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The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is issuing residence stickers to Ukrainian refugees in a number of pilot projects. It is expected that issuing residence stickers on a larger scale can be started at various locations in the country in a couple of weeks. Currently, lessons are being learned from the pilot projects to organise the process as efficiently as possible later. Now, refugees from Ukraine cannot yet make an appointment to pick up a residence sticker.
With a residence sticker, Ukrainian refugees can demonstrate that they are allowed to stay and work in the Netherlands as long as the European Temporary Protection Directive is in force. The IND puts the stickers in passports. The sticker is currently not required for legal stay in the Netherlands because the IND is lenient with the applicable free term. This also applies to working in the Netherlands. However, as of autumn proof of lawful residence is necessary to be allowed to work.
From the first pilot project in Amersfoort, it became clear that, where possible, it is better to work with fixed locations to issue the stickers. The coming time, these locations will be set up throughout the Netherlands. The IND is training staff and agency workers to carry out this process properly. It also became clear from the pilot implementation that deployment of Ukrainian-speaking staff is appreciated. It is also nice for IND staff that local councils and the Dutch Council for Refugees make sure that many Ukrainian applicants are well informed when they arrive on site. This week, another pilot project took place in the municipality of Westland and next week in Utrecht.
It is expected that the IND can provide around 1200 Ukrainians a day with a proof of lawful residence. Currently, there are around 65,000 Ukrainians in total who fall under the European Directive and are eligible for a sticker. Soon, they will be able to make an appointment for this using an online planning tool. This process applies to refugees from Ukraine who have registered with the local council and are therefore known to the IND. As soon as the appointment tool is online, more information will follow.