What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Lviv

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Relocating to Lviv

About the City

Located in Western Ukraine, Lviv is one of the largest and most popular cities in the country. Lviv has been a part of Ruthenia, Poland, Austrian Poland, and Russia throughout its history. It remains Ukraine’s most popular tourist destination, and as such has earned the nickname the “Little Paris of Ukraine”.

Its population of almost 800,000 people is almost 90% Ukrainian, but due to Ukraine’s close proximity to and historical ties with Russia, there are also a large number of Russian foreigners living in the city. There are also considerable Jewish and Polish communities, as well as a growing number of expatriates that move to Lviv to work in its thriving information technology sector.

Although the official language of Lviv is Ukrainian, many people also speak Russian or Polish as second languages. Many people in its large student population will also speak English, as will the younger generations. However, you should be prepared to learn at least a few Ukrainian words and phrases.

The Climate in Lviv

Expatriates moving to Lviv will need to adjust to a humid continental climate, which is characterized by hot, humid summers, and cold, harsh winters. During the summer months the average temperature is around 18.3°C (65°F), but it can reach up to 36.3°C (97.3°F) on very hot days. Summers are also extremely humid, and fog and rain are not uncommon in the mornings during July and August, the two hottest months.

In contrast, the winters are fairly cold, with an average temperature of around −3.1°C (26°F) in January, which is the coldest month. Snow is commonplace during December, January, and February, and the yearly average rainfall is 745 mm, but most of this falls during the summer months.

Visas for Ukraine

Expatriates and foreigners moving to Lviv will need a visa. As Ukraine is not yet a member of the European Union, but hopes to be by 2020, this also includes EU/EEA citizens.

There are three types of visa available for people moving to Lviv: a short stay tourist visa that lasts for 90 days; a transit visa that allow you to pass through the country; and a long-stay visa, which is used to then apply for a residence permit. Some countries’ nationals do not need a visa for a stay up to 90 days and the complete exemption list can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you wish to move to Lviv for more than 90 days, you will need a long-term visa (which lasts for 45 days) that can then be turned into a temporary residence permit.

You will need to obtain your long-term visa and apply for a temporary residence permit before moving to Lviv, and more information can be sought at your local embassy or consulate.

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  • Giovanni Gallo

    For an expat like me, InterNations is the perfect place to meet and connect with like minded people in Kyiv.

  • Samantha Greene

    After moving to Kyiv, I did not only get tips from other expats in Ukraine, but also from locals willing to help newcomers.

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