What is temporary protection?
Temporary protection allows immediate protection to be granted to people arriving in the EU on the territory of a Member State in exceptional cases of a mass influx of people. It does not require the beneficiaries to apply via the traditional procedure for granting international protection.
Who can receive temporary protection?
In Accordance with the Decision of the Council of the EU of 4th of March 2022 and the Decision of the Government of Bulgaria of 9th of March 2022 temporary protection is applicable to:
- Ukrainian citizens residing in Ukraine before 24th of February 2022 and their family members;
- Citizens of other third states (except Ukraine) and stateless persons, who were granted international protection or another equivalent type of national protection in Ukraine before 24th of February 2022, and their family members;
- Persons with foreign citizenship or stateless persons, who have left Ukraine due to the armed conflict and entered and stayed on Bulgarian territory, in case they have explicitly stated that they want to be granted temporary protection until 31st of March 2022.
“Family members” include spouses, unmarried partners in a stable relationship, minor unmarried children and other close relatives, such as parents who are dependent on the beneficiary.
You have the right to choose:
- When you arrive on the territory of the EU, you have the right to choose from which Member State you want to receive temporary protection. Ukrainian citizens are exempted from a visa requirement and have the right to free movement inside of the EU for 90 days after they have been permitted to stay on the territory of the Union. The beneficiary of temporary protection has a guaranteed right to use all rights granted to them under the temporary protection, but only in the Member State, which has issued the residence permit.
- You have the right to choose whether to apply for immediate temporary protection or to apply for individual international protection (the maximum time limit for examination of the application is 21 months) or choose to settle your residence in Bulgaria as per the Law on Foreign Citizens. Even after you have received temporary protection you continue to have the right to apply for individual international protection (Art. 17 and 19 of Directive 2001/55/EO).
How can I apply for temporary protection?
As opposed to the individual application for international protection, which is managed by the State Agency for Refugees, the application for temporary protection can be registered by officials from the Ministry of Interior (border police or regional departments of the Ministry of Interior on the territory of the State). The state employees will take your personal and biometric data, then generate a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and issue you a temporary registration document (laminated cardboard) with a photo and QR code with the number of the document printed on it.
How long does the temporary protection last?
Temporary protection is granted for an initial period of 1 year. If the situation in Ukraine normalizes, protection can be ceased earlier. If the dangerous situation continues after the first year, temporary protection is automatically prolonged twice for six months. If needed, temporary protection can be prolonged by another year, based on a decision made by the Council of the EU.
What rights do I have under temporary protection?
In Bulgaria persons under temporary protection have the following rights:
- Right to remain on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;
- Right to written information in an understandable for you language about the rules and conditions of temporary protection;
- Right to a temporary protection registration card for the period of the protection;
- Right to reuniting with your family;
- Right to work and professional education;
- Right to education and right to access kindergarten for children under the age of 6 (see more information here);
- Right to appropriate accommodation or to funds for accommodation if needed;
On the 9th of March 2022 the Bulgarian government approved a programme for humanitarian aid for persons under temporary protection in the Republic of Bulgaria. They have a right to accommodation and food at places for accommodation, which have been entered in the National Tourist Register, both for the sum of 40 BGN (without taxes) per person per day (including breakfast, lunch and dinner), including the tourist tax, paid to the supplier of the service. The aid will be granted for a period of 3 months. The same rights are granted to the people, who have expressed their wish to access the labor market in the state, available for a period 1 month after filing the application. The programme is envisaged to continue from 24.02.2022 until 31.05.2022.
- Right to social aid;
- Right to medical assistance in urgent cases.
Vulnerable people (children under the age of 18, unaccompanied children, pregnant women, single parents with underaged children and disabled people, people with severe health issues or psychological disorders, victims of trafficking or torture, rape or other severe forms of violence) have a right to full medical assistance equal to that of a Bulgarian citizen;
- Right to apply for individual international protection.
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