Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

As of end 2021, Ukraine hosted 2,391 recognized refugees and persons with complementary protection and around 2,700 asylum-seekers. The population was very diverse, including persons from 60 countries. The population included a disproportionate number of single men of working age. Among refugees and asylum-seekers, 23% were women and girls. 

After the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, many refugees and asylum seekers were forced to flee again seeking safety, protection and assistance. In the first five weeks of the invasion, more than four million people, both Ukrainians and refugees to Ukraine, as well as person who had been seeking asylum in Ukraine, crossed into neighboring countries. Millions more became internally displaced people (IDPs), finding safety in other parts of Ukraine In light of the emergency and the scale of humanitarian needs UNHCR continues to provide assistance to persons previously granted international protection in Ukraine, and asylumseekers, who are remaining on the territory. UNHCR partner organizations, providing both legal and social assistance, continue their work to the best of the ability, mindful that many humanitarian workers themselves have been impacted and displaced by the war. 

UNHCR is currently verifying the presence of  those whom we serve  to better respond the urgent needs of this population. We encourage refugees and asylum-seekers to remain in contact with   UNHCR’s partners’ organizations.

How to apply for asylum in Ukraine

Details on asylum procedure in Ukraine can be found here (in relevant languages):

To apply for a refugee status or status of a person in need of complementary protection in Ukraine,  you must fill out an asylum application form and questionnaire. You can download it here. Please visit the HELP page for more information.

Learn more about Support programmes for refugees and asylum seekers here.

Please note that the regional offices of the State Migration Service have also been affected by the security situation in the country. Unfortunately, in some regions, the migration service has not resumed its work to its full capacity as of October 2022. To receive assistance in asylum procedure, you should approach the UNHCR legal partners for counselling and advice.

Reception at the UNHCR Country Office in Kyiv

One of the roles of the UNHCR Representation in Ukraine is to provide free-of-charge legal and social services to persons seeking to apply for asylum. UNHCR assistance is limited to the application process and support during the asylum process. 

It is important to note, that  the Government of Ukraine is responsible for awarding refugee status or complementary protection and, therefore, the full suite of legal rights in Ukraine. All applications for international and other protection should be submitted to the State Migration Service.  

Due to dramatic increase in humanitarian needs, UNHCR regrets that it is no longer possible to host appointments at the UNHCR Country Office in Kyiv. As a temporary  measure, the UNHCR Protection Unit can be reached via e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]. 

Contact details of other legal and social UNHCR partners operating in Ukraine can be found here.