Important information for persons fleeing Ukraine - AJBH-EN
Important information for persons fleeing Ukraine
The war raging in Ukraine right now is traumatic and deeply shocking for everyone in Europe and all over the world. All this, however, should not paralyse us: we should be committed to the protection of human rights in this situation as well. We should show active solidarity: we should help and support all the victims of the war, the persons fleeing their country, both individually and as a community.
As the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary, I find it a high priority to personally follow the events even in these extraordinary times. At the same time, my staff and I are continuously working on finding ways to provide direct legal and humanitarian aid to as many people as possible. With a view to that, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, which is the UN’s National Human Rights Institution, is opening a temporary regional office near the affected border section, where my staff members will be there to offer personal help to refugees, for instance, in administrative matters and legal counselling. Furthermore, we will help persons fleeing the war by providing regularly updated information on the Office’s website and social media site.
Dr. Ákos Kozma
Commissioner for Fundamental Rights
The following persons will be recognized as temporarily protected persons in Hungary, based on application:
- Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine prior to 24 February 2022,
- stateless persons or non-Ukrainian third party nationals who were under international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine prior to 24 February, or
- the family members of the above persons.
In the case of persons who also hold a Hungarian citizenship, the procedure for applying for temporary protection cannot be launched: as Hungarian citizens, they are in the territory of Hungary lawfully, they are free to enter the territory of Hungary at any time, and they are free to move within the borders of the country as well. To these persons, all the benefits and services that they are eligible to should be ensured unless they receive more favourable treatment on the basis of holding Hungarian citizenship.
The status of temporarily protected person shall be granted upon request. It is possible to personally apply for recognition as a temporarily protected person at any of the collection points in a round-the-clock regime, or in the opening hours of any of the client service offices of the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing. If the refugees lawfully entering the country have the opportunity to find accommodation with their relatives, friends or other helpers, or they can resolve their housing on their own, this is possible, thus they are not obliged to reside at refugee camps or reception centres.
They are eligible to placement as a person applying for the status of a temporarily protected person but if they do not use this opportunity, they can also accept other housing options offered by relatives, friends or other helpers.
The joint definition of Hungarian nationals coming from Ukraine, as well as temporarily protected persons and those applying for the status of temporarily protected person is: a fleeing person.
Legal status of those who do not apply for the status of temporarily protected person
Pursuant to the Council regulation of the European Union, the right to visa-free residence in the territory of Hungary is ensured for those persons holding Ukrainian biometric passports for 90 days within 180 days (i.e. every six months) even if they do not apply for the status of temporarily protected person. In this period, they are free to move within the territory of the EU as well, and they can travel to any EU member state. However, the status of temporarily protected person may be applied for at any time during this visa-free period.
If you are a third-country national legally residing in Ukraine (you studied, worked, etc. there with a permit), but not holding an authorization for residence in Hungary, you may choose from the following two options:
1) In case your return to your home country is arranged, you must indicate this to the acting authorities (the Police when crossing the border, and later the Directorate-General for Aliens Policing). The Directorate-General for Aliens Policing shall provide you with a document entitling you to legally stay in Hungary until the date of your departure (which is expected to take place within 1 or 2 weeks).
2) If you wish to stay within the territory of Hungary, you can do so under the general rules for staying in Hungary. The Directorate-General for Aliens Policing may allow you to submit your application in Hungary upon equitable grounds, provided that you can prove that you have been legally residing in Ukraine and that you have arrived in Hungary from Ukraine following the outbreak of the armed conflict. The latter can be proven especially by the registration document (the certificate for temporary residence or the data sheet) that you can obtain when you cross the border.
If you indicate that you wish to apply for a residence permit, the Directorate-General will issue a document that allows you to stay in Hungary for up to 30 days.
Direct assistance on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border
You may receive further information from the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights through the following communication channels:
Five help points have been designated near the border, where refugees can get all the assistance they need:
Záhony, Kárpát utca 4. – ”Kisvárdai SZC Kandó Kálmán Technikum és Dr. Béres József Kollégium”
(Kandó Kálmán Technical Secondary School and Dr. Béres József Dormitory of the Vocational Education Centre of Kisvárda)
4937 Barabás, Árpád utca 28. – Petőfi Sándor Cultural Centre
4836 Lónya, Árpád utca 113. – Cultural Centre
4933 Beregsurány, II. Rákóczi Ferenc utca 1. – Castle Park
4951 Tiszabecs, Rákóczi Ferenc utca 13.
On 28 February 2022, the information agency of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta settled in the centre of the Hungarian border village Beregsurány, where refugee families are transported from the border crossing point in the vans owned by the municipality. While they wait for transportation to move on, the families are provided heated containers, and they may also wait in the cultural centres, or may rest or put their children to sleep on the beds and mattresses placed in the sports hall. The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta provides children’s clothes, diapers and other child care supplies.
https://www.maltai.hu/cikk/hir/4349 (in Hungarian)
Hungarian Interchurch Aid established a round-the-clock aid centre on the Ukrainian side of the border to help those waiting at the Beregsurány border crossing point. The aid centre was set up by the Ukrainian representation of the organisation in an unused heated pavilion, where the refugees are provided hot tea, sandwiches, refreshments, blankets and basic hygiene items, as they often wait for several hours at the border crossing points with young children. https://www.facebook.com/segelyszervezet/posts/10159136396883787 (in Hungarian)
At Záhony, on the section of the road that passes the border crossing point, the setting-up of the bases of organisations providing humanitarian help, including Migration Aid, has begun. Water and food, as well as a warming shelter and a tent for mothers and babies are available to help those who arrive with young children. https://www.facebook.com/migrationaid.org/posts/2056003807935188(in Hungarian)
If you are an adult and worry about a young person under 24 years of age, or if you have seen any unaccompanied refugee children, please call the number of Kék Vonal (Blue Line): 116-000. Here you can report young persons who are missing and/or have been abused, or those who are in danger. The war poses a great threat to those children and adolescents who live without a supportive family. Please keep your eyes open and let us help together, to prevent that these refugee children go missing. https://kek-vonal.hu/(in Hungarian)
You may find more general information on the homepage of Menedék Egyesület (Hungarian Association for Migrants): https://menedek.hu/en (1081 Budapest, Népszínház utca 16. III/3. phone: +36 1 322 1502).
Healthcare and healthcare services
With effect from 8 March 2022, the following rules also refer to those who are permanent residents of Ukraine. and those Hungarian nationals who arrived from Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022.
The health care provider checks whether or not the patient with no social security identification number (TAJ number) qualifies as a fleeing person. The health care provider shall ask the patient to make a statement in this regard, and the provider is entitled to review the patient’s documents in order to be able to define their status of fleeing person.
The operator of the National eHealth Infrastructure (EESZT) will establish a technical identification code for those patients who have no TAJ numbers and who qualify as fleeing persons. Technical identification codes should be developed in a way that if the patient who qualifies as a fleeing person obtains a TAJ number, their data that are stored with the technical identification code should also be accessible with the TAJ number. Socially disadvantaged asylum seekers (not covered by any social security systems) are entitled to access certain healthcare services free of charge. Such healthcare services shall include the following:
Primary healthcare. Available on-site to foreign nationals placed in reception centres or held in asylum detention, or at the general practitioner providing healthcare services under the obligation of providing in-area care to asylum seekers placed in private accommodation;
Age-specific compulsory vaccination;
Out-patient care provided in emergency situations (examination, medical treatment, costs of medicine and dressings). Specialised healthcare services are available at the healthcare provider responsible for the region in question. Emergency situations mean any change in the patient’s health condition which, in the absence of urgent medical care, would endanger the patient’s life, or result in a severe or permanent health impairment (e.g. labour and delivery, appendicitis, infarction, etc.);
In-patient medical care provided in an emergency situation (medical treatment, surgical operation, costs of medicine and dressings, etc.);
Post-care examinations, medical treatment and medical aids necessary until the recovery from the illness or the stabilisation of the health conditions following the out-patient or in-patient medical care;
Patient transportation services, if the patient’s health conditions exclude any other forms of transportation.
Emergency dental care and tooth preservation treatment;
Pregnancy and obstetrics care (and in specific cases surgical procedure for the termination of pregnancy);
Medicinal products, medical aids and dressings prescribed under the fully subsidised public healthcare system to eligible persons free of charge, or with 90% or 100% subsidy.
specialised oncology treatment, examination and medical treatment as part of other chronic patient care, furthermore, the provision of drugs for the improvement or maintenance of condition, as well as painkilling as part of specialised oncology treatment and other chronic patient care that can be used by those eligible to certain services of social security system or by providing price support for them
Supplementary information (22/03/04)
In the case of persons who also hold Hungarian citizenship, no proceedings aimed at obtaining the status of temporarily protected person can be launched, so the above rules on those persons who apply for recognition do not apply to them.
However, pursuant to the provisions set out in the Hungarian – Soviet agreement promulgated by Act 16 of 1963 and the decree on its execution (MüM, i.e. Labour Ministry decree No. 7/1964. VIII. 30.), in the case of any acute illness or emergency situation affecting the Ukrainian nationals temporarily residing in the territory of Hungary, medical treatment (medical and specialised medical treatment, medicine supplies, care provided at a hospital or a medical institution, medical aids, the urgent replenishment or repair thereof) may be required to the extent that is absolutely necessary from the Hungarian state health care services and social security body on the basis of theirUkrainian travel documents. (*) Emergency needs include such changes in one’s health condition as consequence of which the patient’s life would be in imminent danger, or they would suffer grave or long-term health effects in lack of immediate medical care (e.g. childbirth, appendicitis, heart attack…) This should be ensured by each service point that has entered into a contract with the social insurance system on all levels of care (primary care – specialised care – inpatient care).
Any medical treatments beyond the above emergency health care services can only be provided to a Ukrainian national residing in the territory of Hungary by a Hungarian state health care service provider or social security body based on a referral issued by the Ministry of Health.
In lack of such referral, beyond emergency cases, medical treatment will only be provided if the full costs of the treatment are paid.
In Hungary, healthcare services are essentially provided at three levels: primary care is provided by general practitioners/dentists on the basis of the obligation to provide in-area care: it is the place of domicile that determines the general practitioner from which a person is entitled to receive basic medical services. Thus, you can go to the general practitioner if you have minor health problems, for example a fever, a severe cold or a cough.
Those cases which require specialist medical care are treated in out-patient clinics: in Hungary, specialist care services are available in both specialised clinics and hospital out-patient clinics. In-patient care services are provided in hospitals: in these cases, an ambulance may be needed. Ambulance services can be reached by dialling number 104, while the general emergency number is 112.
Children from Ukraine who are in need of health care services are received by the hospital in a round-the-clock operation, communication is assisted by a Ukrainian interpreter if necessary. Fast, professional and free of charge services are provided with a high standard hospital facility to patients aged 0-18. The available services include patient care, referrals, consulting, Covid-19 vaccinations, giving the missing and continued mandatory vaccinations to children, etc.
Emergency Hotline +36 80-200-223 (free of charge green number)
The specialists of the Psychological Crisis Child Outpatient Clinic provide help to the children with their processing the stress, losses and bereavement involved by the war and abandoning their homes.
In Hungary, children over the age of 3 are obliged to attend kindergarten, mainly the one in the municipality where they habitually live. The local government (the mayor's office), which maintains the kindergarten, provides information on how to fulfil the obligation to attend kindergarten.
Children between the age of 6 and 16 are subject to compulsory education. Compulsory education can be fulfilled in state-maintained and non-state-maintained schools as well. Primary education is provided by primary schools, after which children can pursue their education in secondary schools, that is, in grammar schools, or vocational institutions, including technical and vocational schools. Just like Hungarian children, refugee children, children of asylum seekers and children receiving subsidiary protection have the right to attend any of these schools. If the statutory conditions are met, schools maintained by the State and schools maintained by other than the State, but having a public education agreement, can be attended free of charge. In addition to the schools operated by the State, there are also a number of church-maintained and private kindergartens and schools. Private schools typically request the payment of tuition. Information on places and trainings available at schools maintained by the State can be provided by the schools themselves, as well as the school district centres (https://kk.gov.hu/tankeruletek, in Hungarian) and the vocational training centres (https://www.nive.hu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=595&Itemid=267, in Hungarian).
In addition to studying in secondary schools, it is also possible to apply for accommodation in a dormitory: information on the available places can also be obtained from the school district centres and vocational training centres. In order to ensure that the children of asylum seekers receive age-appropriate education, the refugee authority covers the costs of the participation of these children in the public education system during their stay in the reception facility, until the person seeking asylum reaches the age of 21 years. Accordingly, all reasonable costs relating to the education in kindergarten, primary school and secondary school (or in any other educational institution that meets the child’s special needs, where necessary) – including costs of tickets or passes purchased for travelling to the educational institution by local or long-distance means of transport, the costs of meals in the educational institution and the fee of dormitory accommodation – are reimbursed by the refugee authority upon request. The refugee authority reimburses the costs certified by the institution subsequently, against an invoice. http://oif.gov.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=513&Itemid=731&lang=en
Most of the universities have opened their campus to students arriving from Ukraine: they are offering specific training programmes in order to facilitate the completion of studies, or new courses may also be taken. In addition to that, they are also offering accommodation (by providing places in dormitories), other types of benefits, extraordinary scholarships, and psychological assistance to students in need. The institutions below have joined the assistance efforts; you may find detailed information about the specific forms of help on their websites:
Persons applying for the status of a temporarily protected person and persons enjoying temporary protection shall benefit from regular subsistence allowance, including during their stay in the reception centre or another accommodation designated for them.
The regular subsistence allowance shall be:
a) equal to the amount of the employment substituting benefit in the case of adults, which is HUF 22,800 per month;
b) in the case of minors, equivalent to the amount of the family allowance as defined in a specific law, i.e. HUF 13,700.
The monthly regular subsistence allowance shall be paid to the person enjoying temporary protection after he or she has fulfilled his or her obligation to appear before the district office as required by the decision granting him or her the status of a temporarily protected person.
If the beneficiary does not accept the offer of suitable employment, the asylum authority shall terminate the payment of the regular subsistence allowance.
The asylum authority shall not pay the regular subsistence allowance for the month during which the beneficiary
a) earns income within the framework of a public employment relationship or an employment relationship with an employer in Hungary,
b) receives old-age pension from the Hungarian pension scheme, or
c) receives old-age pension from abroad and is able to withdraw it in Hungary.
As of 29 April 2022, only those recognized as temporarily protected persons shall be entitled to receive regular subsistence allowance. Applications for allowance may be submitted at the district office that is competent according to the applicants’ place of accommodation. Those applications for allowance that were duly submitted prior to the above date by persons asking for recognition are also valid.
From 9 May 2022, persons fleeing from Ukraine may also submit their application for temporary protection in a Government Window. If they previously upload their data electronically through the platform of the “Menedekes” app or “Enter Hungary”, they can also go to a Government Window to satisfy the requirement to appear in person.
Those temporarily protected persons who are over 16, as well as Hungarian nationals who have permanent residence in Ukraine and who have arrived from Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022 can be employed.
Temporarily protected persons or persons applying for temporary protection are entitled to take up employment in the territory of Hungary without a work permit, including employment through temporary work agencies.
The person eligible for employment must register as an applicant for service with the district office within 5 working days after receiving the first regular subsistence allowance.
The person eligible for employment must accept the offer of suitable employment, including public employment, 45 days after receiving the first regular subsistence allowance.
A job shall be considered appropriate if:
a) the job-seeker's state of health allows the performance of the work in question;
c) the daily commuting by public transportation or transportation provided by the employer between the home and the workplace does not exceed three hours, or two hours in respect of women raising a child under the age of ten and single male job-seekers raising a child under the age of ten, or two hours in respect of persons with reduced ability to work by means of transportation which such workers are capable of using.
A person eligible for employment is not obliged to accept the job offered to him or her if
a) at the time of the offer of employment, he or she has an employment relationship with a Hungarian employer and the Hungarian employer can prove it,
b) he or she is obliged to provide care for a minor under the age of three, or
c) he or she is enrolled in a full-time education programme within the framework of an education relationship and has not reached the age of eighteen.
Persons enjoying temporary protection who provide care for a minor shall be entitled to use the services of the nursery, the kindergarten care and education, and the Biztos Kezdet Gyerekház (Sure Start Children's Centre) under the same conditions as Hungarian citizens.
Based on a document attesting a qualification and academic degrees issued in Ukraine and recognised by the state, during the state of danger, a person acknowledged as a temporarily protected person according to the provisions explained above
a) will be entitled to pursue health care activities if they have a qualification in health care,
b) may take part in the relevant academic-level health care training system if they are qualified medical doctors, dentists, or pharmacists
without the naturalisation or recognition of their qualification in Hungary, until the conclusion of the recognition or naturalisation procedure.
Benefits, allowances and services for asylum seekers
On the website of the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing, you may find information about the benefits and allowances available to asylum seekers during their admission procedure.
For instance, throughout the asylum procedure, the reception centre may provide work opportunities for persons applying for recognition within the territory of the reception centre. For work carried out in connection with the servicing and maintenance of the reception centre, or with the care provided to those accommodated there, foreigners may receive a remuneration corresponding to a maximum of 85 per cent of the minimum amount of the (current) old-age pension. Social security financial benefits (infant care allowance, child care fee, sickness benefit) are tied to the payment of contributions.
Ensuring such conditions for foreigners applying for temporary protection that are appropriate to their health, and which guarantee an adequate standard of living satisfying their fundamental needs is the responsibility of the state. The Hungarian State performs its tasks in relation to the above through the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing.
The scope of Act III of 1993 on Social Governance and Social Benefits (hereinafter referred to as the “Social Act”) regulating the forms and structure of the specific social benefits ensured by the Hungarian State, the conditions of eligibility for such social benefits, as well as the guarantees for their enforcement also covers – with certain derogations – the persons recognized by the Hungarian authority as refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection (Note d) of Paragraph (1) of Section 3 of the Social Act).
On the local and territorial levels, social tasks and competences are exercised by the municipal council or the town clerk of the given local government, as well as by the district office of the county government office and the Government Office of the Capital City Budapest. Besides the framework regulation of the supports that may be provided by district offices and local governments, as laid down in the Social Act, local governments establish the detailed rules of benefits provided by them in their own decrees.
Persons in need may apply for financial benefits, social benefits in kind and social services ensuring personal care.
In addition to the benefits provided by local governments and district offices, you may also seek help from non-governmental organizations (civil society organizations, churches).
According to the information provided by MÁV Zrt (Hungarian State Railways Co.) and BKK (Centre for Budapest Transport), Ukrainian nationals may use the railway services and Budapest public transport free of charge (with the exception of the fee for seat reservation related to the railway services).
Newsletters of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary in connection with his activities on the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.
Through the Governmental Hotline Directorate
- in social matters: (+36-1) 795 - 3168
- in public education and healthcare matters: +36 1 795 4755
- labour law client service, counselling, information (Ministry for Innovation and Technology)
Phone: +36 1 795 7977; On Wednesdays: from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. From Monday to Friday: from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Phone: +36 80 778 800