The year 2020 had seen mass ongoing protests against Lukashenko’s regime in Belarus, cruelty of national police, and repression of human freedoms which made numerous Belarusian tech companies relocate their employees abroad, including neighboring countries including Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authorities took measures to help Belarusian tech specialists, expanding the quotas for highly qualified foreign tech specialists coming to Ukraine. This year, five thousand employees can take advantage of this opportunity. The government has also liberalized the requirements for such specialists. In particular, the minimum work experience was reduced to three years, and the minimum income for the previous year to $24k.
In early September, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy launched an information portal with 24/7 support for Belarusian citizens interested in relocating to Ukraine. The website provides a step-by-step guide on relocation and employment opportunities, as well as a call center phone number in case you need additional assistance. The web portal cooperates with Ukrainian companies and the tech community to help Belarusian tech professionals find employment in Ukraine and officially obtain a residence permit.
As of September, about 1,200 Belarusian tech specialists have relocated to Ukraine since the beginning of Belarus’s protests. Deputy Minister for Digital Transformation of Ukraine Oleksandr Borniakov said, “We have a hotline, and have estimated that about a thousand tech professionals crossed the border, while in August there were about two hundred. The flow has been growing since the situation is not calming down”.
Another simplification for Belarusian tech specialists was the decree № 420/2020 signed by the President of Ukraine on October 4, which aims to loosen bureaucratic barriers and the requirements for Belarusian entrepreneurs and tech professionals willing to relocate to Ukraine. In particular, the period of stay for Belarusian citizens (entrepreneurs, tech specialists) in Ukraine will be extended from 90 to 180 days per year. The waiting time to obtain temporary residence permits and work permits for tech specialists, entrepreneurs, and their families was reduced to 5 days. Besides, the decree simplifies the registration procedure of individual entrepreneurs. Ukraine also intends to create a virtual free economic zone for tech companies with a special tax, financial, and legal regime in 2021.