Authors
Bart Hunnekens

Bart Hunnekens

Partner

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Juultje van der Zanden

Juultje van der Zanden

Senior Associate

Read More
Authors
Bart Hunnekens

Bart Hunnekens

Partner

Read More
Juultje van der Zanden

Juultje van der Zanden

Senior Associate

Read More

9 March 2022

Legal and practical guide for people leaving Ukraine to the Netherlands

  • Briefing

Under what conditions are Ukrainian people allowed to enter the Netherlands?

All Ukrainian citizens with a valid biometric passport are allowed to enter the Netherlands without the requirement of a visa. Ukrainians do not need to report when arriving in the Netherlands and do not have to apply for asylum and register at the application center in Ter Apel immediately. This is also not necessary if the visa-exempt term (or short-stay visa) has already expired. Ukrainian citizens without a biometric passport, are required to have a Schengen visa. At the moment, it is not possible to apply for a Schengen visa at the Dutch embassy in Kiev. There is no longer any consular service in Ukraine. Visas are no longer issued.

Ukrainians who want to apply for asylum have to wait a while before the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (“IND”) considers the application. The IND will not decide on asylum applications from Ukrainians in the coming months and extends the decision period for pending and new asylum applications by one year. This means that the IND will have one year longer to make a decision. Ukraine will further not be considered a safe country of origin for six months. The IND is currently examining whether it is still possible to continue interviews and whether the IND can still take a positive decision in some cases. For example, if an Ukrainian already had a detailed interview in which it became clear that the Ukrainian has a right to protection.

How long may Ukrainian people stay in the Netherlands without any specific permit?

Generally, for a maximum period of 90 days (within any 180-day rolling period) without a visa (“visa-exempt term”). However, the IND has announced that it is possible for Ukrainians to apply for an extension of this period by another 90 days without any specific requirements. How Ukrainians can extend their visa-exempt term or short-stay visa will become clear as soon as possible. In case the visa-exempt term or visa already expired this does not have any adverse effects.

Is there any way to stay longer?

Ukrainians who came to the Netherlands in their visa-exempt term, with a short-stay visa or having a residence permit are allowed to stay in the Netherlands and do not have to apply for asylum. For Ukrainians who already applied for a residence permit or extension the IND takes the situation in Ukraine and the personal situation into account when assessing the application. This also applies in case the Ukrainian is currently unable to send documents about the identity or marriage due to the situation. The Dutch government understands Ukrainians cannot return due to the situation in Ukraine. 

Are there any special transportation means available?

The Dutch rail service provider NS announced a free usage of all personal railway transport to the Netherlands for all Ukrainians; the proof of their citizenship (e.g. passport) may be required. To continue the journey, every Ukrainian can collect a free day pass at any Tickets and Service Counter of the NS upon display of your Ukrainian identity papers and a German, Belgian, French or Austrian train ticket not older than 24 hours. The timetables of all trains in the Netherlands are available on www.ns.nl/en. All local busses, trains or subways can be used with only a passport or ID Card.

Are accommodation and health care provided?

Special emergency reception centers are opened. At this moment Ukrainian citizens can receive reception in Harskamp (the address is: Otterloseweg 5) and Groningen (the address is: Kornoeljestraat 2). The IND will have a contact person at the reception centers, who can answer all questions.

While staying at the reception center, Ukrainians will get a living allowance for clothes and food from the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) every week and access to medical care.

We assume the multiple private initiatives for accommodation will soon be coordinated with the local authorities. Ukrainian people may register themselves at the websites https://takecarebnb.org/en/.

Under what conditions may Ukrainian people work in the Netherlands?

Currently, Ukrainians are not allowed to work in the Netherlands without a work permit. However, the European Union is preparing to grant Ukrainians who flee the war the right to stay and work. These regulations will make it possible for Ukrainians to work without a work permit in Europe. The details are not clear yet. As soon as more becomes clear about this, we will share this information.

For asylum seekers special rules apply. In case an asylum procedure lasts longer than six months, asylum seekers will be permitted to do paid work or to work as an independent entrepreneur. This is permitted for a maximum period of 24 weeks a year. The employer must apply for a work permit for this purpose. Once the asylum seeker receives an income, all or part of the living allowance will be withheld. The asylum seeker is also permitted to do voluntary work (unpaid work) during the asylum procedure.

In addition, it is possible to use the work permits that apply to every third-country national. For example, in case of highly qualified work, a permit for a highly skilled migrant or intra-corporate transfer could be applied for. The employer must apply for this permit and there are various requirements for this.

Where to look for a job?

We advise to have a look at the website of the Public Employment Services Organisation:

Or at the websites:

What is the amount of the minimum salary in the Netherlands?

The minimum gross hourly salary in case of a fulltime job is currently EUR 9.96 per hour. This amount is applicable for people of at least 21 years old, working 40 hours a week. Younger employees (15 to 21) are entitled to the minimum youth wage. The minimum wage protects you from being underpaid.

What about foreign diploma or other professional qualification?

Process of official recognition of Ukrainian diploma or professional qualification is carried out by The Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education: https://www.nuffic.nl/en.

Are there any special rules on education?

Education is mandatory for every child under 16, including asylum seekers. Every asylum seekers’ centre (AZC) is in touch with and has arrangements with an elementary school nearby. Children up to the age of 12 attend primary schools close to where they. Children that go to secondary school usually first follow a specific education for a while where they receive intensive language lessons and then switch to regular education.

The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) provides access to educational programmes for adults at the AZC. Depending on the stage of the asylum application, the COA offers different educational programmes including vocational training. Refugees who have been granted a residence permit can still be offered an educational programme.

Links to useful websites

Contact persons at Taylor Wessing the Netherlands

Mr Bart Hunnekens (+316 31752921, b.hunnekens@taylorwessing.com)
Ms Juultje van der Zanden (+316 31752942, j.vanderzanden@taylorwessing.com)

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