The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) has announced that they will be accommodating with regard to the stay of people with the Ukrainian nationality in the Netherlands, because of the terrible situation in Ukraine. In this blog you can read how the IND, and other relevant authorities will be accommodating. We will share the most recent developments regarding the legal residence and right to work in the Netherlands for people with the Ukrainian nationality. As immigration law is currently changing rapidly due to the situation in Ukraine, the blog will be updated regularly.
People with the Ukrainian nationality were already allowed to stay legally in the Schengen area without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days in a 180-day period on the basis of a biometric passport. This is also called the free term. For a stay in the Netherlands exceeding this free term, a Dutch residence permit is required. The currently designated procedure seems to be an application based on asylum. But for now the IND has announced that they will not decide on this application.
On the 4th of July 2022, the IND announced on its website that Ukrainians can collect a so-called ‘proof of residence’ from the IND. This proof will be provided with a sticker in the biometric passport, or a separate document. The IND only issues a ‘proof of residence’ if the person falls under the scope of the Temporary Protection Directive (Council Directive 2001/55/EC). This Directive grants Ukrainians and third-country nationals (or stateless persons) who were legally residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 the right to temporary protection. This Directive sets minimum standards for granting temporary protection, such as the right to have decent accommodation and to provide for maintenance, medical care, and education. The second condition for obtaining a ‘proof of residence’ is that the people who have fled Ukraine are registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) at a municipality in the Netherlands and have a Citizen Service Number (BSN). The validity of the ‘’proof of residence’ is linked to the duration of the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive. For the time being, the Directive is active until 4 March 2023. There are currently two IND locations where the ‘proof of residence’ can be collected: Den Bosch and Rijswijk.
In addition, the IND has announced that they will act accommodating when assessing an application for a(n extension of a) residence permit with regard to people with the Ukrainian nationality. The IND will take the situation in Ukraine and the personal situation of the person concerned into account in the assessment. For example in a situation where no documents about the identity or the marriage can be submitted. The IND also acts accommodating regarding the obligation for people with the Ukrainian nationality to obtain an mvv (provisional residence permit) in the country of their origin in order to travel to the Netherlands. Due to the closure of the Dutch embassy in Kiev, it is possible to temporarily collect the mvv from a Dutch embassy or consulate in another country. A full exemption from the mvv requirement is also possible if a positive decision has already been taken on the application or if the person concerned is already in the Netherlands with a short-stay visa or in the free term on the basis of the biometric passport.
Furthermore, it is important to note that people from Ukraine are already entitled to get a ‘living allowance’ through the municipalities. The amount that each Ukrainian (both adults and minors) will receive is € 60.00 per week per person. People from Ukraine who are accommodated by private individuals receive an additional payment of € 75.00 per week per person. Municipalities have freedom of policy regarding the way in which they pay and administer the living allowance, so it is possible that different rules will apply in different municipalities. In the case of private accommodation, it is important that the person has been registered in the BRP, because the ‘living allowance’ can only be paid after registration.
The above-mentioned only relates to the right to legally reside in the Netherlands. Since it is unknown whether or not people with the Ukrainian nationality will be able to return to Ukraine soon, we notice that people with the Ukrainian nationality want to know whether or not they are also allowed to work in the Netherlands during their stay here, in order to be able to support themselves as much as possible.
Ukrainians have access to the Dutch labour market for the duration of the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive. By decision of 29 March 2022 – published on 31 March 2022 – it was announced that as of 1 April 2022, a temporary exemption from the work permit requirement applies to the group covered by the Temporary Protection Directive. This exemption is limited to paid employment for an employer. This means that the exemption does not apply to a client who has a self-employed person perform work. After all, the aim is to protect the vulnerable group from the risks of abuse such as underpayment and bad working conditions. In that context, employers have an obligation to report pursuant to Section 2a of the Wav. This notification obligation means that employers must report to the Employee Insurance Agency ('UWV') at least two days before commencing work that they are employing foreign nationals under the exemption.
Employers who do not comply with their timely reporting obligation can be imposed an administrative fine by the Dutch Labour Inspectorate. If a self-employed Ukrainian is employed, i.e. not as an employee, the main rule of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act revives and illegal employment may be involved if the person does not have the correct documents.
We have now limited ourselves to the largest group, people with Ukrainian nationality. However, the Temporary Protection Directive also applies to non-Ukrainians who have resided in Ukraine and have also fled that country as a result of the war. For this group, the rules are not yet entirely clear. We will come back to this in the next update.
Information about the immigration law status of people with the Ukrainian nationality is changing rapidly. When there are updates, this blog will be adjusted to reflect the latest status. This blog has been published on the basis of the latest available information on July 6th , 2022.