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How France applies the protection status to people who fled the war in Ukraine ?
- Updated: 24/03/2022
France applies the 2001 EU directive on temporary protection status for ukranians.
As explained above, Ukranians and permanent residents in Ukrain have the right to temporary protection. They are not refugees, asylum seeker or migrants as defined by french regulations .
False Rumors :
- You may hear people in France talk about you being supervised by the government agency OFPRA (Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides). It is incorrect. Because of your status, this agency is not in charge. The agency in charge is OFII (Office français pour l'immigration et l'integration) [French office for immigration and integration].
- There is sometimes confusion between the “Protection temporaire” [temporary protection] regime and the “Protection subsidiaire” [“subsidiary protection”] regime. “Temporary protection” has been activated for Ukrainians. “Subsidiary protection” is another form of protection granted to a foreigner who does not meet the conditions for obtaining refugee status and who proves that he is exposed in his country to one of the serious risks to his life. The difference between temporary protection and subsidiary protection is officially explained here.
Who is elligible under the French legislation ?
Per the temporary protection page on the official website of the Ministry of Interior (“Ministère de l'Intérieur”) website :
Can you benefit from it?
Conditions for obtaining temporary protection in France:
- Case 1: You are a Ukrainian national and you were residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
- Case 2: You are not a Ukrainian national and you benefit from protection (international or equivalent national) granted by the Ukrainian authorities;
- Case 3: You are not a Ukrainian national, you hold a valid permanent residence permit issued by the Ukrainian authorities and you are not able to return to your country of origin in a safe and sustainable manner;
- Case 4: You are a family member of a person falling under one of the previous cases (family members are: spouse, unmarried minor children and dependent relatives).
What are your rights once protected?
- The issuance of a temporary residence permit on French territory for a period of 6 months, bearing the mention “beneficiary of temporary protection”;
- The payment of the asylum seeker's allowance;
- Authorisation to exercise a professional activity;
- Access to healthcare through medical care;
- Schooling for minor children;
- Support in accessing housing.
Where to apply?
Go to the prefecture of the department where you live or are staying: * with the documents in your possession justifying your situation; * accompanied by your family members (spouse and children).
What happens next?
If your file is complete and admissible, you will be protected and you will obtain a temporary residence permit. You will then be referred to the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII).
How do I find the Prefecture for my area, its website and the forms ?
To find the prefecture for your city of residence, use this official interactive map of France or this independent administrative website (easier) :
Once you know the “DEPARTEMENT” area, type the name of département with “Prefecture” and “ukrainiens” on Google. You should find the link to the relevant page with the forms.
How do I file in practice ?
- The temporary status is national, but you have to file at the foreigners desk (“Bureau des étrangers”) of the local government authorities (“Prefecture”) where you reside. Changing cities can be problematic.
- Each Prefecture is organized differently
- The website of each Prefecture lists the necessary documents : e.g. Additional information in French on the paperwork at Prefecture of Vaucluse
- Always bring the documents they require, else they will reject your case
- Expect long waiting time at the Prefecture
- Some prefecture may ask you to come back on an appointment date and time
- Trying to bribe or influence government official is a serious offense.
Details of applicable rules
The details of the applicable rules have been set by interministerial instruction of March 10, 2022 addressed to regional prefectures and departmental prefectures [FR].