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Temporary protection and other options to obtain legal residence in the Netherlands for Ukrainians

The Dutch government is working on introducing measures to provide temporary protection to persons fleeing Ukraine. While the exact details and conditions still need to be announced, there have been several measures already announced with regards to stay, work authorization and residence permit applications.

Read more in our update: Work permit exemption for Ukrainians

Stay in the Netherlands without a residence permit

Ukrainian nationals with a valid biometric passport can enter the Netherlands without a visa and stay in the entire Schengen area for 90 days in a 180-day-period without a residence permit. It is possible to extend a short-stay visa or the permit-exempt term to 180 days at most. Due to the war in Ukraine, the IND has announced that overstaying the 90-day-period will not have any consequences for Ukrainian nationals.   

Ukrainians can already register at a municipality in the Netherlands and obtain a social security number (BSN). With this number, it is for example possible to open a bank account, take out a Dutch phone subscription, rent an apartment and enroll children in public school. Municipalities are also providing shelter to Ukrainian nationals who have no place to stay. Several municipalities have already published a special website for refugees from Ukraine. For example:

However, to be able to work in the Netherlands – either in self-employment or paid employment, a residence permit with work authorization or work permit is currently necessary. The ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is however planning on temporarily granting access to the labor market to Ukrainians per 1 April 2022.

Temporary Protection Directive

On 4 March 2022 the Council of the European Union unanimously adopted an implementing decision introducing temporary protection for persons fleeing Ukraine as the consequence of the war. 

This temporary protection aims to provide an immediate and collective protection to displaced persons. It not only applies to Ukrainian nationals, but in some instances, it also applies to third country nationals and stateless persons who were residing in Ukraine before or on 24 February 2022 and who cannot safely return to their country of origin. The temporary protection will initially apply for one year and it can be extended to three years in total. 

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will soon announce a scheme which will detail how the decision of the Council of the European Union will precisely be implemented in the Netherlands. This scheme will cover:

  • conditions for a residence permit
  • access to health care services
  • work and study authorization

Residence permits for study, work or family reunification

Ukrainians may also be eligible for a residence permit in relation to their family, work or study in the Netherlands. 

For a residence permit, it is generally required to pass the basic civic integration exam and/or obtain a provisional residence permit (mvv) in the country of nationality or legal residence. However, due to the war in Ukraine, the IND has exempted persons who cannot return to Ukraine from these requirements, provided that they meet the other conditions for the residence permit for which they applied. This means that Ukrainians can stay in the Netherlands while their application for a residence permit is pending. 

Family reunification

Spouses, unmarried partners and minor children of Dutch citizens, EU citizens or holders of a Dutch residence permit with a non-temporary purpose (with the exception of a student residence permit) may be eligible for family reunification. Only in very special circumstances can family members outside of the family unit qualify for family reunification. To demonstrate the family relationship, it is generally required to provide a legalized birth certificate, marriage certificate or a certificate of unmarried status. However, if it is not possible to obtain these documents, the IND has already indicated to deal leniently with this standard of proof and potentially allow other documents to serve as an alternative.

For family reunification, the sponsor who already has legal residence in the Netherlands will need to demonstrate that their income is sufficient, sustainable and independent. More information about family reunification can be found here. Please note that different conditions apply to family members of EU citizens.

Work in the Netherlands

There are several types of residence permits for labor-related purposes – for paid employment as well as self-employment. The residence permits for labor-related purposes are subject to conditions, e.g., salary requirements. Please find more information here.

Study in the Netherlands

Students who have been (provisionally) accepted to study at a university or a university of applied sciences in the Netherlands may be eligible for a residence permit. The student must be registered for a full-time daytime course and have sufficient funds to support themselves for at least one year. The educational institution must apply for the residence permit on behalf of the student.


Refugees fleeing Ukraine can apply for asylum in the Netherlands, but for Ukrainians this is not required. The IND set a so-called decision and departure moratorium on new and pending asylum applications. This means that the IND will not decide on asylum applications from Ukrainians and return to Ukraine is not required after a negative decision. The IND will not consider Ukraine a safe country of origin for 6 months.

An application for asylum can be filed at the application center in Ter Apel. Please find more information about the asylum application procedure here.

Please note that our firm is not specialized in asylum law. For questions about asylum law, please contact an asylum lawyer.


Healthcare costs for Ukrainians who are staying in the Netherlands without a residence permit will be paid from the Subsidy Scheme for Medically Necessary Care for Uninsured Persons or from the Medical Care Regulations for Asylum Seekers (RMA). Please note that the costs for dental care, however, will not be reimbursed.

Ukrainians who fall under the abovementioned schemes do not have to pay medically necessary care themselves. If a health care provider requests payment for care, please refer them to the CAK (Central Administration Office) or RMA (Regeling Medische zorg Asielzoekers). These organisations will pay for the care.

  • For non-emergency care and/or prescription medication, please contact a general practitioner. If needed, the general practitioner can make a referral to a specialist.
  • For emergency care, please visit Spoedeisende Hulp at the nearest hospital. In the case of a life-threatening situation and/or need of an ambulance, please call the emergency number 112.

Ukrainian nationals staying in the Netherlands with a residence permit are required to enroll in a health insurance program. More information about enrolling in a health insurance program can be found here.

For additional information regarding healthcare for Ukrainians in the Netherlands, please visit the website of the Zorgverzekeringslijn.

Useful websites

Government of the Netherlands: Russian invasion of Ukraine |

Immigration and Naturalisation Service: Immigration and Naturalisation Service | IND

Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers: COA – Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers

Refugee Help (in Ukrainian, Dutch, English and Russian) RefugeeHelp

Be safe on the run!

Dutch Council for Refugees: Bied Oekraïense vluchtelingen bescherming! |

Netherlands Red Cross: The Netherlands Red Cross | About us (

Educational system in the Netherlands: Education in the Netherlands | Nuffic

Diploma evaluation: Credential Evaluation – International Credential Evaluation (

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