Entry into the European Union and neighbouring countries
People fleeing the war in Ukraine can find refuge in European countries regardless of their administrative situation in Ukraine and their nationality. Border guards are instructed to let through anyone fleeing Ukraine even if their papers (passport, identity card) are out of date. Moldova is also a country that welcomes refugees.
• Hungarian Helsinki Committee https://helsinki.hu/…/information-for-people-fleeing…/ (English, Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian)
• United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) https://help.unhcr.org/hungary/…
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has stated that Ukrainian nationals who have « immediate family members » in Britain will be able to be received under a fast-track procedure. However, the reception of refugees fleeing Ukraine will be subject to conditions.
Some European countries provide free transport for Ukrainian nationals wishing to travel to a European country. This is the case in Germany, Poland, Austria and France. In France, free trains are available on TGV Inoui, Intercités, Ouigo, Lyria (to Switzerland), Alleo (to Germany), Thalys, Elipsos (to Spain), SVI (to Italy) and Eurostar (to England).
Temporary protection in France for people who have fled Ukraine
Conditions for obtaining temporary protection in France
• Case 1: you are a Ukrainian national and you were residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
• Case n° 2: you are not a Ukrainian national and you benefit from a protection (international or equivalent national) granted by the Ukrainian authorities;
• Case 3: you are not a national of Ukraine, you hold a valid permanent residence permit issued by the Ukrainian authorities and you are not able to return to your country of origin in a safe and sustainable manner;
• Case 4: you are a family member of a person falling under one of the previous cases (family members are: spouse, unmarried minor children and dependent parents).
You can download the flyer in Russian/Ukrainian with all explanations here.
Accommodation in France
For emergency accommodation, you should call the free number 115. Be aware that the emergency accommodation system is overloaded in normal times; it is not uncommon to stay on the phone during hours and to have to call back several times over several weeks.
Health insurance entitlements can be obtained after 90 days in the country if you are in a legal situation: asylum seeker, beneficiary of international protection, beneficiary of a residence permit. You must apply for universal health protection (Puma). Here is the form
You can also apply for the complementary health insurance (CSS) if your income is below a certain amount, which depends on the composition of your household. It is best to contact a social worker for this application.
For people in an irregular situation, you can apply for State Medical Aid (AME). Here is the form
Access to health care
While waiting to have health insurance, the Permanences d’accès aux soins des hôpitaux (PASS) offer medical and social care for people who are not yet entitled to health insurance or who do not have financial resources. There are PASSs for general and specialised medicine, psychiatry, oral care and gynaecology. The list can be found here: https://www.aphp.fr/permanences-dacces-aux-soins-de-sante-lap-hp
• Bilingual French-Russian health booklet (access to health care, health, fight against discrimination, residence, schooling in France)
Associations offering assistance in accessing asylum and social rights in France
Habitat-Cité can assist refugees from Ukraine in accessing their rights, given its very small team. Here are also other organisations to contact :
• La Cimade https://www.lacimade.org/ – Asylum, right to stay
• France Terre d’Asile https://www.france-terre-asile.org/ – Asylum, right to stay
• Permanences téléphoniques du Comède https://www.comede.org/ – Access to care, orientation for medical and mental health care