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21 Jul. 2022


Legal aspects of refugees during the war: where to look for help?

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Legal aspects of refugees during the war: where to look for help?

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Approximately three million Ukrainian refugees have already returned to Ukraine. Around 8 million people became internally displaced. And more than three million Ukrainians are still abroad.

Ukrainians return home for various reasons: some go to cities liberated from the occupiers, and some could not settle their lives abroad, so they decided to return. But the intensification of hostilities in the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine may encourage people to leave home even after four and a half months of the war. Leaving and returning home can bring some problems. We have collected the most common problems a refugee can face and ways to solve them.

Relocation and return home of IDPs. The issue of providing internally displaced persons with everything necessary during the war is perhaps the most pressing topic in society. How to find out whether an IDP is eligible for financial assistance? Do they have the right to evict IDPs from the provided housing? How to act and what to do with the status after returning home? Finding answers to these and other questions is a real quest for citizens who are often forced to start life over.

Loss or damage to property. Over 420,000 Ukrainians lost their homes during the war or need help in restoring them. The amount of other lost property is difficult to calculate. From cars to offices, owned or borrowed. In most cases, the state will help affected citizens with property restoration or compensation. However, to get real help, you need to arm yourself with information about all the documents and procedures.

Border crossing for men. During martial law in Ukraine, travel abroad by men aged 18 to 60 is prohibited. But there are exceptions to this rule. Postponement, illness, the presence of disability, and the specifics of work - all affect the possibility of men crossing the border during the war. The state has adopted many legal acts on the settlement of the issue of the departure of men, which are almost impossible for an inexperienced user to understand. Often, men may need additional counseling for a smooth border crossing.

How to go abroad if the "90 visa-free days" have ended. Many Ukrainians went to Europe under the visa-free regime, which allows them to stay in EU countries for 90 days within 180 days. In connection with the war in Ukraine, several EU countries have developed a simplified entry procedure, and some have left the 90-day requirement in force. Because of this, entry bans issues often arise at other countries' borders. In addition, "surprises" may occur regarding trips home and issues of financial assistance loss in the country of asylum.

Departure and return without documents. Not every person fleeing the war abroad has the opportunity to be issued a foreign passport or take documents at all. In connection with the war, representatives of the State Border Service and border guards of other countries may allow cross-border movement of Ukrainians with internal passports or, in exceptional situations, even without them. However, for staying abroad and returning home, the presence of identity documents is critically important.

This is far from an exhaustive list of problems Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons face. In addition, each case related to legal difficulties is individual and requires the examination of other circumstances of the citizen. The solution to such problems may be needed urgently and at any time of the day.

That is why Visit Ukraine introduces round-the-clock legal consultations of our partners for all users. The qualified help of a lawyer will allow you to quickly find answers to specific questions and have confidence in the relevance of information. A legal specialist of Visit Ukraine partners is available at any time of the day or night and will advise you on the necessary issue, wherever you are. The contract with a personal lawyer is valid for at least 30 days.

Ordering legal assistance is quite simple. The service is available at the link.

* At the moment, the service is available only for Ukrainians