Information Ukraïne

Right of residence for people from Ukraine

As a result of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, many people have left their country. Many people have also arrived in the Netherlands in the search for a safe haven. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) has indicated that due of the war, there is a lenient attitude towards people fleeing Ukraine. The IND is currently setting up processes to regulate the right of residence of people from Ukraine in the Netherlands.

Free term and short stay visa
In 2017, the European Union concluded an association agreement with Ukraine. Thanks to a regulation, Ukrainians with a biometric passport are allowed to stay in the Netherlands for 90 days. This is called the free term. It is possible for Ukrainians with ordinary passports to apply for a short stay visa. This also gives a 90-day stay in the Netherlands. To be eligible for the free term and a short stay visa, all the conditions of the Schengen Borders Code must be met.

The IND has indicated that it will be made possible to extend the free period or the short-stay visa to a maximum of 180 days. Moreover, the IND has indicated that residents of Ukraine who exceed the maximum terms will not experience any problems in connection with the current situation.

Temporary protection under the Directive (2001/55/EC)
Under the Temporary Protection Directive in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons, documented people from Ukrainia who were displaced on or since 24 February 2022 can receive temporary protection.The purpose of this Directive is to provide immediate and collective protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons from third countries who are unable to return to their country of origin.

Under the Directive, protection can be given for a period of 1 year. If the situation in Ukraine does not improve, this period can be extended twice by six months. After 2 years, protection can be granted for another 1 year, if the European Commission grants permission for this. Temporary protection under Directive 2001/55 can therefore be granted for a maximum period of no more than 3 years.

Directive 2001/55 that people who fall under the directive have the right to a residence document, access to the labor market and education, (decent) housing, social assistance, medical care and family reunification. Under the Directive, Member States may provide that temporary protection and the status of asylum seeker cannot be granted at the same time.

March 30, an extensive letter was sent to parliament about the approach to reception of displaced persons from Ukraine. The IND has previously published information about who falls under the scope of the directive. It follows from this information that the following persons fall within the scope of the Temporary Protection Directive:

  • Persons of Ukrainian nationality;
  • Stateless persons or third-country nationals with a nationality other than Ukrainian, who enjoyed international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine on February 23, 2022 or who had a (different) valid Ukrainian residence permit on February 23, 2022;
  • Family members of the aforementioned persons.

The first group concerns persons with Ukrainian nationality who resided in Ukraine on February 23, 2022. This group also includes Ukrainians who fled Ukraine on or after November 27, 2021, because tensions increased or who were on or after November 27, 2021 on the territory of the Union (e.g. for vacation or work). Ukrainians who can demonstrate that they already resided in the Netherlands in the period before 27 November 2021, for example because of an asylum application submitted earlier, on the basis of a regular residence permit or a residence permit that has been terminated, also fall under the directive.

The second group concerns stateless persons or third-country nationals with a nationality other than Ukrainian, who received international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine on 23 February 2022. This group also includes people who had a (different) valid Ukrainian residence permit on February 23, 2022. No distinction is thus made according to the nature of the right of residence.

The third group refers to family members, including the marriage partner or unmarried partner with whom a lasting relationship is maintained. This also includes minor unmarried children (born or adopted in marriage or out of wedlock) or other close relatives who lived with the family and who are wholly or largely dependent.

Third-country nationals who stayed in Ukraine without a residence permit, because they were still in proceedings, are not covered by the Temporary Protection Directive. This would mean that these persons would have to submit another residence application in the Netherlands.

If there are valid reasons to become a victim of persecution or indiscriminate violence in situations of an armed conflict in the country of origin, an asylum application can be submitted. People who apply for asylum in the Netherlands are entitled to a procedure and reception. Since February 28, for a period of 6 months, no decisions will be made on Ukrainian asylum applications and no Ukrainians will be deported if the residence application is rejected.

Reception and registration in the BRP
Special reception centers have been opened in various Dutch municipalities. These reception locations offer sleeping places for people with Ukrainian nationality and for people with a Ukrainian residence permit. Everyone who is entitled to stay in Ukraine is now entitled to reception by the municipality. The Red Cross offers assistance in gaining access to the reception locations and can be contacted via: +31648158053.

The municipality is responsible for the registration of Ukrainians and people with a residence permit in Ukraine in the Personal Records Database (BRP). Registration in the BRP takes place in the municipality of the reception location or residence address. Every municipality has set up a counter for this.

When registering, a passport or other proof of identity is required or, if applicable, a Ukrainian residence permit that was valid on February 23, 2022. Minors who came along as a family and who do not have proof of identity can be given a statement by the parents (in the absence of other documents). be registered under oath or affirmation.

When registering, no distinction is made between a biometric passport or a passport without biometrics. A domestic identity card also states the Ukrainian nationality and can therefore also be used to establish identity and nationality. If the Ukrainian nationality cannot be substantiated with documents, there is a possibility to obtain a certificate from the Ukrainian consulate proving the identity and nationality. With this proof, registration in the BRP can take place.

After registration in the BRP, the IND is automatically informed.

Flexible conditions for a residence permit
Temporary Ukrainians can apply for a residence permit without a provisional residence permit (MVV). This is possible if there is already lawful residence in the Netherlands on the basis of a short stay visa or during the free term and all conditions for the residence permit are met. There is currently an exemption from the basic civic integration exam abroad.

If an MVV has already been applied for, it no longer needs to be collected at a Dutch embassy. This is possible if a positive decision has been received on the MVV application and there is lawful residence on the basis of a short-stay visa or during the free period.

Members of the SVMA specialize in immigration, asylum and refugee law. The lawyers can advise on residence rights in the Netherlands.

The Association of Asylum Lawyers and Lawyers in the Netherlands (VAJN) has published a list of lawyers and VAJN members who have declared their willingness to provide legal aid to persons from Ukraine who need it.

More information
There are still things unclear about the right of residence, reception and facilities for people who have fled Ukraine. On this page we provide information as far as it is currently known. We will revise this information as changes occur.