Ukrainian citizenship is governed by the Law on Citizenship of Ukraine and by the Constitution of Ukraine. The day of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine, 26 July 1990, the recently elected parliament of Ukrainian SSR created Ukrainian SSR citizenship while guaranteeing citizens the right to retain USSR citizenship.
Definition of Ukrainian citizenship
Citizens of Ukraine are in at least one of the following categories:
- citizens of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics present and permanently living on the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic at the moment of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine on August 24, 1991;
- stateless people, residing on the territory of Ukraine on November 13, 1991;
- people who came to Ukraine for permanent residence since 13 November 1991 and who had "citizen of Ukraine" inscription inserted into their 1974-type passport of the USSR by the domestic affairs authorities of Ukraine, as well as the children of such persons who arrived to Ukraine together with their parents, provided that they had not attained their majority before the entry to Ukraine;
- people who acquired the citizenship of Ukraine in accordance with the laws of Ukraine and the international treaties of Ukraine.
Acquisition of the citizenship
The citizenship of Ukraine may be acquired in one of the following ways:
- being born within the territory of Ukraine with at least one parent a citizen of Ukraine.
- being born abroad, having permanent residence in Ukraine, with at least one parent a citizen of Ukraine.
- being adopted as a child by citizens of Ukraine.
- having no other citizenship and at least one parent or grandparent Ukrainian by birth.
- having no other citizenship, under certain conditions listed in the Statute on Citizenship.
- being naturalized if without another citizenship, having resided in Ukraine for at least five years, being able to function in the Ukrainian language, and being knowledgeable of the Ukrainian Constitution.
Birth within the territory of Ukraine does not automatically confer citizenship.
Loss of citizenship
Ukraine’s citizenship laws in force do not provide for the procedure of renunciation of Ukraine’s citizenship, therefore obtaining of foreign citizenship by a citizen of Ukraine on the grounds of his renunciation of Ukraine’s citizenship cannot be considered a legal ground for termination of the citizenship of Ukraine. This can create problems, for instance, for Ukrainian nationals looking to acquire Japanese or Mainland Chinese citizenship, since neither East Asian country generally permits its nationals to retain their foreign citizenship.
Ukrainian law currently does not recognise dual citizenship. However, there are citizens of Ukraine who hold dual citizenship. Ukrainian law states that (after gaining Ukrainian citizenship) the new Ukrainian citizen must renounce its non-Ukrainian citizenship(s) within two years. A 2009 estimate put the number of Ukrainians with more than one passport from 300,000 to a few million. Within Ukrainian boundaries Ukrainian citizens who also hold multiple citizenships are considered to be solely Ukrainian citizens.
|“||If a citizen of Ukraine acquires citizenship (nationality) of another state or states, in legal relations with Ukraine, the person is recognized as a citizen of Ukraine only. If a foreigner acquires the citizenship of Ukraine, then in legal relations with Ukraine, the person is recognized as a citizen of Ukraine only...||”|
|— Article 2. Law on citizenship of Ukraine.|
On February 8, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada proposed a bill to criminalize the act of holding two citizenships.
In 2015, Ukrainian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 79 countries and territories, ranking the Ukrainian passport 59th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index.
- Citizenship at the Wayback Machine (archived October 12, 2012). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
- Law on Citizenship of Ukraine at the Wayback Machine (archived October 12, 2012). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
- Ukraine proclaims sovereignty, The Ukrainian Weekly (July 22, 1990)
- How Ukraine Became a Market Economy and Democracy by Anders Åslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2009, ISBN 978-0-88132-427-3 (page 21)
- Citizenship Laws of the World (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Office of Personnel Management, Investigations Service. March 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2003-04-06. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- Law on Citizenship. Article 22.
- Constitution of Ukraine: Article 4
- (Ukrainian) З життя українських олігархів – вілла Коломойського на Женевському озері, Ukrayinska Pravda (March 10, 2009)
- Посольство Украины подтвердило гибель трех украинцев в крушении Як-42 (in Russian). Moscow: RIA Novosti. 7 September 2011.
- Saakashvili Slams Georgian Decision To Revoke His Citizenship, Radio Free Europe (4 December 2015)
- Dual Identities, Kyiv Post (July 9, 2009)
- The Law of Ukraine On Citizenship of Ukraine: Article 2