14 Mar 2022

Special protection for displaced Ukrainians across Europe and the UK


The Council of the European Union has responded to the refugee crisis in Ukraine by invoking the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD), Council Directive 2001/55/EC which came into force in 2001. The Commission has recognised the immediate necessity to protect the displaced Ukrainians who have reached the European Union.

The TPD was drafted in an attempt to harmonise European Union policies regarding displaced persons and their families and create a collaborative attitude across the members of the European Union. Temporary protection is not the same as asylum and permits holders to reside, work and obtain health care for up to three years. Once invoked, the TPD obliges the Member States to accept refugees and extend temporary protection to them with minimum bureaucracy.

The governments of each country in the European Union will have to implement the Directive and define the individuals deemed to be eligible to apply for temporary protection. The following criteria will apply:

  • Ukrainian citizens previously residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022.
  • Stateless persons and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine who benefited from international or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022.
  • Family members of the persons in the first two categories.

In addition, the following individuals must also be considered as part of a family and included in the Decree for Temporary Protection:

  • The spouse or the unmarried partner within a stable relationship with the applicant.
  • Minor children.
  • All other immediate relatives who were in the same household before the invasion of Ukraine

The United Kingdom is not bound by the TPD, however, the UK government has introduced a temporary visa as a concession for British citizens' family members who are domiciled in Ukraine. For individuals of any nationality who live in Ukraine who have family members that are British nationals, they will be able to apply for a family migration visa regardless of whether they meet the financial requirements or the expected level of English.

Also, the fee has been waived in light of conflict. Further measures introduced on 14 March will enable refugees without family members in the UK to seek British sponsorship.

Giambrone's multi-disciplinary teams of cross-border immigration experts include Ukrainian and Russian speakers. Our lawyers fully intend to offer every assistance to Ukrainian nationals seeking safety in Spain, Portugal, Italy and the UK.

We can take the bureaucratic burden of making a visa application from your shoulders at this difficult time. Our lawyers understand the urgency of the situation and will fast-track your application in any country mentioned above and depending on the escalation of the conflict our lawyers can also assist in a range of other issues which may be required to live and work in the countries to which they have relocated.

Many organisations have chosen to close their operations in Russia and plan to relocate to a country in Europe or in the UK. Giambrone's corporate and commercial lawyers can advise on the complexities of company relocation to the UK from commercial leases to applying to for a global mobility visa, to be enacted imminently, enabling employees based overseas to live and work in a business based in the UK.

For more information on how Giambrone & Partners can assist displaced Ukrainians please contact Sam Groom SG@giambronelaw.com