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

General information on border crossing?

Belgium is part of the Schengen area which means that there is a free movement of people. You can easily cross the borders by train, car, plane or feet without being subject to border checks.

The Schengen Area also provides a single set of rules that all countries at the external borders must apply to those who enter the Schengen area for a short period of time (up to 90 days).

All Ukrainian people are allowed to enter Belgium with a valid biometric passport. They do not need a visa or any additional documents. The citizens that do not have a valid biometric passport, but that have received a visa for Belgium instead, can also obtain an extension of their authorized stay up to a maximum of 180 days.

Without a biometric passport, Ukrainians are allowed to enter only through the land border, the rule does not apply to Belgian airports and seaports.

What documents do I need to enter?

All Ukrainian people are allowed to enter Belgium with a valid biometric passport. They do not need a visa or any additional documents. The citizens that do not have a valid biometric passport, but that have received a visa for Belgium instead, can also obtain an extension of their authorized stay up to a maximum of 180 days.

You can enter Belgium with any of the following documents:

  • A biometric passport.
  • Passport of the old sample, if its validity period has not yet expired (in accordance with paragraph 2 of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 07.05.2014 No. 152 mceclip0.png).
  • Ukrainian ID. According to the DPSU, currently only citizens of Ukraine evacuating from occupied territories or territories where hostilities are taking place can leave Ukraine with an internal passport, the list of which is approved in accordance with the Order of the Ministry on Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine of April 25, 2022 No. 75 mceclip0.png. Citizens from other territories must have a biometric passport to travel abroad.
  • Children under the age of 16 traveling with their parents must have a birth certificate. Children have the right to cross the border with one parent (without the official permission of the other parent). If the child is traveling with acquaintances or relatives, she/he needs to have a travel permit from one of the parents, certified by a notary.

In order to prove family/marital status, birth certificates and a marriage certificate are required.

The telephone number of the DPSU hotline ("Trust" Service) is 1598. You can use it for questions of a consultative nature within the competence of the State Border Service of Ukraine.

For more information about the documents with which you can cross the border, and about the categories of citizens who are allowed to travel outside Ukraine, see here mceclip0.png.

The following documents are needed to apply for temporary protection in Belgium:

  • Identity documents (passports or ID);
  • Biometric data (fingerprints);
  • Documents proving the individuals had their main residence in Ukraine before 24 February 2022.
What happens after a border crossing?

Ukrainian refugees are advised to go immediately to the municipal administration of their place of residence to declare their arrival and/or to request the authorisation to extend their stay in Belgium.

On arrival, they should simply fill in an arrival declaration at the municipality where they will be staying.

Ukrainian citizens who arrive in Belgium with biometric passports, and who already have shelter in Belgium, are asked to wait before registering for temporary protection since they can legally stay in Belgium for three months.

The Ukrainian citizens (with- or without biometric passport) can apply for temporary protection.

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

Deutsche Bahn (DB) is offering a special "Helpukraine" ticket to refugees from Ukraine that allows them to travel free of charge through Germany on their way to their onward destination, which can also take them into or through Belgium.

Currently, you can get a flyer with an eToken to exchange for a "helpukraine" ticket at the following locations:

  • The primary reception point is Eisenguttenstadt, Brandenburg
  • Office of the Land Government for Refugees, Berlin
  • Various pick-up points in Bavaria (e.g. Zirndorf, Munich)

More information here mceclip0.png.

Since 01/03, Ukrainian refugees can travel free of charge on the SNCB network (and on cross-border trains from/to Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France) on the day of their arrival in Belgium. To do so, they must present the DB "Helpukraine" ticket and/or their Ukrainian passport/identity card (or other documentary evidence).

If Ukrainians then wish to continue their journey on Belgian territory, they can check in at the registration centre located in hall 8 of the Heysel expo venue in Brussels. If required, they will receive a free Fedasil Bulk Ticket to travel to another city (family / registration centre).

The most up-to-date information can be found here mceclip0.png.

You will also be issued a universal Fedasil Bulk Ticket at the Registration Office, which will allow you to move to your future place of residence in Belgium for free.

How can I travel to another (specific) country?

You can travel by airplane, bus, car or train to different countries.

The railway company of Germany (Deutsche Bahn โ€“ DB), offers a special โ€œHelpukraineโ€ ticket to refugees from Ukraine that allows them to travel for free though Germany to their destination. This ticket is also valid in Belgium as their destination can also be in or passing through Belgium. All Belgian trains, as well as cross-border trains to or from Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France, are free of charge. The Ukrainian people need to show their DB โ€œHelpukraineโ€ ticket as well as their passport or identity card. The timetables of all trains in Belgium may be found on the following link mceclip0.png.

Currently, you can get a flyer with an eToken to exchange for a "helpukraine" ticket at the following locations:

  • The primary reception point is Eisenguttenstadt, Brandenburg
  • Office of the Land Government for Refugees, Berlin
  • Various pick-up points in Bavaria (e.g. Zirndorf, Munich)

More information here mceclip0.png.

How long can I stay?

Displaced people from Ukraine who were granted temporary protection can stay in Belgium for one year and up to a maximum of 3 years upon request for renewal.

Those who were not granted temporary protection can enter and legally stay in Belgium for 90 days without residence permit. This 90-day period can be extended up to a maximum of 180 days if the situation in Ukraine does not allow for a safe return at the end of the first 90-day period. Such extension can be applied for at the municipal administration of the place of residence in Belgium.

Where can an unaccompanied minor get help?

If you are under 18 and you are here without someone who has parental authority or guardianship over you, you are an unaccompanied minor. Even if you are here together with, for example, your uncle or grandmother who does not have guardianship over you (recognised by Belgium), you are an unaccompanied minor.

You will be given a guardian who will legally represent you and look after your safety and well-being. You cannot live with your guardian.

Unaccompanied minors from Ukraine who want to apply for temporary protection have to report to the Registration Centre of the registration centre Immigration Office in Brussels, just like adults. The Immigration Department then notifies the Guardianship Department about the unaccompanied minor.

You can also report an unaccompanied minor directly to the Guardianship Service. You can make the report using an alert card. You can find these on the website of the Guardianship Service via this link mceclip0.png. You can email the description sheet to the Guardianship Service at the following e-mail address: voogdij@just.fgov.be. You can also contact the Guardianship Service by telephone on the emergency number 078/15 43 24.

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

Entry restrictions to Belgium due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted.

However, if you have a certificate of vaccination proving that you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, we recommend that you bring it with you.

Where do I register for temporary protection?

The Federal Migration Service of Belgium has created a Registration Center for citizens of Ukraine, it is located in Brussels, at the address: 40 Place Victor Horta, 1060 Bruxelles. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration is not available on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. If you arrive in the country at a time when the center is not open, there is an official representative of the Red Cross center at the train station in Brussels who will help you register.

During registration, it will be verified whether conditions for the granting of temporary protection have been fulfilled. If the conditions are fulfilled, a temporary protection certificate will be issued.

You can legally live and work in Belgium if you have an Annexe 15/Bijlage 15 (Annex 15) and a temporary residence permit in a type A country:

  • Appendix 15 is a confirmation of arrival in the country and registration in the state municipality. It is issued for the waiting time of card A. It can be issued at the Registration Center for citizens of Ukraine. The Annexe 15/Bijlage 15 service can cost up to โ‚ฌ17 per person. It is sent to the e-mail address you specified within 2-5 days from the moment of submitting the application.
  • Type A card is issued by local municipalities in Belgium. The service costs 17-25 euros per person + the cost of a photo (5-7 euros). Registration takes from several weeks to 2-3 months. You will receive a letter in the mail with the pin code for the card, after which you need to come to the municipality to activate and receive the A card.

A type A temporary residence permit in Belgium is issued for a period of one year and provides access to social protection (medical insurance, cash payments for maintenance, education of children in schools, psychological assistance, etc.).

How to extend the status of temporary protection?

Ministers during the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 October 2022 mceclip0.png agreed that the temporary protection, activated in March 2022 for an initial one-year period, will be automatically prolonged by two six-month periods until March 2024. However, a distinction must be made between the extension of the statute and the renewal of the A card. The automatic renewal of the statute does not mean that the A card (the corresponding residence permit) is automatically renewed. The beneficiaries of temporary protection must go to the municipality to request a renewal.

Beneficiaries of temporary protection with an A card (valid until 4 March 2023) can therefore present themselves to the municipality as from 4 January 2023 to request its renewal. The new A card will be valid until 4 March 2024. Many municipalities are proactively contacting the beneficiaries of temporary protection who are registered there. Source mceclip0.png.

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

Provided the conditions for temporary protection are met, you will be given an Annex 15 document, which gives you limited access to the Belgian labour market.

After receiving temporary protection status, you can work, register for the compulsory health insurance and claim social services from the OCMW/CPAS of the municipality where you reside.

What documents will I receive once I get temporary protection?

Once you register with the registering centre, you will first obtain an Annex 15, valid for 45 days, which gives you a limited access to the labour market (provided the conditions for temporary protection are met).

Afterwards, you will obtain a temporary protection certificate. With this attestation, the municipal administration of the place of residence issues to the person an A card valid until March 4, 2023.

The A-card which constitutes a residence permit and gives unlimited access to the labour market in Belgium.

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

If you return to Ukraine for a short period of time having the status of temporary protection in Belgium, you do not lose your temporary protection status or your right of residence in Belgium. The normal rules around absence and return apply. The period of absence may last up to three months. If you want to be absent for more than three months, you must notify the municipality for your place of residence and your residence card A must still be valid upon return. You must also notify the municipality upon your return to Belgium.

Please note! If you are a recognised refugee or have subsidiary protection, you run the risk of losing this status if you travel to your country of origin.

If you decide to leave Belgium permanently, the temporary protection and the right to stay in Belgium may cease. If you still decide to return to Belgium afterwards and stay here for more than three months, you will have to reapply for protection status or a residence permit. More information here mceclip0.png.

It is important that your social circles and government services are well aware of your absence, especially if you will be away for an extended period of time. Inform your social worker at the OCMW/CPAS.

Notify the municipality where you reside of your absence and of your intention to return. Even if you will only be absent for a few weeks, it may be helpful to notify the municipality to avoid any ambiguities or problems. If you will be absent for more than three months, this is mandatory. If your residence card expires during your absence, apply for an early renewal, if the situation permits.

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

Yes, you can travel around the European Union for up to 90 days once you obtain the A-card.

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

Yes, although your application for asylum will be suspended until the temporary protection scheme ends which means that you should first apply for temporary protection.

Third-country nationals with a short residence permit in Ukraine (such as students or employees) are not entitled to temporary protection in Belgium. They do have the option to submit an application for international protection.

During the period of temporary protection, an application for asylum can be made at any time in order to be recognised as a refugee. In summary, the asylum procedure is as follows:

Step 1: Filing an application for international protection with the Immigration Department (Dienst Vreemdelingenzaken), or the border police:

  • Registration of the application: 3 days after the application
  • Filing: no later than 30 days after the application

Step 2: Personal interview by the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (Commissariaat-Generaal voor de Vluchtelingen en de Staatlozen):

Possible decisions:

  • Decision to recognize refugee status;
  • Decision to deny refugee status and to grant subsidiary protection;
  • Decision to deny refugee status and subsidiary protection status.

Step 3: Appeal to the Council for immigration litigation (Raad voor Vreemdelingenbetwistingen) or cassation appeal to the Council of State (Raad van State).

If asylum is granted, the following rights and obligations apply:

  • Right of residence for 5 years
  • Access to the labour market
  • Right to travel abroad except for the country of origin:
  1. Travel of maximum 3 months
  2. Obligatory 'blue passport' (travel document for refugees)
  3. Obligation to report to the municipality
How and where can I apply for the residency?

For Ukrainian citizens who have left Ukraine and are already in the Schengen area, it is possible to apply for a residence permit directly at the municipal administration of their place residence in Belgium. The conditions for granting this residence permit (studies, work, family reunion) are maintained, but if the applicant cannot present the usual official documents, the Immigration Office will look for alternatives with him/her.

Ukrainian citizens who have left Ukraine and are in a country that is not part of the Schengen area can contact the Belgian embassy or consulate responsible for that country.

Ukrainian citizens who are legally residing in Belgium for a limited period of time and no longer meet the requirements for renewal of their residence card (card A) can obtain an extension of their authorized stay (end date of stay + 90 days), with a possibility of extension up to a maximum of 180 days.

How long I need to wait to get the residency?

In case of the application for temporary protection, successful applicants will either immediately receive their attestation of temporary protection or will be invited to visit the Immigration Office headquarters (Pacheco building) at a later date to collect an attestation of temporary protection.

What if I don't have the international passport?

Displaced people from Ukraine who do not hold a biometric passport can also come to Belgium.

If you do not have an international passport, you can provide any other identity document. However, without a biometric passport, Ukrainians are allowed to enter only through the land border, the rule does not apply to Belgian airports and seaports.

How to issue a foreign passport while abroad?

In order to issue a foreign passport, you need to contact the Ukrainian Embassy mceclip0.png.

A foreign passport is issued to a person who has reached the age of 16 on the basis of an application-questionnaire submitted by him personally. At the same time, the issuance of a foreign passport to a person who has been recognized by the court as having limited legal capacity or incapacity is carried out on the basis of an application-questionnaire of the guardian or other legal representative.

The following are attached to the application:

  • previous passport to be exchanged (if the passport is not issued for the first time);
  • internal passport in the form of a booklet (if available);
  • or ID card (if available);
  • a document confirming permanent residence or temporary stay abroad (if available);
  • certificate of registration of the place of residence in Ukraine / certificate of registration of the place of residence of a temporarily displaced person (if available);
  • a certificate of assignment of the registration number of the taxpayer's registration card (RNOKPP; if available).

In case of loss or theft of the previous passport, a document (report, certificate, etc.) issued by the competent authority of the state in which the passport was lost or stolen is attached to the application, confirming the fact of the owner's application regarding its loss or theft. Such a document is submitted without legalization and translation into Ukrainian.

In the case of issuing a passport in connection with a change in personal data (surname and/or first name), a document confirming such a change (marriage certificate, divorce certificate, court decision, etc.) is attached to the application. When issuing a foreign passport with a new surname and/or first name, the "domestic" passport (ID card) must be reissued.

In the event that the applicant has not previously been issued with an identity document, confirming Ukrainian citizenship and/or granting the right to leave Ukraine and enter Ukraine, a certificate of registration of the person as a citizen of Ukraine is provided (with the exception of cases when the person's parents at the time of his were citizens of Ukraine at birth).

How can a Ukrainian refugee register a newborn in this country?

You can register the birth of a child only at the consulate. There, the determination of his origin and the assignment of his surname, first name, and patronymic are carried out.

The application for registration must be submitted immediately, but no later than one month after the birth of the child, and in the case of a stillborn child - no later than three days.

The registration process takes place at the place of birth or at the place of residence of the child's parents or one of them (with a written application). At the same time, in case of illness, death of the parents or for other reasons it is impossible to register the birth - the application can be submitted by relatives or other persons authorized by the representative of the health care institution in which the child was born or is currently.

What is required for registration?

  • a document from a medical institution about the birth of a child, passports certifying the identity of the parents;
  • application (written or addressed orally) to enter information about the father.

Registration is free, and based on its results, parents are issued a birth certificate.

How to return to the homeland with a child born in the Belgium?

In order for Ukrainians to return home with a child born in the Belgium, they must have with them:

  • a document certifying his identity;
  • a child's birth certificate issued by a consular institution.

Is the status of a citizen of Ukraine preserved during the birth of a child in the Belgium?

A newborn Ukrainian in the Belgium retains the status of a citizen of Ukraine. Data on citizenship and nationality in the act record of birth and certificate are not filled in, which is why a corresponding entry is made in the column "For marks".

In addition, a person whose parents or one of his parents were citizens of Ukraine at the time of his birth is a citizen of Ukraine. The place of birth of the baby does not affect the possibility of him acquiring Ukrainian citizenship.

Where to apply in case of death of a Ukrainian abroad? How to repatriate the deceased to their homeland?

There are several steps involved in the process of body repatriation from abroad to Ukraine:

1. Notify the authorities.

The first step of body repatriation from abroad to Ukraine is to contact the local authorities in Belgium, so you can register the death. Ukrainian embassy mceclip0.png should also be able to help you in the process of registering the death abroad.

2. Arrange the correct documents.

Youโ€™ll need to have all the right paperwork before you can repatriate your loved one home from abroad to Ukraine. If you are repatriating a body to Ukraine for burial or cremation, the documents you will need include:

  • Death Certificate.
  • Certificate or Affidavit from the local health authorities stating that the cause of death of the individual to be shipped to Ukraine was not a communicable disease or infections.
  • A Document about the absence of any excessive objects inside the casket or urn with the ashes.
  • The Certificate of Cremation issued be the Funeral home or Cremation office.

All the mentioned documents should be authenticated, legalized and translated into Ukrainian by the certified translator. The originals of abovementioned documents and notarized translations, must accompany the casket containing the deceased, or urn with ashes, to Ukraine.

The passport of the deceased person should be sent to the Embassy of Ukraine along with a notarized and authenticated copy of the Certificate of Death, and a translation from Belgian to Ukrainian. The Embassy is to make correspondent procedures with the passport and can forward it back if it is required to accompany the casket containing the deceased, or urn with ashes, to Ukraine.

The Embassy is to be informed of the date, time, and the place of delivery of the casket containing the deceased, or urn with ashes, to Ukraine. Only the next of kin relatives of the deceased, or persons correspondingly authorized by them, can receive the casket or urn.

3. Transport the deceased to Ukraine.

The casket containing the body, or urn with ashes, must be sealed by the Funeral Home. There are no strict requirements with respect to the urn with ashes; however, the body should be transported in a metal casket, made of zinc-plated steel or tinplate not more than 0,4 thick.

For the air cargo transportation, it is necessary to specify a cemetery in Ukraine as well as Ukrainian Funeral Home which will take care of the casket, or the urn with ashes, in Ukraine. Both are a subject of private choice by the relatives or friends of the deceased person. Source mceclip0.png.

Where can I take a photo for my documents?

There are numerous shops that offer such services. Look for printer shops & copy centers as they can provide you with this.

Where can I translate my documents?

You can translate your documents at any translation agency in your city. Search for ยซรœbersetzung von Dokumentenยป or ยซtraduction de documentsยป on Google.

How do I get Mobile phone/internet services?

Proximus made fixed and mobile calls and SMS to Ukraine free of charge for its customers. Proximus customers who are in Ukraine can also communicate free of charge (roaming). More information mceclip0.png.

From 28 Feb. 2022 residential and business customers with an Orange postpaid subscription can call fixed and mobile numbers in Ukraine for free. More information mceclip0.png.

Base/Telenet provides free calls and SMS to Ukraine and free roaming to its customers in Ukraine. More information 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.