According to UNHCR, over 5.4 million Ukrainians have left Ukraine in search of safety, primarily arriving in neighbouring EU and third countries (including Moldova). This inform outlines the scope of the Temporary Protection Directive and the registration processes in place for persons fleeing the war in Ukraine. The analysis in this inform is based on contributions provided by 26 Member States.
The Temporary Protection Directive was first activated by the Council on 4 March 2022 in response to the refugee crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. This inform outlines the scope of the Temporary Protection Directive and the registration processes in place for persons fleeing the war in Ukraine. The analysis in this inform is based on contributions provided by 26 Member States.
Article 2(1) of Council Decision 2022/382 outlines three categories of persons to whom temporary protection applies: (i) Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine on or before 24 February 2022; (ii) stateless persons and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine, who benefitted from international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022; and (iii) family members of the abovementioned groups. Whilst the Temporary Protection Directive allows Member States to have national complementary schemes in place, the majority of responding Member States reported applying temporary protection exclusively under the Temporary Protection Directive.
For Ukrainian nationals who were already present on the territory of a Member State before the invasion, Member States have applied different measures. Many Member States reported taking measures to enable Ukrainian nationals legally residing on their territory to remain even after their visas or other legal basis of stay had expired. Others requested that people apply for an extension of their current permit, request temporary protection, or apply for asylum. A few Member States reported extending protection to persons who had only temporarily left Ukraine before the outbreak of the conflict, and who were unable to return to Ukraine. With regard to Ukrainian nationals in an irregular situation, a few Member States reported stipulating that such individuals would be given a legal basis for temporary stay and that any return decision was thereby postponed or invalidated.
In line with Article 9 of the Temporary Protection Directive, Member States are required to provide beneficiaries of temporary protection with a document, in a language they can understand, clearly stating the temporary protection provisions that apply to them. All responding Member States reported taking steps to provide beneficiaries with information. Official institutional websites were the main medium to communicate information relating to temporary protection and other information of interest. This was followed by printed materials, such as leaflets/brochures, and hotlines (usually providing a 24h service). A few Member States reported using non-governmental online outlets like social media platforms, television or radio to assist those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
Initial registration of temporary protection can take place at the border (both external and internal), or at other (reception) centres in the given country. Registration can also take place later if those entitled to temporary protection choose to travel to another Member State. As a form of initial registration, ten Member States reported issuing first a temporary certificate confirming the request for temporary protection, before a residence permit is confirmed and issued. For other Member States, there is only one registration process for temporary protection.
A few Member States reported that they have specific procedures in place to separately register minors traveling without their parents. In most cases, they are registered in the same systems as the adults, with additional information being collected on the adults they may travel with, and relevant documents are requested if the accompanying adults are not their parents. Specific procedures are then applied to the registration of unaccompanied minors.