Immigration Updates – 4th of March

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Ukraine Updates

    Ukraine border

    • Entry suspended.
    • Exit suspended for male Ukrainian citizens aged 18-60.
    • Airports closed for commercial passenger flights.
    • Belarus border closed in both directions.
    • Land borders remain open to Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.


    • Priority for outstanding visa applications from Ukrainian nationals.
    • Close family members can apply on behalf of their family members in Ukraine
    • Automatic visa extensions for 6 months will be given to Ukrainian nationals in Australia who have a visa expiring before 30 June 2022.


    • Urgent processing of passport and travel document applications for Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Ukraine.
    • Priority for immigration applications for citizens and residents of Ukraine.
    • Ukrainian nationals already in Canada can apply to extend their visitor, student or worker status.
    • Some visitors in Canada, including Ukrainians, with a job offer can stay in Canada and start working while their work permit application is processed.

    European Union

    • The European Commission (EC) has adopted a proposal to activate the Temporary Protection Directive in order to offer quick and effective assistance to people fleeing the ongoing war in Ukraine. 
    • Those eligible include Ukrainian nationals and residents and their family members, as well as non-Ukrainian nationals and stateless people legally residing in Ukraine who cannot return to their country or region of origin (such as asylum seekers or beneficiaries of international protection, and their family members)
    • This temporary protection is to begin immediately, for the duration of one year. It will be automatically extended twice by six monthly periods, for up to one year, if the situation persists.


    • Some immigration offices may accept applications for long-term permits from Ukrainian nationals, even if they do not hold a valid long-term visa.
    • Visa-exempt Ukrainian nationals on short stays of up to 90 days in Berlin have automatic extensions of their status until 31 May 2022. Those outside Berlin may, on a case-by-case basis, apply for an exceptional extension of their status.


    • Ukrainian nationals may enter Hungary to seek temporary protection even if they do not have a biometric passport. They can stay visa-free for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.


    • Asylum applications from Ukrainian nationals are prioritised.


    • All visa restrictions on Ukrainian nationals have been temporarily lifted. Ukrainian nationals who arrive in Ireland are permitted to stay visa-free for up to 90 days to regularize their immigration status.
    • Those outside the Netherlands who have received a positive decision on their MVV application may be able to collect the MVV at a Dutch embassy or consulate in another country (the Dutch embassy in Kyiv is closed.


    • Ukrainian nationals may enter Hungary to seek temporary protection even if they do not have a biometric passport. They can stay visa-free for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.


    • Ukrainians in the Netherlands for a short stay of up to 90 days can extend their short-stay visa or visa-exempt term for a maximum of 90 days, up to a total of 180 days. This is also possible if the visa or visa-exempt term has already expired, which does not have any adverse effects.
    • Those who have applied for an MVV in Ukraine or in the Netherlands and have received a positive decision and are in the Netherlands on a short-stay visa or a visa-exempt term, will soon be able to collect their MVV at an IND desk (rather than at the Dutch embassy).
    • Ukrainian nationals who have travelled to the Netherlands without an MVV, who are in the Netherlands on a short-stay visa or a visa-exempt term and who meet all the conditions for a residence permit, except for the basic civic integration exam abroad, may be able to apply for a first residence permit without an MVV.
    • Ukrainian nationals holding Dutch residence permits which is due to expire soon and who cannot apply for an extension can remain in the Netherlands and will not be penalised in future visa or residence permit applications.
    • The IND will be flexible with Ukrainian nationals holding a Dutch residence permit who are abroad and unable to return to the Netherlands in time due to the situation in Ukraine.
    • From 28 February 2022, the IND does not have to take a decision on Ukrainian asylum applications for 6 months. This is called a decision moratorium. Also, the Repatriation and Departure Service will not force Ukrainians to depart if their application was previously rejected by the IND. This is called a departure moratorium. Ukraine will also not be considered a safe country of origin for 6 months. This is because of the uncertain situation in Ukraine. the IND is extending the decision period for pending and new asylum applications by 1 year. The IND is currently examining whether it is still possible to continue interviews. And whether the IND can still take a positive decision in some cases.
      • Ukrainian asylum seekers who have received a negative decision (exhausted all legal means) are not obliged to return to Ukraine during the departure moratorium
      • The moratoria do not apply in the following situations:
        • Another EU member state is responsible for their asylum application (Dublin). For example, because they have already applied for asylum in that member state. Alternatively, because they have a visa issued by that member state.
        • The person concerned already has protection in another EU member state, has been recognised as a refugee in another country or already has a residence permit somewhere else.  
        • The IND stops considering the application because, for example, you did not go to your interview. Or because you left with an unknown destination. This means that the IND does not look at the contents of the case. In this case, the asylum seeker does come under the departure moratorium and does not have to leave the Netherlands for now. 
        • The IND has rejected the application on the grounds that the person concerned committed war crimes. Or because they are a danger to the public order or national security.


    • Entry is permitted without international passport or visa and without negative COVID test result.
    • Receptions points are established – registration is not, however, obligatory.
    • Ukrainian nationals already in Poland will have their legal stay automatically extended.
    • A streamlined work authorisation process is available.
    • Polish government website


    • Ukrainian citizens are able to enter Portugal without a visa and deal with their legalisation in Portugal, at the SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service).
    • Ukrainian citizens who are already in Portugal under a Schengen visa/visa waiver exemption within biometric passport, there is an agreement in the sense that they will have full support of the Portuguese Government and will be able to stay in Portugal during this conflict period. These citizens will have to regularise their situation with SEF (Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service) , by applying for a residence visa, but the process will take a place in Portugal, not being necessary to leave the country to proceed with the application.


    • Ukrainian citizens can enter Romania with a short stay status by presenting a biometric or simple passport at the Romanian border.
    • Those who apply for asylum in Romania can also enter the country based on another type of identity document (national ID card, birth certificate, etc.) or on the basis of the declared identity, without an identity document, for humanitarian reasons.


    • Entry is permitted without international passport.
    • Holders of Ukrainian biometric passports are not subject to visa requirement.
    • Those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine are not subject to COVID registration or quarantine.
    • Ukrainian nationals and their qualifying non-Ukrainian relatives can apply for immediate temporary refuge, with quick and unrestricted access to the labour market, health care and education.

    South Korea

    • The government will grant stay extensions to Ukrainian nationals in South Korea on humanitarian grounds.
      • For those who wish to remain in South Korea after the expiration of their visas, the government will issue them with temporary stay permits that will also allow them to work.
      • Those whose period of stay has already expired are permitted to remain in South Korea until the situation stabilizes.


    • Ukrainian citizens with a valid biometric passport may enter Spain by their own means and without the need for visa procedures, as long as they meet the health requirements in force at the date of travel


    • Ukrainian nationals can enter Switzerland visa-free for a stay of not more than 90 days within a 180-day period provided that they hold a valid biometric passport.

    United Kingdom

    • Family members of British nationals and any person already settled in the UK can come to the UK under the Family Migration route, without the usual language requirements and salary thresholds.
      • Family members of British nationals who do not meet the usual eligibility criteria – but do pass all security checks – will have permission to enter the UK outside the usual rules for 12 months. They will be able to work and access public funds.
    • Effective 4 March 2022, the new Ukraine Family Scheme opens for extended family members.
    • A new humanitarian sponsorship pathway will be established for Ukrainians without family ties to the UK but who are able to match with individuals, charities, businesses, and community groups.
    • Ukrainian nationals on an existing points-based system route can extend their leave in the UK.
    • Ukrainian nationals on an existing visitor visa can exceptionally switch into a points-based system immigration route without having to leave the UK
    • Ukrainian nationals on an existing visitor visa can apply under the family route for further leave without meeting the immigration status requirement, provided they meet the requirements for leave based on exceptional circumstances
    • Ukrainian nationals on an existing seasonal worker visa will have their leave in the UK extended to 31 December 2022
    • Ukrainian nationals in temporary HGV/pork butcher jobs will have their leave in the UK extended to 31 December 2022 and will also be allowed to apply to the skilled worker route.
    • Dependants of British Nationals resident in Ukraine who need a UK visa can apply for a free family migration visa through the new, temporary location in L’viv or through a Visa Application Centre in nearby countries, including Poland, Moldova, Romania and Hungary. However, all other visa services in Ukraine have been suspended.


    • The European Council has suspended the visa facilitation agreement for Russian business travellers, official delegations and diplomats applying for short-stay visas, who are now subject to standard visa processing rather than streamlined procedures. Switzerland and Iceland have followed suite by partially suspending their visa facilitation agreements with Russia.
    • Czechia, Latvia and Lithuania have suspended visa issuance for Russian citizens.
    • The issuance of golden (investor) visas for Russian citizens is suspended in Greece, Malta and Portugal.
    • The European Union the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada have closed their airspace to Russian flights, and several airlines have restricted flights over Russia.
    • Due to the current armed conflict, many foreign nationals working in Russia with highly qualified specialist work permits are deciding to leave Russia indefinitely. Their employers should note the following:
      • To maintain the status of a highly qualified specialist, the employer needs to pay the minimum wage per month – 167,000 roubles gross. If it is impossible to pay wages (for example, in case employee took leave at his own expense), the minimum amount of wages within one quarter should be paid in the amount of 501,000 roubles before taxes.
      • The period of stay of a foreign citizen abroad should not exceed 6 months. If this period is exceeded, the work permit of a highly qualified specialist will be cancelled. A similar rule applies to highly qualified specialists who have a residence permit in the Russian Federation issued based on HQS work permit.

    COVID-19 Updates


    • Effective 1 March 2022:
      • Travellers from EU/Schengen countries, regardless of vaccination status – no test or isolation requirements.
      • Travellers arriving from non-EU/Schengen countries:
        • Vaccinated or previously infected– no test or isolation requirements.
        • Unvaccinated or not previously infected travellers – test within 245 hours after arrival.


    • On 3 March 2022, France updated its green countries list to include 29 additional countries, including Canada, India and South Africa. Australia, United Kingdom and United States remain on the orange list.


    • Effective 3 March 2022, no states/regions are considered high-risk areas.
      • The designation as a high-risk area will only be made for those areas where there is a high incidence in terms of the spread of variants with higher virulence, compared to the Omicron variant. Thus, countries/areas will no longer be classified as high-risk areas based on the spread of the omicron variant.
      • Travellers arriving from a non-risk area are not required to quarantine.
    • Effective 25 February 2022:
      • The following are currently considered areasof variant ofconcern:
        • NONE.
      • The following are new high-risk areas:
      • The following are no longer high-risk areas:
        • Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, France (Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin), Grenada, Guyana, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St Eustatius, Sint Maarten), North Macedonia, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Sweden, Suriname, Ukraine.
      • The following are high riskareas:
        • Armenia, Austria (except the municipality of Mittelberg and Jungholz and Rißtal in the municipal area of Vomp and Eben am Achensee ), Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bhutan, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Dominica, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France (including Martinique, New Caledonia, Réunion), Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen.


    • Effective 25 February 2022, the country classification has been updated as follows:
      • Green Zone: European Union Member States, Andorra, Bahrain, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Liechtenstein, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam.
      • Orange zone:  countries that are not classified in the green and red zones.
      • Red zone: NONE.


    • Effective 26 February 2022, entry is permitted for non-EU nationals holding a recovery certificate (issued between 11 and 180 days after the first positive PCR or rapid antigen test) as an alternative to a vaccination certificate (valid between 14 and 270 days after the second dose, or after a booster dose).
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