Estonia to update Ukraine refugee temporary protection application process

Ukrainian war refugees arriving in Tallinn.
Ukrainian war refugees arriving in Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Starting this Sunday, September 10, Estonia will begin granting temporary protection to war refugees from Ukraine through March 2025, regardless of whether the applicant is applying for the first time or renewing temporary protection previously granted for a one-year period, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) announced Friday.

While until now, temporary protection in Estonia has been granted to Ukraine war refugees for a one-year period and extended on an annual basis, beginning this Sunday, temporary protection will be granted to both new and renewing applicants through March 2025, the PPA said in a press release.

Temporary protection is a specific type of international protection that allows for large numbers of people to be granted protection under a simplified procedure in exceptional circumstances.

Following Russia's launch of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February, the EU decided that member states would provide temporary protection to Ukrainian war refugees for three years.

While some member states had granted war refugees temporary protection for a three-year period right from the start, Estonia decided that it would grant protection for a one-year period to be extended on an annul basis.

Marina Põldma, superintended of the PPA's Identity and Status Bureau, noted that as of Friday, the measure's end date is just a year and a half away, making it reasonable to grant temporary protection for a longer period than before.

"This change will save time for both refugees and the PPA, as continuing with the current practice would mean we should extend the temporary protection status of refugees staying here for a few months next winter," Põldma said.

"It doesn't add any meaningful value, but it would cause an unnecessary burden to people fleeing the war," she added.

In addition to the change in the duration of temporary protection, the PPA is making a few changes to the renewal process as well.

New ID photo required

Starting September 10, those renewing their temporary protection will be required to take a new ID photo at a PPA service office, and may be asked additional questions about the circumstances of their arrival in Estonia beforehand.

"In doing so, we will ensure that we're issuing a document with the person's most recent possible photo," Põldma said. "In addition, we can ensure we're providing assistance to those who have truly fled the war to Estonia."


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: