The information on this page was collected from public resources and does not constitute legal advice.

General information on border crossing?

To enter France, you must first cross the border through an EU country, for example Poland. Check the interactive map of waiting time at the countries that border with Ukraine here mceclip0.png.
You can enter France by plane, train, bus, car or ferry.

For specific questions regarding the border crossing, please contact the French embassy in Ukraine via ambafrance.org mceclip0.png or at (+38) 044 590 36 00.

If you are already in one of the countries that border with Ukraine, please check the useful contacts below:
โ€ข Embassy of France in Poland (Warsaw): details in Ukrainian here pl.ambafrance.org mceclip0.png
โ€ข Embassy of France in Hungary (Budapest), Budapest H-1011, Foฬ‹ utca 17 (e-mail consulat.budapest-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr)
โ€ข French Embassy in Romania (Bucharest), also for those who left Ukraine through Moldova: details in English at ro.ambafrance.org mceclip0.png

Accordingly, we urge you to ensure that the border guards of the country through which you entered the Schengen area put a stamp on the border crossing in your passport (foreign, "domestic" or in the child's birth certificate), or obtain a certificate from them about crossing the border.

Check for more information at visitukraine.today mceclip0.png.

What documents do I need to enter?

If you left Ukraine because of the war after February 24, 2022, you can enter France under the following conditions:

โ€ข You are a Ukrainian citizen and have a document certifying your identity: foreign passport, either biometric or ordinary (valid or expired not more than 2 years), or passport of a citizen of Ukraine in the form of a card (valid or expired not more than 2 years) or identity card, issued by the Embassy of Ukraine;
โ€ข You are a Ukrainian resident with a valid residence permit or an identity card of a foreign resident in Ukraine.
โ€ข ADDITIONALLY you can provide a stamp of crossing the Ukrainian border and entry into the Schengen area or other confirmation of such crossing (for example, a certificate of crossing the border issued by the border service of the country you entered from Ukraine), or a ticket HELP Ukraine of Deutsche Bahn.

If you do not have a document proving your ID and citizenship, OR if you do not have a border crossing stamp/certificate issued by the border services, you need to contact the French Embassy in the first Schengen country you entered to obtain permission to enter France.

โ€ข Embassy of France in Poland (Warsaw): details in Ukrainian at pl.ambafrance.org mceclip0.png
โ€ข Embassy of France in Hungary (Budapest), Budapest H-1011, Foฬ‹ utca 17 (e-mail: consulat.budapest-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr)
โ€ข French Embassy in Romania (Bucharest), also for those who left Ukraine through Moldova: details in English here ro.ambafrance.org mceclip0.png

Accordingly, we urge you to ensure that the border guards of the country through which you entered the Schengen area put a stamp on the border crossing in your passport (foreign, "domestic" or in the child's birth certificate), or obtain a certificate from them about crossing the border.
Check for more information at visitukraine.today mceclip0.png

What happens after a border crossing?

If you're Ukrainian you have a right to enter France and all the Schengen zone for 90 days without a visa. After that you have to apply for temporary protection to stay legally in France.

If you are in transit in France you can refer to Red Cross mceclip0.png to apply for emergency housing for a few nights and obtaining a train ticket to your destination. In Paris and some other big cities you can find Red Cross stands on the train stations. In Paris Red Cross is operating only on Gare de l'Est, all other reception points are closed. To get a train ticket for a train departing from Gare de l'Est you should do it through Red Cross. On the other train stations you can get it directly at the SNCF office.

If you'd like to stay in France you should first go to one of the reception points. Red Cross provides free transfers from Gare de l'Est to the reception points. You can call the emergency line of Red Cross at 0805 389 789. Outside of Paris you can find the closest reception point using Soliguide search mceclip0.png. Reception center in Paris is located in 15 avenue Ernest Renan 75015 Paris, metro Porte de Versailles (open every day from 9-18h, on the weekend only housing service is open). For other cities see the information here mceclip0.png. In smaller towns you have to go to the closest Prefecture (see the map mceclip0.png).

Citizens of Ukraine are not recommended to apply for refugee status (asile), because temporary protection status better meets the needs of displaced Ukrainians and is obtained through a simplified procedure. For more details on the difference between temporary protection status and refugee status, see the link mceclip0.png.

How can I get from the border to the capital (a certain town)?

To travel by train Ukrainian refugees can receive 1 free train ticket per person (according to new stricter SNCF rules mceclip0.png).

When you arrive at the station, you must go to a ticket window and present one of the documents below to get your free ticket:

โ€ข a passport or ID card issued by Ukraine
โ€ข a Help Ukraine ticket issued by Deutsche Bahn
โ€ข a valid Ukrainian residence permit, if you are not Ukrainian but are fleeing the conflict
โ€ข a Ukrainian resident alien card

The same conditions apply if you want to obtain a free return ticket to Ukraine.
Once you applied for temporary protection you can get a free ticket for regional trains until you receive financial aid (if you can show a proof of your application). Once you start receiving financial aid you should buy tickets with a discount.

You can also travel by bus at your own expense.
Cheap shared trips by car or bus at blablacar.com.ua mceclip0.png.
Bus tickets: global.flixbus.com mceclip0.png.
Burak Travel bus company mceclip0.png provides transfers from Ukraine to France and back.

How can I travel to another (specific) country?

To certain destinations you can receive a free train ticket:

โ€ข UK with Eurostar mceclip0.png (you need a visa to enter the UK)
โ€ข Switzerland with TGV Lyria mceclip0.png
โ€ข Germany with Deutsche Bahn mceclip0.png
โ€ข Italy with TGV mceclip0.png
โ€ข Spain with Renfe-SNCF mceclip0.png

When you arrive at the station, you must go to a ticket window and present one of the documents below to get your free ticket:

โ€ข a passport or ID card issued by Ukraine
โ€ข a Help Ukraine ticket issued by Deutsche Bahn
โ€ข a valid Ukrainian residence permit, if you are not Ukrainian but are fleeing the conflict
โ€ข a Ukrainian resident alien card

To Belgium and the Netherlands you will no longer be able to receive a free ticket. To buy the ticket use Thalys mceclip0.png.
More information can be found here mceclip0.png.

How long can I stay?

With a valid Ukrainian passport you can stay for 90 days in the Schenghen zone. For example, if you stayed for 30 days in Germany before coming to France you can only stay for 60 more days in France without further action required.
If you need to stay in France for more than 90 days the fastest and recommended way is to obtain temporary protection mceclip0.png that grants you a residence permit for 6 months (can be extended) and access to free healthcare and social security services.
If you are in the EU without a visa and your stay is approaching 90 days, you need to register at the nearest prefecture as soon as possible to obtain a temporary residence permit (APS) valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
In each case, you must contact the prefecture of the department of residence. More information at visitukraine.today mceclip0.png.

Please note that Ukrainians staying in France for longer than 6 months must renew their right to temporary protection. More details at the link mceclip0.png.

Where can an unaccompanied minor get help?

If you're less than 18 years old and don't have a legal representative in France you're classified as an unaccompanied foreign minor ("mineurs non accompagnรฉs" or "MNA"). You can benefit from the special child protection measures. France then has the obligation to protect you until you reach adulthood (18 years old), even if you have not made an asylum application. As an unaccompanied minor, you have the right to make an asylum request. However, we usually advise unaccompanied minors to first start by requesting child protection from the ASE (Aide sociale ร  lโ€™enfance) of the department where you live through the police.

Upon arrival in France you have to go to a commissariat, or a police department. In large cities commissariats are open 24/7. The police will provide you food and call social services. The social services will direct you to mission mineurs non accompagnรฉs (MMNA) - social centers for teenagers, where you will be accommodated.
You will be assigned a social worker to register you at a school or a college. You can find out more about your rights at this link mceclip0.png.

More information at gisti.org mceclip0.png.

Are there any Covid-related requirements and if yes, what are they?

There are no entry restrictions due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. From August 1, 2022, a vaccination certificate or a PCR test is not required to enter France.

Where do I register for temporary protection?

Ukrainians who found asylum in France can apply for temporary protection status. This can be done in a special center without prior appointment. However, this status must be renewed at another institution.

Where to get temporary protection status for the first time?

Address of the center: Paris Event Center 20, Avenue de la Porte de la Villette โ€“ 75019 Paris

Please pay attention to the fact that previously temporary protection had to be issued at a different address.

In smaller towns you have to go to the closest Prefecture (see the map mceclip0.png).

How to renew temporary protection?

Temporary protection status is granted in France for six months. After the expiration date, it must be extended at the reception center for foreigners in Paris or at the prefecture at the place of residence, if the Ukrainian lives in another city in France.

Address in Paris: Center de Reฬception des Etrangers (CRE) 42, Rue Charcot โ€“ 75013 Paris. The center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

No prior appointment is required, but in case of many visitors, a staff member may ask you to come on another day.

When to apply for renewal of status?

You need to come to the CRE center no earlier than three weeks and no later than three days before the status expires.

Necessary documents for obtaining and renewing the status of temporary protection

While planning a visit to the center, be sure to prepare the following documents:

  • 2 photos 3.5x4.5 cm;
  • Hard copy of your passport;
  • Confirmation of the address where you live.

Please note! If you are hosted by an individual, you must provide the following documents:

  • A letter confirming the fact of residence from the homeowner;
  • Passport of a French citizen or other proof of legal residence in the country;
  • Receipt for rent or utility services payment, dated no more than three months.

More information can be found on the French Ministry of the Interior website mceclip0.png.

What are my rights while I wait to get temporary protection?

If you are eligible temporary protection will be granted you immediatelly. It can take several weeks to start receiving your financial aid.
You can benefit from:

โ€ข A right to stay in France ;
โ€ข The access to the labour market or the ability to create a company ;
โ€ข A support in accessing housing;
โ€ข An access to care through health care;
โ€ข An access to school for minor children.

More information at welcometofrance.com mceclip0.png.

You will receive an emergency housing for one or two nights until waiting for social housing. Depending on your personal situation and housing availability you will be directed to different regions of France where you can first receive temporary housing for a few weeks or months until you'll be granted a permament place. You can also rent social housing at discounted rates through the CAF (caisses dโ€™Allocations familiales) program. More information on how to apply for the housing at a discounted rate is caf.fr mceclip0.png.

What documents will I receive once I get temporary protection?

โ€ข a temporary residence permit, APS (Autorisation Provisioire de Sรฉjour), valid for 6 months. To extend it you will have to go to OFII 1-2 months before the expiration date.
โ€ข a payment card ADA that allows you to receive financial assistance on a monthly basis.
โ€ข a temporary health insurance that will cover all the certified medical costs under certain conditions.

More information at interieur.gouv.fr mceclip0.png.

May I temporarily return to Ukraine? What will happen to my protection status?

Beneficiaries of international protection (asylum) cannot return to their country of origin while they are considered a refuge.
If you have received temporary protection, you can return to Ukraine for a short period of time without any negative consequences. Before leaving the country that has given you temporary protection, we recommend that you notify the state social security authorities.
For repatriation assistance, you should contact the embassy/consulate of your country of origin in the EU country where you are currently staying. The national authorities in this country can also help you to contact your embassy/consulate in case you encounter problems and may offer assistance for your repatriation.
If you want to return to Ukraine, then most likely you will have to buy a train or bus ticket with your own money.

Can I move around the country and the European Union freely while under temporary protection?

Yes, while under temporary protection you have the right to move to another EU country, before the issuance of a residence permit as well as the right to move freely in EU countries (other than the EU country of residence) for 90 days within a 180-day period after a residence permit in the host EU country is issued. More information at ec.europa.eu mceclip0.png.

Can I apply for asylum while under temporary protection? What is the difference?

Yes, you can, but it is not advised, since the temporary protection status can be obtained via a faster process and has more benefits than asylum. A demand for asylum can take months to be processed, while you can get a temporary protection on the spot.

For more details on the difference between temporary protection status and refugee status, see the link mceclip0.png.

How and where can I apply for the residency?

To apply for a temporary residence permit (โ€œautorisation provisoire de sรฉjourโ€) you need to go to your local Prefecture (or to the reception center in large cities).

You will need to provide the following documents:

โ€ข A form to request the temporary protection (can be downloaded here mceclip0.png or received on the spot)
โ€ข Passport or national ID
โ€ข 2 passport photos
โ€ข If you already have a housing, a proof of address or a letter from the host (attestation dโ€™hรฉbergement)
โ€ข French phone number (it's recommended to get your SIM card before applying for the residency)

How long I need to wait to get the residency?

A temporary residence permit and medical insurance will be issued to you on the spot.

What if I don't have the international passport?

You don't need one to enter France. It it sufficient if you have a national ID AND a border crossing mark / border crossing certificate issued by the border services. If you do not have at least one of those you should contact the French Embassy in the first Schengen country you entered to obtain permission to enter France.

โ€ข Embassy of France in Poland (Warsaw): pl.ambafrance.org mceclip0.png
โ€ข Embassy of France in Hungary (Budapest), e-mail consulat.budapest-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr
โ€ข French Embassy in Romania (Bucharest) ro.ambafrance.org mceclip0.png

It is therefore essential that you to ensure that the border guards of the country through which you entered the Schengen area put a stamp on the border crossing in your passport (foreign, "domestic" or in the child's birth certificate), or issue a certificate about crossing the border.

More information at visitukraine.today mceclip0.png.

Where can I take a photo for my documents?

You can find photo machines in most cities ("photomatons")

Where can I translate my documents?

Translators from Ukrainian / Russian: annuaire-traducteur-assermente.fr mceclip0.png

General certified translation agencies:
โ€ข refugies.info mceclip0.png
โ€ข agence-de-traduction.org mceclip0.png
โ€ข jktranslate.com mceclip0.png

For general translation you can request help by submitting this form mceclip0.png.

How do I get Mobile phone/internet services?

Bouygues Telecom is providing free SIM cards to refugees arriving in France and is sending mobile devices to Ukraine. From 24 Feb. 2022 international calls, SMS and MMS sent from Bouygues Telecom network in mainland France to Ukrainian numbers are free of charge. More information here mceclip0.png.

From 01.06.2022, the French mobile provider Free Mobile offers Ukrainian refugees a reduced rate, which includes:

  • 4 hours of calls/month to landline and mobile phones in Ukraine
  • 4 hours of calls per month to landlines and mobiles in mainland France and Poland
  • Unlimited SMS in continental France, as well as to Poland and Ukraine
  • 10 GB per month on 4G/4G+ network in mainland France (speed reduced outside the country).

More information here mceclip0.png.

Cheap prepaid sim cards: Lycamobile at lycamobile.ua/uk mceclip0.png.

Do you have a legal question that you canโ€™t find an answer for in our FAQs?

Please write to us so we can provide you with legal support. Our pro-bono legal partners will try to respond to your legal request to the best of their ability and knowledge. Please note that due to a high volume of requests, you will receive an answer in a few days after submitting the request at the earliest. Thank you for your patience.