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News

Czech Legal Alert | "Lex Ukraine" - Laws governing the status of refugees from Ukraine

21.03.2022
Company: Eversheds Sutherland, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.

As of March 21, 2022, there is an effective set of laws regulating the status of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic and their involvement in society, the so-called "Lex Ukraine".
Lex Ukraine primarily allows refugees to obtain so-called temporary protection and start working in the Czech Republic without further formalities.

Temporary protection for refugees from Ukraine

  • The law introduces the so-called special temporary protection for UA refugees, which is the same throughout the EU as a result of the EU Council decision. A refugee can only apply for protection in one EU country and only one EU country can grant it.
  • Temporary protection means a residence permit in the territory of a specific country, on the basis of which refugees can subsequently integrate into working life.
  • Temporary protection applies to persons (and their family members) who resided in the UA before 24 February 2022 and ar
    • UA citizens
    • persons who have resided in the UA and cannot return to their country,
    • stateless persons or third-country nationals who have been granted international protection or equivalent national protection in the UA.
  • Temporary protection can be requested at the Ministry of the Interior - OAMP or the Police of the Czech Republic. It is necessary to fill in the application, submit a passport and a photo (if the applicant does not have a photo, it will be taken on the spot).
  • The granting of temporary protection is indicated by a label / record in the passport (if the foreigner does not have a passport, the Ministry of the Interior or the Police of the Czech Republic may issue new passport to him).
  • A foreigner who has already been issued a so-called long-term special visa after 24 February 2022 is considered to be a person with temporary protection. Temporary protection is granted for one year.
  • Every refugee is obliged to report their place of residence in the Czech Republic to the Foreign Police, within 30 days of their arrival.
  •  The laws of "Lex Ukraine" are effective until March 31, 2023, but of course they can be extended.

Access to the Czech labour market

  • An UA citizen who has been granted temporary protection is considered to be a foreigner with permanent residence in the Czech Republic, and thus can directly enter the labour market in the Czech Republic.
  • A UA refugee does not need to obtain any additional work permit to be hired.
  • The employer's obligation to report a refugee from the UA as a new employee to the relevant regional branch of the labour office continues.

Health insurance

  • Foreigners who receive temporary protection will be able to use free health services and are considered state insured.
  •  If a foreigner starts working in the Czech Republic with granted temporary protection, he or she will be subject to health insurance contributions as a Czech citizen.

Social security measures

  • A foreigner with temporary protection can apply for a humanitarian benefit of CZK 5,000 to cover basic necessities. In the case of no or low income, the benefit can be claimed repeatedly for up to five months. The benefit is paid by the regional branches of the Labour Office.
  • A natural person who has provided accommodation to UA refugees with temporary protection free of charge is entitled to a solidarity household allowance. The amount of the contribution will be determined by a government regulation.
  • Furthermore, the law allows a foreigner's child with temporary protection to attend a children's group. The opportunity to put a child in a children's group can be used not only by the parent, but also by the person to whom the child has been entrusted.

Education measures

  • The law introduces a number of measures and exceptions to facilitate the integration of children of foreigners with temporary protection into education at all levels, e.g. introduces the possibility of entrance examinations in Ukrainian, provides an exception for teachers in the class where only foreign pupils who do not need Czech can study, provides for an exemption from the fee for the validation of a diploma or the possibility of replacing a document proving previous education with an affidavit or provides exceptions from the hygiene requirements for the school premises.
  • Law provides for a special enrolment for children - foreigners for pre-school and primary education for the next school year, and also addresses the special regulation of the exception for the admission procedure to other levels of schools.

 

Tags: Law | Human Resources |

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