Laws can change quickly here in Ukraine. And usually that’s not a problem for us.
But currently visa laws and interpretation of the laws are changing. And that might prove to be a real challenge for us.
We have multi-entry visas that expire in 2012. No problem. We just received an e-mail from an official who said that the visa will be honored until its expiration date.
Foreigners staying in the country for longer than 90 days of any 180 days need to be registered in their area. Typically not a problem. BUT our visa TYPE is not going to be available after September 10 and the office doesn’t know how to register us.
Normally we’d sit back and see how this plays out. But we are leaving the country on Saturday and won’t be back until a couple of days after the new laws become effective.
As of yesterday we felt confident that we could return on our current visas and then would have 45 days to register. Surely the registration office would know how to actually process us by then.
And then today we received this notice from the American Embassy:
If you have a valid visa and OVIR registration but not a residency permit you can stay in Ukraine as long as your current registration is valid. Once you leave the country, however, you will need to obtain a new visa abroad to qualify for legal residency under the new system. Regardless of the expiration date, “old” pre-September 10 visas will no longer be valid for entry into Ukraine after September 10
Not much we can do ourselves at this point. But God remains fully in control.
Please pray that we will not be turned away at the border when we return on the 13th.