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What you need to know when you travel in the EU
In most cases, if you have fled the war in Ukraine you will be able to travel to other EU countries. For Ukrainians with a biometric passport this right comes from the visa free regime in place between the EU and Ukraine. If you come from a third country, you need to check whether your country of origin is on the list of third countries whose nationals are exempt from the requirement to have a visa.
Ukrainian nationals holding a biometric passport, as visa-free travelers, have the right to move freely within the EU after being admitted into the territory for 90 days. On this basis, you are able to choose the EU country in which you want to enjoy the rights attached to temporary protection and to join your family and friends in the EU country where they are present.
If you are entitled to temporary protection but hold a non-biometric passport, authorities at the border of the EU country of first entry should issue a short-stay visa valid for 15 days when entering the Schengen area. This will allow travelling to the EU country of destination to enjoy the rights attached to temporary protection.
If you are entitled to temporary protection but do not hold a travel document, it will be up to the authorities at the border of the EU country of first entry to allow you continuing your journey if needed, e.g. by issuing a travel document and a visa or by using transfer forms relating to temporary protection legislation.
If you crossed the EU border for the first time through a country that is not part of the EU area without internal border control (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland) your documents will, as a general rule, be checked again at the border crossing point of the next Schengen country. Please see also the explanations about the registration of unaccompanied or separated children.
Since the beginning of the war, a number of European transport companies have been offering free transport for people fleeing Ukraine. This includes rail, bus, ferry and air travel. A list of the numerous carriers involved is available in the table and the map below.
You can do so, but your documents will be checked again at the border of the first EU country that forms part of the Schengen area. This will be the case, for example, if you are crossing the border between Hungary and Romania.
Yes. Once you enter a country that is part of this area, you can move, in principle without border checks, to other countries that are part of the Schengen area. However, you can only do so for 90 days within a 180 days period.
Note that Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not EU countries, but they are Schengen countries. You can travel to those countries once you have entered the Schengen area, but your rights related to international or temporary protection may differ from those you have in EU countries.
While Denmark is an EU and a Schengen country, it does not take part in the temporary protection scheme and does not apply the EU rules on asylum. Therefore, your rights related to international or temporary protection in Denmark may differ from those you have in other EU countries.
According to EU rules, you should receive a residence permit and you can use that to travel for up to 90 days within 180 days to other Schengen countries. With the same permit, you can leave the EU to another third country – for example Ukraine - and re-enter the EU again.
If you have not yet received your residence permit, you may receive national papers or permits. This is different from one EU country to another. Certain papers or permits - those listed in Annex 22 to the Schengen Handbook allow you to travel as if you would have a residence permit. However, this is not the case for all national papers/document issued by Schengen countries. Please check with the national authorities of the country where you are registered for temporary protection if the papers you receive allow you to travel.
If this is not the case, but you need to travel to Ukraine and come back, the only viable solution would be for you, when you come back to the EU, to enter directly - by land, air or sea- to the EU country where you are registered for temporary protection.
If you need to travel to another Schengen country you can do so for up to 90 days within 180 days with your residence permit or a national paper/document which is listed in Annex 22 (and therefore has the same effect as a residence permit). If you don't have such document you are advised not to travel for the time being to other Schengen countries, since your stay there might be considered illegal.
Attention: Residence permits issued by Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland don´t have Schengen wide effect and don't give you the right to travel to other Schengen States. Residence permits issued by States that are in the Schengen area without internal border controls are, however, recognized by Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus and give a right to travel to these countries.
Yes. Police and other administrative checks are always possible including within the territory and at internal borders for security and migration purposes. It is important to cooperate and provide the required documents and information to police or border guards. In certain circumstances you may be required to remain available to the authorities during these checks in designated facilities.
Please consult Re-open EU for information on travel and health measures in EU and Schengen Associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 27 July 2022, new temporary EU rules ensure that people fleeing Ukraine can continue to use their Ukrainian driving licence, without needing to exchange it for an EU driving licence or to sit a new driving test. The new Regulation sets specific rules on expired, lost and stolen Ukrainian driving licences to reduce the administrative burden for those residing in the EU under the temporary protection regime. Digital driving licences issued by Ukraine (DIIA) may also be recognised once verification tools have been made available and deployed by Ukraine. Read more about these rules.
The recognition of non-EU driving licenses differs across EU countries. A list of the sources informing about foreign licenses in EU countries is available in the map below.
Information about national authorities and travel options
In this map by clicking on the country you will find useful information about national authorities in EU countries who you can contact about temporary protection, as well as information on travel, healthcare or employment support.
The map also includes locations that show reception facilities, transfer hubs or offer further information about your travel and stay in the EU.