Aug 02, 2023

Czech Republic to Extend Temporary Protection for Ukrainian Refugees

The Czech Interior Ministry is set to extend temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees, offering them the possibility to remain in the country for another year until the end of March 2025.

The proposed amendment, known as lex Ukraine, was presented today for inter-ministerial comments. This extension grants refugees access to public health insurance, education, and job opportunities.

The authors of the proposal stress that due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, it is improbable for these individuals to return home anytime soon.

Working groups within the EU are reportedly supportive of extending temporary protection until March 2025. A political decision at the EU level is expected by the end of October. However, given the timeframe, the legislative process cannot wait for the official decision of the Council of the European Union, necessitating the timing of the amendment.

Approximately half a million Ukrainian refugees have already been granted temporary protection in the Czech Republic, with about one-third of them having returned to their home country.

As of June 18 this year, 344,800 people, primarily women and children, have been granted protection visas from Ukraine.

Earlier reports indicate that around one-third of the refugees are children and young people under 18, while more than two-thirds of the adults are women.

In terms of the number of refugees received from war-affected Ukraine, the Czech Republic ranks first among all Central and Eastern European countries and third after Poland and Germany in absolute numbers.

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Refugees will need to register electronically by March 15, 2024, and schedule an in-person visit to the Ministry of the Interior office to obtain a visa label certifying their temporary protection until March 31, 2025. Failure to register by the specified date or to appear for the visa sticker marking by the end of September 2024 will lead to the expiration of temporary protection.

Moreover, the registration process for the extension of temporary protection will require refugees to complete a mandatory questionnaire for statistical surveys concerning their stay in the Czech Republic.

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