How can a Ukrainian change his place of residence within the EU in order to remain under protection: answers to frequently asked questions
Millions of Ukrainians received the status of temporary protection in European countries since the beginning of the war. Learn more about the specifics of changing your place of residence, obtaining temporary protection and answers to problematic questions you may face when changing your country of residence in the EU
With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, many Ukrainians received the status of temporary protection in European countries. However, life goes on, circumstances are different, and quite often there is a need to change the region or country of residence.
Together with the lawyers of the UA.SUPPORT website, we found out the specifics of changing the place of residence, registration of temporary protection and other subtleties of moving.
Is it possible to change temporary protection in one country to another?
According to the directive of the European Commission, Ukrainians have the right to move from one EU state to another. However, in this case, the residence permit and your rights in the first country are cancelled. The new country must grant you temporary protection and a new residence permit.
Importantly! Before leaving, you must notify the competent authorities of the country you plan to leave about your departure. The procedure is different and depends on each individual country. Lawyers also advise you to get some document that will confirm that you no longer have temporary protection in the first country.
Problematic issues that you may face when changing your country of residence
In practice, if you crossed the border after 02/24/2022 and received temporary protection, found a job, then for the competent authorities this may mean that you already have asylum. Also, cancellation of temporary protection does not automatically grant access to a refugee assistance center in another country. That is, there is a risk that in such a situation you will not be granted temporary protection status in a new country. But there are still no clear guidelines in this area. All such cases are considered individually. The approach is also different in different municipalities.
Before refusing protection in one country, we recommend contacting the Embassy of Ukraine or the migration authorities of the country to which you plan to move, explaining your situation and finding out the possibilities of moving in advance.
The period for which you can leave the state that granted asylum without losing temporary protection
As a general rule, temporary protection obtained in an EU country gives the right to leave the country for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. It is possible to extend the period of stay outside the country on an individual basis in migration centers.
In cases where you receive social assistance or are registered at the Employment Center, you must notify the authorities of your departure and find out the conditions of return and the period of absence in the country. If you are absent for a long period of time without notice, your temporary protection status may be revoked in some countries, and you may be required to repay the social benefits you have paid.
How to change the place of residence within one state (for example, Germany)?
According to German law, you cannot choose your own place of residence and must be assigned to a certain federal state (Land) and municipality. However, you have the opportunity to register in another city, for example, if you have found work and/or housing there. That is, moving and re-registration is possible only if there is a good reason, which must be provided to the local immigration office.
Importantly! Most cities and municipalities in Germany are currently crowded with refugees from Ukraine, so take this fact into account when planning your move.
We also advise you to apply to the local authority for foreigners to obtain a temporary residence permit (if this has not already been done), explaining your specific situation. Confirmation of your employment contract and/or a copy of the lease agreement, which can be presented to the office, will help you with the paperwork. In the immigration office in the city that issued you the Fiktionsbescheinigung, you can find out whether you should subsequently submit a "relocation application" or "Umverteilungantrag" to this immigration office.
How long can you leave Germany with temporary protection?
Ukrainians who received a residence permit for temporary protection in Germany "Fiktionsbescheinigung" can leave the country for up to 6 months. However, this period can be extended if you have a valid reason. More detailed information at the link.
How to change the place of residence to another EU country (for example, the Czech Republic)?
According to the official information of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Czech Republic, the country does not grant temporary protection to foreigners who had a valid residence permit (long-term visa or permanent residence permit, temporary protection) in another state and whose term expired after February 24, 2022.
In the Czech Republic, when moving from another EU country, you can only issue a tolerance visa (for 90 days). It is valid only on the territory of the country and is canceled after departure. Unlike temporary protection, visa holders cannot apply for health insurance, humanitarian and financial assistance and do not get free access to the labor market. You can get a work permit at one of the branches of the State Employment Service.
The application is submitted in person to the OAMP MV department.
List of documents:
• a questionnaire and a stamp in the amount of 300 crowns (for payment of the administrative fee only at Czech Post offices);
• one photograph (45 x 35 mm);
Processing of documents lasts up to 30 days. You can also try to get a work or business visa. Learn more at the link.
Pay attention! Temporary protection is also canceled if you get a visa to Canada. The status of an immigrant is canceled automatically in the country, it cannot be restored. If a person first received a visa to Canada, and then came to the Czech Republic to receive asylum, he will be refused.
If you have any difficulties when moving, filing documents or other legal issues arise, we advise you to contact UA.SUPPORT - this is a platform that connects people who need free legal assistance with lawyers.
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