Ukrainian visa is the most expensive in the world (Part 1)

Author : Bohdan Lohvynenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

In some cases, the total cost of obtaining Ukrainian visa reaches up to $ 5 thousand
13:59, 2 March 2016

Read the original text on Evropeiska Pravda.

Is Ukraine open to the world?

Is it easy for foreign tourists come to admire Kyiv or Lviv?

My first thought was, of course, yes! After more than 10 years ago we abolished visas for citizens of European countries, USA, Canada, and Japan. Citizens of CIS countries (even citizens of the aggressor!), as well as Turkey, Israel and some others may come to us without visas.

But let's be honest, this is a minority of countries. Out of the list of visa-free regime were dozens of countries much richer and more developed than ours.

A striking example is recent history connected with Australian band (its name cannot be disclosed as required by the contract, but the author has this information).

Related: Andrej Plenković about visa regime liberalisation prosess for Ukraine

The musicians were on tour to Europe, the organizer decided to invite them in Ukraine and called the Ukrainian Consulate in Germany, where he was told that the visa can be obtained only by the place of residence. Musicians had to return to Australia and only then to fly for a concert in Ukraine! The concert, of course, did not take place.

On this map you can see the states marked with a gray color, citizens of which cannot enter Ukraine "unnecessarily".

Another example is the EU citizens who work as volunteers in Ukraine who are forced to pay bribes to Ukrainian State Migration Service for re-entry after 90 days spent in Ukraine. Because the law allows 90 days from 180.

Arrival of a foreigner in Ukraine starts from the Migrations Service, the tourist should have the invitation for which Ukrainian citizen needs to collect about 15 documents, including, for example, account statement, which is made in any tourist company for 200 UAH.

Related: Jean-Marc Ayrault, - Visa-free regime for Ukraine depends on fighting corruption

Question: if they cannot verify the identity of the documents, why are they required? Or translation of the passport of a foreigner, from English to Ukrainian. It turns out that Migration Service does not speak English.

Even the site of agencies issuing invitations to foreigners, has only one version - Ukrainian.

The week of action #NoVisaToUkraine, which was announced on the collection of violations in diplomatic institutions, there were about one hundred complaints about fraud in the Ukrainian consular offices around the world.

There are facts that the total cost of obtaining Ukrainian visa are reaching up to $ 5 thousand, for lack of a "necessary" information. Getting the Ukrainian visa is so difficult that so much it can cost to firms in Africa. The largest number of complaints is recorded from Africa and Asia. Invitations for foreigners in Ukraine can also seamlessly accessed through company-pads for $ 300-600 and even could be bought on Alibaba or Olx.

Related: Ukraine improved positions in the rating of visa restrictions

All this makes the Ukrainian visa not only the most difficult to get, but - unofficially - the most expensive in the world.

And if you do not give bribes? Another good example is when 16 students from Comoros who came for an interview to Ukrainian consul invitation from Ukrainian universities, and he refused. When answered to a call from Kharkiv University rector, what is the problem with the students, the consul said, "The students from Comoros may not be normal ones".

That is Ukrainian diplomat, assumed the power to decide for the whole country.

Although it is likely, that in reality visa was not given for another reason: the students did not use the "help" of local firms pads.

As a result - Ukraine remains without profit not only on tourism but also on export education investment.

For foreign businessmen are known examples of entrepreneurs in Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates – during long months cannot receive the Ukrainian visa, although they would willingly invest in the Ukrainian economy.

What is the problem?

Often the problem is just the human factor. Lack of control and the presence of an incredible number of corruption loopholes in our immigration system and the diplomatic service make it possible to use them in their interests and against the interests of the country.

Related: Ukrainian visa is the most expensive in the world (Part 2)

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