The war in Ukraine has been going on for over a month. During this time, more than 4 million Ukrainians have left Ukraine, most of them women and children. As a result, many countries have decided to support refugees. Understanding the differences between temporary protection and refugee status is now essential.
List of persons entitled to temporary protection in the EU :
- Citizens of Ukraine who were forced to leave Ukraine on or after February 24, 2022 as a result of a military invasion by Russian troops.
- Stateless persons and citizens of third countries, except Ukraine, who enjoyed international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine until February 24, 2022.
- Family members of the first two categories, including spouses (including unregistered marriages, if recognized by the EU Member State concerned) and their minor unmarried children or the children of their spouses, whether born in or out of wedlock. , or adopted), as well as their close relatives who lived with them in the family at the time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and who were fully or predominantly dependent on persons from the first two categories.
- Third-country nationals.
* If you would like more information on how to obtain temporary protection in a particular country, please call: +38 095 329 13 55
Member States may decide to extend temporary protection to those who left Ukraine before 24 February 2022 due to rising tensions, or who were in the European Union (for example, on holiday or work) before that date, and who as a result of armed conflict cannot return to Ukraine. (information from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine).
Rights of persons granted temporary protection in EU countries:
- access to work (unlike obtaining refugee status, no waiting period of 6 months)
- access to education: children under the age of 18 have the right to study in educational institutions at the level of the citizens of the host country;
- provision of housing (settlement in the center or provision of means of subsistence);
- access to social security;
- access to medical care;
- the right to relevant information on temporary protection;
- opportunity to obtain refugee status in the future;
- the opportunity to return to the country of citizenship at any time
List of documents for crossing the border and obtaining temporary protection in the EU:
For example, a foreign or Ukrainian biometric passport is enough to enter the Czech Republic, and children need to have a birth certificate. Pets can be imported without documents. It is also not necessary to have a vaccination certificate from COVID-19, or take a PCR test.
However, at the initial crossing of the EU border through a non-EU country without internal border control, the documents are re-checked at the border checkpoint of the next Schengen country.
All EU member states bordering Ukraine (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania) allow entry to persons fleeing the war in Ukraine, regardless of their biometric passport.
The person chooses the place of residence during the registration of this status. Its validity is 1 year, ie until March 4, 2023. Subject to the continuation of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine, the status is automatically extended. There are no problems with returning to Ukraine if you have temporary protection status, but you should notify the migration service before leaving.
In turn, refugee status can be granted to anyone fleeing or hiding from war. However, there are some peculiarities.
This status can only be requested and obtained in the country with which you first crossed the border. In addition, children’s social support and education are similar to temporary status, but they will not be able to hire you immediately. We will have to wait for official confirmation of refugee status (about six months, sometimes more). You will have to wait the same amount if you want to revoke this status.
Relevant bodies are engaged in registration of this status. Refugee status does not exist, it is indefinite for the duration of the threat. The state will determine where a person with this status will live, so it is forbidden to change one’s place of residence or leave the country. A document on both temporary protection and refugee status can be issued at any time.
Today, Ukrainians crossing the border with the EU due to a full-scale Russian invasion do not need to apply for refugee status. The EU Council unanimously supported the decision to introduce a system of temporary protection for all Ukrainian refugees. After crossing the border, Ukrainians automatically receive legal status in the EU, which will allow them to live in the EU, work, have access to social security, education and medicine.
* For more detailed information call: +38 095 329 13 55
|What is the status of Ukrainians in the European Union?
|Status of the person granted temporary protection
|Asylum seeker status (refugee status)
|Who is granted such status?
| Citizens of Ukraine and members of their families
Stateless persons, refugees and members of their families from third countries fleeing the war in Ukraine
Foreigners who permanently reside in Ukraine legally and cannot return safely to their country of origin
|Any person who escapes war or persecution
|How to get such a status?
|Apply for a residence permit to the authorities of the country
|Apply to the competent authorities of the country to which you have arrived. After that, they will carry out a special procedure lasting up to 6 months or more
|In which country can you apply for such a status?
|In any EU country
|Only in the first country you crossed the border
|Where can you live?
|The choice of place of residence is arbitrary: it can be provided by families of volunteers, public organizations, the state. You can also live with family and friends. You can change your place of residence at any time, as well as move to another country
|Only in state-designated refugee accommodation facilities. It is not allowed to change the place of residence, to leave the country as well
|How long can you stay in this status?
|1 year (until March 4, 2023) with the possibility of extension for another year depending on the situation in Ukraine
|Indefinitely for the duration of the grounds for its provision
|Can I start working right away?
|Yes, access to work is provided immediately
|No, you will only have access to work after receiving refugee status (after 6 months or more)
|Can children learn?
|Yes, children under 18 have the right to study in educational institutions
|Will there be access to social security and health care?
|When can I return to Ukraine?
|At any time
|After applying for refugee status, you must remain in the country for the entire period of its consideration (up to 6 months or more). The procedure for revoking refugee status takes about the same amount of time
|Is it possible to apply for refugee status not immediately?
|Yes, you can submit such an application at any time