Information on the war in Ukraine
Temporary protection for Ukrainian citizens and their family members
As of 9 March 2022, a Decree of the Government of the Republic of Estonia entered into force, allowing citizens of Ukraine and their family members who have fled to Estonia to escape the war to apply for temporary protection. Temporary protection is a one-year residence permit that can provide security and social guarantees to Ukrainian citizens and their family members. Once they have applied for temporary protection, war refugees will enjoy rights similar to those enjoyed by Estonian residents, for instance, the right to study, work and therefore receive health insurance. There is no obligation to apply for temporary protection. All Ukrainian citizens have the right to stay in Estonia without applying for temporary protection.
Applying for temporary protection
- Make sure that you are eligible for temporary protection. You should apply if you lived in Ukraine until 24.02.22 and fled the country because of hostilities on or after 24.02.22.
- Book an appointment to apply for temporary protection
- One adult with any minor children may use a single appointment for applying. If there are more adults in the family, you will need to book more than one appointment.
- If you submit your application at another time before your appointment, cancel your appointment so that others can use it. Cancel your appointment at https://broneering.politsei.ee/Reservations/Cancel
What is temporary protection?
Temporary protection is a one-year residence permit that grants Ukrainian citizens and their family members similar rights to those enjoyed by Estonian residents.
What advantages does temporary protection provide?
Temporary protection grants Ukrainian citizens and their family members rights similar to those of Estonian residents. For instance, access to social services and the right to work and education. It also entails the right of free movement within the European Union.
Who can apply for temporary protection?
Ukrainian citizens and their family members who have arrived in Estonia since 24 February can apply for temporary protection. Also, people of other nationalities who were beneficiaries of international protection in Ukraine and their family members who have arrived in Estonia since 24 February.
Temporary protection does not apply to Ukrainian citizens and their family members who resided or stayed in Estonia before 24 February 2022. However, these citizens are still subject to the decision taken by the PBGB to allow for their temporary stay in Estonia, even if other grounds for stay (e.g. visa waiver or visa) have expired.
How long does temporary protection last?
Temporary protection is valid for one year.
Is it mandatory to apply for temporary protection?
There is no obligation to apply for temporary protection. All Ukrainian citizens have the right to stay in Estonia without applying for temporary protection.
What happens when my temporary protection ends?
Ukrainian citizens and their family members can extend their temporary protection if the war in Ukraine continues.
Where can Ukrainian citizens and their relatives apply for temporary protection?
You can apply for temporary protection at the service offices of the Police and Border Guard Board. In order to apply for temporary protection, you have to book an appointment in advance:https://broneering.politsei.ee/.
You can book an appointment to apply for temporary protection in the following service offices:
- In Tallinn: Tammsaare service office
- Tartu Police Station
- Jõhvi Police Station
- Rakvere Police Station
- Pärnu Police Station
- Narva Police Station
The PBGB is also planning to set up mobile service points in accommodation facilities where war refugees from Ukraine are staying.
Do I have to do anything before applying for temporary protection?
In order to apply for temporary protection at a service office, you need to book an appointment in advance at https://broneering.politsei.ee/. We recommend that you fill in the application form for all family members beforehand, and bring your identity documents or other documents (e.g. birth certificate). The forms are available at reception points, accommodation facilities and service offices.
What does applying for temporary protection involve?
A document photo and fingerprints are taken of the applicant for temporary protection at the service office or mobile service point. An application for temporary protection as well as an application for a residence permit card are accepted. As a general rule, the decision to grant protection is taken immediately.
What is the deadline for applying for temporary protection?
Ukrainian citizens are not obliged to apply for temporary protection, as they have the right to stay in Estonia under the decision of the PBGB even without temporary protection.
What documents do I need to apply for temporary protection?
In order to apply for temporary protection, you will need to bring your identity documents or other documents, such as a birth certificate. If you do not have any documents, you should contact the Embassy of Ukraine, which will issue identity certificates to Ukrainian citizens. Then you will be able to apply for temporary protection.
Are queues at the PBGB service offices now getting longer as war refugees seeking temporary protection are visiting the service offices alongside the locals?
Applying for temporary protection is a separate service. In order to apply for temporary protection, war refugees and their relatives arriving from Ukraine need to book an appointment at broneering.politsei.ee. Booking an appointment ensures that the service offices will not receive too many applicants at once. In order to make applying for temporary protection as smooth as possible, the PBGB is also planning to set up mobile service points in the accommodation facilities of war refugees, where they can conveniently submit their applications for temporary protection.
So why are the PBGB service offices busier than usual?
The longer queues can mostly be attributed to the fact that Estonians are applying for more documents than usual.
Do the PBGB service offices have extra resources to deal with applications for temporary protection?
Yes, the PBGB service offices have increased the number of customer service specialists who are involved in only receiving and processing applications for temporary protection.
If I have been granted temporary protection as a refugee in Estonia, can I waive the protection and apply for it in another EU country?
Temporary protection is a type of international protection, but it is short-term and people should return to their country of origin upon expiry of the decision of the Council of the European Union (provided the hostilities cease and the decision is not extended). You can waive temporary protection if you wish to return to your home country. In that case, it is sufficient to inform the Police and Border Guard Board. If you have obtained temporary protection from one European country, there is no reason to ask for it in other countries.
If I have been granted temporary protection in Estonia as a refugee, what are my rights to travel around the EU?
A Ukrainian citizen who has been granted temporary protection has the same status as any other third-country national holding a residence permit in Estonia. A third-country national holding an Estonian residence permit is allowed to stay in another Schengen Member State for 90 days within a period of 180 days (note that not all EU countries are part of the Schengen zone).
If a Ukrainian national enjoying protection wishes to stay longer in the Member State of his or her choice, he or she must apply for a long-stay visa or residence permit in that country.
If I have been granted temporary protection in Estonia as a refugee, what are my rights to work in another country in the EU?
Temporary protection is a residence permit to live in Estonia and it does not grant you the right to work in other countries. If you wish to work in another country, you should check the rules for working in that particular country and apply for the necessary permits.
If I have been granted temporary protection, can I travel back to Ukraine temporarily?
Yes, you can.
Do I have to inform the Police and Border Guard Board about my temporary departure from Estonia?
No, you do not need to inform the PBGB about your temporary departure.
Who do I need to inform, if I have been granted temporary protection and I leave permanently for Ukraine or another country?
In that case, it is essential to inform the local authority where your place of residence is registered. You should also inform the police by writing to .... If you are registered as unemployed and plan to leave for Ukraine, you should also inform your consultant at the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa).
Can I travel from Estonia to Russia with my Ukrainian passport?
The Police and Border Guard Board advises against all travel to Russia without an urgent need. The Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) declared the Russian regime a terrorist regime on 18 October, and temporary protection has been granted to Ukrainian citizens precisely to protect them from Russia’s actions. Travelling to Russia may lead to the revocation of your residence permit.