On 4 March the European Union activated the Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/EC).
Who is eligible for Temporary Protection?
The Council implementing decision applies to the following categories of persons displaced from Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022, following the invasion by Russian armed forces that began on that date:
a) Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
b) stateless persons, and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine, who benefited from international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022; and
c) family members of the persons referred to in points (a) and (b).
The following persons shall be considered part of a family, insofar as the family was already present and residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022:
1. the spouse of a person referred to in point (a) or (b), or the unmarried partner in a stable relationship;
2. the minor unmarried children of a person referred to in point (a) or (b), or of his or her spouse, without distinction as to whether they were born in or out of wedlock or adopted;
3. other close relatives who lived together as part of the family unit at the time of the circumstances surrounding the mass influx of displaced persons, and who were wholly or mainly dependent on a person referred to in point (a) or (b) at the time.
In Malta, temporary protection shall also be granted to stateless persons, and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine, who can prove that they were legally residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 on the basis of a valid permanent residence permit issued in accordance with Ukrainian law, and who are unable to return in safe and durable conditions to their country or region of origin.
It is important to note that the onus to establish the eligibility for temporary protection in accordance with the Council Implementing Decision lies with the third country nationals/stateless persons concerned. In case the persons concerned are unable to submit evidence that they fall under the target groups listed above, they cannot be granted temporary protection.
The above is without prejudice to the possibility to apply for international protection with the International Protection Agency.
What are the rights of holders of this status?
In accordance with the provisions of the Temporary Protection Directive, holders of the status will be entitled to:
• residence permits;
• access to the labour market and accommodation;
• social and welfare assistance;
• medical care (including, as a minimum essential emergency care and essential treatment of illness); and
• access to education for children and teenagers.
How long will temporary protection last?
Holders of Temporary Protection status will be issued with a permit until 4 March 2024.
Is temporary protection ‘automatic’?
No. Requests for temporary protection need to be submitted with the International Protection Agency (IPA).
Can temporary protection be enjoyed concurrently with the status of international protection?
No. Temporary protection cannot be enjoyed concurrently with the status of an applicant for international protection (i.e. an asylum seeker).
In case someone decides to apply for international protection, his/her application will be assessed accordingly, and a decision will be taken by the International Protection Agency (IPA). It is pertinent to note that the international protection status determination process is independent of the benefit of temporary protection.
N.B: This is not a legal document and does not constitute legal advice.