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Temporary protection of persons in the EU

The EU Council decision of March 4, 2022, on the introduction of temporary protection provided for by the Temporary Protection Directive for persons forced to leave Ukraine in connection with a military incursion into its territory, entered into force.

Temporary protection provides displaced persons with easy and quick access to basic rights to education, work, health insurance, etc.

Who has the opportunity to get temporary protection in the EU

Mandatory provided:

  • citizens of Ukraine who lived in Ukraine before February 24, 2022
  • stateless persons and citizens of other countries with refugee status in Ukraine or equivalent status before February 24, 2022
  • family members of the persons indicated above provided that such families existed and lived in Ukraine until February 24, 2022. Family members include: spouses, persons in a civil union provided that this is equivalent to marriage by the relevant EU state, minor unmarried children of the persons concerned or their spouses, other close relatives living with them at the time of the occurrence of the circumstances of the mass influx of displaced persons and those which are wholly or maintained mainly by the persons concerned.

Temporary protection or equivalent is provided:

  • stateless persons, citizens of other countries who can prove that they legally resided in Ukraine before February 24, 2022, based on a valid residence permit issued under the laws of Ukraine and who cannot return safely and permanently to their country of origin.

May be granted by decision of a particular EU Member State:

  • other stateless persons or citizens of other countries who have legally resided in Ukraine and cannot return safely and permanently to their country of origin. In all circumstances, such persons are entitled to cross the EU border on humanitarian grounds without being required to hold, in particular, a valid visa or evidence of sufficient means of subsistence or valid travel documents to ensure their safe return to their country of origin.

In which EU country can you get temporary protection?

At their own discretion, displaced persons have the right to choose the EU country where they wish to receive temporary protection. The Temporary Protection Directive does not create obligations for Denmark only.

Within 90 days from the moment of crossing the EU border, using a visa-free regime, citizens of Ukraine have the right to stay in the EU without applying for temporary protection.

How long is temporary protection provided?

Initially, temporary protection is granted for one year and, unless waived by a separate decision, will be extended automatically to a maximum of two years.

At any time, the decision to grant temporary protection can be canceled if the situation in Ukraine allows a safe return to it.

What rights does a temporarily protected person have?

Temporary protection implies the obligation of the state to ensure that such a person is able to obtain housing.

The necessary social security assistance, if necessary, should also be provided, as well as medical care, which should include at least emergency medical care and the required treatment of diseases.

Persons under 18 years of age must be guaranteed the right to education.

Temporary protection also provides for the right to employment and self-employment.

Obtaining temporary protection in an EU state does not deprive a citizen of Ukraine of the right to travel to other EU countries under the rules of a visa-free regime (up to 90 days within 180 days).

EU countries, on their own initiative, can introduce even more favorable conditions for temporarily protected persons.

Can a temporarily protected person apply for refugee status?

Yes, a person who has been granted temporary protection is also entitled to apply for asylum.

However, EU states may assume that for the period of consideration of applications, a person may not have the status of a temporarily protected person and an asylum seeker at the same time.