Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine
General information and legal support within the Netherlands
Ukraine does not border the Netherlands, so the journey to this country will pass through other EU states. To cross the border, one must have a valid passport of a citizen of Ukraine for travel abroad. Ukrainians holding an internal passport or ID card are allowed to travel only from the areas of active hostilities or temporarily occupied territories.
The child can be accompanied by one of the parents or another close relative. To confirm family ties, it is necessary to have relevant documents. A notarized consent to leave will be required only if the child is not accompanied by a close relative.
Vaccination or testing for COVID-19 is not required for those traveling by ground transportation. However, some airlines may request these documents when boarding the plane.
Requirements for mandatory vaccinations and documentation of pets have also been removed, but some airlines may ask for these documents. Therefore, it is advised to familiarize oneself with this issue on the carrier’s website if one plans to get to the Netherlands by plane.
Source: Visit Ukraine Today
Immediate registration at the municipality with either passport, birth certificate or other documental proof of Ukrainian nationality or residence permit for Ukraine (valid on 23.02.2022), should take place.
Refugee status/asylum seeker status/temporary protection status
Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine have the Temporary Protected Status under the Temporary Protection Directive activated by the EU. They should register with the municipality in the Basic Registration of Persons (BRP). After this, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will automatically do a follow-up and Ukrainians will sign an asylum application and receive proof that they are allowed to stay and work in the Netherlands for the duration of the protection measure, at least one year until 4 March 2023. The maximum period is three years.
The protected status expires as soon as the temporary protection measure is terminated. The asylum procedure is then continued for those wanting to stay in the Netherlands.
Learn more about staying in the Netherlands: (links, buttons, guidelines)
To call from the Netherlands // 088 043 0430 (standard charges apply) and press 9.
To call from abroad // +31 88 043 0430.
Interpretation services (local NGOs, volunteers, reception centres)
Access to the healthcare services
Legal prerequisites for the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine to get health care including treatment in the Netherlands (these prerequisites apply for Ukrainians who have a refugee or asylum seeker or temporary protection status)
Basic medical care is free of charge for the uninsured. If they are not registered yet, emergency health care is of course provided. The Medical Care Regulations for Asylum Seekers reimburse medically necessary care. The person does not need health insurance and co-payments are not required.
After registering with the municipality, refugees from Ukraine have access to basic health care. They do not have to wait for the formal proof of their temporary protection status but should receive it in the future.
Provisions for people with protected status from Ukraine are, as far as possible, the same as those for asylum seekers in the regular asylum procedure.
They should present identification, like a passport, and proof of their Temporary Protected Status.
Questions? Check the website of Zorgverzekeringslijn, which explains how healthcare is arranged for Ukrainians in the Netherlands- information is also provided in English and Ukrainian.
For the questions not listed there regarding reimbursement of care or health insurance, call Zorgverzekeringslijn toll-free at 0800 64 64 644
The Dutch health insurance is only needed for those who work in the Netherlands or those who have a residence permit for the Netherlands.
Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go for the following healthcare services?
In the Netherlands, those who have health problems should always visit a General Physician (GP, “huisarts”) first for all basic health care. This also applies to pregnant women, and those who need medical advice or have psychological problems, such as sleeping problems, fears, and long-term depression. Only the general practitioner can refer the person to a specialist for specialised treatment and care, usually in a hospital. See more on website of Zorgverzekeringslijn.
For emergency health care, go to the hospital. (Dial 112 for emergency help)
Refugee Help has information in Ukrainian on health care and more.
Consult a General Physician (GP) in the town residence. In case of emergency go to the nearest hospital. (Or dial 112)
After the GP is reported, s/he will provide the patient with a referral for specialised care if necessary.
Visiting family doctors
Patients should look for a General Physician in the city where they live and simply contact him/her. This GP should be consulted when health problems occur. He is the first contact point for basic medical care.
Services for People Living with HIV
Anyone who has been at risk of HIV infection can get tested free of charge. The general physician will start treatment based on the test results.
Antiretroviral treatment (ART)
Ukrainians with temporary protection status have access to free ART. The general physician is the first contact point for basic medical care. The Municipal Health Services – GGD – can also be consulted on HIV. They work on infectious diseases, vaccinations, and screenings.
Positive HIV test results or continuation of existing treatment for HIV infection are preconditions for treatment with ART. There are no exceptions for ART, only if personal or medical conditions do not allow therapy.
Ukrainians on antiretroviral treatment (ART) can bring their own medication into the country but should transport the medicines in their original package, along with an official ENGLISH medication certificate or medication passport. The medication certificate from a medical authority should mention the user’s name and that they use the following prescribed medication to relieve symptoms. Furthermore, it should state the doses prescribed and that the medication is for the patient’s use. They may also need to get this certificate legalised. Otherwise, they should bring the official and signed prescription from a medical authority along with the medication in the original package. Ukrainians cannot use their prescriptions in the Netherlands. They will need an appointment with a general physician to continue treatment.
How can minors get treatment?
Minors can receive ART if the parents give their consent. Young people, 16 years and older, have an independent right to information and must give their consent for treatment. Most children with HIV are treated at one of the four HIV treatment centres specialising in treating children with HIV. These treatment centres are in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Groningen. For children living far from an HIV treatment centre, a paediatric infectious disease doctor in that region can provide the care, in clinical appointment with the nearest paediatric HIV treatment centre.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine can receive HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, but it is not free of charge and is not available for everybody. It is NOT free for those who receive free medical care under the temporary protection status, and NOT free for those with Dutch health insurance.
People who do not have HIV but are at increased risk of becoming infected (mainly men who have sex with men with additional risk factors for HIV infection) are eligible for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. Sometimes the use of PrEP is not permitted in case of certain conditions.
To get HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, the person can ask a general physician for PrEP, but GPs are not expected to offer this service.
Contacting the help site (in English and Dutch) for advice can be an option.
Find a clinic for sexually transmissible infections (“soapoli”): www.ggd.nl
In the Netherlands, some vulnerable people receive PrEP through a five-year pilot program that started in 2019. They receive their PrEP from one of the participating GGDs. Those wishing to join this programme should contact the GGD to be placed in the waiting list.
Tel: 020- 555 5911 or use the contact form on the website
All other questions (terms, minimum age) need to be discussed with GP: www.ggd.amsterdam.nl/prep/
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
PEP is recommended for potentially exposed people without HIV infection. In case of a contact where the risk of HIV exposure is high (e.g. through unprotected sex or high-risk injuries, such as needle pricks/shared needles or bite accidents), medications are available that reduce the risk of infection. PEP should be taken for 4 weeks and started within 72 hours after possible exposure. More information here.
For PEP, present as soon as possible and latest within 72 hours after risk contact/possible infection at the Municipal Health Service (GGD) or the emergency department in the nearest hospital.
The minimum age to receive HIV post-exposure prophylaxis should be discussed with the medical doctor. There is very little evidence in the literature to guide drug choices for PEP, especially for children. More information at ggd.amsterdam.nl/pep-behandeling
In the evenings or weekends, go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
Centrum voor Seksuele Gezondheid Amsterdam 020 – 555 5822 or visit ggd.amsterdam.nl/sti-hiv-sense
PEP is only reimbursed for those with free basic medical care (refugees) and those with a Dutch health insurance policy. For foreign (health) insurance policyholders, payment for the entire PEP treatment is in cash at the pharmacy and a claim for the PEP is performed afterwards. The citizens of Ukraine need to carefully check the terms and conditions of the insurance in this regard. The cost of this will be approximately € 700.
The identification documents are necessary to get access to Dutch basic health care.
Services for People Living with Hepatitis B or C
Hepatitis B or C testing, hepatitis B vaccination, and hepatitis B or C treatment availability
- All the above-mentioned services are available and free of charge for those who have a temporary protected status. For the test and follow-up, contact a general physician (GP) at the place of residence or the municipal health services, (GGD), for the test.
GGD Amsterdam, Infection Control, Tel 020 555 5337
- The GP will offer a hepatitis test if the person is for example very tired and/or if they have additional risks like sharing the household with someone who tested positive for hepatitis B or C. A person can also ask for tests after accidents with needles or sharing of drug needles and after unprotected sex with an infected partner. Some professions carry more risks for infections with hepatitis and will be advised to get vaccinated.
- Health information site from GPs in the Netherlands: thuisarts.nl/leverontsteking
- When a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine cannot provide a medical history of hepatitis B vaccination or hepatitis B or C treatment, a titer test can measure antibodies in the blood to see if they are immune either due to vaccination or previous infection.
The GP or the municipal health services should be contacted: www.ggd.nl
- Ukrainians with a temporary protected status who tested positive for acute hepatitis B or C, but were not undergoing treatment because of contraindications or low viral load, can make an appointment for testing for the virus after a few months. They should discuss this with their GP or the municipal health service nearby ggd.nl.
- Further procedure is to be discussed with a general physician (GP), who will probably check the SVR result a few months later. The GP can also refer the patient to a medical specialist.
Treatment options available for hepatitis related liver diseases
Patients will continue their treatment in the Netherlands and contacting a general physician (GP) is needed.
The municipal health services (GGD) do not provide treatment for liver diseases but only tests, vaccinations, and advice.
Support systems (harm reduction/safer use, social support, or psychosocial support) are available for the Ukrainians undergoing therapy for hepatitis C or related liver diseases
The website is also in English.
Tel: 033-460 89 00
Patient support groups are usually in Dutch.
If the person has TB symptoms:
Currently, the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) and municipal public health services (GGD) do not oblige people fleeing the war in Ukraine to undergo a test after arrival and registration. However, if the person has TB symptoms TB services are accessible and provided by the municipal health services (GGD). No registration is required and services are free of charge.
How to get an appointment
The Dutch website indicates the GGDs nearby. Registration is not needed but arrange an appointment by phone or email with the TB Control Department as soon as possible if one has symptoms. Often, an English-speaking personnel will be available.
If a child of a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine has symptoms of TB (e.g. cough, fever, weight loss or not gaining weight), they can consult a general physician (‘huisarts’) in their area or the municipal health services (GGD). One can find the GGD nearest to them here: https://www.ggd.nl (in Dutch). Such patients do not pay for consulting the general physician or GGD.
If a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine has been in contact with someone with TB and wants to be screened, they should contact the TB control services of the municipal health services (GGD) for all the information needed: https://www.ggd.nl (in Dutch). They do not pay for attending the GGD.
If TB was already diagnosed in Ukraine and the person needs to continue treatment:
It is important that the person continues treatment. TB treatment is prescribed by the municipal health services (GGD) and is free of charge at the pharmacy.
The GGD can refer a person to a hospital or get advice on MDR-TB if that is applicable.
Those who have TB already diagnosed need to provide all the details to the TB treatment: medication and start dates, the results of the previous investigations such as chest X-ray or culture results (if available), and the contact details of the physician in Ukraine.
For those who started the TB treatment and were on Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) in Ukraine, the municipal health services (GGD) organises a similar programme free of charge.
Those who started the TB treatment and were on directly observed Video treatment (VDOT) in Ukraine, should consult with the TB Control Department of the municipal health services (GGD). In case the person continues VDOT with their medical doctor in Ukraine and needs new medication, they can contact the GGD and see how to organize this.
If a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine is on preventive TB treatment, they should contact the municipal health services (GGD) nearest to them here: www.ggd.nl (in Dutch) ) for prescription. Attending the GGD is free of charge.
Tel: 020 300 700
WhatsApp: 06 352 500 18
(English, Ukrainian, Russian)
The Red Cross:
Helpline- 070 – 44 55 888
06-48 15 80 53
In English, Ukrainian, and Russian from 09:00-21:00.
If a person has a Ukrainian prescription for TB treatment medication...
A person cannot collect the medicines with a Ukrainian prescription. They will need a prescription from a Dutch medical doctor. Not all doctors may be willing to prescribe the medication if there was no medical follow-up with them.
Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination for children
The municipal health services (GGD) can vaccinate children (younger than 12 years) with BGC free of charge.
Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Services
Strong painkillers and sedatives fall under the Opium Act. Persons can only bring these medicines with them to the Netherlands if they have an official medication certificate/statement/passport, stating that it’s for their own use. They may also need to get this certificate legalised.
Otherwise, they should bring the official and signed prescription from a medical authority with them (cannot be used for getting new drugs according to https://www.ggd.nl), or an official medical statement stating that the person uses the following prescribed medication to relieve their symptoms. The prescription should also state the doses required. Furthermore, the medicines should be transported in their original package.
Contact the CAK (a public service provider which implements regulations on behalf of the public authorities) www.hetcak.nl
+31 88 711 5698 (from outside the Netherlands). Working hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To receive treatment, persons from Ukraine of any age need to see a general physician (GP) who can either treat them or refer them to an addiction specialist or Addiction Care. They can also contact the municipal health service (GGD).
Before consulting a general physician in the place they live, they should register in the municipality with the Basic Registration of Persons (BRP) and receive their temporary protected status. In addition, they should bring their identification papers to the GP.
Check on more information and advice:
- IND process for refugees from Ukraine | Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
- Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care, GGZ,Tel: 033-460 89 00
There is no cost for addiction health care, provided the persons go through the regular channels. The first step after the receipt of a temporary protected status is to visit a general physician (GP) who will either treat them or refer them to an addiction specialist.
Dosages can be picked up at the local pharmacy, at Addiction Care Units allowed to dispense medication, and also at some GPs.
Take-home dosages availability depends on several factors and the line of therapy. Consult a general physician. (GGD Amsterdam)
What OAT drugs are available in the country?
- Methadone, buprenorphine, and medical heroin.