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Ukrainians in Europe are to be paid extra for returning home: up to €5,300

Kseniya KapustynskaNews
Refugees are motivated to return to Ukraine
Refugees are motivated to return to Ukraine

Ukrainians in the Czech Republic, Finland, and Norway will be paid up to 5,300 euros for returning home early. Norway, which is not a member of the European Union, was the first to introduce this practice. However, the initiative has now been taken up by EU countries.

The amounts and conditions of "departure" payments differ from country to country. OBOZ.UA has collected key information.

Norway

Since 2023, Norway has been paying 17.5 thousand kroner (1.2 thousand dollars) to every Ukrainian who has a collective protection status, a residence permit in the country and is ready to return home. The money is given only to those who are ready to buy a ticket to Ukraine and return home immediately.

You need to apply for the payment to the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI). Along with the application, you will need to provide tickets and documents, as well as describe the route.

"The tickets must state that whatever mode of transportation you use will take you as close to your final destination as possible," the organization notes. You will also need to prepare documents for moving from Norway. You will need the following papers:

  • a copy of the notice of moving (leaving Norway) with a confirmation or stamp from the State Population Register (Folkeregisteret)/tax office;
  • confirmation from NAV, a municipality or a government agency that a notice of relocation has been submitted;
  • a digital receipt from the Norwegian Tax Administration (Skatteetaten) confirming that a notice of relocation has been submitted.

Children under the age of 18 must apply together with their parents. If only one of the parents is traveling with the child, the other parent in Norway must provide written confirmation that he or she agrees to this.

Finland

The provision on the payment to Ukrainians appeared in the updated temporary protection regulations, which will come into force at the beginning of 2024. According to the new provision, the amount of the grant for voluntary return will be EUR 5,300 if the application is submitted within 30 days after notification of a negative asylum decision or withdrawal of the application by the applicant.

If the application is submitted after 30 days, the amount of the grant will be reduced. In this case, it will be 2000 euros.

It is important to note that the subsidy can be provided in the form of a cash payment or in the form of "in-kind assistance". This can be, for example, a service or equipment that allows you to return to study or start a small business.

Czech Republic

Temporary protection for Ukrainians in the Czech Republic has been extended until March 2025. However, those who want to leave the country before that date can count on financial assistance.

The new rules, like in Finland, will come into effect in 2024 - the relevant amendments to the lex Ukraine law were signed by Czech President Petr Pavel. However, the amount of the Czech payment has not yet been disclosed.

It is already known that Ukrainians will receive a one-time payment no later than three months before the expiration of their right to stay in the Czech Republic. If the refugees decide to apply for a long-term visa, they will have to return up to 50% of the amount received to the Czech state budget.

By the way, a similar initiative was considered in Switzerland, but it was never finally approved. It was assumed that this country could introduce an additional payment to Ukrainians in the amount of up to $4355 for early return home.

The situation is similar in Ireland, where an exit payment program is under development. The amounts have not yet been specified. At the same time, the Irish government notes that financial assistance is intended for those Ukrainians who still have housing in their homeland. According to the Irish authorities, such people are prevented from returning, in particular, by financial difficulties, and therefore they want to help them.

The return of refugees to Ukraine is an important condition to prevent a crisis in the labor market. After all, Ukraine is already facing a shortage of personnel, which, according to analysts, will only get worse in the future.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, according to expert estimates, a total of 1.3 to 3.3 million refugees will not return to Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine's economy will lose from 2.7 to 6.9% of GDP annually (depending on the number of people who will not return home).

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