The European Commission has announced that from March 14, Ukrainian citizens and their families are allowed to apply for temporary protection in Slovakia, which can be done electronically through the online services of the Ministry of Interior.
In a press release issued on Monday, March 14, the EU Commission noted that the online portal is now available in Ukrainian, Slovak and English, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“Although an in-person appointment with Slovakia’s Border and Foreigner Police will still be necessary to finalise a person’s temporary protection status, being able to complete the online data form in advance will significantly speed up the entire application process,” the statement reads.
Available data show that as of March 14, more than 195,000 refugees have crossed into Slovakia.
According to UN Refugees data, the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24 increased to more than 2.8 million.
On March 2, the European Commission suggested activating the Temporary Protection Directive. The proposal explains that the EU will be able to provide temporary assistance to those already fleeing the war in Ukraine by also granting them residence permits and access to education and the labour market
“The Temporary Protection Directive offers answers to the present situation by providing immediate protection and rights, reducing pressure on national asylum systems, enhancing solidarity and responsibility sharing, and further support from EU Agencies,” the statement noted.
The Commission has also set out some guidelines to assist the Member States’ border guards in efficiently managing arrivals at the borders with Ukraine.
Moreover, the Government of Spain on March 10 announced that a mechanism had been launched to enable displaced persons from Ukraine to Spain to apply for and gain temporary protection.
According to the Spanish government, this order determines that Ukrainian asylum seekers can seek temporary protection at special Spanish National Police stations and authorised reception centres.
Similarly, the Swiss federal government, in a press release issued on March 7 announced that it intends to activate protection status for all Ukrainians fleeing their country, and if this status is activated, it will allow all of those Ukrainian refugees to stay in Switzerland, work, and have the right to social assistance and medical care.
Other EU countries that have expressed their readiness to support Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war are:
- The Czech Republic