A person who has fled his country and resided permanently in Ukraine can obtain temporary protection in our country if that person cannot return safely to his or her homeland. This was announced by Minister of State for Asylum and Migration Sami Mahdi (CD&V) on Thursday. No one who can return safely is entitled to temporary protection in our country.
The influx of refugees from Ukraine also includes people with non-Ukrainian citizenship. So far, this relates to 2 percent (602 people) of the 29,752 certificates already delivered to people fleeing Ukraine. Foreign Minister Mehdi said that these people do not receive protection automatically in our country.
Students, migrant workers and other foreigners with non-permanent residence in Ukraine are not entitled to temporary protection status. They also do not have access to the registration center. They are looking for a solution to return to their country of origin, if they need help. A specific info point is set up for this and support is available from Fedasil.
A separate flow has been created in the Registration Center for citizens of third countries who are permanently resident in Ukraine. They are given specific entrance into Heysel by the immigration office staff, followed by an urgent investigation by the immigration department to determine if they can safely return to their country of origin.
Third-country nationals who have permanent residence and who cannot safely and permanently return to their country of origin, are eligible for temporary protection. This concerns, for example, a Syrian family who has been recognized as a refugee in Ukraine or a Belarusian who was born in Ukraine and cannot safely return to Belarus.
“Everyone who is in Ukraine should be able to flee the country. It doesn’t matter skin color and origin. But an American immigrant worker, a Congolese student or a Tunisian student with temporary residence do not need protection here, and therefore they have to go back to their country. This makes sense. As for me,” Foreign Minister Mehdi said.
To return to their home country, third-country nationals can receive assistance from EU institutions or member states. The charter flight will start as soon as possible through the embassies of the countries concerned. The foreign minister said that several return flights have been organized from Poland, where most of the refugees arrive, to Tajikistan with 529 people on board and from Kyrgyzstan with 169 people on board who have returned home. 5,000 Uzbeks have already managed to return home. There were also a lot of Turks present in Ukraine. 15,000 civilians were repatriated.
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