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EU Grants Displaced Ukrainians Temporary Residence Permit

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Since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict more than one million people have been displaced and have sought refuge in neighboring countries. The number of people who have fled within the past eight days is similar to those who left Syria during the entirety of their crisis. This blog explains how Ukrainians can get a Temporary Residence Permit.

As the crisis unfolded, the European Union moved quickly to offer mandatory assistance and support to those escaping conflict by offering temporary residency to displaced Ukrainian persons through the EU bloc.

Ukrainians Temporary Residence Permit: An Overview

This means that any Ukrainian who left the country on or after February 24th is eligible for temporary international protection and can legally reside in any of the EU’s 27 Member States. Ukrainians will automatically be granted temporary residence in their new host country for one year.

This can be renewed for up to three years without having to apply for asylum in the EU.

This temporary residence permit will give them access to virtually the same rights as an EU citizen. For example:

  • holders gain residence rights.
  • access to the labor market.
  • access to housing.
  • social assistance, medical or other assistance.
  • and means of subsistence.

For unaccompanied children and teenagers, temporary protection also grants the right to legal guardianship and access to education. This is important to remember for Ukrainians getting a Temporary Residence Permit.

The EU will also grant protection to non-Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons legally residing in Ukraine who cannot return to their country or region of origin. This would include asylum seekers or beneficiaries of international protection and their family members.

Those who are lawfully in Ukraine for a short period of time and can safely return to their country of origin fall outside the scope of this protection. However, they should be allowed access to the EU for transit before returning to their countries of origin.

What else should I know about the Ukrainian Temporary Residence Permit?

Furthermore, the EU plans to improve Ukraine border crossings to reduce possible delays without affecting security. Under Schengen rules, border guards can temporarily relax border controls in exceptional circumstances for certain categories of persons.

The guidelines set out criteria to help member states decide to whom this measure may apply, taking into account the needs of vulnerable travelers, such as children. However, where the identity of the arriving person cannot be established, the usual border control will apply.

The Temporary Protection Directive

Generally when a person arrives in an EU country and applies for refugee status or residency needs to go through a bureaucratic process that can take months or even years. Meanwhile, they live in limbo.

However, because of the situation in Ukraine, the EU has activated the Temporary Protection Directive. This is a 2001 regulation that arose after an influx of people into the EU from Bosnia. However, it has never been used before.

This mechanism presumes that all persons displaced in this particular context are in need of international protection. This reaction from the EU prevents the asylum system from collapsing. Ukrainians are automatically granted international protection status without the need for an analysis of their individual circumstances.

The EU Directive must now be placed in law in each of the EU’s 27 Member States.

Then each nation will share their process for handling and supporting displaced Ukrainians who are seeking safe harbor.

Lexidy LegalTech Boutique is committed to offering impartial advice to those affected by conflict amid a widespread disinformation campaign. Our lawyers are producing 100% verified information and we are on hand to discuss your case if you are impacted.

You can also visit our dedicated Ukraine crisis information center to understand more and stay ahead of the developments. We will update you as more information emerges and are here to offer immigration help.

Information on Refugee Status:

The 1951 Geneva Convention grants refugee status to those with: “A well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, are outside the country of their nationality and are unable or, due to such fear, are unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country”.

While many are fleeing the Ukraine War, most technically do not appear on a ‘black list’ of persecuted persons as defined by the Geneva Convention. The EU directive is more effective as it provides a guarantee mechanism when a very large flow of people fleeing.

This prevents a bureaucratic grey area by removing the need to prove that they are on a “black list” since they cannot return to their country because their life and integrity are at risk.

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