Refugee status in Ukraine
In 2002, Ukraine signed and ratified the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol.
The right to obtain a refugee status in Ukraine is regulated by the Law of Ukraine “On refugees and persons in need of additional or temporary protection”.
The Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons” also regulates the rights of refugees. Thus, Article 4 establishes the following grounds for the stay of foreigners and stateless persons on the territory of Ukraine:
- foreigners and stateless persons may immigrate to Ukraine for permanent residence in accordance with the Immigration Law of Ukraine;
- foreigners and stateless persons recognized as refugees in Ukraine or granted asylum in Ukraine are considered permanently residing on the territory of Ukraine from the moment of recognition as a refugee in Ukraine or granting asylum in Ukraine.
Permanent residence in Ukraine of refugees is confirmed by a refugee certificate.
The entry into Ukraine of foreigners and stateless persons and the terms of their stay in Ukraine
Foreigners and stateless persons enter the territory of Ukraine by passport document and a visa received in accordance with the established procedure. But this rule does not apply to aliens and stateless persons crossing the state border of Ukraine for the purpose of recognizing them as refugees or persons who are in need of additional or temporary protection or asylum.
The rules on registration of foreigners and stateless persons in Ukraine do not apply to persons with the intention of recognizing them as refugees in Ukraine or a persons in need of additional protection in Ukraine or for obtaining asylum or temporary protection that have illegally crossed the state border of Ukraine. The Migration Service of Ukraine registers foreigners and stateless persons who are subject to the Law “On refugees and persons in need of additional or temporary protection in Ukraine” only if one of the documents issued to such persons in accordance with the Law.
If a foreigner or stateless does not have grounds for temporary residence, or for temporary stay on the territory of Ukraine, the period of their stay is reduced. But, this rule does not apply to refugees and persons in need of additional or temporary protection or asylum.
At the same time, foreigners and stateless persons recognized as refugees in Ukraine or persons who need additional protection in Ukraine have the right to receive a document for traveling abroad and freely travel outside Ukraine.
State Migration Service of Ukraine – the main body in the field of migration, which is authorized to assign a refugee status in Ukraine to a person. Assignment of refugee status is confirmed by the relevant Certificate. Refusal to grant refugee status can be challenged in court.
Obtaining refugee status in Ukraine is very complicated. It is almost impossible to become a refugee in Ukraine without qualified legal support.