(all steps in the procedure)
How do I apply for asylum?
To apply for refugee status or complementary protection status in Ukraine, you must fill out an asylum application form and questionnaire. You can download it below:
The State Migration Service (SMS) will register your application, determine your identity, ask you some basic questions, and issue you with an asylum seeker certificate called a “dovidka”. Your application will be considered in three stages and you can expect a decision from the SMS within six months after your asylum application. In case of a negative decision, the appeals procedure can be lengthy.
Please take a look at the asylum leaflet, which provides further details:
Steps in the procedure
Your application will be considered in three stages:
- The SMS takes a decision on whether to accept your application for international protection (refugee status or complementary protection status) or not.
- If you are accepted for the procedure, you will be invited for a personal interview. After the interview, the SMS decides whether to take your case into a full substantive review, or to reject your case as inadmissible. If your case is taken into the full procedure, your “dovidka” will be prolonged and you will be invited for additional interviews. Within two to three months, the SMS regional office will send your file with its recommendation on your case to the SMS central office in Kyiv.
- The SMS central office makes a substantive assessment and a final decision on your case will happen within one to three months. If the SMS decides to reject your application for refugee status or complementary protection status, it will issue you a written notice. If you are rejected, you have the right to appeal against this rejection within five working days.
Appeal against a negative SMS decision
If the SMS decides to reject your application for refugee status or complementary protection status, it will issue you a written notice. If you are rejected, you have the right to appeal against this rejection within five working days. If you wish to seek legal assistance in filing an appeal, you should do so immediately. A lawyer can help you file an appeal to the court. Please note that the term of appeal after the rejection is very short – only five days.
As long as you file an appeal, the SMS will extend the validity period of your “dovidka” and you will have a legal basis for your stay in Ukraine.
Free legal aid
UNHCR provides free legal aid to persons applying for refugee or complementary protection status through a network of NGO partners. These partners register you in UNHCR’s database and can conduct an initial screening to assess what possible legal grounds exist to support your application.
You have a right to receive free legal aid, including a consultation and assistance in filing your application from the State Border Guard Service and/or the State Migration Service. You can request the authority to provide you with the asylum application-questionnaire form in a language that you understand.
As of 1 July 2015, government-run Free Legal Aid Centres (FLAC) have become operational and available to asylum seekers. Find more information about them here.
In case of denied asylum application and negative court appeal
If you do not appeal against your negative asylum application or your appeals are rejected by the court, your stay will become illegal. You may be detained and charged with illegal stay in Ukraine. You may face deportation.
For a step by step infographic (in six different languages) on how to submit an application to the Regional State Department of State Migration Service (SMS) as well as how to appeal a negative decision, please see below: