France immigration: a detailed guide for Ukrainian refugees in FR

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France immigration: a detailed guide for Ukrainian refugees in FR

Ukrainians seeking asylum in France may face numerous questions and challenges. This guide is intended to provide the necessary information and guidance for refugees from Ukraine who have arrived in France. Learn more about temporary stay, residence, and the healthcare system in France

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Citizens of Ukraine fleeing the war seek refuge in various European countries. Many of them choose neighboring countries to keep in touch with their homeland. However, some go further, and France becomes their new home.

Ukrainians can enter France under different statuses: "travelers", "asylum seekers" and "refugees". This determines their rights and obligations, as well as the possibility of receiving financial assistance and asylum. Ukrainians in France are facing a new stage in their lives, with various challenges and opportunities. This European country offers them the opportunity to rebuild their future and find safety in a country that creates conditions for the integration of refugees.

Conditions for Ukrainians to enter France

If you have left Ukraine after February 24, 2022, due to the war and are planning to travel to France, there are several important aspects to consider.

Documents proving identity and citizenship. To enter France, you need a document that proves your identity and citizenship. This can be a passport (biometric or regular), valid or expired for no more than 2 years. Also, a passport of a citizen of Ukraine in the form of a card, valid or expired for no more than 2 years, or a certificate of identity issued by the Embassy of Ukraine, provides an opportunity to enter.

Proof of border crossing.  It is important to have proof that you have crossed the border of Ukraine and entered a Schengen country or another country. This can be a stamp in your passport confirming that you have crossed the border or other confirmation, such as a border crossing certificate issued by the border guard service of the country you entered from Ukraine.

If you are unable to provide a document proving your identity and nationality, or if you do not have any border crossing data, you should contact the French Embassy in the first Schengen country you entered to obtain an entry permit to France: Poland, Hungary, Romania or Moldova.

Please note that if you decide not to apply for temporary protection, you will be subject to the general conditions of stay in France for Ukrainian citizens. This includes a visa-free regime for 90 days. Be aware of all the requirements and rules regarding your stay in France and follow them to ensure your safety and legal status in the country.

Staying in France for Ukrainians for more than 90 days

There are several options for foreign nationals to stay in France for more than 90 days:

1. Obtaining a residence permit. This can be a temporary residence permit issued for 3 months. To do this, you need to apply to the prefecture of the department where you live.

2. Obtaining temporary protection. Another option is to obtain temporary protection related to residence for 6 months. 

3. Residence permit (titre de séjour). Certain categories of persons, such as husbands and wives of French nationals, can obtain a residence permit that entitles them to long-term stay in the country.

Ukrainian nationals are advised to register with the prefecture as soon as possible, especially if their 90-day stay in Europe is about to expire. This will allow them to obtain a temporary residence permit (APS), which will give them additional time to legalize their stay in France.

Asylum in France in the form of "temporary protection" status for refugees from Ukraine

Currently, Ukrainian citizens are not recommended to apply for refugee status (asile). Instead, the European Union has introduced a new mechanism for accepting displaced persons - the "temporary protection" regime, and France is in compliance with this Directive. Temporary protection provides a faster and simplified procedure for Ukrainians seeking refuge from war.

The following persons are eligible for temporary protection:

1. Citizens of Ukraine who resided on its territory before February 24, 2022;

2. Persons who are not citizens of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian authorities have granted them protection: international or equivalent to national protection;

3. Family members of a person who meets conditions 1 or 2: spouse, unmarried minor children, and dependent parents;

4. Persons who are not citizens of Ukraine, have a valid permanent residence permit issued by the Ukrainian authorities and cannot return to their country of origin.

The rights granted along with temporary protection in France include the issuance of a temporary residence permit for six months, payment of asylum seeker's allowance, authorization for professional activities, access to medical care, education of minors and support in obtaining housing. This regime simplifies the procedure for Ukrainians seeking asylum from the war.

Family reunification for refugees from Ukraine

If you have refugee status, subsidiary protection or are stateless and intend to reunite with your family in France, there are certain conditions and procedures that you need to consider.

If you are an adult, you can apply for a long-term visa for family reunification purposes if you meet one of the following conditions:

You are the husband, wife, cohabitant or partner (in a civil union) of a person with refugee status, subsidiary protection or statelessness, and you are at least 18 years old. In this case, the marriage or civil union must have been concluded before the submission of the asylum application.

You are a child of a couple who is under the age of 19 at the time of submitting the visa application.

You are a child of a person with refugee status, subsidiary protection or statelessness under the age of 18 and your relationship is recognized only with that person or their spouse, or your other parent has died or has been deprived of parental rights.

Furthermore, you are a child of a person with refugee status, subsidiary protection or statelessness under the age of 18, and your primary caregiver (the person who provides for your maintenance) has the right to custody based on a foreign court decision.

If you are a minor and unmarried, your parents (relatives in the ascending line of first degree of kinship) may apply for a long-term visa for family reunification if they accompany you, a minor child who is actually dependent on them. 

About the medical system in France for Ukrainians

All Ukrainians who have been granted temporary protection status in France have the opportunity to take advantage of the general health insurance Protection universelle maladie (PUMA), as well as to obtain additional health insurance Complémentaire santé solidaire (C2S).

After you have applied for temporary protection at the prefecture and received a pink piece of paper marked "recipient of temporary protection", you need to contact the primary health insurance fund, known as the caisse primaire d'assurance maladie (CPAM). Once you have registered, you will be assigned a health insurance number and a card will be sent to you by mail. This insurance also covers your minor child.

The patient has the opportunity to choose a general practitioner or a specialist to whom he/she applies for long-term medical care. It is this doctor who will refer you to other specialists if your health requires it. Using your primary care physician is recommended as it facilitates a more coordinated approach to your treatment.

You do not have to choose a doctor for long-term follow-up, but not doing so may result in a reduction in your health care benefits.

Additionally, you can see certain specialists directly, such as a gynecologist, ophthalmologist, dentist, psychiatrist or neuropsychiatric (for young people under 26), for some medical consultations without the need for a referral from your primary care physician, except for acute medical episodes. These specialists provide long-term medical supervision and support for patients in certain areas of medicine.

So, let this information help you during the difficult period of adaptation and provide you with a better understanding of the procedures and opportunities related to refugee status in France. Do not hesitate to contact local organizations and public services that are ready to support you.

Igor Usyk - Head of Migration department at VisitWorld

To ensure a safe move to a new country, I advise you to consult a specialist. My colleagues, qualified specialists with a legal education, will help you avoid unpleasant situations during migration.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in France;

Legal advice on businessmedicaleducational and immigration issues in France;

Travel and health insurance for foreigners in France;

Insurance for foreign students in France.

More articles on the topic:

Immigration to France: how to move for permanent residence.

Health Insurance in France for Foreigners: a detailed guide.

Employment contracts in France: types and characteristics.

Getting a work visa to France: required documents and peculiarities of the procedure.

French Tech Visa: obtaining a residence permit under the Passeport Talent program.

Higher education in France for foreigners: a detailed guide.

Studying in France: the perfect guide for a bachelor's degree in 2024.

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