Non-Ukrainians with a temporary Ukrainian residence permit no longer eligible for municipal accommodation and services
The vast majority of refugees from Ukraine are Ukrainian nationals. However, this is not true of everyone who has come to the Netherlands from Ukraine. As of 19 July, people who were living in Ukraine on a temporary residence permit, obtained in connection with their work or studies, will no longer be covered by the EU Temporary Protection Directive in the Netherlands. This is the case regardless of whether they come to the Netherlands directly from Ukraine, via their own country or via another EU country. As a result, these third-country nationals will not be eligible to access municipal accommodation, a subsistence allowance, education and medical care.
A change in policy for third-country nationals with a temporary residence permit
Dutch safety regions, municipalities and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) have noted an increase in the number of third-country nationals entering the Netherlands from other European countries. In all likelihood this is because in the Netherlands, in contrast to those countries, they fall under the Temporary Protection Directive and are able to access a wider range of assistance. The government has also received indications that some people may be abusing the protections offered by Dutch law. These indications mainly relate to third-country nationals with a temporary residence permit who are from safe countries. The government would like to ease the burden on municipalities and, in addition, would like to meet the wishes of parliament on this matter. For this reason, the government has decided that third-country nationals who had a temporary residence permit in Ukraine will no longer fall under the Directive and will no longer enjoy the rights it confers, unless these nationals fall under the EU Qualification Directive.
State Secretary for Justice and Security Eric van der Burg says, ‘It’s imperative that we offer protection to people who are not safe in their own country. At the same time, we don’t want to overburden municipalities. This shift in policy enables us to focus on providing accommodation and services to the people who need them.’
Change is not retroactive
This change in policy is not retroactive. This means that everyone who was a lawful resident of Ukraine and registered in the Dutch Personal Records Database (BRP) before 19 July will continue to have a right to the protection associated with the Temporary Protection Directive until 4 March 2023.
Support from the IND
To determine whether someone falls under the Temporary Protection Directive, municipalities must verify what residence status a person had in Ukraine. Centres have been set up for this purpose, and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is supporting municipalities in this regard. Some people who are not eligible for protection under the Directive will decide to return to their country of origin. If so, they were be assisted in that regard by the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V). Some third-country nationals will want to apply for asylum through the regular procedure, thereby leading to an increase in the number of asylum applications. Both the IND and other relevant parties are making preparations for this eventuality.