As a result of the ongoing war in the Ukraine, the Council of Europe decided to issue Directive 2022/382 which applies to Ukrainian Nationals, refugees in the Ukraine and their family members who were residing in the Ukraine prior to the outbreak of war, and who were then forced to flee the country to escape the war.
This Directive gives the opportunity to people who fled and who are fleeing the Ukraine, to apply for temporary protection in any Member State of the European Union. This Directive does not apply to people who were in the Ukraine at the time of war as tourists.
As such, Cyprus and other EU Member States, have activated a temporary protection mechanism to provide for the protection of such individuals and refugees.
Temporary protection will be granted for a period of at least one (calendar) year - twelve months. Once a refugee arrives in Cyprus, they will need to demonstrate their nationality and residence at the time of outbreak of war in the Ukraine. This will then give them the right to apply for temporary protection. Any lack of travel documents, due to the circumstances, should not be considered as an obstacle for entering the European Union.
When granted temporary protection, refugees can then consequently apply for a temporary residency permit. There is a number of rights which they might be entitled to.
Some of the most significant rights which beneficiaries are entitled to, include the following:
- access to housing;
- access to medical care;
- access to the labor market;
- access to education for children;
- access to banking services.
For people who fall outside the scope of temporary protection, they will still be granted access to the European Union. Depending on their personal circumstances, they will have the right to apply either for international protection or for a legal migration status.
Beneficiaries of temporary protection have the additional right to file an application for international and subsidiary protection at any time with the International Protection Administrative Court (IPAC).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.