Adam Griffiths


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Ameer Gazder


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Adam Griffiths


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Ameer Gazder


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13 April 2022

Leaving Ukraine – 11 of 11 Insights

Legal and practical guide for people leaving Ukraine to Ireland

  • In-depth analysis

Under what conditions are Ukrainian people allowed to enter Ireland?

The Irish government has waived visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens as an emergency measure. You also will not require proof that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, nor will you need to take a COVID-19 test before you arrive. 

Ukrainian citizens traveling to Ireland without a visa will have 90 days following their arrival in Ireland to regularise their immigration permission. 

In the event that you do not possess a passport which is up-to-date, alternative forms of identification will be accepted, such as an expired passport, birth certificate or a national ID card. 

If arriving at either Dublin Airport or Rosslare Port, it is recommended that you proceed immediately to a reception facility upon arrival. Such facilities will be clearly marked. Alternatively, assistance with regard to immigration, accommodation and social welfare can also be found at a Ukraine Support Centre in Dublin, Cork or Limerick at the following addresses (further centres are also planned to be added in the coming weeks):

  • Dublin: Intreo Centre, Guild Building, Cork Street, Dublin 8, D08 XH90
  • Cork: (Cork City) PSC and PPSN Centre, Department of Social Protection, Hanover Street, Cork, T12 PX62
  • Limerick: (Limerick City) 2nd Floor, Riverstone House, 23-27 Henry Street, Limerick City, V94 R7YE

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

Council Directive 2001/55/EC, otherwise known as the Temporary Protection Directive (the Directive), has been activated. This means that the following people may work and access services and benefits in Ireland without making an application for refugee status:

  • Ukrainian nationals who were residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
  • People who had refugee status (or another type of international protection) in Ukraine before 24 February 2022; 
  • Stateless people who lived in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
  • Family members of the people above if they were living in Ukraine before 24 February 2022; and
  • People who had a permanent Ukrainian residence permit who lived in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, and who cannot safely return to their countries of origin.

In accordance with the Directive you will be granted permission to live in Ireland for one year, which unless terminated will be extended automatically by six monthly periods for a maximum of one year. You will receive a letter confirming that you have residence in Ireland pursuant to the Directive from the immigration officer upon arrival in Ireland.

If you did not receive a permission letter upon your arrival (for instance if you arrived in Ireland before 9 March 2022 when permission letters first started being provided), you can also receive it at the Ukraine Support Centre in Dublin. Permission letters are currently not being issued by the Ukraine Support Centres in Cork or Limerick although arrangements are currently being put in place to provide such letters at these offices. Alternatively, if you have been granted accommodation by the Irish government, officials will visit your accommodation and will be able to provide you with your permission letter.

Are there any special transportation means available?

Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) is the national train operator in Ireland and services most major cities in Ireland. Tickets can be booked directly on its website.  

Bus Éireann is the national bus operator providing bus services on commuter, city, town and local bus routes. 

The National Transport Authority's website, Transport for Ireland, is a useful resource for planning a trip anywhere around Ireland. The planner provides timetable and map information from all licensed public transport providers across the country. It provides plans for trains, buses, trams, ferry and taxi services and combines them into simple journey plans to better assist you in finding the best route and means of transport. 

Public Services

In order to avail of public services in Ireland every adult and child will require their own Personal Public Services Number (PPSN). PPSNs are being issued at the Dublin Airport reception facility and the Ukraine Support Centres. The Irish government is currently advising Ukrainians arriving in Ireland not to apply for a PPSN online as special arrangements have been made to process your PPSN as quickly as possible at these locations. If you are not in Dublin, Cork or Limerick you can also attend a local Intreo office for assistance in this regard. 

In order to apply for your PPSN you will need to present a form of identification such as (but not limited to):

  • your Ukrainian National Identity Card; or
  • your Ukrainian Passport. 

Are accommodation and health care provided?

If you require accommodation, you can get assistance at the reception facility at Dublin Airport or Rosslare Port, or at a Ukraine Support Centre upon arrival in Ireland. 

If you are already in Ireland and you have nowhere to stay, you can email the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) at setting out the following information:

  • The full name of anyone who needs accommodation.
  • Date(s) of birth.
  • Phone number.
  • Where you are now (the full address if you have one).
  • When you need the accommodation (for example, from tonight).
  • Medical conditions, disabilities, allergies and dietary requirements.

Healthcare services in Ireland are delivered by Ireland’s public healthcare service - the Health Service Executive (HSE). You can get the same public healthcare services as people who live in Ireland.

If you are arriving in Ireland under the terms of the Directive you will also be eligible to receive a medical card allowing you access to free doctor visits, additional health services and reduced prices when purchasing medicines. Any child above the age of 16 will be required to make a separate application for a medical card. 

If you are arriving from Ukraine and wish to apply for a medical card, you should use the UKR Medical Card Application Form. Once completed, the form should be emailed to or posted to the address on the form. 

The following details will be needed to apply for a medical card:

  • Your name, current address and date of birth.
  • Your PPSN.
  • Your doctor’s (GP’s) address, stamp and signature. If you do not know any GPs, one will be assigned to you and your family.

After nine months have passed a full application will then need to be made for a medical card, such application including a financial assessment or means test of the applicant. 

Under what conditions may Ukrainian people work in Ireland?

Once you have received your permission letter confirming you have been granted temporary protection under the Directive you will have the right to work in Ireland. 

Where to look for a job?

Those seeking employment in Ireland can find information and support on the following official websites:

Where to look for schools? 

If you require assistance locating a school for your children, the Tusla Education Support Service will be able to provide you with suitable options. 

What about foreign diploma or other professional qualification?

Quality Qualifications Ireland, the state body responsible for advising on the recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland, has published a guide in Ukrainian to its online foreign qualifications recognition service. This guide can help you compare your qualification(s) to similar awards on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications and can assist you in accessing education and employment opportunities in Ireland. 

Links to useful websites

This general guidance is correct as at publication, but the rules and guidance are changing frequently without notice, so is not a substitute for legal advice. Immigration laws are always subject to change.

In this series


Legal and practical guide for people leaving Ukraine to Hungary

Available in Ukrainian | Update from 18 March 2022

18 March 2022

by Torsten Braner, LL.M., János Kopasz, CIPP/E, CIPM


Legal and practical guide for people leaving Ukraine to Poland

Available in Ukrainian | Update from 28 March 2022

28 March 2022

by Krystian Stanasiuk, LL.M., Michal Zabost


Legal and practical guide for people leaving Ukraine to Slovakia

Available in Ukrainian | Update from 23 March 2022

23 March 2022

by Andrea Čupel'ová, Tomáš Grell, LL.M.

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