Ukraine can help people who were forced to leave their home country because of some danger, persecution and threat to life. Such people get a refugee status and enjoy the protection and support of the state. A refugee can then receive Ukrainian citizenship or permanent residence permit in Ukraine. In addition to refugee status, a person can also get the status of a person in need of additional or temporary protection.
Reasons for obtaining refugee status
- The refugee status can be obtained by people who do not have Ukrainian citizenship but stay in Ukraine and can’t return to their homeland as there is a risk for them of being persecuted because of their political or religious beliefs, belonging to a certain race, ethnicity, religion or social group. Such people can not enjoy the protection of the state, or do not want to use it, because they consider it to be a source of danger.
- The status of a person in need of additional protection can receive the foreigners who are not refugees by definition, but ask for asylum in Ukraine, because at home they may be victims of torture, the death penalty and other sentences deemed inhuman or degrading; or violence during armed conflict.
- The status of a person in need of temporary protection can be obtained by people who were forced to escape from their country because of the war (including civil war), occupation, clashes on ethnic basis, technogenic and natural disasters and other situations that violate public order.
Stages of obtaining refugee status
If you want to request protection and asylum in Ukraine, you will need to perform several steps. First of all, one shall write an application. An example is usually given at the department of State Migration Service of Ukraine. Then this application should be submitted to the department of State Migration Service (further – the SMS). This can be done personnally or by legal representative. If you are going to become a refugee and have crossed the border legally, you have five days to submit an application. If you did it illegally, you should apply as soon as possible. Together with the application one must submit documents proving his/her right to asylum in Ukraine.
In the SMS your application will be registered, and you will learn the asylum obtaining procedure, your rights and obligations, your fingerprints will be removed and, if necessary, sent for additional examinations. Then you will be registered and told about the next steps.
Within twenty working days your application will be examined. You can use the services of a lawyer. Taking into account all the facts an official makes a decision on the issuance of refugee status. Then the solution is sent to a special body on migration, where it is again examined and then send back. Then, within seven days of the final decision, if everything was done correctly, you will be given a refugee certificate and provided with the necessary assistance.
Ukraine provides social and legal assistance for people with refugee status. They can not be extradited to the country which they fled from.
Refugees from age of sixteen are eligible to receive a document for traveling abroad in Ukraine.
You will lose your refugee status if:
- Again, will enjoy the protection of your country;
- Get the citizenship of a country that can defend you;
- Back to the country, you have left;
- Get asylum or a residence permit in another country;
The circumstances that led you to flee, disappear.