Ukraine war, The NL will receive Ukrainians refugee and extend visa-free stay
he cabinet is looking at where refugees from Ukraine can be received if they report to the Netherlands and ask for housing. Ukrainian travelers will also not have to leave the country for the time being if their 90-day stay period has expired, State Secretary Eric van der Burg (Asylum) said on Friday.
“Ukrainians are allowed to travel freely, just like you and I are allowed to travel through Europe,” the state secretary said Friday afternoon.
If they are in possession of a biometric passport, they can travel visa-free within the Schengen area. They can apply for a visa without this document. In both cases, they are officially only allowed to stay in a Schengen country for 90 days.
When this period expires, the Netherlands will extend the stay. The state secretary says that Ukrainians who have already been in the Netherlands for work, study or family are now not being sent back.
Refugees from Ukraine who now come to the Netherlands are therefore not seen as asylum seekers. They can stay here with friends and family, or, for example, in a hotel. “But if they say: ‘Help us’, then we offer them housing,” says Van der Burg.
Cabinet already has its eye on a first reception location (Ukraine war)
It is not yet clear what exactly this housing will look like. The cabinet has a location in mind for a first group of refugees, but is still in consultation with the parties involved. The State Secretary expects “great solidarity” from municipalities.
“If we are going to receive people, that will not happen as asylum seekers, but you can think of comparable situations,” says Van der Burg.
The Netherlands Council for Refugees on Thursday called on the cabinet to make preparations for the possible arrival of Ukrainian refugees. The current reception locations of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) are currently full. COA has been looking for more shelter places for some time now.
It is not yet clear how many refugees may come to the Netherlands (Ukraine war)
According to State Secretary Van der Burg, it is not yet clear how many refugees the Netherlands should take into account. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday that the Netherlands will “monitor this very closely” in the coming period.
“We are working on different scenarios, but it is fair to say that they are all very ‘if-then’ stories, because we do not know how the conflict in Ukraine will develop. Three days ago we did not expect that we would have this conversation with each other,” said Van der Burg.
Although Rutte was still reluctant on Thursday about possible reception, Van der Burg announced on Friday on behalf of the cabinet that the Netherlands will receive the Ukrainians generously. “If they come here, we can’t help but provide housing for people,” he said.
“Three days ago, we didn’t expect to have this conversation with each other. “State Secretary Eric van der Burg (Asylum)
The government also believes that the Netherlands should be ready for countries such as Poland and Hungary, which border Ukraine. “It is obvious that people will first flee to neighboring countries.
If they travel on to the rest of Europe, we will have to arrange that together,” said the State Secretary.
Van der Burg will soon travel to Brussels to consult with his European colleagues.
Ukrainians don’t have to apply for asylum, but they can
Ukrainians therefore do not have to apply for asylum for their stay in the Netherlands. This creates a different situation than, for example, with refugee Syrians. In principle, a Syrian has no right of residence and must therefore make an application.
A spokesperson for the Dutch Council for Refugees explains that Ukrainians can apply for asylum if they want to. One reason for this may be that they are then entitled to medical care, or if they have no money for food, drink or clothing, for example.
“But reception in the Netherlands is no fun. We explain that it may be a logical choice not to apply for asylum, but to stay with friends or family and wait and see how the conflict develops. But every Ukrainian is allowed to do this.” decide for yourself. It depends on the personal situation.”
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