Is it better to have temporary protection or refugee status?

What is the fundamental difference between temporary protection and refugee status?

Both categories entail different legal consequences. The main difference is that refugee status is an individual right guaranteed by international conventions. But the right to temporary protection is collective and does not involve the application of individual applications and the administrative procedure for its consideration.

Temporary protection

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The EU Directive 2001/55/EC on temporary protection is the main document governing the provision of temporary protection. It was, by the way, adopted in 2001. However, it was activated for Ukrainians by an EU Council decision on March 4, 2022. And such a decision is without a doubt unprecedented in the history of the European Union. It's unfortunate that our fellow citizens had to be forerunners in this regard. Temporary protection lasts one year and can be automatically extended twice for another six months if the reasons for granting it do not change. Ukrainian citizens and members of their families who are displaced on or after February 24, 2022 have the right to temporary protection. However, such a right may be granted to someone who left the EU before this date for a variety of reasons (vacation, business trip, fear of the possibility of war). This issue is decided at the discretion of each EU member state. If you intend to return to Ukraine after the war, you should seek temporary protection. This procedure is quick. The rights it guarantees are granted to the individual immediately upon application.

Regarding refugee status

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The 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 New York Protocol, and the 1990 Dublin Convention are the primary international instruments governing the refugee issue. This status guarantees the right to permanent residence in the respective state's territory. Although the duration of a refugee certificate varies by country, it should be noted that the right to renew is for a similar period. Each state independently establishes the administrative procedure for obtaining refugee status at the legislative level. It should be noted that this action can last up to six months. And it is especially important to note that each country has its own set of rules. This may include: withdrawing a person's passport before the end of the 6-month period for application consideration; a prohibition on employment during this period; and a prohibition on leaving the host country.

7 million Ukrainians have emigrated to the EU

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According to the UN, over 7 million Ukrainians have emigrated to the EU. The European Commission has decided to allocate 248 million euros to the five EU member states that have received the greatest number of Ukrainian refugees! This sum will be directed to the country's reception and border control system. Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic will receive emergency assistance from the Internal Affairs Funds.