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13 Nov. 2022

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Temporary protection in Estonia: paperwork, social support and financial assistance

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Temporary protection in Estonia: paperwork, social support and financial assistance

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
BUY


Estonia has been providing military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since February 24, and is also actively accepting refugees. In the first days of the full-scale invasion, 3,000 refugees arrived in Estonia every day. Currently, 60,000 Ukrainians have received temporary protection in the country, most of them have found housing and work, Ukrainian children continue their studies in schools. The conditions for obtaining temporary protection in Estonia are detailed below.


Rules of entry


Ukrainians are allowed to enter Estonia with any Ukrainian documents: biometric or foreign passport, ID card, passport of a citizen of Ukraine, for children - a passport or birth certificate or any other identity documents. It is not necessary to issue a visa.

There are no coronavirus restrictions for temporarily displaced citizens of Ukraine.


In connection with the state of war in Ukraine, Estonia has temporarily simplified the requirements for the import of domestic animals of Ukrainians. Pets are allowed to enter Estonia even if they do not have a passport or have not been vaccinated. Upon arrival in Estonia, the owner of the animal must report this to the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAF). To do this, it is necessary to fill out the notification form and send it to the e-mail address [email protected]. More detailed information can be obtained at border crossings or refugee assistance centers.


Estonia shares a common border with the Russian Federation, so it often acts as a transit point for Ukrainians leaving the temporarily occupied territories through the territory of Russia. There are many volunteer centers in Estonia that help Ukrainians overcome this path:


• The "Friends of Mariupol" organization helps those evacuating through the territory of the Russian Federation with the construction of a route and transport after crossing the border with Estonia. To contact: send a request to the Telegram bot: @mariupol_estonia_bot or visit the site or Facebook. Volunteers of the organization can be found in Narva at the refugee volunteer center (Vaksali 19) and in Tallinn at the bus station (Lastekodu 46).

• Tips for those who were deported to Russia or the so-called DPR are collected in the Telegram channel: @deportationtoRF.


Now the situation on the border between Russia and Estonia is quite difficult. Holders of Ukrainian passports are "filtered" at Russian checkpoints. People's phones are checked and interrogated, they are forced to stay in cold rooms for a long time without food, water and the opportunity to rest, even with small children. After crossing the border, Estonians feed people, provide them with temporary rest until the Ukrainians decide where to go next.


Where to apply for protection?


In Estonia, as in other EU countries, Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection status. The permit is issued for one year with the possibility of extension. Ukrainians receive the right to residence, work, financial support, health insurance and education. Ukrainian citizens and their family members who lived in Ukraine before February 24 and left Ukraine in connection with the military conflict since February 24 can apply for temporary protection.


Petitions for temporary protection can be submitted to the DPPO. It is necessary to book an appointment before the visit. The procedure consists of filling out an application, the employees will also take your photo and take your fingerprints. You must have identity documents or other documents with you, for example, a birth certificate.


Free travel


The transport system of Estonia is represented by buses and trains. Also, trams and trolleybuses still run in Tallinn, and there is a ferry service between the mainland and the large islands. The Elron company and the Department of Transport, in cooperation with public transport centers, provide Ukrainian refugees with free travel on electric trains, as well as city and county buses. During the trip, the passenger must have an appropriate travel card, which can be obtained from the local government, and an identity document.

Housing in Estonia


The Estonian Refugee Council provides Ukrainians with temporary and long-term housing. Ukrainians are accommodated mainly in the cities of the country in hotels, apartments, private houses and dormitories. Refugees live here for free or for minimal payment.

If you move from social housing to an apartment that you will rent on your own, you are entitled to financial support from the Government of Estonia - this is a one-time compensation that will cover the costs of starting the rental. The maximum amount of payment is 1200 euros. To receive compensation, it is necessary to submit an application to the local self-government.

You can search for an apartment for rent on the following portals: kinnisvara24.ee, city24.ee and kv.ee or in the relevant communities in social networks. When you find housing, be sure to sign a housing rental agreement. It provides clear rights and obligations of the parties and protects against undesirable situations.

Medical services


Obtaining temporary protection status does not automatically provide Ukrainians with medical protection. After obtaining a residence permit, you need to apply for health insurance under the same conditions as Estonian residents.

Ukrainians are provided with a free general health check-up, assistance from a family doctor, emergency medical and emergency dental care, testing and vaccination for COVID-19, and prescriptions for free medicines. You can get medical advice by calling the consultation number of family doctors: 1220. In case of an emergency, call 112.

We also advise you to have travel insurance for the period until you complete all the necessary documents, because this is a guarantee of your safety and a peaceful stay outside of Ukraine.

Financial assistance


Ukrainians who have obtained temporary protection status in Estonia are entitled to financial assistance. Payment for groceries and other priority expenses is €200 per month for the first family member, €160 per month for each subsequent adult family member and €240 for each child.

Parents who arrived in Estonia with a child younger than one and a half years old are paid parental compensation. The amount of compensation is €584 per month for a period of up to 545 days.

Every child has the right to receive child benefit from the moment of birth until reaching the age of 16. The amount of child benefit is 60 euros for the first and second child in the family and 100 euros for the third and subsequent children.

Pensioners who received temporary protection will be paid a pension by the Department of Pensions of Ukraine. If your pension is lower than the Estonian national pension (€275), you can apply to the Social Insurance Department to cover the difference.

Where to look for work?


Temporary protection status entitles Ukrainians to work. We advise you to start your job search by registering as unemployed at the nearest office of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. When looking for a job, you will be paid unemployment benefits, if during the 12 months before registering as unemployed you worked for at least 180 days (work in Ukraine is also taken into account), raised a child under the age of 8, studied or were engaged in other similar activities. The amount of unemployment benefit is 292 euros per month, and the payment period is up to 9 months.

You can also search for a job on your own on the following websites: Onlineexpo or on the website of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Education


Ukrainian children have the right to receive free education in Estonia. You can enroll in a kindergarten or school at a local self-government institution or directly at an educational institution. Children in Estonia go to school from the age of 7 until they reach the age of 17. Teaching is usually conducted in Estonian, in some mainstream schools also in Russian.

Attending kindergarten in Estonia is not mandatory. Local authorities provide the opportunity to attend kindergarten for all children aged 1.5 to 7 years, whose parents so desire.

Information points


The government of Estonia has organized information points in the country to help refugees from Ukraine, where you can get information about the rules of processing documents to stay in Estonia, humanitarian aid or temporary shelter. They work around the clock and are located at the following addresses:

• Tallinn Bus Station (Lastekodu 46)
• Jõhvi (Viru 5a)
• Narva (Peetri plats 3, open 8-22)
• Pärnu (Pikk 18)
• Tartu (Riia 179)

For more useful information about the rules for applying for temporary protection in Estonia and the rights of Ukrainians, see the link.

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