Information for Ukrainians regarding the war in Ukraine

In the early hours of 24 February, Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Since then, the number of Ukrainian refugees coming to the Netherlands has been increasing. On this page, you will find more information about shelter, legal residence and asylum. You can also find helpful links to websites with more information.

Staying in the Netherlands

Please note: the information below may change. The most recent information can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>. This platform is available in Ukrainian, Russian, English and Dutch.


Important change of Temporary Protection Directive for non-Ukrainian refugees

Have you fled Ukraine but do you not have Ukrainian citizenship? You may no longer be entitled to Temporary Protection from 19 July onwards. This means that you are no longer entitled to shelter, education and medical care in the Netherlands, for example. This applies to people who came with a different nationality directly from Ukraine or through another European country. 

You do fall under the Temporary Protection Directive if you meet all the points below:

  • You have a permanent residence permit on 23 February 2022
  • You did not leave Ukraine before 27 November 2021 and you did not return to country of origin after 23 February 2022
  • You registered in the BRP before 19 July 2022

The Temporary Protection for non-Ukrainian refugees ends 4 March 2023. If you have a permanent residence permit or an asylum permit, you will still be entitled to protection.

Please note: Were you recognised as a refugee in Ukraine? Then you remain under Temporary Protection for refugees from Ukraine. 

If you are no longer under Temporary Protection, you have two options: 

  • Return to country of origin
  • Apply for a regular asylum permit

Please note: you can only do this after the IND has decided that refugees with a different nationality than Ukrainian do not fall under the Temporary Protection

You can find more information on Temporary Protection on our platform RefugeeHelp >>


Information for refugees from Russia

If you have fled from Russia, you have different rights and obligations than refugees from Ukraine. Even if you fled from Russia in connection with the general mobilisation or because you have been critical of the Russian government and the war in Ukraine. This means you cannot be accommodated in the same way as refugees who do fall under the Temporary Protection Directive. Refugees from Russia seeking asylum in the Netherlands will have to go through the asylum procedure.

If you want to apply for asylum, you must have a motive for fleeing. Dutch Refugee Council can help you with this. In addition, VluchtelingenWerk Nederland has made a video with information about the asylum procedure in the Netherlands. This video can be viewed in Russian. 

Do you have more questions about the asylum procedure in the Netherlands? Then contact a Refugee Council location near you.



If you don't have a place to sleep with friends or family, the Dutch government will see to it that you are taken care of. Shelters for refugees from Ukraine are located in each municipality. On the website of the municipality where you reside you can find more information. In these shelters, you will have access to basic facilities such as a bed, food and medical care. 

The Dutch government has indicated that the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee will refer people who need shelter at the border to the available locations. 

On these locations,  you will find help for a referral to a location where they have space.

If you need a place to sleep, you can take the train to one of these locations. For people from Ukraine who wish to travel onwards in the Netherlands: on your first day after arrival, you can collect a free day pass at any Tickets and Service Counter of the NS (Dutch Railways) upon display of your Ukrainian identity papers and a German, Belgian, French or Austrian train ticket not older than 24 hours. As of 1 June 2022, the temporary arrangement for refugees to travel free of charge into the Netherlands will not apply to local public transport anymore. You must obtain a valid ticket by buying a ticket from the transport company or purchasing an OV-chipkaart.

For more information on shelters, you can contact the municipality where you reside.  To do this, go to the website of the municipality in question.                                                                                                                 
You can also stay with family, friends or acquaintances. In addition, you can find shelter at private homes. Refugees from Ukraine who are staying with a host family are generally insured under the liability insurance of the host family. Refugees staying in shelters are insured via the municipality in which they are staying. 

More information about private initiatives can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>

Staying in the Netherlands legally

UPDATE: Refugees from Ukraine can now make an appointment online to collect their proof of residence. Please note that this is not yet possible in all regions and you should not travel to other regions. Wait until a location in your region is available.

UPDATE: From 6 October 2022, it will again be possible to make an appointment to collect proof of residence. For the latest updates on obtaining proof of residence, please visit our platform Refugeehelp >>

Many Ukrainians are allowed to travel visa-free in the European Union for 90 days and therefore do not have to apply for asylum to stay in the Netherlands legally. The government has announced that refugees from Ukraine, who are registered with the IND, may stay in the Netherlands at least until 4 March, 2024. This might be extended to a maximum of 3 years.

Before you are invited to register with the IND, you must register with the municipality. Therefore, you don’t have to go to Ter Apel to seek asylum. You do not have to apply for asylum immediately if you are staying in the Netherlands legally. You are staying legally if you have a residence permit to study or work or for another reason. In addition, in order to apply for shelter you also do not need to seek asylum.

Ukrainians can go to emergency shelters specially set up for them, a shelter in the municipality or (temporarily) reside at the home of an acquaintance. They can register in the BRP at the municipality in which they (temporarily) reside. Moreover, from the beginning of June onwards you can obtain a proof of residence (sticker or pass) from the IND if you are registered in the BRP. This proves that you fall under special rules for refugees from Ukraine (Temporary Protection). 

Please note: Only share your information with authorities, not intermediaries. Be careful when you are approached by other individuals asking for your personal information.

You can find more information about legal stay on our platform RefugeeHelp >>

Pick up your proof of residence

Moreover, from 4 july onwards you can obtain a proof of residence (sticker or pass) from the IND if you are registered in the BRP. This proves that you fall under special rules for refugees from Ukraine (Temporary Protection). You have to make an appointment yourself to collect your proof at an IND location.  Via RefugeeHelp you can make an appointment online to pick up your proof of residence. You will receive an appointment code when making the appointment. Because your details are not saved automatically, you must check the details of the appointment yourself on the day of the appointment by entering the code on the website. See RefugeeHelp for all information on how to collect your proof of residence.

Please note: From 6 October 2022, it will again be possible to make an appointment to collect proof of residence. For the latest updates on obtaining proof of residency, please visit our platform Refugeehelp >>

At the moment, picking up a proof is not yet possible in all regions, but new dates and locations are continuously added in the appointment planner. To avoid disappointment, It is important that you do not travel to another location.

Please note that because you fall under the Temporary Protection Directive, your rights of residence are different from those of the standard asylum application. 

Is the IND currently evaluating asylum requests from Ukrainians?

No, due to the uncertain security situation in the Ukraine, the IND currently does not decide on asylum applications from Ukrainians. No Ukrainians are being sent back either. This is called a “suspension of decisions and departures” and applies for the next 6 months, starting on 28 February. As a result of the suspension of decisions, the IND extends the decision period for current and new asylum applications by 1 year.

When the security situation in the Ukraine becomes more clear, the IND will assess which Ukrainians are entitled to an asylum permit in the Netherlands. Only then will the asylum procedure actually start.

The suspension does not apply to all Ukrainian asylum seekers. It does not apply in the following situations:

  • Another EU member state is responsible for the asylum application (Dublin). For example, because the person has already applied for asylum in that member state. Or because that person has a visa that was issued by that member state. In principle, you will then have to go back to the country where you previously applied for asylum.

  • The person is already offered protection in another EU member state, is recognized as a refugee in another country or already has a residence permit somewhere else. In that case, the IND expects you to go to the country where you have a residence permit.  

  • Individuals who committed war crimes or pose a danger to public order or national security will not be granted a right of residence either; the IND will reject the application in that case.

  • People who have left with an unknown destination, or have not attended their hearing, will not receive a residence permit from the IND. The IND will then put the application out of consideration. This means that the IND does not look at the content of the case anymore. In this case, the person does fall under the departure moratorium. Then, the person does not have to leave the Netherlands temporarily.                                                                                               

The most recent information can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>. This platform is available in Ukrainian, Russian, English and Dutch.

More information?

The IND’s website provides more information on the consequences of the situation in the Ukraine for your residence and applications.

How can I return to Ukraine?

There is currently little information about returning to Ukraine. For example, it is unclear whether (temporary) return will have consequences for a possible future stay in the Netherlands. Because of the unsafe situation and uncertainty about the development of the war, the Dutch Council for Refugees advises against return.

Do you still want to return? 

The Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) supports the return of refugees from Ukraine. This support consists of information and advice, assistance in arranging (replacement) travel documents and assistance with transportation to Ukraine. This also applies to refugees from Ukraine with another nationality. You can get in contact through the email

When refugees wish to return to their country of origin, they can also receive basic departure support and reintegration support (the help to make a proper start in the country of return) from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

For more information on returning to Ukraine, visit our platform Refugeehelp >>

Can I work in the Netherlands?

Ukrainian refugees are allowed to work as employees from 1 April 2022. The employer does not need to apply for a work permit. However, employers must report to the UWV as soon as they have hired a Ukrainian refugee. As of 15 April 2022, employers are required to report this at least two working days before starting work. If they fail to do so, they may be fined.

Refugees from Ukraine who were already working between 4 March and 1 April 2022 are also exempt from the obligation to their employer to apply for a work permit. However, the employer must still report this to the UWV as soon as possible.

Please note: refugees from Ukraine who do not have Ukrainian nationality still need to apply for a work permit. As soon as you can prove that you fall under the special rules for refugees from Ukraine (temporary protection), you can start working without a work permit.

If you are a refugee and you are going to work in the Netherlands, you are obliged to take out health insurance and pay the premium. Because you pay that premium, you can apply for a healthcare benefit, if you meet the conditions. You can view the conditions and apply for the benefit on the website of the Belastingdienst.

More information about work and income can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>

What should I do if I need to go to a doctor?

For refugees from Ukraine, healthcare is fully reimbursed through a subsidy scheme for the uninsured. Refugees themselves therefore do not have to contribute anything.

Municipalities are currently responsible for the shelter of refugees from Ukraine and every responsibility that comes with that, including medical care such as appointments with a general practitioner (GP). Therefore, make sure to first check with your local municipality to find out which GP is available for you. In the Netherlands you can also go to a pharmacy for medication prescribed by the GP, and for advice or questions about medication or health problems.

Hospitals and other care providers that provide care to uninsurable foreign nationals can apply for a subsidy through the website of the CAK.

Refugees will only need to apply for a health insurance once they either:

  1. Find employment within the Netherlands, or
  2. Are granted asylum in the Netherlands.                          

Please note: the regulation on the residence status of Ukrainian refugees is subject to change. The most recent information can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>.

On the website of the Rijksoverheid, you can find information about the "standard health insurance". Do you want to know which medical care is included and which medical care is reimbursed? On this webpage you will find the specific information (Dutch only). 

For more information, you can also contact the zorgverzekeringslijn (health insurance hotline). The website also offers information in Ukrainian.

The most recent information can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>. This platform is available in Ukrainian, Russian, English and Dutch. 

Can my children go to school?

Children who fled from Ukraine have a right to education just like other children. Within the Netherlands all children, including children without a residence permit, are required to attend school between the ages of 5 and 18. If you are between 16 and 18 years old and have obtained a high school diploma, you are no longer obliged to go to school. You can ask the municipality which schools provide education for newcomers. Then, you can register your child at any school. The school will decide whether your child can be admitted. Your child may first have to go to an international class to learn the Dutch language.

The provision of education varies from municipality to municipality, so for questions about education it is strongly advised to contact your municipality.  

The most recent information can be found on our platform RefugeeHelp >>. This platform is available in Ukrainian, Russian, English and Dutch.

Where can I go with my pet?

Many Ukrainians have fled their country with a pet. Ukraine has a high risk of rabies, so some rules apply when you arrive in the Netherlands with a pet. The European Union has agreed to be flexible in dealing with Ukrainian refugees with pets.

If you are not yet in the Netherlands, please contact the Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit (NVWA) and provide as much information as possible about your pet and journey before you arrive.

If you and your pet are already in the Netherlands, see a vet as soon as possible. If necessary, you can get your pet chipped, registered and vaccinated against rabies. Keep your pet away from other animals or people as much as possible before visiting the vet.

If you need help with your pet, you can contact the Hulp voor Dieren uit Oekraïne hotline. This could include support with getting the necessary vaccinations, obtaining pet care products or finding a temporary place to house your pet.

Phone number: +31 88 811 33 33 (available from 09:00–17:00)

Email: info@hulpvoordierenuitoekraï

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