country and assimilate with locals (especially in the west?) Then learn Ukrainian and not Russian. It is as simple as it can be.
Especially if you are talking about settling in a small town close to the mountains. Forget about russian there at all. Even before the war, people didn’t speak Russian in the west of Ukraine. More so now, where russian is considered the language of terrorists.
Second, being able to communicate in Ukrainian as a foreigner makes you stand out. People will be really impressed hearing Ukrainian from a foreigner. It always causes the “wow effect” and makes people love you from the first minute. It applies everywhere, not just in Ukraine. People love seeing foreigners speak their native language, period.
2.) As to your second question about your qualifications – well, yes, they will surely become very useful, especially when the active phase of the war is over and rebuilding and restoration of destroyed by russians cities begins. However, you need to remember that for that, you’ll need to become a resident to be able to work or start your own business. There is no way for you to do it on a tourist visa.
Just staying with your friend does not grant you any legal status in the country. Your only option (as of now) is to get married to a Ukrainian and receive residency through that path.
I hope things will work out for you in the best way possible!
Most people receive monthly government “checks” by direct deposit today. I don’t know what the above poster means by “made to Ukraine.” Perhaps that the Western governments refuse to deposit to Ukrainian banks. If so, just withdraw the max. $300 from your Western bank card, at an Ukrainian bank ATM (called a bankomat in Ukraine). Best to use a machine that’s inside a bank, rather than on the street.
I have a green Social Security Master Card. Every month SS deposits my retirement “check” into this card. I use it to buy groceries, cafe meals, train tickets, hotels, etc. SS doesn’t care where I spend the money, nor do they care where I am.
Anya, how do I make a comment? I see everyone’s comments has a place to click REPLY, as I have am doing now. But where do you click to make a comment?
Hi James! I am a bit confused as in my browser I see a comment box in the end of the article after all comments. It’s at the very bottom of the screen, under ‘leave a reply’, can you see that?
OK, thanks. I’m used to seeing the “Leave a Comment” button at the beginning of the comments, so I didn’t look at the end. I’m told now that many websites these days put this button at the end.
Great work. I knew nothing about Ukraine besides there were pretty girls down there. Your post has sparked in me the desire to visit Ukraine. Tnx a lot. P
Ps. Congrats for the diligence of answering to the comments. It’s definitely not an average behaviour around the internet nowadays.
Thanks, David! I am glad to hear you got inspired 🙂 I hope you’ll get a chance to visit Ukraine because it holds so much for a traveler!
I am African, A Nigerian to be precise, studying at Kyiv International University and I can attest that most of the information shared on here are absolutely true. Ukrainians are actually the most welcoming in the world for as long as they know your intentions are pure.
Thank you for stopping by to share your experience!
Am from Nigeria, an IT entrepreneur,into sales and supplies of laptop gadgets and utilities and also an importer.
Was thinking of moving to Ukraine and setting up an IT business firm. What are my chances,prospects and possibilities?
It is a bit difficult for me to answer this question since I don’t know any details. But if you are talking about software development then Ukraine is currently booming and attracting programmers from all over.
But if you mean you’d like to do retail, then it will be a lot more complicated and will require a good level of the Ukrainian language as well as a need to go through all bureaucratic procedures.
I lived in ltaly 🇮🇹, I loved to lived in Ukraine 🇺🇦 HOW CAN I GO ABOUT IT, I HAVE NO ONE THERE, I REALLY NEED SOMEONE TO HELP A PLACE TO LIVE, I WANT TO COME UKRAINE TO WORK AND LIVED..THANK YOU
There is an opportunity to get Ukrainian citizenship if you join military forces to help defend Ukraine from the Russian invasion. I suggest you contact the Ukrainian embassy wherever you are to find out the details as well as if such participation is allowed by your country.
Hi, its racist to tell people to stay away from gypsies. In fact using the term gypsie is considered racist here in Canada and we use Roma peoples. Why not tell your readers to stay away from blacks in anerican cities? Both are racist.
Shove your lecture up your ass. My country is now going through very dark times because of the war and you know about it because it’s on all news around the world, but you still decide to stop by to spill the dirt? What a nastiness. I had a higher opinion of Canadians.
Now, so you know, in Ukraine we call gypsies and Roma two different groups of people. The difference between them is huge. Roma are those who are educated, peaceful, and intelligent people who have high values and standards. They lead the same lifestyle as an average adequate person around the world. They are all among us in Ukraine, especially in the southwest.
Gypsies are those of Roma descent who are criminals, thieves, beggars, scammers and very dangerous human beings whose life purpose is to live off others. They choose this lifestyle for themselves and pass it on to their children. So this cycle never ends. They always live in poverty and mud, although spend stolen money on luxurious things and expensive food.
Often, Charles, there is much more behind a phrase than what is considered racist in Canada. Instead of trying to show off or assert yourself at the expense of others, it is always much easier and kinder to ask a question and clarify for yourself.
HOLY MOLY what a BEAUTIFUL reply Anya!
One can rest assured that when engaging me in any conversation that either requires an opinion or leads up to one, just like you, I’m not wasting a second of my life to offer up the warm and fuzzy side of life, just so that one feels good inside, when I just told them to piss off.
Charles apparently wants the warm and fuzzy offered up to him because snowflakes are just that way.
I can’t wait to visit your beautiful country Anya. The Karpathians await me.
WHY don’t the Eukrains create a commando force, fly them to the other end of Russia, and randommly strike and destroy Russian Buildings and important areas that would create extra havoc for the Russians. Don’t the Russian civilians realise that they are being destroyed themselves?
Hey William, we are a very peaceful nation and have no intention to attack anyone. We are just now fighting for our own land and protecting it from occupation. And in regards to Russian civilians, no they don’t realize they are being destroyed. Quite the opposite, they believe that Russia entered a new phase towards development and prosperity, therefore they don’t mind the sanctions and continue supporting the war in Ukraine.
Russians have been heavily brainwashed for years, so they are living in their own reality disconnected from the rest of the world.
I was reading your blog and and is for the first time that i want time machines to exist and to go back early February 2022 ….maybe I could change that unfair fate .I hope you stay safe .thinking of you
Thank you, Juliana!
In my opinion compared to western Europe, Ukraine is not very acceible for people with disabilities. It is improving with new buses and trains but most buildings don’t have ramp access and lifts as much you will have if you are in UK or us or scandanavia or Germany etc for instance. So it depends what disability you have and your access needs. Pre war it was improving but it was a culture shock I had was how less accessible it is. There was also less awareness of food allergy safety, although most supermarkets did sell some basic free from foods. Not sure how easy it is now with war, I went in December at Christmas. But the people are welcoming and will try and help as much as they can. The people will care about you being safe and fed and well.
Unfortunately, this is true. I’ll confirm that Ukraine doesn’t have the proper infrastructure for people with disabilities, although that is improving (slowly, but improving!) and allergy awareness is also not widely spread mainly because of the price of special foods.
Yet, you can find absolutely anything in the store (big chains like Silpo, Epicenter, Metro Cash&Carry, Ashan, Fozzy Group, and ATB) for people with allergies. Now with the war, the selection is not so wide as a lot of products are imported and import process has slowed down a lot but still, the choice is big.
I Vinod Kumar from India, have opened a company in Ukraine last year. Now i want to start my work in Ukraine. What is the procedure to get a long term visa and Trc of Ukraine.
Hi Vinod, thank you for your question here. I am not authorized to provide legal advice but can recommend a few lawyers you could consult with. Let me know what city you are going to be based in and I’ll advise whom to contact. But if you have already opened a company, it should help you get your residency. Usually, it is a time-consuming process which involves a lot of paperwork. If you got a chance to open a company, congratulations on this first step, it should be easier to apply for residency!
Can you drop me your email contact?
Kumar, Hi. Where is your business located and what is your product or service? I am an american and I am interested.
From Nigeria. I would love to school (study nautical science) in Ukraine please what are my chances. Along side a mini job.
Hi Paul! During my student years in Kiev in my class there were other students from Nigeria too, but they were studying marketing. Nautical science is a popular major for international students but for the most part, it is not free education, you would need to pay. I know there is one school where you can study it in Odessa, is this the city you are thinking about? If you get accepted and get a student visa, you could work part-time only (I would double check on how many hours you can legally work under the student visa though.) The jobs you could get would be in the private sector, mainly the hospitality and restaurant business. Have you looked in a city where to study?
Look at Sumy, very good university!
G Frick from sweden who lived in Sumy
Ohhh am impressed by this observation. I will really love to Come over and feel such. But concerning studies how affordable especcially at a higher level of studies
please tell me more about graduate schooling in Ukraine. That is Masters and Ph.d education
Hi Chekwube! I will be writing more posts on this topic. You can signup for the newsletter to know when posts are up.
Guide and Translator Needed
Hello! My name is Larry. Please, will you help me to find a girl to be a translator and guide for me during my trips to Ukraine? I am an old man. Sometimes I am wabbly on my feet. Walk arm in arm with me for a few minutes and my feet will stablize. Ask me to take the hand rail with my other hand and I can get down the stairs without injury. I do not speak Russian well enough to be without a translator and guide. My guide must have no other responsibilities for the length of my stay. Because of my ageing condition (69 years) I will need help at all times. When my translator is with me, I pay wages of $50 per day plus meals, and tickets, and if we travel I also pay for a separate room for my guide’s use. If my guide lives too far from the hotel where I am staying, I would like to pay for a flat located within 10 minutes of my Hotel for her use.
Hi Larry, I know a few people who are guides. I’ll touch base with them and ask if they would be interested. I’ll get back to you shortly.
Thank you very much! My I often travel for 8 days, 16 days, or 24 days.
Larry, I just wanted to make sure you saw Anya’s article above that says the average monthly income in Ukraine is $300. That’s $10 per day.
Thank you for the post, it was very interesting to read!
I am happy to hear that, thank you Susanna, for stopping by!
Wow I didn’t know that and it sounds like it’s a good place to visit!
It is! Come to visit, Justine!
I want to come visit from the USA. Do you set up things? I can find a flight but after I get there a guide would be great. I can pay for any services not a problem. Do most places take major credit cards? Wouldn’t want to carry a lot of cash. Thanks
Hi Michael, yes, we offer different types of services – transfers, guides, do genealogical research, and offer private tours. In fact, I am working now on the page with all the mentioned services which is going to be live within the next couple of days. I am going to send you an email with more details.
I read your article And I love it so much
i want to know about your opinion about the ukrainian woman or the relationship between them I’m Egyptian and I meet ukrainian woman in Egypt now we planning to married but I’m not sure if from it
I get dozens of questions like yours every week that I cannot answer in one comment, especially not knowing any particular details. If you are interested, we can set up a call to discuss your situation.
Ah, finally somebody says what I’ve been repeating to everyone I know – Lviv has the best coffee (and coffee culture) in the whole world.
I have to pick your brain about private clinics in Lviv Anya. For the last few years we’ve had all our medical & dental checkups in Prague. This year we’ll be in Lviv for 2 months and are looking to get it done there. Any reputable places?
Great post 🙂
Thanks, Frank! Yes, we tried coffee in many countries around the world but confidently can say that coffee in Lviv is simply the best!
Regarding clinics, I will call a few places I know and ask them a few questions on prices (to compare) and either they speak English or not, and will get back to you with recommendations. I’l do that for that time when you are in Georgia. I am also working on a post about clinics around Ukraine that are great for foreigners. A few other people asked my advice, so I decided to create a detailed post.
What I also can highly recommend – come to Khmelnitskiy city for your medical checkups and dental. It is known as a city with some of the cheapest and best medical services in Ukraine. Besides dental, you can do everything else you need. Some of the best acupuncture specialists, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, otorhinolaryngologist are there. Khmelnitskiy is only 3.5 hours away from Lviv by train. It is small, very safe, clean and almost everything is located close to each other. I can definitely put you through some amazing specialists and even help you make appointments. There is a chance I will be there in the summer too, so I can be your guide and translator. Although at many places specialists speak English and you will be fine on your own.
Also, it is possible to get all work done during one day (depends on how much work to do of course) or rent a cheap airbnb and stay a few days while exploring the city and trying some of the best coffee too :). Khmelnitskiy also has some of the best shopping in the entire country, so if you need to pick up a few things, this is the right city to go to.
Let me know, if you decide to go to Khmelnitskiy and I’ll help you to arrange everything. And I promise to get back with a Lviv list too. And talk to you soon!
Thank you so much for all this info Anya. I think the post you are mentioning would be a great resource for people considering medical tourism in Ukraine.
I would prefer options in Lviv though, simply because we’ll be there and if there are repeat appointments it’s a bit of a pain to have to travel every time. We’re looking for basic medical checkups and I think I need an MRI on my knee. Have been having some issues. We also need a dentist. Had a great clinic in Prague but I think we’re tired of going back every year…
As I say prefer Lviv. But if necessity calls for it we could go to Khmelnitskiy.
We’ll be in Ukraine July and August. If things work out would love to have you as our guide and translator 🙂
I’ll do my research and get back to you, Frank! And hopefully we’ll get to meet in Tbilisi! 😉
Are saying Kiev or Lviv. Whete is Lviv?
Sorry, what do you mean?
I was confused. I thought you were saying that Lviv is the same place as Kiev but I’m thinking Lviv is in Poland, correct? Sorry to confuse. Gary
No, Lviv is not in Poland, this city is in Western Ukraine. Kyiv is the capital and in the north.
I will be moving to Ukraine to live in the near future. You would be a great contact and help to me, as I am sure I will need help at times with various things.
May I get your personal email address and your phone number?That would be much appreciated.
Hi Richard, I noticed you also sent me an email, I am going to reply right away, and let’s stay in touch via it. I know how challenging life in a foreign country can be, so yeah, I am happy to help if there is anything I can do.
Thank you! Would like to know more about food options, but this was otherwise exactly what I was looking for. : )
Hey David, thanks for stopping by! I am glad you found it useful! I also wrote one post about lesser known foods in Ukraine to try and will be writing more on this topic. So hope to see you on this blog again 😉
I draw my late husband’s social security. Will I have a problem getting access to my money there. I would like to live in a rural area as I was a farmer. Would this be difficult?
Hi Norma, to be honest, yes, it will be challenging if you move to a rural area. In cities and towns it is not a problem. But villages and countryside is not that developed yet. You would need to travel to a nearby city every month to collect the money.
Thanks for your great documentary, I found it very useful, as an Englishman could I teach without speaking much Russian?
I am happy you found it useful, Bernie!
If you are coming to teach English in Ukraine, you don’t need to speak any Russian. Knowing some of the language would come in handy to communicate outside the school but you will be totally fine without it.
In big cities a lot of people speak English, so communication won’t be difficult. Still, if you end up coming to Ukraine for a longer period of time, I recommend taking a few lessons to learn the basics.
I’ll be happy to advise a few great language schools for foreigners and connect you with locals. If you need help or advice on anything else, feel free to contact me, I am happy to help, seriously.
Privyet! I’d love to know more about teaching English in Ukraine, especially in a city other than Kyiv. I’d like to make my money last! I have a two year plan to finish my Masters here in America then move out of the country. I’m 51 years old now, know basic Russian (can’t write in Cyrillic but I can read, probably at elementary school level), and am quite IT literate. What do you think? Would you mind sharing some insight with me? Thank you in any case! Lovely blog you have)) Todd
Hi Todd! Kyiv is expensive, so true and there are definitely schools all over Ukraine that hire native English speakers. But usually, with the lower cost of living, the salary is also slightly lower. I have friends in Kharkiv and Odessa who work in schools where foreigners work as well.
My hometown Khmelnitskiy (which is not really famous for any sights and where tourists never go) also has two schools that are in need of English speaking teachers. I found them by accident through helpx.com and while they were looking for volunteers at that time, they were also hiring for a long-term basis.
Have you done any research and found any schools at all? Do you know where exactly you’d like to be, (meaning the region and part of the country)? I started to write a post about schools in Ukraine that look for native English speakers but have never finished it. If you are interested, I can send you some schools from my list if you give me an idea which city/town interests you more.
Is LGBT lifestyle accepted in Ukraine?
We’re planning to tour around first and look for a quiet place like farms to settle down..
Thank you and more power on your blog.🙏
Hi Anya greetings from Pakistan , I am Asher want to open a business of food at small level , what do you suggest me to do first… your information and discussion is very useful for foreigners ,,
You know, recently a few other people asked me similar questions, so now I am planning to start working on posts that will give thorough answers and details. It is a very serious topic. I need to write a series of posts. One short comment will never be enough.
If in a few words… Starting a business in Ukraine as a foreigner is a bit challenging because of the bureaucracy and in some cases corruption. Even though it is challenging, it is still possible and worth the effort.
For the beginning, I would recommend to enter Ukraine on a tourist visa and only then start changing your status and opening a business.
Before you arrive in Ukraine, you will need to prepare all necessary documents in advance and take them with you. Also, if you are willing to do everything by yourself, without a lawyer, I still encourage you to hire a local (or maybe you have a friend) who will communicate with the officials (99% of them do not speak English).
Before you begin the process of registration of a legal entity, you must obtain an identification number or tax payer card. Another important note: you’ll have to choose the organizational and legal form of your company. Many lawyers advise to opt for LLC.
There is so much to write on this topic. Give me a few weeks and I’ll write posts with all the details!
Thanks Anya for your nice and practical comments, i will be thankful if you guide me in future too,, making legal documents as company would be better idea (LLC) i will be Lucky if some English speaking Lawyer of Ukraine contact me for further facilitation
I will, Asher! Make sure to check this blog in the nearest future because I am adding more tips and posts!
Hy Anaya can you send me your email.. i want to know some information inbox
Hi Asher! To make it easier for both of us, you can email me through this link here. The message is always sent to my email from where I respond.
Thanks so much for your information on the ” need to know” topics for those who will be moving to Ukraine in the near future. I will be focusing my attention to the City that so many of my friends have been to and greatly enjoyed ( Odessa) which is the place i have been looking at apartments to buy. I have a budget of €50,000 and was told that i would get a good apartment for that price however, it would be at least 3-5 KM from the coast and, from what i have seen of the accomodation it does look like great value for money as i could just not get that quality in a similar sized UK City for the sale prices in Odessa. I have been told that Odessa is like much of the south and south-eastern parts of Ukraine is a Russian speaking area and that this would be the best language to learn if i move there however, if i cannot get the apartment in an agreeable area i will likely start looking at my second choice of City Kharkiv in the east. I will just see what comes my way. Thanks once again . Regards…..Abe ( uk )
Odessa is a very unique city and not to everyone’s liking, to be honest. Have you ever been to Ukraine and visited it and Kharkiv?
€50,000 is definitely enough for buying a nice 1, possibly 2-bedroom flat not far from the seaside. If you are looking for a larger apartment (at least a 3-bedroom one) then I will agree with your friends on the location. Although I have just opened the OLX website (the most famous website for buying and selling real estate in Ukraine) and found quite a few apartments at a lower price not far from the sea. One on Kamanina street (2-bd flat), 1 km away from “Ibiza” Beach Club for about $60,000 (which is almost the same as the amount you have). Or for example, this 1-bd apartment in a newly built building for less than $50,000 in the center of Prymorskyi neighborhood, also 1 km away from the sea and Potemkin Stairs.
With the amount of money you have, you’ll be able to find a lot of options in Odessa. Also, keep in mind if you buy a new apartment without renovations and furniture, the price is going to be much lower.
Great article, but I miss Sumy as a recommended place to live in. Very cheap and calm. The tempo is a bit more relaxed than in Kiev. I am from Stockholm, Sweden and have lived there and is actually thinking of moving back because Sweden is going down in a fast pace.
Hi G Frick! I would not be comparing Sumy to major cities in Ukraine and saying how cheap it is. Sumy is a small provincial industrial town with not so developed infrastructure, higher prices for groceries and not so many things to do. Of course, it will be cheaper than capital and other larger cities that play an important economic role.
In this case, let’s compare Sumy to Cherkassy, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Khmelnitskiy, Chernivtsi, Ivane-Frankivsk, Ternopil’ or Poltava, for instance. Among all these cities, Sumy is the last one on the list for many reasons. It is one of the least comfortable cities when it comes to health care, quality of air and water, infrastructure, education, amount of activities to do and level of pollution. Prices for rent and food are also higher when compared to other cities of the same type. Sumy is an industrial city and has a very high level of pollution. Although, it is one of the safest in Ukraine and promotes sports a lot.
I am glad you like it there. We are all different and have different preferences. Still, I personally would never live in Sumy, a lot of Ukrainians are moving out of there, and I don’t think it is a great city to recommend to live in long-term. But some other foreigners may love it, you are absolutely right.
I love this very informative article!!
I am from the United States. I have met someone from Ukraine. If we marry there, will I be accepted to live in Ukraine long term? I am a flight attendant. English and Spanish is my native language. What are my chances in finding work living there?
Hi Jenny! I am so glad you found it useful!
If you marry in Ukraine, definitely you can apply for your residency and live and work there on a permanent basis! A marriage certificate from the U.S. only will not have any value in Ukraine, so you would need to go through another registration there.
If you are a flight attendant, it makes things so much easier for you. Your chances of finding a job in Ukraine are pretty high even though you don’t speak a local language. The most important thing in your case would be a residency permit which enables a company to hire you.
I hope it answers your question! 😉
Very informative. Thanks
Hi I am Sahil from India
Recently I will be completing with my B-tech in IT
After graduation I wish to start my new life, and this blog is really helping me out
But I am planning for MBA or MS in Ukraine then is there any good universities and how much it would cost also is there any job opportunities after mba there ?
And can I start direct job in Ukraine after my bachelors ?
I am happy to hear that my blog is helping you! I am currently working on more posts on Ukraine, so make sure to check them out soon. I am writing posts on education and jobs too.
If shortly, yes, there are quite a few good universities for MBA and MS in Ukraine. On average education for foreigners costs between $1000-2000 per year, depending on the school and city. There are job opportunities after MBA but priority is given to locals at first. Although if you have experience in IT field, your chances are high to secure a job in IT sector.
Thank you Anya for your comment, hope I will get into travelers life soon,
because I like to know different cultures, interact with new people.
Good luck to you , hope Success find you wherever you go !
By the way, what did you do while you was in US for lives ? Are to software professional ?
As united states is big IT giant.
Thank you, Sahil!
When we were living in the U.S. we worked for various hotels. I personally also spent a few years working as a nanny before getting into the hospitality business. We decided to turn to IT only after we left the U.S. The goal was to learn how to make money online, so we wouldn’t need to tie ourselves to only one place. IT is a perfect field for that.
Good luck to you too! Hope to see you on this blog again and if you ever end up coming to Ukraine and need more tips, don’t hesitate to send me a message!
Hi, thanks for the great article. I am thinking about doing an internship in Ukraine (I am an EU citizen). My question sounds a bit weird, but will I be able to work in Russia afterward? It is not like a red flag or something in the CV, because of the conflicts. Thank you.
I understand your concern but don’t worry, it’s not going to be an issue at all. As long as it is not military related, you can work in both countries and not to worry about anything.
Thanks for your write up.but I have a question.
I am international student planning to move to Ukraine to further my education.here in my country I have big business and is doing well.but Haven read of Ukraine education and working system I sometimes scared of proceeding to the country.
Hi Blessing, I am honestly not sure what exactly you are scared of. Can you please clarify on that?
Thank you for the post, it was very helpful.
I am glad to hear this, Atul!
What a great post! I will be in Ukraine next month and truly look forward to this trip!
I am happy to hear that, Kevin! Enjoy your trip!
Hi im travelling to mirgorod end of August via kiev im on Instagram with a few people. And have been so kindly invited to stay with a family all through horses the town of mirgorod looks beautiful
Hey Tony, I hope you’ll enjoy your trip to Mirgorod. Honestly, I’ve never been there so don’t have much to say. But if you are traveling with other people and going to interact with locals, this is going to be quite an adventure! Just make sure to spend sometime in Kyiv too, it’s an interesting city!
Hi! i am a university student and i want to continue my university in Ukraine would you recommend me a specific uni or state to live in BTW loved your article!
It really depends on what you want to study. I am happy to advise if you give me more information about what you are looking for.
Glad you responded the major is computer science so basically a university that teach in English with such major with low fees thanks!
Hi Abed, I am almost done with a post on schools in Ukraine for foreigners. Some other people asked me the same question, so I decided to write a post on this topic. It should be up on the blog in a week or so. Make sure to check it out soon!
As the usual from Ukraine very beautiful Lady and very smart and kind. I have a few questions for you I am on Social Security make 1,300 dollars a month can I afford to live there But I also have a fiance from Russia with a daughter that I wish to move into Ukraine. She is petrified she fears Ukraine people will hate her and her daughter for being Russian. I also had throat cancer and lost my vocal cords so talking difficult. She is worried for my health. I hate cities sorry I love the country life. How hard will it be to live in the country and also what are the requirements Visa’a ect to move and live in Ukraine I also want to merry her in your beautiful country Any beautiful Romantic places you can give me for a memory to last a lifetime? Thank you for all your help and time I hope the war ends . I love coffee so this will be my dream country LOL Take Care God Bless you and your family David
You can definitely live on $1300 a month in many cities and towns around Ukraine. The only challenge here is your legal status and visa. You mentioned your fiancé is from Russia, I don’t think there is any way for you guys to settle in Ukraine on a long-term basis. Both of you, based on your passports, can spend only 90 days in Ukraine every 6 months but you are not allowed to live here long term. It means you would need to leave every 3 months.
But if your fiancé is so petrified to travel to Ukraine, why to bother at all? It seems that she has been seriously brainwashed by Russian media (which does not come as a surprise) and totally believes all that hate and nonsense they are spreading about Ukraine.
I am sorry but I don’t think I am really able to give a good piece of advice here.
St. Petersburg, in the north of Russia, is an exceedingly beautiful city. It has great transit, ballet, exquisite 300 year old architecture built by Peter the Great, great food. It is Peter’s “window on the West.”
Good day Anya, my name is William. I was wondering if you can give me any insight into how the Ukrainian people see black men from America. How do the Ukrainian people feel about dogs? I am thinking about possibly moving to the Ukraine next as I have been in Asia for the last few years and want a change of scenery. It is always a tricky subject to approach asking about such a touchy subject, but it is nice to get a cross-section of answers from people who have lived in both the Ukraine and the U.S.
Hi William, that’s a good question to ask because a lot of people have misconceptions about this topic.
If you go to a small town or village somewhere in the countryside, definitely expect people to stare at you, talk about you and try to get close. They’ll do it not because they want to harm you but because you look exotic. They will stare at and talk about anyone who doesn’t look Slavic. Not many foreigners go their way, so once they see someone who looks totally different they will be giving that person a lot of attention.
I don’t think though you’ll be going to the countryside.
In large cities, people are used to foreigners and don’t pay attention. Unless again, there is someone from a countryside who is visiting a city and sees a foreigner on the street for the first time. Large cities attract a lot of foreign guests as well as students from African and Middle Eastern countries, so you will see quite a few foreigners with dark skin on the streets of Lviv, Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv, etc. Ukrainians welcome them the same way as they welcome anyone else.
Overall, you shouldn’t worry about anything when it comes to your looks. The only thing which may happen is that the police can stop you and ask for your passport (which happens very rarely.) Some students, after they are done with school, stay in the country illegally. So police, if implying you are a student, may stop you to check the documentation (so just in case have a copy of your passport.) Again, it doesn’t mean they will stop you. But something to remember. Other than that nothing to worry about.
Crossing the border will be easy if you hold an American passport. Just keep in mind, William, in Ukraine you can stay only 90 days every 6 months. In Asia it is much easier to stay for a long term. Ukraine is more strict on this matter.
Oh, and one more thing. Ukrainian people love dogs! Bring your pet!
I hope I answered your question. If you have another one, feel free to ask.
Anya, thank you for such a thoughtful and we’ll planned response. Your tips are invaluable. I am still deciding on the next chapter in my life’s journey, countries in Central and South America are pretty high on my list as well as a few in Europe. Thanks for all of the information and taking the time to write and respond to so many of the questions that people have asked you.
My pleasure, William! No matter what you decide, I am wishing you only the best with all your adventures! South America sits high on our list too, so I totally get ya 🙂
Hi Anya and Mark Well my Russian fiance refuses to move to Ukraine she says the Russian news is showing Ukraine schools teaching children to hate Russians and to cut off Russian babies heads. I tried to tell her it is the same propaganda all countries use to brainwash the people. When I was growing up the USA government in schools told us all Russian woman looked like Godzilla and smelled just as bad and were wives of Russian beet farmers because they were so dumb. I am telling you the truth it is what they told us in school this is from the same people who told us that if we got under our desk when Russia attacked us with Nuclear bombs we would be safe. I tried to tell her not to listen to such garbage but she is petrified. Sad because I feel Ukraine is a very beautiful country. She has agreed on Bulgaria so I guess I will move there and buy a house and bring her and her daughter to live with me. Do you know much about Bulgaria I have heard good and bad. I have read about the Gypsy bands that destroy the forest and rob and have even killed some people but that is everywhere in this world .Any help and advice you can give me I would be very grateful to hear.You and Mark have had a very good life and look like two very beautiful loving people Take Care God Bless. David Smith
Whatever your fiancé is saying about Ukraine is very toxic.
It’s a good thing you understand that all of what she is hearing is propaganda. But it doesn’t change that fact that she is spreading hate which comes from the media.
Honestly, I don’t feel like getting into this conversation. I wish you all the best with whatever you decide.
I am looking forward to school in Ukraine how is it over there
There are a lot of international students in different cities around Ukraine and it is a popular destination for foreigners.
I am from Pakistan.
I am a Muslims.
Can someone please tell that how is ukraine for studying MBBS especially for muslim students.
Hi Usman! Medical universities in Ukraine see a lot of international students who come from different backgrounds and follow different religions. And especially, there are a lot of muslims. Ukrainians in general are very receptive of other cultures and respect religions of others. You shouldn’t worry about that fact that you profess a different religion as long as you are not imposing your views on others. If that’s what you meant.
Hi i am European citizen and i am thinking of moving to Zaporizhzya. Do you have any information?
Hi Michael, sure, what exactly would you like to know? Something about the move, Zaporizhzhya as a city where to live, renting a flat or anything else?
Hi. Well, with a monthly income of 1500 euros it would be nice to know whether i can rent a comfortable flat there and any information about the city will be welcome. If there’s any foreign little community as well
With this amount of money you definitely can rent a very comfortable flat and live very well not only in Zaporizhzhya but many other cities around Ukraine. The average price for a really nice and new 2-bedroom apartment is $500 per month. If you plan to rent it for the entire year, I can connect you with a few agents who speak English and can help you find a great option.
For the foreign community, it is almost non-existent in Zaporizhzhy since it’s one of the least popular cities to go to and choose to live in. Zaporizhzhya is very polluted due to dozens of heavy industrial plants within city limits. There are a few foreigners who work as English teachers and as missionaries but there are really a few of them.
I am also finishing a guide to Ukrainian cities where I talk in detail about each city, so it should give you better understanding on what to expect. Make sure to check it soon.
Hello, I have a quick question, I am about to marry a lady from Zaporizhzhia who will come over to America shortly. I have just returned from Ukraine and I have loved it every time I have been.
We intend to stay in America until I retire , in about 6 years but my concern is about medical care. Or to be more accurate the availability of insulin in Ukraine. As if the treatment of my diabetes is basic in Ukraine we want to retire in Ukraine near Lviv or Dnipro.
Any help gratefully appreciated
If everything I have read about Ukraine is sure, then I will like to be there with my family.
Hi Anya, Thanks for posting this article. I have been to Kiev numerous times now as a tourist and have never felt uncomfortable or that the city was not safe. I do not know the language and have had minor communication problems with the locals but nothing to really cause a problem. People overall have treated me well and try to understand the English language. I will continue my adventures to Kiev and continue learning their lifestyle and culture. It’s been a lot of fun for me!
I am really happy to hear this and to know you enjoyed Kyiv! And thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Come to visit other cities in Ukraine too, there is still so much to do and see! 😉
I am Robert, an entrepreneur from Nigeria.
I plan to to set up my company in Ukraine.
And latter plan to bring my kids along.
How is elementary and secondary school like for English speakers in Ukraine?
Hi Robert, all public elementary and secondary schools in Ukraine teach in the Ukrainian language. In the beginning, before your kids learn it (if that’s the goal of course), you could send them to a private school. In big cities, there are British and American schools where all pupils are English speakers. With smaller cities it is more challenging though. Are you interested in any particular city?
Can you kindly send your email to my mailbox.
I need to chat you further
Hey Robert, if you need to contact me, send me your message through contact us page. I will respond from my email. Thank you
Hello. I am interested in schools for kids as well. Could you please write about school system. I am interested in private schools with english medium.
I see lots of women in Ukraine looking for husbands. Are the men their that bad?
Hmm… I think not only women in Ukraine are looking for husbands. Women all over the world would like to marry and have a family. But if you mean foreigners, then I see lots of foreign men looking for wives in Ukraine too. Are their women that bad?
Women in the West have been modernized & developed, just as the Western economy has. Pedestrian main street & its small shops have been replaced by big box corporate chain stores on the outskirts of town. Everyone moved into suburban sprawl & got cars, there are no more pedestrians. This is called “development.” Also the West stopped making products (clothes, furniture, tools — everything); no one in the West works with their hands anymore, most just shuffle papers and peck keyboards.
As the economy “developed,” the women “developed” in the West. Modernized. That is the difference between Ukrainian women & Western women. Ukrainian are better. They are more real, more feminine, less dogmatized. Oh, they are not weak; you will hear what’s what if you have a Ukrainian wife or girlfriend!
A better friend, adviser, & partner a man cannot find.
Im a foreigner living in Ukraine for one year and I agree with most of this article. For me, medical care is really important for me to feel totally secure. And I find the healthcare here too underdeveloped and old fashioned. Even in an awesome city like Ternopil, all the hospitals I’ve seen scared me. I felt they were really, outdated, even dirty sometimes, and i don’t know why but the heat and lights are always off. I feel like Im in a bad movie when I go there. Once I had somethjng in my ear and the hospital didn’t even have a tool to get it out,they said the doctor with that tool went home and I should come back the next day….i was very confused. Another time, my dad had a stroke and doctors didn’t have medicine to give him, so he had to wait until we brought him medicine from the pharmacy. That really blew my mind! From what I’ve learned, Ukraine has developed and progressed so much. I do think it’s a beautiful place for a few years, but I would feel uneasy staying here for the long term.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Jamie!
It sounds like you went to a public hospital because everything you are describing is the dark reality of hospital life in any city in Ukraine. Everything there is outdated, old and inside of the building it always feels creepy, as you say, like in a horror movie.
I personally never go to the public part of the hospital (because there is also a private one where everything is new and up to the latest technology) and actually stopped going there more than 10 years ago. When I talk about clinics and medical treatment centers in many of my posts about Ukraine, I always mention ‘private’. I will never recommend any foreigner to go to a public clinic.
Now I am curious. Did the insurance company pick this hospital for you?
Ternopil is home to one of the leading medical universities in Ukraine. There are a lot of private clinics around the city that specialize in various specialties.
How and why did you go to a public one? Wasn’t there an alternative?
I would appreciate your feedback! Thanks again!
Am a foreign students,and I study in national University of technology chernihiv,I need a job for my self,and how can I locate some jobs that don’t need language speaking person
Am a foreign students in chernihiv city,am having a 5years resident permit I need a job either factory works or school in need of English teacher am absolutely good in English or any kind of job I can do them,my contact +380930139561
I would say that your best bet is to speak to a local lawyer. I can’t advise anything based on this limited information. A residency permit not always allows a person to work in Ukraine, are you sure yours does?
Second, as a foreigner, if not being highly skilled and qualified, it may be really difficult to secure a minimal wage or entry-level job since preference is given to Ukrainians. Also, usually, with those jobs there is a requirement to know the Russian/Ukrainian language.
If your permits let’s you work in the country legally, the only suggestion I have is to prepare your resume (in the best way you can), dress presentably, put your smile on and go personally to businesses (like restaurants, cafes, delivery companies, etc.) and ask them if they need workers. The majority of them are always hiring and there are jobs when you don’t need to communicate with others, so language knowledge is not obligatory.
In any other case, Williams, I don’t want to mislead you, definitely try to talk to a lawyer about your chances of getting a job. Consultations are usually free.
Thanks for all the information, receives a lot of stress. Thinking of retiring in Ukraine, speak English and Spanish., I am a retired Executive Chef, Do you think i low key American Cooking school would be viable ?
Hi Tim, I apologize for responding with a delay, I hope this answer is still on time. Honestly, American Cooking School idea sounds amazing and if you open it in a large city, your chances of success are higher.
This is still something unique for Ukraine and people are curious. There are a few cooking schools (not schools, better to say cooking classes) I know of but they are actually for foreign tourists, not for Ukrainians. Also, some restaurants offer cooking classes for kids where they can learn how to make pizzas, sushi, and a few other international foods. But there is not much for adults.
A lot of people in Ukraine love attending various events, classes and meetups where they can communicate with native English speakers. If you open a school which is unique and offers communication in English (Spanish is a bonus but it’s not as popular as English), it’s definitely going to help you to succeed.
However, if you want to open your school officially then be ready to go through seven circles of bureaucratic hell. You would definitely need to have a Ukrainian help you with documentation, translation and go with you to every single appointment. And keep in mind that opening a business in Ukraine would take months, so be ready for that.
But if you get a permission and registration on your school (or any other business), you can apply for temporary residence. I hope it helps! If you have any other questions, just ask!
Could you let me know my girlfriend lives and teaches in Norgorod-Severskiy ( she is a ukranian ) I myself live in the UK, I’m now ready to retire. Can I move to the Ukraine to completely retire and live with my girlfriend until we marry, without any problems.
Hi Michael, you are allowed to be in Ukraine only 3 months every half a year which means you’d need to leave for 3 months before you can re-enter again and be in the country legally. If you plan to live with someone without getting married, it still doesn’t change your status as a visitor in the country.
No matter what you do, do not overstay illegally because you will not get your temporary residency even through a marriage to the Ukrainian resident. By law, a foreigner can apply for temporary residency after entering the marriage only if he/she is staying in the country legally while waiting for approval from the Immigration services.
I really enjoyed reading your post. Ukraine is my dream destination. I would really like to go to Ukraine and see all of the historic sights and the architecture, but I would really like to know more about working there and volunteering at a Christian orphanage. How could I go about getting started on living and working in Ukraine? And what kind of costs are involved?
Hi Jeffrey, I am asking around on this subject and trying to find more information from people I used to work with.
For now, I can recommend these guys: mission823.com. I have been working with the founder Shawn Sullivan and director Vladimir Rezmer and can speak highly of these people. They do a lot for Ukrainian children and run a non-profit organization. There are a lot of companies on the market who are mainly interested in getting money of volunteers but Mission 823 is legitimate, Christ oriented and they really do a lot. They have multiple projects in Ukraine throughout the year but I don’t know how much their projects cost now. You can get in touch, they respond very quickly.
Meanwhile, I am touching base and asking a few more people I used to work with, so I’ll get back with more information once I have it.
Your desire to come to serve in Ukraine is very commendable and it is a very rewarding experience!
Love this article and your great reviews on Kiev living. I’m planning on moving there Jan 2 to meet a lady doctor, a heart surgeon.
It seems that if I even make my $877 social security pay I’d be well off plus Tatiana salary.
If I’m living there would having money in a Kiev bank be safe or better in a Swiss bank
I am glad to hear my article was helpful! If you are living in Ukraine, I highly suggest you open a bank account, it is definitely safe and nothing to worry about. If you want, you can open an account in one of the international banks such as Raiffeisen (Austria), Credit Agricole (France), Ukrsibbank (which is BNP Paribas Group, France), ProCredit Bank (Germany), Kredobank (which is PKO Bank Poland), OTP Bank (Hungary). My family and I personally use Privat Bank (Ukrainian) and are very happy with their services. Good luck! I hope you’ll have an easy move!
P.S. I removed your contact information for security purposes and responded to your email.
Hi I want to go to Ukraine for job purpose I have completed master’s in IT and mechanical engg.so kindly help me how to search job in Ukraine.and I am an Indian.
Hi, thanks for the great article. I once lived in Ukraine. I was interested in reading your blog. Ukraine is beautiful!
My wife is from Ukraine and i am English born living in Australia. I have both British and Australian passports. She has been living in Australia with me the last 14 months. Due to circumstances here with me in Australia and my wife,s parents who still live there in the Ukraine we are weighing up our options to go back and live in the Ukraine. I have been to the Ukraine about 10 times and love the way of life there.
My question is, as i am married to a Ukrainian girl does this allow me to live in the country without a visa.
Thanks in advance
Hi Bruce, being married to Ukrainian citizen doesn’t mean you can live in the country without a visa. Based on your marriage, you can apply for residency (which takes 1-3 months) once in Ukraine. Although, if you registered your marriage outside Ukraine, it won’t do any difference too. So you’d need to register your marriage again in Ukraine and only then apply for residency.
With your British or Australian passport you get to stay in Ukraine 3 months. When you get into the country and if you plan to live there long term, I highly suggest you registering your marriage based on Ukrainian law and then after you get a marriage certificate, apply for residency. It does take some time to get your paperwork, so try to do it as soon as you fly in.
I hope it helps!
I am going to open an English language course in Odessa/Lviv. Could anyone possibly tell me which city is better as well as is it a good business to run in Ukraine. Are Ukrainian interested to learn English?
Hi Wafi, definitely, opening an English language school will be a good business to run in Ukraine, especially if you plan to bring native speakers on board.
More and more people in Ukraine are eager to learn English. However, these days, the majority prefers to learn either from native speakers or those who have a teaching degree and/or degree in foreign languages and those who have been studying, working in English speaking countries.
You can take a look at a few schools that have been on the market for a long time, to get an idea of what they are offering and looking for. Some of them are: London School of English and International House
Also, once you open your school, be ready to invest in some advertising to introduce your school to the public.
And to answer your question about which city is better, Lviv or Odesa, I will say that it’s up to you. They are equally developed and have a lot of opportunities. Culturally and historically, they are different, so you may prefer one to another based on that.
Hi Anya. I enjoyed reading your comments about Ukraine. I am married to an Anya. She’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
We are in the U.S. at the moment (I am a citizen, she has a green card). The plan is for her to get U.S. citizenship while I finish up the last 3-4 years of work before retiring. We also will work on getting me at least permanent residency in Ukraine (via our marriage – it would not be tied to quotas). We only need to reach two years of marriage (we’re halfway there) and I think we can apply for me. I am hoping we can do this from the U.S.
I did a good job saving money for retirement over the years. I am not a millionaire but I am comfortable. However, in the U.S. our retirement would not be as good as if we lived elsewhere. So we started looking abroad. We love Europe and Portugal was on our short list. However, we are thinking instead about moving to Ukraine for retirement.
My wife is from Vinnytsia which is regularly cited as one of the best cities for living in Ukraine. We can buy a beautiful flat in a nicer part of that city for what would be less than 20% down on a good (not great) home or condominium where we currently reside in the U.S.
My retirement and Social Security would go MUCH further in Ukraine and we would have a lot of extra money to travel extensively throughout Europe and spend a couple of months back in the U.S. when we want. With Airbnb, Booking.com, etc. we feel confident we will have a much more enjoyable retirement living abroad, traveling regularly, etc. We’re ready to start living the good life.
Anya knows Russian and has been teaching it to me. I will never be fluent, will never be able to read and write in it. However, if I can learn enough helpful phrases (200 or so of them would be nice), over time I think I can learn to handle myself alone in Vinnytsia when Anya is out with friends. Many restaurants there have English on their menus. Kyiv is only a 2.5 hour train ride and intercity is quite comfortable.
If you have any additional thoughts for people in our situation, we would appreciate your insights. Best of luck to you and Mark.
Hi Gary, retiring outside the US is definitely the right decision to make and Ukraine is a good place for that. You are absolutely right that you can have a high quality of life here and travel all over Europe (and beyond) with the retirement money from the US.
If you have ties to Ukraine (which seems you do, considering your wife is Ukrainian), your life here will be also much easier. Knowing the language and being able to understand the culture (which is very different from American) is certainly going to help.
Two things I could recommend are:
1) For you to become a resident of Ukraine, it probably makes more sense to do all the paperwork and apply for residency when already in Ukraine. Doing it through the embassy in the US will be a hassle and take much more time and money.
2) I recommend you to travel around Ukraine and check a few other cities besides Vinnytsia. While it is definitely a very nice city to live in, Vinnytsia doesn’t offer much in terms of activities and lifestyle (if those are important factors at all).
I wish you all the best no matter where you decide to go!
I’m not familiar with that site you give, Booking.com, so I went there to see how good it is. They give a price of $60 per night for a dbl room at Hotel L’viv. But I’ve seen the same rooms at less than half that much at other sites.
No, the Booking.com room was not deluxe, & it was not holiday dates.
I find myself returning to your travel blogging site again and again.
My husband and I have fallen in love with Ukraine but we are stumped on how to obtain a temporary residence permit because we cannot find any volunteer or working jobs, such as teaching that are current or available. We are early retirees with a steady income and two young children we can internet/home school while living abroad. Our problem remains however, trying to figure out how to obtain those permits, would love to see more coverage on this subject.
Thank you for your intriguing and unique content.
I am originally from Iran and i did my master’s degree in civil engineering. In fact, i am planning to emigrate to Ukraine for a large number of reasons first of which is to further my education in PhD. After graduation, I intend to work as a constructor so i will be able to, for example, refurbish old buildings. Hence i will be a self-employed. Do you think it is a good place for me?
It is a bit challenging for me to advise if Ukraine is a good place for you personally. It depends on many factors, including your lifestyle, values, goals, etc. Moving to Ukraine to get your PhD in civil engineering? This is a good choice since there are many excellent schools for that. Starting your own business in Ukraine as a foreigner, to be honest, can be difficult because of all the bureaucratic attitudes. You’d need to hire help or know the language and have patience to set everything up.
As for other reasons, you have to live here during sometime to decide for yourself if it’s a good country to be in. Compared to Iran, Ukraine is behind Iran economically but there are many opportunities for growth and development. Also, Ukraine is a very relaxed country in terms of freedom, press, religion and political views.
Do you have an opportunity to visit Ukraine at first and see how you like it? That would definitely give you a broader picture.
Anya you are quite right when you say TRAINS are the best way to get around Ukraine, and from Ukraine to bordering countries. Here are some more reasons to take the trains:
Trains have lots of elbow room in them, compared to planes. Seats are much bigger, with plenty of legroom.
A plane takes 1.5 hours for all the passengers to board, all filing through one tiny door loaded with luggage. Passengers board trains thru about 40 doors simultaneously, 2 doors per wagon. So trains don’t have to delay everyone 1.5 hours… they stop only 1 to 5 minutes at a station.
Airline seats recline only 1″, making sleep impossible or uncomfortable, but trains have sleeper cars departing major cities around 10pm and arriving in another major city around 8 a.m. These Schalfwagons allow one to travel while sleeping in a real bed with sheets, rocked to sleep by the gentle rolling of the train. So much for trains being “time consuming.”
You see so much from the huge train windows, whereas from the tiny plane windows you see only cloud tops. You really can’t see anything of the towns & cities of Ukraine from 30,000 ft.
Trains have a dining car where real food is cooked and served to you at real tables with white linen! Or at least there is a bar/snack car, a very social place!
Some of the most interesting people can be met on a train if the seating is right. It’s nice to have your own little compartment, 3 people facing 3 people, a large window, a folding out table, 6 bunk beds that fold down at night, and a door that locks at night to keep out the sneak thieves!
Unlike airports, train stations are in the center of town, close to where people live and work.
One must drive about an hour out of town to reach an airport. (No neighborhood wants the noise.) Train stations are in the centers of towns, and they are much more numerous — these 2 factors make train stations closer to you.
One must arrive at the airport 2 hours before departure. You can arrive at a train station 2 MINUTES before departure!
On a train you can have a huge suitcase or two without having to check them. Wheel them on yourself. And no charge for any luggage. Upon arrival, no waiting 45 minutes for your bag(s) to show up on the luggage carousel.
After finally boarding your plane, you sit for another half hour or so before the wheels begin to slowly turn. You taxi at snail’s pace a long way, then stop again. The captain announces, “We’re fifth in line for take off, thank you for your patience.” Within about 2 minutes of boarding a train, you’re at full speed toward your destination.
Finally your turn to take off comes and the engines begin to scream, about 20 feet from your ears. They continue their high decibel screaming throughout the flight. On a train the engine is far away from your wagon; usually it cannot be heard.
The former Soviet Union countries use old passenger train wagons from Italy and W. European countries. These are far superior to the modern wagons in use in the West. Ukrainian train wagons are divided into about 10 compartments. Instead of all seats facing forward airline style, these older train wagons’ compartments are sociable & friendly, 3 seats facing 3 seats! (Of course each train could have a wagon or 2 with airline style seating, for those who don’t like it.) At night the conductor comes and folds the 6 bunk beds conveniently down, for a real night’s sleep!
Also in these old wagons from Central Europe, passengers can open the window in their compartment. This is good for saying goodbye to your friends & relatives standing on the platform to see you off. In Soviet countries, at many stations private women sell home cooked food & beverages thru the windows to passengers. Jet liner windows don’t open and they have stuffy, recalculated air because of the high cost of heating the below zero outside air at 30,000 feet. (The stewardess’ union is always complaining about the unhealthy air, but airline executives refuse to spend the money to heat enough fresh air.) Trains don’t have this problem since they are at ground level where the air is warm.
And most important about train travel perhaps is that it is a lot of FUN! I’ve spent many months in Ukraine on several trips and I can assure you that it is completely unnecessary to take a plane to, from, or within the former USSR. Nor do you ever need to rent a car. Not only are planes & cars unnecessary, it is a much better experience to take the train.
Yes, so true, the majority in Ukraine will choose the train over the plain or car.
I am enjoying reading your blog after reading your opinions and suggestions about traveling to and in Ukraine. My question is…..I have a new fiend who lives in Kremenchuk, and wishes to come to the US to live. However they are quite challenged by the lack of understanding the English language, and not having a decent salary to afford top instruction to learn the language. It seems that there is a very limited source of instructors in that city as well. Do you have any recommendation you might pass along for them to check into for some help? Any help will be greatly appreciated, I am sure.
Thank you and keep up the great, and helpful writing.
Which language i have study to live in Ukraine (Ukrainian or Russian language)? and how to find good school and cheap?, and thank you
If you plan to study in Ukraine only, you can find many English programs and there is no need to learn the language. If you plan to live and work in Ukraine, then you have to know at least Ukrainian.
Regarding your second question about the schools, there are many good schools for foreigners in many cities around Ukraine. It all depends on the major and your budget. Usually, education for foreigners is more expensive than residents and citizens, yet it is possible to find a program on a budget if willing to study in a small Ukrainian city or town.
Loved reading your comments. I have become good friends with some people in the Ukraine. I’m from the United states, sadly alot if Americans believe that America is the answer and everyone in the world should be like us. Especially in the world today people need to come together, my ukranian friends have opened my eyes!!! I intend! To visit soon. Thank you for all the information, MARK
Hi Mark, I am glad to hear you enjoyed reading my post! I hope you will get a chance to visit Ukraine, it has just recently reopened its borders for foreigners and doesn’t plan to close again.
i work online, i want to move to kharkiv, i just speak english and french but i will start learning russian soon
what is very important for me in life is to be able to build strong relationship with people which will last a lifetime, i heard friendship was important in ukraine, can you confirm that ?
Hi, Anya. This post is so helpful. It’s a relief to be able to access accurate information. I am hoping you might have advice about a few things. Sorry for a long note.
I am leaving for Dnipro, Ukraine in a couple of weeks for an English teaching position in a three month-program. I will receive three stipend checks in UAH from the school. With UAH being a closed currency, I cannot quite figure out how I will cash/deposit these checks.
It isn’t very much money, but I won’t spend all of the UAH while I am in country, so cashing the checks would not be helpful and I am sure high bank fees would be disappointing for the low amount of the stipend. With each local bank able to set their own exchange rates, I think I would be at a disadvantage and I’ve heard possibly not able to turn the UAH into USD when I leave, at a bank or a currency exchange. There doesn’t seem to be many international banks in Dnipro or even Ukraine that deal with personal, as opposed to corporate, banking. I might not be able to stay on in Ukraine after the program, so opening a local account wouldn’t work.
Do you have any suggestions?
My second question is about the teaching and consulting for general English and Business English. I have CELTA (University of Cambridge certification to teach English to adults) and also 20 years of corporate Communication experience working within a wide range of industries and topics.
My hope is to help a company with their employees’ English; eventually tutor and hopefully teach communication and PR at a university; or assist with general English and health care English at a School of Medicine or within private health care. (I have many years of business communication experience in health care.) Obviously, a pandemic is one of the worst times to start this work, but I am forging ahead.
I have heard that there are many IT workers who need general English skills. They know enough IT-related English but cannot generally converse well. I think recently, lessons have transitioned to online; a format I am comfortably teaching with. Do you have any thoughts about exploring this work in Ukraine?
Any suggestions are appreciated!
Hi Colleen, first of all, you shouldn’t apologize for a long note :). I am happy to help!
So, answering your question about the checks, I got a bit confused. Ukraine doesn’t use any check system to pay for services. What type of checks is this school talking about? Do they mean they’ll pay you through a bank check transfer to your international bank account? Usually, there are only two ways to pay a salary, directly with cash or through a bank check transfer.
I think this school meant they’ll pay you via transfer. In this case yes, both banks (your international one and Ukrainian bank) will charge a fee and the final amount will be in your currency. Depending on the bank in Dnipro the school is going to use, the fee will be definitely different. Some banks charge more, some less but almost all of them work with personal accounts, not just business.
I just don’t fully understand what this school means when they talk about the checks. If you have more information on this part, please let me know.
To answer your second question, I can assure you that there is plenty of work in Ukraine when it comes to teaching English! There are workers in different fields who need general English skills. Besides IT there are workers in health care, education, consulting, culture and tourism who also constantly look for improving their English. When I was working for Deloitte (one of the Big Four accounting organizations), we were constantly encouraged to attend English classes and the company was paying for them. A lot of auditors these days have a very basic audit-related lexicon but they are not fluent in speaking. So they are also looking for courses that companies pay for. There was, is, and will be a big demand for English teachers in Ukraine for different fields, not only English for kids at school.
Also, not all schools transitioned to online. Smaller schools with fewer attendees still work as they did before covid. It all depends on the region and a particular school. But overall, Ukraine is not like anywhere else in Europe when it comes to work during/with the covid. There will be no shutdowns or full lockdowns. Schools will continue to work and there will be a demand for English, be it online or with presence in class.
Thank you, for the information! Knowing about Deloitte is helpful so I can be aware of what large companies or large services, such as health care, might hire business English and general English teachers. My hope is to eventually only teach adults.
Regarding the stipend from the school, I will receive a living stipend that is paid in three installments. It is not taxed since it is for an educational program. I had assumed each payment would be made with a check, but perhaps I am wrong.
The funds that I will need while in Dnipro will only be for food, toiletries and utilities. I hadn’t thought about it, but perhaps I will pay the landlord in UAH cash. That would eliminate that hassle.
I also assumed that I would be paid in UAH so eventually I would have to exchange the funds to USD prior to departure; and of course I want to avoid what are usually high fees.
My research indicates Citibank is no longer operating for personal banking in Ukraine, only corporate banking. That would leave me with using a currency exchange (outrageous fees) or a local bank. I also read that the local banks can legally set their own approximate exhange rates and usually provide a low middle market average rate.
The larger concern is that I have been advised and I agree, that it’s a bad idea for digital nomads or teachers to have various bank accounts around the world. But, accessing a ‘global bank account,’ such as Citibank or HSBC, is only possible in some countries and also depends upon if the global bank has branches in smaller areas of the country.
My hope is to figure out how to bank in various countries and not spend precious savings from a teacher’s salary on banking fees. Obviously, in some countries this won’t be possible, but I’m hoping to be forward thinking and limit how many local accounts I have to open for what might be only a 10 month contract.
Granted, this article is written by a company selling information that would supposedly provide access to banking information that would help with this issue, but their description of what can happen with local accounts is accurate – and scary! https: //globalbanks .com/ closing-a-bank-account-overseas/
I am new to this and a bit lost.
I have been looking for this Cost of Living article since long time. Thanks author.
My pleasure, happy to help!
Hi Anya, great website. I met a girl that lives in Ukraine and she is not interested in moving to Canada so to be together I would have to move there. I would of course take a good trip there first to check everything out and see how we are in person. Anyways my question is how difficult is it going to be to stay thre permanetly? I have a monthly income thats more than enough to live in any city comfortably. You wrote about speaking english as being a huge asset if I would like to find work. I dont need to work but if I have to get a job to be allowed to live in the country i would of course. She makes a lot of money on her own so she wont even be a dependant. What do I have to do to stay there legally? Im a Canadian citizen if that matters. I know Canada and Ukraine have a great relationship and we have an embassy there. Not sure if that matters. Thank you for your time and again great website
Hi Josh, to be honest, getting permanent residency in Ukraine is difficult. Besides marriage, there are two more fast ways how to do it – through investment for not less than $100,000 or through the IT field if you are an IT specialist.
If you are working in IT (Cybersecurity, development, and CTO), you have a green light into the country. The government supports the IT sphere and attracts foreign professionals through immigration quotas for IT specialists. You don’t even need to work for a Ukrainian company to get the permit based on IT.
Another route (more difficult but possible) is to apply for a one-year residency as a remote worker and show proof of income (mentioned above in this post). However, immigration services always change the requirement of needed income and make it extremely difficult to get a permit, so you’d need to hire a good lawyer.
If you don’t plan to marry a Ukrainian citizen or apply for residency based on one of the mentioned options, then yes, your best bet would be to find a job as an English teacher and let the school sponsor you.
Hi. I am considering buying an apartment in Borispol – this is close to the airport and intend renting this property out to short term visitors to Ukraine, what hurdles do you think I will need to overcome in this respect. I have a friend in that Town who would oversee the day to day running. Is property a good investment. Thank you
Hi David, trying to cover in the comment section the topic of buying real estate in Ukraine is somewhat challenging. If there are questions that you’d like to address, we can set up a call with you and discuss everything.
This is a great post. I went to Ukraine (Kyiv) for the first time in Feb 2020 and absolutely fell in love with it. Looking forward to my return when possible.
Hey Roy, glad to hear you had a good visit and I hope you’ll get to return and experience more!
I am thinking of moving to Ukraine ( Betdichev ) for good ! Is it to be a huge challenge to live there ?
I found this video about Berdychiv, so you could understand a bit what the city is like. The video is in Russian but I’ll explain what the guy is talking about:
1. At first he is giving general information about the name of the city and shows the apartment they rented to live in for a few days. Then he shows the bus and railway station, central square and main street which are very empty and even on a weekday during the rush hour don’t see many people.
2. Later he says that there are a lot of stray dogs (it’s kind of a problem everywhere in Ukraine but Berdychiv has just too many of them), not much greenery and no crosswalks or areas where people can safely cross the road. There are barely any nice cafes and modern big stores. Also, he mentions that they mainly saw older people everywhere, not many kids or young adults. And I’ll tell you why – Berdychiv has few job opportunities and not many good colleges or universities around. It is partially an industrial town and many people try to leave and move to larger cities.
3. Next, they went to the restaurant, the only park in the city which is pretty horrible (broken flowerpots and asphalt, not taken care of, no trash cans), City Council (which looks like it was bombed os something, jeez such an embarrassment), walked in a random apartment complex that is falling apart but where people still live until this day, famous Karmelitska monastery, a park area near the river (full of trash and the river is dirty) and walked a bit more around the city.
Also, he made a good point about ecology. Berdychiv has some of the worst quality of the air in Ukraine. It has several factories polluting the air and the city gas pipeline emits nitric oxide which is a reason why a high number of people in this area suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. By the way, speaking of ecology. The entire Zhytomyr region (county in other words) has the highest level of radiation after the Chernobyl catastrophe (and Berdychiv is in the Zhytomyr region), the average life expectancy here is the lowest in all of Ukraine.
Verdict (from me): If you were my relative or close friend, I would be discouraging you from moving to Berdychiv. Ukrainians are leaving it to chase better opportunities, I can’t imagine why someone would want to move there, especially a foreigner.
Of course, it’s not my business and you may have valid points of why you’d move there but (!) in my opinion it is not a good city to live in (sorry anyone from Berdychiv reading this, although they will agree).
Would it be a challenge to live there? For me and many others – yes, definitely. For you? I can’t tell since I don’t know you as a person. But most likely – also yes.
I hope it helps. And I am sorry if you expected a different answer!
I am an India and was thinking to move to Ukraine. I earn enough to stay in the capital and everything sounds quite affordable to me. However, the thing I wanted to ask if there is any help you can do so I can relocate? Currently, I am staying in Dubai. I want to move with my Wife and a Kid.
Are you asking about the residency? If yes, I am not qualified to give any legal advice. If you need help with logistics, finding a flat, school/nanny for your child, and other moving questions, I can help with that.
I’m ansly from nigeria,I heard that racism is on the high side in ukraine and that there are no available jobs,how true is this?
Hi Ansly, I updated this post and included info about racism, come back to read about it!
I am considering coming to Ukraine at least for a visit. Perhaps 3 months. My biggest concern is how do I get my money available to me while I’m there? Do I just put it in American bank and use my credit card? Or do I need to do something else? How much cash should I have? I don’t wanna be carrying around a 2-3 thousand American dollars. Not safe? Thanks for the help.
Almost everywhere in Ukraine (besides markets, small towns and villages) you can pay with a credit card. I would recommend you to get a Bank of America travel rewards card or Chase Saphire or any other similar card that you may know of where the international transaction fee is 0%. It will also help you get points on all purchases.
I do not recommend you withdraw money from ATM since bank fees are high. I remember one time withdrawing $25 and paying almost $7.
The best option is to have a credit card with no international fee and have some cash with you. You’ll need cash for paying for public transportation, markets (if you plan to buy groceries there), street coffee & food, possibly some gifts/souvenirs and tips at cafes. That’s pretty much it. Airbnb, hotels, train/plane tickets, grocery stores, cafes/restaurants… for those you can pay with a credit card. Carrying $2-3 thousand is safe but you don’t really need that much if you use CC.
I have met a lady in Kiev who wants to come to the US, I want her with me but with the Covid virus everything is complicated.. I have offered to come over to help but she says it is a bad time because of the virus. I have had both vaccine shots, have a current passport so I am wordering if it is advisable. She says it is a bad time, but I wonder if it really is. If I married here there, could she get a visa through me to stay in the US? I have steady income for my work and social security. enough to live comfortably there. We planned on marrying here which makes a lot of sense. Would she really have a problem getting out of the Ukraine to come to the US? I am and artist/photographer/author and would love to visit the Ukraine. Is this not a good time or not? I own a house and two cars, no payments. Is this truly a bad time because of COVID in the Ukraine, or am I getting some strange feelings for nothing? I’m not naive about life and spent 4 years in Lebanon. I like what I hear about the Ukraine and am not woried about the Russian conflict. It sounds very livable, and affordable. I would like to come over. Canbaksreally not connect with US banks for transfers of cash.?
Hi Peter, I didn’t understand why everything is complicated? Does this lady tell you any concrete reasons why it is a bad time to come to Ukraine now? Either I get a wrong impression or she is just desperately trying to go to the US (is this woman real at all? Have you seen her?)
No, it is not a bad time to go to Ukraine now. As a matter of fact, Ukraine is only one of a few countries in Europe where it is easy to get in. There are partial lockdowns in some regions but no curfews or restrictions on movement. Kiev is now fully open with restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, etc. being open too. The situation with covid cases is stable (pretty much the same as it was the entire time) and life goes on as usual (again, besides some adaptive quarantine measures in some regions).
To be able to get into Ukraine, you need only to have insurance that covers covid and PCR test, but in your case, since you have been vaccinated, maybe you don’t even need that (I’d check this information on the official website).
If you were to fly to Hungary or Czech Republic, I’d definitely say that with the Covid, things are really complicated (almost crazy better to say), in Ukraine – absolutely not, it’s a free country (in terms of restrictions) where at times you forget that covid exists at all.
I don’t want to make any conclusions since I don’t know much about this woman, but I’d definitely be suspicious since the way she is presenting the situation in the country is not right. And maybe she is doing it for a reason.
To answer your second question, she shouldn’t have any problem getting out of Ukraine to come to the US if you marry here, in Ukraine, and then she applies for a visa based on the marriage. Fiance visas (K1 visas) are on pause anyways, so there is no way for her to get one at this time.
Considering the entire situation with the covid and what you told me, the best way for you (if you guys want to be together) is only to come to Ukraine and marry here. If you decide you want to live in Ukraine, it will also enable you to apply for a residency. If you want to go to the US, she’ll have that opportunity too.
I honestly don’t understand why she would be discouraging you from that.
You also mentioned the Russian conflict. Trust me, you won’t feel like there is any conflict unless you go to the east. You shouldn’t worry about it.
Ukraine is a great place to come to now – no tourists, things are calm, and the weather is improving. Very soon, it’s going to be warm and sunny and you can enjoy travels around the country, especially road trips if you rent a car.
And for the last question, what is Canbaksreally? Sounds like you meant a bank but there is no bank in Ukraine with such a name.
And by the way, if this lady (or anyone else) is asking you to transfer money, that is a scam. Do not fall for it!
Ukraine is a popular place to find a girlfriend.
If at any point in time you feel there is something fishy going on there probably is.
I was in Ukraine. When you have your shots, you are okay. You just need the mandatory insurance and you are good to go.
This woman is probable someone else than one the pictures she may have sent. Be very careful
My respons is perhaps too late for you but might be helpful for others.
Hi Anya, thanks for this lovely updation.
I read yor full article as well as link u mentioned also.its so helpful for me. I am coming to ukraine in next month and i am goin to settle there. Please contact me on email. I want some suggestions.
I am glad to hear this post is helpful! If you have any particular questions, you can contact me here and we’ll go from there.
any partecular website or place for single Ukranian looking for relation ship
I know the following dating websites are popular in Ukraine (where people register with hopes to meet a foreigner): elenasmodels.com, datingwomenukraine.com, findlove.in.ua, fdating.com, meets.com, anastasiadate.com, match .com, badoo.com. I hope it helps!
Hi Anya! I am from the Uk and have a Ukranian parner (unmarried). We met in Canada where we both lived and then we decided to leave to be closer to home. My boyfriend is already home in Ukraine and I am going over there shortly to join him. As of now, i don’t have a visa sorted out, only the visitor right to stay for 90 days. I am currently studying for a TEFL qualification which will be completed soon. Do you know what my best options are for being able to stay longer? Thanks!
Hi Rebecca, unfortunately, Ukraine doesn’t offer a lot of opportunities for foreigners on how to stay longer in the country. You mentioned you are studying for TEFL, that could be an option for you to apply for a working visa if you are willing to teach English in Ukraine. Also, there is a way to apply for a long-term student visa if you start learning Ukrainian language with an accredited school. It shouldn’t necessarily be a university or college. It can be a privately owned language school too but it should be accredited and have a license to be able to provide you all the documents for a trip to the embassy.
Another option, which becomes quite popular these days too, is to refer to a company of the following type (I don’t really know how they are called but they advertise their services through various Facebook groups): the company that helps you (as a foreigner) to find a job in your field (basically connects you with the right employer who will sponsor you) and arranges all the paperwork for your visa. Their services are quite expensive but they always help with a visa if they take your money. If they can’t help you, they’ll tell you upfront.
If that’s something you’d consider, I recommend you join Facebook groups for expats in different cities and ask there about this service.
i want to ask you , is the mask really mandatory?
Masks are mandatory only inside the buildings and transportation but a lot of people don’t wear them. Anywhere outside you do not have to wear a mask.
Hi Anya! This is a very very helpful article you wrote. I am leaving for Kyiv within the month to start a 3month work engagement. I am planning to buy a short term health insurance to cover blood tests and doctor consultations for my pre-existing medical conditions and probably for emergency care too. May I ask you to please recommend insurance companies based in Kyiv that offer health insurance for 3 months only? Thank you very much!
Hi Aida, to be honest, I don’t know what to recommend.
Out of ten insurance companies in Ukraine, only five directly sell voluntary medical insurance policies to Ukrainians and foreigners but there is no option to purchase insurance for a few months only, the minimum requirement is a yearly policy. The rest work only through an employer within the framework of corporate insurance programs for employees. The reason is the high unprofitability of servicing individual clients. Due to the underdeveloped insurance culture, people usually apply for insurance after they have a specific medical condition.
Also, there is no way to purchase a policy that would cover only tests or consultations. Usually, there are “packages” that include a set of medical services but to be honest, most of them (unless you go with the most expensive one) do not cover a range of procedures. Some tests and procedures (for example, fluorography, MRI, certain blood tests) are not covered by a lot of policies. Insurance with an optimal set of medical services will cost between $450-$550 per year. This policy covers almost everything, including massage and dentistry. However, the final cost determines which clinics will serve you: public or private. You want to go only to a private one. Another thing to keep in mind – only individuals of “non-retirement age” can insure their health. The most loyal maximum age of insurers is 65 years but in many cases this age is 55 years.
In your case, if there is no employer to cover the cost of health insurance, I’d recommend either applying for yearly insurance (because there is no monthly choice) or pay as you go. In my opinion, there is much less hustle with self-service than having to deal with an insurance company. It is very easy to schedule an appointment to receive a doctor’s consultation or get a blood test done. Yet, if yearly insurance works, I advise you to contact the American Medical Centers clinic in Kyiv. They can tailor a package that will include blood tests and emergency visits.
Also, a lot of private clinics offer private emergency medical care within 24 hours. In Kyiv, the price is between $80-$120. Some examples of those clinics: Medikom, Adonis, and Amedika.
I hope I was able to answer your question. If there is anything else to advise, let me know!]
Hi Anya, we are planning a trip to Kyiv in May and tour around for a month mainly in the West.
Now the big question is would you still recommend this trip due to whats happening around?
I am hoping you say yes so next question is tour guides for bigger citys. Any recomendations?
When you say “due to what’s happening around”, do you mean talks about the full-scale war with Russia or the situation with covid? If the main concern is covid, I wouldn’t worry much about it if you are vaccinated. Ukraine doesn’t really have any restrictions besides those that include vaccine/PCR certificates to enter dining venues and hotels. However, many businesses completely ignore this requirement and are open to everyone.
Now, if your question is about the war, that’s a bit different. If you want to make sure you won’t need to cancel your plans later, just wait until the end of January-beginning of February to book your travel. This is an approximate time frame for Russia to possibly attack Ukraine. However, many people don’t take it seriously and estimate this show-off with the military near the Ukrainian border is only a bluff since Russia tries to get Europe’s and Biden’s attention.
The general public is not concerned about it and doesn’t even pay attention to the media’s hysteria, although a few recent laws from the government (like the one about the requirement for women to register for military conscription) make others alert.
So, in this case, I’d just recommend you wait a few more weeks to see how it unfolds. But again, the majority of political analysts don’t take it seriously.
As for the guides, I can personally organize tours for you in Western Ukraine and Kyiv. I work with professional licensed guides with whom we created various programs that start in Lviv (including Lviv city tours) and Kyiv.
I developed a tour page but haven’t published it yet because of covid. If you are interested, let’s talk and I’ll provide all information in regards to what I offer.
I have to thank you so much for, first of all, Adressing a really difficult and sensitive matter as racism.
From the point of view of an african living for 20 years in spain and have visited as a tenager countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and other baltic countries, even I was living there for a few years as a student I have to say the experience was amazing. Welcoming people, they are happy to see you in their country, they are interested on you, your story…Best time in my life. To makes things be I met one of my unforgettable girlfriends who was Ukrainian born but living in Russia…what a great time)))
so, let me thank you again for the topic and the way you dealt with it
At the moment I am pIannign to move to Ukriaine. I am planning to ask for a permission in my job and stay in there for about a year. I felt in love with those people, that culture and their values , in general.
I want to get into the “real Ukraine”, and make activities that imply to mix with the natives since I would like to know the native people.
The idea is stay in there learning ukrainian( I was in doubt whether to learn Russian or Ukrainian. After reading some post, my mind seems clearer)) and doing activities that implilees meeting native people. I guess I will stay in Kiev, but this is not sure yet, I have about a year to settle it.
My plan is to move in about a year from now.
So I would love to know whether you can give me some advice about this.
Nevertheless, I will take all the information are provided in this blogg like a premium wine, because it seem really usuful and personal.
Hope to hearing from you
Half a year later, I am responding to your comment. So sorry about that! I missed a couple of comments and didn’t get a chance to respond on time, but since you mentioned you plan to move to Ukraine in about a year, I hope my answer will still come in handy.
As I mentioned in my post (and will say it again here), you shouldn’t worry about any racial issues here. Ukrainian people are welcoming and hospitable.
In fact, we have an Afro-Ukrainian population too which is concentrated mainly in cities. It’s rather small but it exists and even grows.
So it’s pretty common these days to meet someone with dark skin who is a child of parents from different races and who speaks Russian and Ukrainian and who is Ukrainian. Many times I saw someone who I thought was a foreigner but he/she was speaking Ukrainian. So chances are high that people will think you are Ukrainian and may talk to you in Russian or Ukrainian implying you understand, ha.
If you are curious, you can even look up some names (of famous Afro-Ukrainians) – like Zhan Beleniuk (wrestler and politician), Gaitana (singer), Michelle Andrade (singer), band Chornobryvtsi… are just some of them.
As for other questions… if you are going to live in Kyiv, finding a language course will not be a problem! There are many schools around offering Ukrainian/Russian language courses for foreigners. To make friends, I recommend you join expat groups on Facebook and see which one works better for you. Many of them have different meetups and meeting locals is easy.
And if I am in Kyiv during that time when you are, just get in touch and I’ll show you my favorite spots! 😉
Good luck! And if you have any other questions about Ukraine, let me know, next time I’ll take fewer months to respond, haha
Please I’m a student coming to study in Ukraine. I’ll like to know the average salary for student who is working in Ukraine and jobs that are common and student friendly in Ukraine.
Unlike the United States or some countries in Western Europe, in Ukraine, foreign students are not allowed to work on a student visa.
I am from beautiful Southern California and I am planning on visiting the Ukraine for a month or two and possibly finding and meeting a future wife. I speak Russian but not Ukranian. Do you have any advice for me? Where to live in the Ukraine? Where to go? How to plug into the local pipeline?
Maybe I can teach English while I am there? Thanks
If you speak Russian, that will surely help you communicate with Ukrainians no matter where you go. In Western Ukraine people will understand you well, just ask them to respond in Russian or English.
I wouldn’t pick a place where to live based on the language you speak. Anywhere in Ukraine, you will do well even with Russian and English languages together. I’d recommend you better travel between major points of interest for foreigners (like Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa and Kharkiv)and see which one you like more. Although you mentioned you want to spend a couple of months in one place, traveling between all these cities may take a lot of time.
So then it would be better to read/learn a bit about each place in advance to see which one potentially may suit you better.
As for how to plug into the local life, I’d say that for the beginning, it is better to join facebook groups. Search for ‘expats in X city’ or ‘X city for foreigners’. There are usually Ukrainians in those groups too. Once you join, start asking around if there are any meetups or events and trust me, there is always a ton going on.
If you will be in Lviv, you can join Lviv cafe friends group, they host a few events per week where both foreigners and Ukrainians go. Another group (a smaller one but still) is this one.
You can find similar groups in other cities too.
My only recommendation to you (and anyone else who is coming to Ukraine for dating or marriage and reading this comment) – do not tell others while in Ukraine that you are looking for a wife. Be reserved and keep it to yourself while meeting people. If you talk to your right and left that you came to Ukraine to find a wife, you’ll be attracting the wrong type of people, particularly scammers who will try to get money out of you. Ukrainian guys also don’t like to be around foreigners whose interest is not the country and culture but only women.
Try to immerse yourself in the culture and it will be much easier for you to make friends and build relationships. Another note, don’t sing much praise to the land where you come from, instead put it that way that you are curious about Ukraine and want to live there. I can tell you 100% that Ukrainians get very curious about people who show genuine interest in their country.
You’ll have more luck finding the best person for yourself if you present yourself as someone who came to Ukraine just because you are interested in the country.
I hope that makes sense. Good luck and have a great time in Ukraine!
Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive guide to your wonderful Ukraine. It makes me want to live there.
I haven’t visited yet, but I’ve long been fascinated by it. I could do with some dental work, and wasn’t aware that it’s so much cheaper than the UK, so I’ll make it a mixed trip.
Going from city to city by train and taking in the countryside is also very appealing prospect. I’m a seasoned traveller, but thanks again for making your experiences available to the uninitiated. I look forward to enjoying your country.
Warm wishes. David.
I hope you’ll get a chance to visit as Ukraine has a lot for a traveler! Media has been heating up the topic about tensions between Ukraine and Russia and the US government is presenting Ukraine as second Afghanistan for some reason but in reality, things are just quiet and normal. Once the weather improves, that’s the best time for visiting the countryside and going on road trips. Come to see it for yourself!
What a wonderful article on Ukraine. I wanted to learn more with the threat of war being in the media news constantly. I am glad I found your page and this article. It sounds like a wonderful place to live and it’s absolutely beautiful. The long winters would be the only setback for me personally. I love spring and summer and despise winter! Thank you for taking the time to help those of us who are clueless about your country understand it better!
Thank you, Stacy, for stopping by to read about it! 🙂
As the invasion from Russia is taking place right now, how are things where you guys live.? Did you stay there, or get out…..
We are in Ukraine. The place where we are is safe (hope it will stay this way) but there is martial law throughout the country and every city and town is on high alert. We have sirens a few times a day because air attacks take place pretty much everywhere.
There is really a lot going on, some cities in the east and south are being completely destroyed, thousands and thousands of civilians are dying… I really don’t know what to say, the situation is catastrophic. All of it is devastating.
It’s February 26, 2022. War has officially broken out and Russians are taking over and destroying the country with their bombs, tanks, and killings while your president is hiding in a bunker refusing negotiations and talks with Putin. How is your feeling now about leaving America? I hope you are ok and that you and your loved ones are safe. God is with you.
Why did you decide that my president is hiding in the bunker? You need to educate yourself on this topic a little more. My president is with his people every single day and night on the ground fighting trashy occupants. He is the leader that America can only dream about.
I have never regretted my decision about leaving the US and after seeing comments like yours I remember why. I have now enough knowledge to build successful life wherever I want and to contribute to Ukraine’s development. And life turbulences are not going to change that. But first things first – bring peace to Ukraine and end the war.
Sorry, I’d chat a little longer but I’ve just heard a siren and have to run.
Thank you Anya for such a comprehensive analysis of Ukraine. I have been watching the news from Australia and have been comparing your galant Presidentbtobthe whimsy politicians in other countries. The Canadian Prime Minister had to go into hiding over truckers protesting. Your President being offered a ride to safety from Joe Biden replied I don’t need a ride We need guns. Knowing full well he will die if Kiev falls. I pray for yiu and your people, let peace and freedom prevail and hope that yiu stop the Man Vlad Putin. Once your country wins this war I will love to visit and spend my Australian dollars to help rebuild. Australia has donated tongue freedom cause and wish yiu all the best. Take care.
Thank you, Martin, for stopping by! Also many thanks for your prayers and constant support. We know that Australia supports us so much and that is priceless!
This madness will definitely end and yes, please, come to visit!
We will rebuild everything and will be happy to welcome everyone from the civilized world.
And when you come to visit, I’ll be happy to organize a tour and show you around! Until then stay safe and take good care of yourself.
A very good read but disheartening to see your country being destroyed by intruders. I hope you are safe and well and hope this act of war is put to an end soon and Ukraine can rebuild. From UK.
Thanks, Brian. We are really not sure this war will end anytime soon, but we hope for the best. More damage takes place on a daily basis and all of it is simply devastating.
Hello Anya, I pray you are safe. Please dont judge the people in the US by the words and actions of our corrupt and impotent President and Vice President. The general sentiment of everyone, is total support for the Ukrainian people. I can only hope that our next election will bring us a leader that is as strong as your President Zelenskyy.
Hi Scott, thank you for your message and for your kind wishes. Let’s hope this madness will end soon, otherwise, it will pose a much bigger threat far beyond Ukraine.
As I was reading through your web I discovered you had lived in Kentucky for some time. It really is a small world, as I live near Harrodsburg just southwest of lexington. Yes lets hope this war ends sooner rather than later.
Hey Scott, good to hear from you! I’ve been to Harrodsburg many times and actually lived on the Harrodsburg road towards Brannon Woods. The world is small indeed.
We all hope for the war to end soon, we don’t have any other choice but to win, so we are all united here as never before. The victory is near!
We have been approached with the opportunity to take in some Ukrainian refugees. I was unsure if the accommodations that I could offer would be acceptable to these people from a world that I do not know anything of. It is a new thought.
I have found this post so very informative. I feel that it has bridged a gap and helped me to understand the Ukrainian people enough that I am confident to offer what I have. I am so deeply appreciative to the author for helping me. Thank you.
I am so glad to hear my post was helpful! And thank you, Jacob, for helping Ukrainians out, we are so blessed to have wonderful friends and partners all over the world! Thank you for your kindness during these difficult times!
Hi Anya, just wanted to take a moment to
send my prayers for you and your family to be well and safe with all the war going on. I’m sorry that your country is going through this.
Thank you, Heide, for stopping by to send warm wishes! What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger… although we hope for this madness to end soon and to win of course!
I live in a large retirement community new Los Angeles and we are wondering if there are maybe smaller retirement communities, not rest homes, in Ukraine that we could be a sister community to the way there are sister cities. If we had a reputable connection we could likely provide a lot of aid and the time might be right now. Contact me by email if you know of a place and a connection.
Dear Anya – what an interesting overview and explanation of Ukraine. A most enjoyable read and I now really look forward to visiting Ukraine in better times. I live in the UK and my wife and I are hosting a Ukrainian refugee since she arrived 29th April. We are really enjoying her company and we are proud to support your wonderful country and people in the best way we can. It helps us understand her background culture and the changes she observes here in the UK. It was her first time flying by plane here and first time outside of Ukraine. We got her a job and she is able to send money back to support Ukraine. Hopefully we can also exchange what is best about our countries cultures. Ps Zelensky has been amazing !
Dear Tim, what a lovely comment and what a nice person you are, thank you for your help and support! I know the UK helps us a lot in so many different ways and that is all priceless.
Please, come to visit Ukraine once things calm down, there is so much here and it’s very different than your country!
Hello Anya, I read up there a ways about the gentleman from the US on Social Security, who wanted to come to Ukraine with his Russian fiance and her daughter, and settled on Bulgaria.
Anyway, to my point, you mentioned that he would not be able to reside in Ukraine for longer than 90 days at a time. My question then is, can someone from the US purchase a home there to live permanently? If so, I’m pretty sure you have Immigration attorney’s who can assist? We would be looking at the Karpathian mountain area if this were possible.
Hi James, foreigners have the right to purchase and own any type of real estate in Ukraine, however this purchase doesn’t allow them to get an immigration permit such as a residency permit or citizenship (like in many countries in Europe), even if they invest high amounts of money in that property. Overall, getting a residency in Ukraine for foreign nationals is quite difficult. You are eligible to apply for permanent residence if you invest at least 100,000 in the Ukrainian economy meaning into the share capital of a company registered in UA.
I’d say if you have the funds to invest in Ukraine and wish to buy a property and live here permanently, you can set up a company, invest at least 100,000 of share capital and then buy real estate in the name of this legal entity you create.
I know two people who are lawyers and work with foreigners but they have put their practice on pause since the beginning of the war and currently volunteer helping the army. But I highly recommend you find an attorney to ask more details, maybe there are some loopholes for getting a residency in other ways.
Sorry, I am not much of a help!
Thank you so much for sharing your story and the things everyone should know!
I have been speaking to a friend in Ukraine and the stories she tells about her and the Ukrainian people are inspirational!
The war is horrific and we stand in solidarity with Ukraine.
Thank you for your kind message and for your support!