In Ukraine, the licensing system for registering foreign immigrants is very regulated, there is no system for attracting and distributing labour, said migration expert Andrei Gaidutsky in an interview with The Eastern Herald(TEH).

Over the past year in Ukraine, only about 23 thousand foreigners received a residence permit (residence permit), and a work permit was even less. The annual demand for immigrants in Ukraine is at least 1% of the population, that is, 370–400 thousand, and taking into account the demographic crisis and the negative migration balance, the need for immigrants is 500–600 thousand people.

“Ukraine needed to do this 10-15 years ago, or rather, immediately after the EU enlargement. Then emigration from the EU-10 intensified, respectively, all neighbouring countries have stepped up their policies to attract Ukrainians. Some are“ nationally disruptive ” by the methods following the example of Hungary, when Hungarian passports were issued directly in Ukraine, someone – market ones, simplifying the conditions for local businesses to employ foreigners, like Poland and the Czech Republic did. Already then Ukraine needed to simplify the conditions for immigrating foreigners, set clear requirements for the qualifications and income level of immigrants, conduct selection to attract labour from different groups of countries, “said Gaidutsky.


The expert warned that now Ukraine needs to go through what Poland has already passed, which at the beginning of this journey was not easy.

“Imagine the resistance of populist politicians if Poland attracted only nine thousand new immigrants in 2005, and already 155 thousand in 2010. This had to be done so that people would immediately take jobs, not They were sitting at train stations. Poland was preparing for this at the regulatory level. Therefore, it is not in vain that the Polish economy is growing faster than the EU average. Someone will say that Poland’s growth was due to EU financial subsidies, such as infrastructure. This is true, but only who something was to master these funds, perform And this was done, including by Ukrainians, because millions of Poles went further to the EU-15 countries. Therefore, if Ukraine is now given large funds for large-scale projects, then there is simply no one to use them on time, “added Gaidutsky.

In 2017, there were several cases in Ukraine when investors, having built new plants, could not start them for six months due to the fact that it was not possible to recruit staff.

On the qualification of foreign migrants, the expert says that everything depends on Ukraine itself. Gaidutsky advises simplifying the conditions for immigration of foreigners but also setting clear requirements for the desired qualifications of immigrants and the funds that they must bring with them. In addition, it is necessary to conduct selection to attract labour from different groups of countries.

Gaidutsky suggested looking at the Canadian experience. There is a well-functioning system of forming annual plans for the influx of immigrants, and where all interested in foreigners submit their applications to local authorities, which transmit information to the Ministry of Immigrants, Refugees and Citizenship. The department is already forming a three-year Vision Action Plan, on the basis of which they create a three-year Immigration Levels Plan, where the country’s estimated need for immigrants is clearly planned and divided into groups.

The expert claims that small and medium-sized migrant entrepreneurs can create thousands of jobs in Ukraine, including for Ukrainians, and thereby reduce the pace of Ukrainians moving abroad.

In general, while 2–3% of entrepreneurs are among the indigenous population, then 10–20% are among migrants, and 50% among certain nationalities with small trade in their blood. These are primarily immigrants from Arab countries and Southeast Asia. 

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