For its part, Law 12/2009 regulating the right of asylum and subsidiary protection in its Article 3, provides that «the status of refugee is recognized to any person who, due to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, membership of a particular social group, gender or sexual orientation, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, because of such fears, unwilling to avail himself of the protection of such country, or a stateless person who, lacking nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, for the same reasons, is unable to avail himself of the protection of such country, because of such fear, does not wish to avail himself of the protection of that country, or a stateless person who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, for the same reasons is unable or, because of such fear, does not wish to return to it, and is not subject to any of the grounds for exclusion under Article 8 or the grounds for refusal or revocation under Article 9».
How to get to Spain?
Ukrainian persons do not need a visa to enter and stay for three months as «tourists» in the Schengen area.
Although there are no internal border controls in the Schengen area, states can temporarily reintroduce such controls.
The Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, has stated that a proposal for sharing (relocation of refugees) is not being worked on at the moment, because the mechanism of the Temporary Directive, which will be adopted at the Extraordinary Council on Thursday 3 March, facilitates the free mobility of Ukrainian people across Member States.
This makes it easier for people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine to settle where they prefer, according to their family or personal networks. It remains to be seen whether or not there will be a natural and spontaneous distribution that does not lead to collapse in some countries.
What avenues of protection are being considered?
1. The European Union has decided to activate the Temporary Protection Directive in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons, which provides for:
- A residence and work permit for self-employed and employed persons for a period of one year, extendable for a further two years.
- Access to education and vocational training.
- Social assistance and adequate accommodation.
- Medical care.
The Council to be held on Thursday 3 March will have to decide the details.
From then on, Spain will establish how it is going to implement the procedures for accessing this temporary protection, which it intends to grant in an agile manner. When we have more information, we will update it.
2. If you cannot return to Ukraine because you fear persecution because of your political, religious, ethnic or nationality opinions, your sexual orientation, your gender identity, being a victim of gender violence, your profession… you can apply for international protection.
If you intend to apply for international protection in Spain, having entered the EU through another State, or having family members in a Member State, you should be aware that this may affect your application for international protection. In order to be able to advise you in more detail, you can contact your nearest CEAR office so that our legal service can deal with your specific case.
The authorities have informed us of their intention to resolve temporary protection with (residence and work permit) in an expeditious manner, so it is important that you first assess which option is best suited to your situation and your case, bearing in mind that the asylum application is a more complex and lengthy process.
Where to apply for international protection in Spain?
To apply for international protection in Spain you need to be in Spanish territory or at some of its borders:
- At Spanish borders (airport, port or land border): inform the National Police or Civil Guard that you want to apply for international protection.
- On Spanish territory: go in person to the Police Stations or Immigration Offices authorised for this purpose. You usually have to make an appointment.
- Or in a detention centre or penitentiary: inform the management of the centre that you wish to apply for international protection.
How to apply for international protection in Spain?
Once you inform the authorities that you want to apply for international protection, you will be summoned for an individual interview where they will collect:
Your personal, family, educational, professional, etc. details.
The journey from Ukraine to Spain.
The reasons for requesting international protection: It is important that if, in addition to the war, you fear for your life or your rights for other reasons (political, religious, ethnic, your nationality, your profession, your sexual orientation, gender identity, you are a victim of gender-based violence…) you explain this in detail.
This interview is completely confidential, and you have the right to the assistance of a lawyer and an interpreter.
If you were already in Spain Applying for asylum for Ukrainians
Even if you have been in Spain for some time, the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has stated that residence and work permits will be provided to all Ukrainian nationals, within the framework of the Temporary Protection Directive.
In the case of those who have suffered individual persecution and have been denied international protection, they can reapply for international protection if necessary, given that there has been a change of circumstances in Ukraine that justify the risk in the event of return.
What rights do you have as an applicant for international protection?
- You will have an international protection applicant document that you will have to renew.
- You are authorised to stay in Spain for the duration of the procedure.
- You have freedom of movement throughout Spain, but you must inform the Asylum and Refugee Office of your address.
- After six months, if you have not yet received a reply to your application, you will be authorised to work as a self-employed person or as an employee.
- You have the right to the assistance of an interpreter and a lawyer. You can request CEAR’s assistance from the police when you apply at the border or go to our offices if you apply in Spain.
- To health care in the public health system.
- If you do not have financial means to support yourself, you can apply to enter the System for the Reception of Applicants for International Protection.
- If you need more information, come to our offices, where we can assess your specific case and give you advice tailored to your circumstances.