February 27, 2023

Family Reunification for Ukrainian Refugees Within the EU

Family Reunification for Ukrainian Refugees Within the EU:

In response to the Russian War outbreak in Ukraine, the European Union has granted temporary protection in a Member State of the EU to those who were permanent residents in Ukraine and have fled their country in search of safety. This article provides the legislation the European Union has followed thereafter the humanitarian crisis. A temporary protection will constitute a residence permit distributed by a European Union individual Member State, not from the complete European Union as well as family reunification which helps in creating stability and in terms facilitates the harsh process of refugee migration.


Ukrainian refugees who have fled their home country in the wake of the war, February 24, 2022 are entitled to family reunification within the temporary protection. Family reunification is prescribed regardless of whether the family member (spouse, partner and minor unmarried children) has obtained a residence permit. Family reunification refers to allowing entry into and residence in a Member State to family relatives of those who have acquired residence in a Member State. The Temporary Protection Directives, specifically Article 15, provide the conditions on the duty of Member States in regards to facilitating the reunification of the Ukrainian refugees as well as introducing the refugees’ rights. Article 15 expresses that Member States shall work to reunify members of the core family regardless if they are yet present in a Member State. If the family members are not exercising their temporary protection in an EU state it is upon the Member State’s duty to do so.


The movement between EU Member States is a problematic issue, but in terms of family reunification many rights are protected by the Temporary Protection Services. In the instance that family members temporarily residing in separate EU Member States desire to be reunited in one of those Member States, their rights are protected by the TPS. The Temporary Protection Services adheres to family reunification and states that Member States shall take into consideration the wishes of these separated families. The duty of the Member States is to prioritize the reuniting of the core family, specifically unmarried children to their parents, by allowing residence in the temporary residence in the chosen EU Member State.


In terms of the transition between EU Member States, it is important to note that legislation on the movement of refugees may vary. While short-term movement within the EU is allowed for refugees with EU residency, different requirements for longer-term stays or resettlement in another EU country will appear. Short-term movement between Member States has been awarded to Ukrainian refugees with EU residency to travel freely for 90 days in a 180 day window. However, in the decision of moving to a new EU state the directive from the European Commission states the right for a Ukrainian to move with the knowledge that the first residence permit and rights which come along with that country will be removed as the second one comes into existence. Therefore, Ukrainian refugees with the intent to move between EU states must take the necessary precautions and be aware of the laws and regulations in each country before their residency permit for a single EU state has been revoked. With this being said, in the process of taking such precautions it is important to note that the Ukrainian refugee
legislation has been an ongoing process in the European Union and consequently no clear guidelines appear on the matter of moving between states.The new approaches to immigration due to the Russian war in the European Union may differ according to each municipality.


Ultimately, family reunification is a right granted to Ukrainian refugees who have received temporary protection in an EU member state, and member states have a duty to facilitate the reunification of these refugees with their loved ones. Ukrainian refugees who intend to move between EU states must take necessary precautions and be aware of the laws and regulations in each country before their rights provided by the Temporary Protection Directive diminishes. As the legislation regarding Ukrainian refugees in the EU is an ongoing process, it is crucial for refugees and their families to stay up to date on any changes or developments.


Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.


Monika Rutland, partner

rutland & partners, law firm

Tel: +420 226 226 026

Email: monika.rutland@rutlands.cz

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