Ukraine’s neighbors open borders to refugees

Ukraine’s neighbors are opening their borders to refugees and simplifying entry rules. Poland has launched an extensive campaign to help those fleeing the war.

Refugees cross the Ukrainian-Polish border on foot at Medyka, Poland. February 24, 2022. Photo: Belsat

Poland is the leading destination for people fleeing from Ukraine. All those running from the war, Ukrainians and Belarusians, can do it through any border crossing on the Ukrainian-Polish border. They are all open. Coronavirus restrictions – availability of tests and quarantine – have been lifted.

You can go even if you do not have a visa – then an asylum application will be accepted right at the border. The Polish government has deployed several mobile refugee reception centers there.

You do not have to have a passport either. The main thing is to have at least some document with your photo confirming your identity, even if it is just a certificate from the migration service.

But now, only children, women, and older men can leave Ukraine because the universal mobilization of men aged 18 to 60 years was announced.

Slovakia has also simplified the entry of refugees from Ukraine

According to the Interior Ministry, all border crossings on the border with Ukraine work, except for the railway border crossing Černo nad Tisoj-Chop – where the passenger traffic is stopped.

All those fleeing the war are allowed to cross the border. It will also be possible for those without a passport to enter the country, but as in the case of Poland, it is necessary to have at least some documents.

Hungary has introduced temporary security for Ukrainians arriving from Ukraine and third-country nationals legally residing in Ukraine (with a residence permit).

There are queues of cars at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing point “Shehyny-Medyka.” Photo:

Help for refugees in Poland

The BY_help campaign, together with the Belarusian Youth Hub, started a broad campaign of helping refugees in Poland, which can be joined by anyone who lives in this country. The first thing you can do now is welcome a refugee into your home. There are more than 150 applications from various Polish cities. The Polish Hotel Association and the Polish Church have joined the campaign. Half of those who apply are willing to host refugees for two weeks.

A database of carriers, ready to take people from the Polish-Ukrainian border to various cities in Poland, is also being created. There are already dozens of applications.

Negotiations are underway with hotel chains to create opportunities for more extended stays for refugees, and legal and migration support infrastructure is being made.

An emergency aid card from the Belarusian Solidarity Center has also appeared online. Medication, food, water, clothing, overnight accommodation, transportation, or a doctor.

Anyone who wants to help civilians during the war can place their ad on the help map. To add a help button, you need to fill out a short questionnaire.