IRELAND ACTIVATES THE EU TEMPORARY PROTECTION DIRECTIVE FOR PERSONS FLEEING WAR IN UKRAINE

The European Union Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55 EC) which allows Ukrainian nationals, their family members and certain other non-EEA nationals to apply for temporary protection in Ireland has now commenced.

Who is eligible to avail of Temporary Protection in Ireland?

The following persons who have been forced to leave the Ukraine may apply for Temporary Protection to reside in Ireland:

  • Ukrainian nationals who were residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
  • Nationals of a third country (other than Ukraine) or stateless persons who would have benefited from international protection (e.g. Refugee status) or an equivalent national protection status in Ukraine and have been residing there before 24 February 2022
  • Family members of persons covered by a) and b) where the family already existed in Ukraine prior to 24 February. Family members include a spouse or partner, unmarried minor children of either of them, and their other close dependent family relatives who have been living with them as part of the family unit.
  • Persons who had been residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 with a permanent Ukrainian residence permit, who cannot safely return to their country of origin.

Temporary protection may also be extended to other people who were legally residing in Ukraine who cannot safely return to their country of origin, including nationals from non-EU countries or stateless persons.

How long will Temporary Protection be granted

Temporary Protection will be granted for one year and may be extended thereafter for further periods.

Entitlements of persons granted Temporary Protection

Persons granted Temporary Protection are entitled to:

  • Seek employment or self-employment and vocational training.
  • Suitable accommodation, or assistance to obtain housing.
  • Receive social welfare income supports.
  • Access medical care from the State.
  • Access school public or post-primary education provided by the State for children under age 18.
  • Access other assistance as appropriate to their special needs. For example, those who are especially vulnerable such as unaccompanied minors.
  • Travel without restriction within the State.

Can persons apply for International Protection and Temporary Protection at the same time

The Government has advised that it is not possible for Temporary Protection to be availed of while an application for International Protection has been made. Persons can apply for International Protection at any time however such persons do not have immediate access to employment, social welfare or international travel like persons availing of Temporary Protection.

Who is excluded from the Temporary Protection Directive

Persons may be excluded from temporary protection in the following circumstances:

  • Where there are serious reasons for considering that the person:
    • has committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes, or
    • has been found been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations,
  • There are reasonable grounds for regarding the person as a danger to the security of the State,
  • The Minister is of the opinion that the person constitutes a danger to the community of the State because they were convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, whether in the State or elsewhere, or
  • There are serious reasons for considering that the person has committed a serious non-political crime outside the State prior to their entry into the State.

Who needs a visa to enter Ireland

  1. Ukrainian Citizens

Ukrainian citizens are currently entitled to travel to Ireland without a visa. Upon arrival they will be given a letter confirming that they have been granted Temporary Protection under Section 60 Section of the International Protection Act, the Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/EC) and Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022 as above outlined.

The Irish Governments Frequently Asked Document for Ukraine Nationals and Residents can be read here.

  1. Non-EEA nationals fleeing Ukraine (including Non-Ukrainian Family Members)

Non-EEA nationals fleeing the Ukraine who are visa-required nationals for Ireland must apply for a visa to enter. (The list of visa-required countries can be found here.

The Embassy of Ireland Poland has confirmed to Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork that persons should apply for a Long Stay Other visa and that applications are being accelerated and processed within 1-2 weeks.

We submit that the requirement for non-EEA nationals fleeing a war torn Ukraine to apply for an Irish entry visa should be abolished immediately in light of the current humanitarian crisis which is rapidly deteriorating. It is outrageous that non-EEA nationals who are eligible to be granted Temporary Protection in Ireland are being forced to apply for a visa to avail of this protection. Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork will continue to lobby the government on this issue and provide further updates as they arise.

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