Did you just arrive in the Netherlands and are you wondering how to navigate legal procedures? These resources can help you with topics like asylum procedures, requesting a visa, legal support and assistance in case you wish to return to your country of origin.
Some refugees from Ukraine want to return (temporarily) to their home country. Due to the security situation in Ukraine, VluchtelingenWerk Nederland can not provide any advice on this.
Please note: in general, a refugee's return to their country of origin - and relatively safe stay there - can be considered in the assessment of an asylum application. At the time of assessing the asylum application of refugees from Ukraine, temporary return to Ukraine will play a role in that assessment.
Do you not have Ukrainian nationality and would you like to know more about returning to your country of origin or the possibility of applying for asylum? You can read about this in the category 'Non-Ukrainian citizenship'.
Flow chart return of Ukrainian refugees
Do you want more information about returning to Ukraine or traveling on to another country within or outside the European Union? The Dutch government has developed a flowchart with all relevant information for your situation. The flowchart is only available in Dutch and mostly meant for municipalities and other organisations involved.
Repatriation and Departure Service
The Return & Departure Service (DT&V) will support you when you want to return to Ukraine. This also applies to refugees from Ukraine with a different nationality. This support will consist of information and advice, support in arranging (replacement) travel documents and assistance with transport to Ukraine.
Most of the time it involves (bus) transportation to the Ukrainian border. From there, trains and buses go to Ukraine. Local aid organizations in Poland can help with transit. DT&V can also help you financing (part of) the trip.
Assistance from the Repatriation & Departure Service
Those seeking assistance to return to Ukraine can make this known through this form from the DT&V (Repatriation and Departure Service). In doing so, a statement must be signed in which the refugee declares to voluntarily leave the Netherlands. The DT&V does not offer support for temporary return to Ukraine. For more information, see the DT&V's website.
From November 15, the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) can offer you additional support and a financial contribution for return to Ukraine, your country of origin or a country outside the European Union. Please note: that this additional support is only for people who resided in Ukraine on the basis of a (temporary) residence permit at the time of the Russian invasion and who were registered in the BRP before July 19, 2022 and are covered by the Temporary Protection Directive until March 4, 2023. Learn more about this support here.
To return to Ukraine, you need certain documents, which you may need to apply for at the Ukrainian Embassy in the Netherlands. On the website of Visit Ukraine you can find out which documents these are and how you can apply for them.
Leaving the Netherlands temporarily
It is possible to leave the Netherlands temporarily. This could be for a family visit, picking up belongings or another reason, for example. If you want to leave the Netherlands temporarily, you must announce this in advance to the municipality where you are staying. Do not only indicate that you are leaving temporarily, but also how long you will be away. To maintain the provisions of the Regulations for the Reception of Displaced Persons Ukraine (RooO), you are allowed to be away for a maximum of 28 days. If you are gone for longer than 28 days, the municipality can stop the facilities. This includes shelter in the municipal shelter and living allowance.
Departure not reported
Have you not reported your temporary departure to the municipality? Then this is considered an unannounced departure. In this case, the municipality can stop your right to shelter, living allowance and other provisions from the RooO. This happens from the date it is established that you left unannounced.
When you return to the Netherlands, you must report this to the municipality or the municipal shelter where you are staying. Did you fail to report your departure or were you away for more than 28 days and did you lose your shelter and living allowance as a result? Then it must first be assessed whether you still comply with the applicable rules at the time of your return. If you do, you will again be entitled to shelter and the other provisions, such as the living allowance.
If you are deregistered from the BRP, registration has to be done again.
Please note: Currently, municipalities are advised to keep your shelter spot if you leave the municipal shelter for less than 14 days. If you are away from the municipal shelter for more than 14 days, the shelter place may be given to someone else. If you return, it is possible that you will be given another place in another reception location or municipality. This may happen if there is no longer a place in the municipal reception centre you were previously staying at.
Leaving the Netherlands permanently
If you leave the Netherlands, do not forget to follow these steps:
1. Deregister from the municipality
You are registered with the municipality in the Basic Registration of Persons (BRP). If you leave the Netherlands, you have to deregister from the BRP. You do this in the municipality where you live. The municipality will pass the deregistration on to the IND. When you are deregistered from the BRP, you will no longer be entitled to provisions from the RooO (living allowance, care, etc.) and benefits (childcare benefit, rent benefit, etc.).
2. Check your insurances Have you obtained insurances in the Netherlands? Then always check the end date of the insurance. If you are not sure, contact the insurance company.
3. Closing your bank account If you have a Dutch bank account, don't forget to contact them before you leave. The bank will stop your account. You will be asked to which account (can also be a Ukrainian account) the remaining balance can be transferred to, or to transfer the remaining balance to another checking account yourself. The bank will indicate until when you can access your Dutch account.
4. Report your departure to the IND
Have you already been deregistered from the BRP? Then you do not have to report it again to the IND. If you have already left and have not done so, you can still do so via the IND. Someone else can also report your departure. This could be a partner, employer or school. Please note: if you do not report your departure you can be fined.
5. Hand in your residence documents to the IND
Before you leave the Netherlands, you must hand in the residence document to the IND. This is because the residence document is the property of the Dutch government.
6. Leave the Netherlands on time
You have to leave the Netherlands on time. This means leaving the Netherlands before the expiry date of the proof of residence you currently have. The Repatriation & Departure Service (DT&V) can support you in leaving the Netherlands.
More information and documents can be found on the website of the IND.
Travel advice Dutch government
At the moment there is a negative travel advice for Ukraine. This means that the Dutch government advises against travelling to the country. Returning to Ukraine is therefore at your own responsibility and risk. The return journey to Ukraine will not be reimbursed.