Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine
If the person has fled the war in Ukraine, he/she may be entitled to a residence permit with temporary protection in Sweden under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive. This makes people eligible for getting a residence permit with temporary protection under the Temporary Protection Directive if they:
- are Ukrainian citizens and were residents of Ukraine prior to 24 February 2022, or
- had a status or residence permit as a person in need of protection in Ukraine prior to 24 February, or
- are family members of someone who falls into one of the two described above, or
- have a permanent residence permit in Ukraine, lived there before 24 February 2022 and cannot return safely to your country of origin.
For those who have passports or other identification documents that show that person belongs to one of these groups, the person must show them when applying for protection.
To be covered by the Temporary Protection Directive, they must have come to Sweden on 30 October 2021 or later and have remained in Sweden since they entered the country. Those who do not meet these requirements, but still need protection in Sweden, can apply for asylum instead. A granted residence permit under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive is valid until 4 March 2023. If the security situation in Ukraine has not improved by then, the Swedish Migration Agency can decide to extend the permit. The Swedish government webpage is available in English and Swedish.
Here is an indicative list of documents one can use to prove Ukrainian nationality even if their period of validity has expired: passports of any kind (national passports, diplomatic passports, service passports, collective passports and surrogate passports including children’s passports), national identity cards (including temporary and provisional), military service books and military service cards, seaman’s registration books, skippers’ service cards and seaman’s passports, citizenship certificates, other official documents that mention or indicate citizenship.
If one has another nationality and is subject to the visa requirement for entering the EU, they should present their short-stay visa if they have one. If they do not have a short-stay visa, EU countries should still allow them to enter, to facilitate their repatriation to the country of origin. ec.europa.eu/info
Ukrainian citizens need no entry visa to travel within the Schengen area. This means that a Ukrainian citizen who can present a valid biometric passport at the Swedish border can stay here without an entry visa for up to 90 days. Read more about staying in Sweden without an entry visa
Ukrainian citizens who do not have a biometric passport have the right to enter and stay in Sweden for 90 days with a Schengen visa migrationsverket.se.
Find migration counselling institutions in Sweden:
Check more information and apply online:
Find migration counselling websites in Sweden:
Ukrainian citizens can register their application for a residence permit with temporary protection in Sweden online or by visiting the Swedish Migration Agency in person.
If they apply via the e-service and have made their own housing arrangements, they do not need to visit the Swedish Migration Agency until after they have made a decision.
Access to the healthcare services
These fees are valid for Ukrainians who have protection under the Temporary Protection Directive and that can show their LMA card.
Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine start looking for information on access to health care?
What are the legal prerequisites for the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine to get health care including treatment in Sweden?
All adults with a valid residence permit with temporary protection under the Temporary Protection Directive have the right to emergency medical care, emergency dentistry and other care that cannot wait. It is the health service that decides which care cannot wait. Ukrainians are also entitled to maternal health care, and care provided under the Communicable Diseases Act (a law intended to prevent the spread of infectious diseases).
Children under the age of 18 are entitled to the same healthcare and dental care as other children living in Sweden. Healthcare is largely free for children.
Urgent healthcare is available to people fleeing Ukraine free of charge, including treatment for HIV, TB, and Hepatitis. A few regions are offering healthcare to Ukrainian refugees on the same basis as Swedish citizens, although this is not the case everywhere.
Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go for the following healthcare services?
a) Acute treatment
b) Chronic/long-term treatment
c) Other services e.g. screening, testing, vaccination
If you or someone in your family needs medical care, you can usually get help at a healthcare centre (vårdcentral). Call 1177 if you are unsure where to seek care. You can choose to speak Swedish or English. The nurse who answers the 1177 helpline can also give you advice on what you can do yourself to feel better 1177.se/en
On the website 1177.se, there is information in several languages about diseases and how healthcare in Sweden works. There you can also find phone numbers for the healthcare centres and dentists located in the place where you live.
You can also call Vårdguiden by phoning 1177. Then you will be able to talk to a nurse who can answer questions and give advice on health and medical care. The nurse can also assess your need for care and refer you to the right healthcare facility if necessary.
Kvinnofridslinjen (Sweden’s National Women’s Helpline) offers advice and support to women subjected to threats and/or physical, psychological, and sexual violence. Call 020-50 50 50. They will organise an interpreter in just a few minutes. You will find more information at kvinnofridslinjen.se. The information is available in several languages.
The staff at your Unit for Reception or accommodation can help you with more information and find out where you should go to get the right healthcare in the place where you live.
If you become acutely ill and need an ambulance, call the emergency number 112. Use the same number if you need to contact the police or fire department in an emergency situation.
After receiving a decision on residence permit under the EU Temporary Protection Directive
What legal documents need to be presented to access health care services?
Once you have received a residence permit under the Temporary Protection Directive, you will receive an offer for a free health exam. During the health exam, you will get advice on health issues, the chance to take certain medical tests, and information about health and medical care in Sweden.
After receiving a decision on residence permit under the EU Temporary Protection Directive
Do the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine have to register with health services?
You have the right to use the health centre or clinic of your choice when you need outpatient care. You can obtain outpatient care wherever you like in Sweden.
You may choose a:
- health centre
- child welfare centre
- midwife’s clinic
- youth clinic
- outpatient specialist clinic for dermatology or another speciality.
You may need a referral to be treated at an outpatient specialist clinic. The county councils or regions where you live or want to receive care have their referral procedures. Find out more here about how the various county councils and regions operate.
Do the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine need to register with family doctors?
Outpatient specialist care means that you do not have to be hospitalised. Dermatology and ophthalmology are among the services that outpatient specialist clinics may provide. You can also go to a clinic that specialises in your particular illness, such as kidney disease.
You are free to obtain care at the outpatient specialist clinic of your choice, wherever in Sweden it is located. You may need a referral if the county council or region where you live or want to receive care requires it. More information here.
Are there appointed organisations / NGOs / volunteers who can provide interpretation services to assist the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine for Sweden?
You can get help from an interpreter if you do not speak Swedish. The interpreter will help you by translating what is said when you visit healthcare or dental services. Let the clinic know you need an interpreter who speaks your language when you book your appointment. More information here.
Services for People Living with HIV
Urgent healthcare is available to people fleeing Ukraine free-of-charge, including treatment for HIV, TB, and hepatitis.
Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that are covered by the communicable diseases act should be free of charge everywhere in Sweden. That includes HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and hepatitis aidsmap.com.
Here Ukrainians can find clinics providing HIV testing.
Where should the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go? (e.g. family doctor/general practitioners, hospitals, state services or NGO services)?
NGOs Posithiva Gruppen and Noaks Ark do legal aid for refugees and other migrants living with HIV, provide information about access to health care facilities, information about the Swedish system and society, provide networking, peer-support groups, social activities, lectures, and support in navigating the healthcare system for all people living with HIV.
HIV treatment is accessed through HIV clinics based in public hospitals across Sweden. If one needs support in finding a clinic or accessing care, please contact the non-governmental organisation Posithiva Gruppen. One has the right to request for an interpreter when visiting the public clinic, and staff can usually speak English as well as Swedish.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
PrEP is approved in Sweden and is a part of the maximum health bill. That means the cost becomes about 200 SEK per month.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends that PrEP is offered to people with a significantly increased risk of HIV infection. It can be men who have sex with men that have recently had a sexually transmitted infection (STI), that engage in chemsex, or in transactional sex. More information here.
All doctors can prescribe PrEP. Here are listed the centres where one can get PrEP depending on where in Sweden one lives.
Services for People Living with Hepatitis B or C
Hepatitis B or C testing, hepatitis B vaccination, and hepatitis B or C treatment availability
Hepatitis B or C testing and treatment are provided free of charge for all Ukrainians who are fleeing the war. Hepatitis B vaccination is offered free of charge only if the patient belongs to high risk groups (persons with IV drug use, partner and family member to hepatitis B positive patient, and men who have sex with men) and children/adolescents through school programme (6-20 years of age).
If a person has an indication for hepatitis B vaccination, doctors test for serology markers (HBsAb) to see immunity against hepatitis B. If HBsAg pos hepatitis B is found at initial testing, patients are referred to the department of Infectious diseases for full medical examination, so they can decide whether they should receive treatment. Ukrainians are not obliged to provide the medical history.
Treatment for hepatitis related liver diseases is also available.
All support systems which are available for Swedish citizens are also available for Ukrainians, i.e. harm reduction/safer use, social support or psychosocial support.
Karolinska University Hospital, Solna
SE-171 76 Stockholm
Phone: +46 8 517 700 00
Visiting address: Eugeniavägen 3, Solna (Main entrance)
Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge
SE-141 86 Stockholm
Phone: +46 8 585 800 00
Visiting address: Hälsovägen, Flemingsberg (Main entrance)
Source: Soo Aleman, MD, Assoc prof, Head of Outpatient clinic, Dept of Inf Dis, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden.
Should a Ukrainian who was forced to leave Ukraine have screening for TB when they arrive in the country?
An offer will be sent, by post, to go for a health examination to determine one’s state of health as soon as possible after asylum has been applied.
This also applies to those who have been granted permanent residence as a mass refugee. The health examination is free. At the health examination, a nurse is available for a chat and testing.
Only people with symptoms that could be TB or known exposure/risk of exposure will be screened for TB.
Where to receive TB treatment?
Ukrainians are directed to go to any primary healthcare centre for referral to a specialist at a hospital, usually a clinic of infectious diseases.
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), where do they go?
Contact a primary healthcare provider if one thinks their child has tuberculosis. One should also contact a healthcare provider if the child is under six years of age and has been in contact with someone with TB. This should be done this even if the child is not sick. Contact one of these clinics:
Call 1177 for help on what to do. The call will be answered by a nurse. If needed, they can give information on where to go for treatment. The nurse can speak both Swedish and English.
Specialist clinics in the region responsible for TB-treatment will also help to arrange non-medical needs. Information on what kind of assistance Ukrainians can receive as a registered migrant can be found on this website.
Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination for children
It is advised to address a primary healthcare centre that will provide a reference to a paediatric clinic where the vaccination can be done.
Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) services
Where should the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go to get their dosage?
Access to opioid substitution therapy (called LARO in Sweden) may be more difficult than treatment for HIV or TB. If one is receiving ongoing treatment and needs a refill, it is best to contact the nearest emergency centre for people who use drugs (called Beroendeakuten), and they can direct to the right clinic (which may vary by region). These centres can also support in accessing needles and syringe provision. Opioid substitution therapy centres’ contact details can also be found on the European Test Finder.
General requirements and access to healthcare
01. Soo Aleman, MD, Assoc prof, Head of Outpatient clinic, Dept of Inf Dis, Karolinska University Hospital
Soo Aleman, MD, Assoc prof, Head of Outpatient clinic, Dept of Inf Dis, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden, Phone +46-(0)8-585 800 00; firstname.lastname@example.org
Available at staff.ki.se