The Spanish Government has decided to go beyond what is established by the European pact to guarantee the reception of refugees from the Russian invasion. The Council of Ministers has agreed this Tuesday to regularize all Ukrainians who lived in Spain before the armed conflict, given that they cannot return to their country. It will also grant temporary residence and work permits to persons from third countries who were legally residing in Ukraine when the conflict broke out, regardless of the duration of their authorization.
The EU agrees to activate the protection directive to ensure the reception of refugees from the Ukrainian war
The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday an agreement to “expand the scope” of the Temporary Protection Directive, whose application was decided for the first time in history last Thursday by the 27. The Government has decided that, “considering that the consequences of the war affect many other people”, will guarantee residence and work permits “to nationals of third countries with effective residence in Ukraine at the time of the invasion”, as explained by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations.
The decision will also give peace of mind to Ukrainian nationals residing in Spain. The Spanish Government will apply the immediate temporary protection included in the community directive to all undocumented Ukrainians who lived in Spain before the start of the invasion. Although the number of beneficiaries is unknown, Ukrainian associations estimate that it will affect thousands of compatriots.
The pact with which the 27 activated the temporary protection directive, which allows its beneficiaries to access residence and work permits on community soil, limits its application to national citizens of Ukraine and third countries with long-term residence permits. duration (five years) in this country, who had fled Ukraine after February 24. In the case of immigrants in the Eastern country, the community pact gave freedom to the Member States to decide the type of protection they can provide them, in the event that they cannot return to their country.
According to a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State for Migration, the Government is also working on “a legal instrument that allows the application of this temporary protection directive immediately”, by simplifying the procedures, with the aim that “people displaced women who arrive in Spain can obtain the rights granted by the directive in a simple and fast way”.
The approval of the application of the temporary protection directive will ensure residence and work permits for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, as well as their access to housing, education and health. This community regulation was conceived to grant immediate protection to people who need it in the face of a significant migratory flow and to avoid overwhelming the asylum systems of the Member States, for this reason it is important that countries of destination promote a system to document exiles, without having to resort to the usual procedures for asylum seekers, which in Spain usually leads to long waits due to the saturation of the system.
The Interior is still preparing a procedure to process the documents of Ukrainian refugees in an “agile and simple” way without the need for a prior interview, but only a “documentary and review filter” will be required in order to rule out the existence of records criminal, since temporary protection is not contemplated in case of having committed serious crimes. Interior sources insist that it will be an “agile” system, so this initial procedure that will allow those fleeing the Ukrainian conflict to be documented in Spain can be carried out at the police station.
Although one of the objectives of the directive is to prevent the collapse of European asylum systems, the Spanish legal basis that transposes the directive, the Royal Decree 1325/2003points out that the Interministerial Commission for Immigration and the Asylum Office, institutions also in charge of processing asylum applications, are currently saturated by the nearly 80,000 requests for protection pending resolution.