Open bank account in Ukraine for Nonresident — Law firm “Viktor Reshetov & Partners”

Alongside legal support for foreign clients lawyers often provide supplementary services and assistance in opening accounts in Ukrainian banks. The main aim of opening of a bank account for foreign citizens is purchase of immovable property or starting a business in Ukraine. However, there might be many other reasons.

The procedure of purchasing of a flat/apartment by a nonresident in Ukraine is detailed in the article: «Foreigners buying property in Ukraine. What can be done before purchase?»; and the article: «Open an account for business in Ukraine» expounds peculiarities of opening of a bank account for foreign investors.

This article contains important information on opening of a bank account for a natural person — nonresident. We will also try to explain the procedure of opening of a bank account in Ukraine step-by-step.

  1. Choice of an account type based on its purpose.

A bank account can be opened by a nonresident both in Ukrainian national and/or in foreign currency. The United States dollar, euro and Russian rouble are the most frequently chosen foreign currencies for opening of an account in Ukrainian banks.

The choice of an account type depends on the purpose it is planned to be used.

A client of a Ukrainian bank can choose from the following account types: current account, card account and deposit account. The current and card accounts have a common feature distinguishing them from the deposit account, namely the possibility to withdraw money from the account as the need arises. If the client chooses to open a card or current account they can transfer money between his/her accounts or to an account of another person.

The principal difference between the card account and the current account consists in access to these accounts. In case of a card account a client can operate it via an ATM but has to come to a bank in order to manage his/her current account.

In case of a deposit account the money cannot be withdrawn till the expiration date of agreement with a bank, no transfers from or to the account cannot be made.

There are state and private banks in Ukraine. Private banks often have partially foreign capital and belong to big international financial groups.

There are employees who speak fluent English in some banks. These banks usually have a fully functional English version of their website and provide Internet Banking services in different languages.

This stage is especially important for foreign citizens who are planning to stay in Ukraine for a short period (less than 10 days).

Some of the required documents listed below can be prepared in advance without participation of a client. A foreign citizen has to issue a power of attorney authorizing lawyers to perform necessary actions on his/her behalf for this purpose. An account can also be opened for and in the name of an absent foreign citizen based on such power of attorney, however not all banks agree to do this.

The following documents are required to open bank account in Ukraine:

- original international passport

It is to mention that a foreign citizen must stay in Ukraine legally. The legality of the stay is to be confirmed by a visa or by an entry record in the passport in case of a visa-free entry to Ukraine.

Total duration of stay in Ukraine must not be longer than 90 days a year, which is confirmed by records in the passport.

- document with information on residence/stay of a foreign citizen in Ukraine

This information can be entered according to the words of a client; however some banks may request some confirmation document. For instance, if a client stays in a hotel, they may be requested to submit receipts confirming payments for such a stay.

- document confirming the origin of cash

Opening of an account is a paid service. A client may be requested to pay an annual servicing fee during account arrangements. A foreign citizen is also to have a document confirming legal origin of money used for payment for bank services or for crediting of his/her account. That is why we recommend our clients to declare amounts sufficient for all official financial operations (transactions) during customs control.

- translation of the passport into Ukrainian

(not required by a bank)

Although translation of the passport into Ukrainian is not required for bank formalities, we strongly recommend having your passport translation ready before opening of an account. It’s particularly important if you are planning to use your account for some big transactions (such as purchase of immovable property or payment for especially expensive goods etc.). This precaution is to be taken as transliteration of family and first names in your passport is to strictly correspond to their transliteration in other documents in Ukrainian (such as a flat sale contract, a taxpayer identification number, a power of attorney etc.). A bank employee can open an account using a wrong Ukrainian spelling of your name which might differ from one in your passport translation as well as in translation of other related documents. Different spellings of your name may result in certain problems in the future.

- registration number of taxpayer’s record card in the State Register of Natural Persons-Taxpayers (taxpayer identification number)

(optional document)

Procedure of identification number issue is described in article «Identification code for foreign citizens in Ukraine». It is to mention that it takes 7 to 10 days for Ukrainian tax authorities to issue an identification number. That is why you have to plan your stay in Ukraine accordingly.

If you have already decided on the account type and the bank and have all required documents prepared we recommend you to find out all bank fee rates and conditions of account use in a Ukrainian bank in advance or while your account is being opened.

It’s important for foreign citizens to know that:

- in Ukraine you can only withdraw money from your card account in Ukrainian hryvnia; however, if a foreign citizen opened an account in a Ukrainian bank and transferred US dollars to this account they can withdraw money from this account in US dollars at a bank office;

- a client can manage his account and check its balance in a Ukrainian bank via internet banking service outside Ukraine;

- bank fees and servicing conditions of banks vary significantly in Ukraine, i.e. one bank will charge you for account opening while the other bank will charge you for closing of your account;

- there also can be charges for non-cash transfers between personal accounts of the same client;

- if there is not enough money for charging of servicing fee from your account the bank might charge it anyway by providing you an overdraft (card credit) with rather high interest (up to 100% annual interest);

- some Ukrainian banks might also offer you services you absolutely do not need, for example insurance or premium class cards.

We believe that any foreign citizen is able to arrange their account opening without assistance, however there is a number of special features in the field of Ukrainian banking that are rather complicated even for Ukrainian citizens.


Originally published at vreshetov.com.