Spain exceeds 180,000 temporary protections for refugees from Ukraine

News - 2023.7.7

  • x: opens new window
  • Whatsapp: opens new window
  • Linkedin: opens new window
  • Send: opens new window

Spain has exceeded 180,000 temporary protections for Ukrainian refugees since the activation of this extraordinary protection mechanism, which immediately grants residence and work permits to citizens displaced by the Russian invasion. Up to 7 July 2023, the Office for Asylum for Refugees (OAR) of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Police have processed and granted a total of 180,785 protections.

Last March, the European Commission informed the Council of Ministers for Home Affairs of the extension of temporary protection until March 2024. For the first time since its creation in 2001, on 4 March 2022 the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive was unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers for Home Affairs, and just six days later Spain launched the urgent application and processing procedure.

A total of 62% of the people who have obtained this temporary protection are women (112,591) and 38% are men (68,194). By age group, 32% are under 18; 26% are between 19 and 35; 35% are between 36 and 64; and 7% are over 65.

Moreover, the majority of those granted temporary protection, 98.1%, are Ukrainian nationals, while the remaining 1.9% are citizens of other nationalities who were legally residing in Ukraine when the war broke out.

Temporary protection by autonomous community

The Valencian Community (50,066), Catalonia (41,343), Andalucia (25,952), and Madrid (24,972) are the autonomous communities where most temporary protection has been processed and granted.

First activation of the European directive

The mechanism activated by the Office for Asylum and Refugees (OAR) of the Ministry of Home Affairs is quick and easy and grants temporary protection to refugees within 24 hours of the application being made.

The procedure begins at the National Police stations throughout the country and at the authorised reception centres, where National Police officers supported by interpreters are responsible for taking identification data from Ukrainian citizens. The application is later processed by the Asylum and Refuge Office of the Ministry of Home Affairs and is resolved within 24 hours.

Temporary refuge includes a residence permit and always, for adults, a work permit. Additionally, and under the provisions of the Directorate-General for Traffic, displaced persons that have been granted temporary protection can legally use their driving licences in Spain.

Non official translation