Ukrainians in Spain: everything you need to know about crossing the border, living conditions and support for refugees
The European Union has been accepting refugees since the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Spain is among the countries offering shelter, where Ukrainians can live, work legally, receive education and receive medical care.
We have collected the most useful information for Ukrainians in Spain: how to cross the border, stay in the country and where to get the necessary help.
How to get to Spain?
First you need to cross the border with one of the EU countries - by car, on foot or by train. The schedule of free evacuation trains is updated every evening on the Ukrzaliznytsia website - https://www.uz.gov.ua/. You can also use the help of local volunteers to transport refugees to the border.
Until April 10, low-cost carrier Wizz Air will provide Ukrainians with 100,000 free tickets for flights departing from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Discounts on international flights are also offered by the Polish airline LOT.
How to cross the border?
Ukrainians can cross the border of the European Union with a biometric or Ukrainian passport and stay there for 90 days. Citizens of Ukraine can enter the territory of Spain with a biometric passport. If you do not have one, and you do not have a visa, you should contact the consular department of one of the countries bordering Ukraine, such as Poland, Romania, Hungary. They will consider the case and give permission.
You can cross the border with the child if you have a birth certificate and a document confirming family ties with the person accompanying the child.
How to get temporary protection?
On March 4th, the Council of the European Union launched a "temporary protection" procedure for Ukrainians fleeing the war. This means that citizens of Ukraine can live, work or study in the European Union for a year. If the war does not end, the EU plans to extend it for three years.
Every Ukrainian crossing the border with the EU automatically receives temporary protection status. With it, refugees can go to any EU country and live there.
Ukrainians who left Ukraine due to the invasion of Russian troops, as well as Ukrainians who were in Spain at the beginning of the war and cannot return home, can receive temporary protection.
How to find housing in Spain?
Citizens of Ukraine who are unable to support themselves can expect to have a place in the Spanish Refugee Reception Centers. Otherwise, it is possible to rent a house or room in a hostel or hotel.
Volunteers offer free private accommodation in various cities in Spain. You can find ads or apply on special websites of official volunteer organizations. For example, on the page "Shelter" https://prykhystok.in.ua/ you can find free housing provided by Spaniards.
The Renfe railway network provided free travel in Spain and in the direction of France for the citizens of Ukraine. You can use the service in Barcelona, if you have a Ukrainian passport. Tickets are available at the train station ticket office.
Is it possible to work in Spain?
Ukrainians who have received temporary protection have the right to work legally, on a contract basis or as a sole proprietor. Citizens of Ukraine who have been granted refugee status will not have access to the labor market.
Where to get help?
The Spanish government has developed a social protection program that will provide housing, food, clothing and psychological assistance. There is currently no information on whether payments are planned. Refugee Centers (OARs) should be contacted for support.
Las Caracolas Refugee Center in Madrid (temporary accommodation with meals)
Address: Avenue del Mayorazgo, 28051, Madrid, the nearest underground stations "Congosto" and "La Gavia" line 1
Social Assistance Point Training Center for Social Security Bodies
Address: José de Carabanchel a Aravaca, 91, 28233, Posuelo de Alarcon, Madrid
Hotline: +34 91 047 44 44
Samur Social Service, which helps to obtain international protection
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.