EU ACTIVATES PROTECTION DIRECTIVE FOR REFUGEES FROM UKRAINE

ON 27 FEBRUARY, THE 27 COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ADOPTED DIRECTIVE 2001/55/EC ON THE PROTECTION OF DISPLACED PERSONS (REFUGEES).

Since Russia started the war against Ukraine, more than a million people have fled the country to neighbouring countries. This has prompted the 27 EU countries to adopt and activate the directive on the protection of displaced persons, also known as refugees.

In this blog post, we explain what the EU-approved directive is based on and what benefits it has for refugees from the war in Ukraine provoked by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

What is Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 based on?

Last February, EU Member States gave the green light to legislation that was passed after the Balkan wars, following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, but had not been adopted until today.

This Directive aims to provide protection to persons who have fled Ukraine and entitles them to remain on the territory of the European Union. This implies an obligation for Member States to ensure:

  • Residence permit for the whole family unit
  • Access to the job market
  • Right to a home
  • Medical and social assistance

This protection will be valid for 1 year, renewable every 6 months up to a total of 3 years. In addition, in order to be included in the system, they must lack economic resources and comply with the rest of the requirements established in the system’s management manual.

In addition, the Secretary of State has established a maximum period of 3 months for refugees in EU countries to formalize their wish to apply for protection.

Ukrainians who have been on EU territory since before the Russian invasion and are unable to return to their country will also be eligible for this measure.

Do regulations protect all refugees in the same way?

No, the situation changes for those who do not hold a Ukrainian passport.

The status of third-country nationals who were long-term residents in Ukraine is at the discretion of each EU Member State, which can decide whether or not to apply it.

For those who were studying or working in Ukraine, the situation is complicated, as they will be repatriated to their home countries.

If you would like more information on how the Directive as approved by the EU Member States works, please send us an email to comunicacion@feliu.biz and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Expatriation and Impatriation Area

Author: Sheila Artigas, lawyer at Expatfeliu

ETIAS, ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE EUROPEAN TRAVEL INFORMATION AND AUTHORISATION SYSTEM

THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME APPROVED BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IN 2016 SEEMS TO BE TAKING SHAPE. ITS INTRODUCTION DATE HAS RECENTLY BEEN APPROVED BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

The main objective behind the approval of this programme was, among others, the improvement of European border security. Thus, the ETIAS authorisation will allow for the pre-screening of travellers from 60 countries that are currently exempt from a visa to enter the Schengen Area.

ETIAS was scheduled to be fully operational in 5 years, however, official European Commission sources confirm that the mandatory registration for travel authorisation will be delayed by another year.

In today’s blog post we will detail what the implications of the new European travel authorisation system are and what you need to consider from now on if you are a national of one of the countries involved.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS is a travel authorisation system created by the European Union for those citizens who are currently exempt from applying for a visa to travel within the Schengen area.

This authorisation shall be a compulsory requirement for entry into Europe for tourists of eligible nationalities wishing to visit one of these countries for a stay of less than 90 days. The purpose of the visit shall be exclusively tourism and business.

Therefore, in order to reside in Europe, e.g. for work or long-term studies, a Schengen visa will still be required.

When will ETIAS become mandatory for travel to Europe?

The EU Commission foresees that the ETIAS system will not be operational until the end of 2022. Thus, it is most likely that mandatory registration for visa waiver will not come into force until 6 months later, with an optional application for the first 6 months.

However, the obligation that will fall on the Schengen countries will be to inform visa exempt travellers crossing the borders of the obligation to obtain ETIAS authorisation in the immediate future. Therefore, an information leaflet on the mandatory ETIAS registration will be handed out to travellers at border control points.

Periodo de gracia

It is also envisaged that after the end of the first 6 months of ETIAS implementation, an additional grace period of 6 months will come into play. Thus, the authorities will allow visa-exempt travellers to cross the external borders of the Schengen territory without an ETIAS. Note, however, that for this period to apply they must be crossing the border for the first time since the end of the first grace period.

It would be logical to adopt this measure which would allow travellers and border guards to comply with the new ETIAS requirements.

How will ETIAS work?

It should be noted that ETIAS will not be a visa, but an electronic authorisation in addition to the mandatory travel requirements for visa-free third countries.

This travel permit will be processed entirely online. To obtain it, the traveller must, in addition to having a valid passport, e-mail account and credit/debit card, fill in an electronic form on the website set up for this purpose, without having to go to any embassy or consulate.

In this electronic form, the applicant must indicate, on the one hand, personal data such as full name, date and place of birth, address, passport details, etc. and, on the other hand, must answer a series of questions on security and health, such as: criminal record, employment history, information on previous trips to Europe, etc. etc.

This information will be shared with major European and international databases, including Interpol and Europol.

Which countries will have to apply for ETIAS?

There are currently more than 60 countries eligible for the ETIAS European travel authorisation application. It should be noted that the European Union has an extensive list of countries whose citizens do not need a Schengen visa to visit countries, which means that they will be able to benefit from ETIAS in the near future.

In Latin America, as of today, the eligible countries would be: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Outside Latin America, they would also be citizens of: Canada, South Korea, the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, Japan, Ukraine and the United States, among others.

Countries that do not appear on the final list of ETIAS-eligible countries must obtain a Schengen visa to travel both to Spain and to any country in the territory of free movement.

ETIAS will undoubtedly bring about a major change in travel to the European Union from third countries; once this system is fully operational, European authorities will be able to determine more effectively and efficiently whether or not a citizen is eligible to enter Schengen territory. The end result will undoubtedly be better control at external borders as well as enhanced travel security.

If you still have any doubts about this, Feliu has a team specialised in GlobalMobility; leave us your details and they will contact you to clarify any doubts you may have about the ETIAS authorisation and its processing.

CHILE UPDATES THE «PROTECTED BORDER’S» PLAN: NEW REQUIREMENTS AS OF OCTOBER 1

THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED NEW ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS THAT WILL TAKE EFFECT AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2021.

The Chile's Undersecretary for Prevention Crime, Maria José Gómez, explain that "Chileans and residents forigens who have a "Mobility Pass", could exit the country, except the minors.

Today’s blog post will be dedicated to explaining the new modifications to Chile’s «Protected Borders» plan.

Who could leave the country?

From as October 1, all Chileans and forigens whit a residence permit in Chile that complain the requirements, we leave the the national territory:

  • Mobility Pass: Chilean citizens and foreigners residing in Chile who have a Mobility Pass may leave the country. This pass does not include minors under 18 years of age without the document.

The airports available for departure with the Mobility Pass are: Lquique, Antofagasta and Arturo Merino Benitez (Santiago de Chile).

  • Exceptional permit: This permit is requested at the competent police station for any of the established reasons:
  1. Humanitarian situations
  2. Essential health activities
  3. Trips that do not include a return to Chile

The border crossings enabled with the «exceptional permit» are the airports of Lquique, Antofagasta and Arturo Merino Benítez (Santiago de Chile).

Foreigners NOT residing in Chile may also leave the national territory through any authorized border crossing: Lquique, Antofagasta and Arturo Merino Benítez (Santiago de Chile).

Who can enter Chile?

Chilean citizens, foreigners residing in Chile and foreigners not residing in Chile may enter the country through any of the authorized border crossings: Lquique, Antofagasta and Arturo Merino Benítez (Santiago de Chile):

Foreign residents in Chile:

Foreigners residing in Chile may enter the country with the following documents:

  • Traveler’s affidavit C19: Expatfeliu will help you with the process of the traveler’s affidavit.
  • Negative PCR test: The sample must not be taken more than 72 hours before boarding time.
Non-resident foreigners:

Non-resident foreigners in Chile may enter the country with the following documents:

  • Mobility Pass: Expatfeliu will take care of obtaining this document.
  • Traveler’s affidavit C19: Expatfeliu will help you to obtain the traveler’s affidavit.
  • Negative PCR test: The sample must not be taken more than 72 hours before boarding time.
  • Travel medical insurance: Chile requires that all non-resident foreigners must have a minimum medical coverage of USD 30,000. Expatfeliu will take care of finding the best medical insurance for your trip.
  • Vaccine validation process: you must request the vaccine validation process at mevacuno.gob.cl. This procedure can take up to a month, therefore, it is not advisable to plan a trip to Chile without first completing this procedure.
  • Accreditation of compliance with Decree 102 of the Ministry of the Interior.
Security measures at entry to Chile and confinement:

All citizens entering Chile, regardless of whether they are non-resident foreigners, resident foreigners or Chilean citizens, must follow the following security and confinement measures:

  • Strict isolation in the domicile declared by the citizen:
  • Persons with «Mobility Pass»: 5 days
  • Persons without «Mobility Pass»: 7 days
  • Travelers must arrive at the residence address by private transport and directly, without staying overnight or interacting with other people.
  • All the cohabitants of the domicile, will have to carry out the established period of confinement.
  • In case of confinement in a hotel, the citizen will not be able to leave the room in any case.

 

Expatfeliu can help you with all the necessary documentation to prove your entry into the country.

If you want more information about our services, you can leave us your contact details in our request form or, if you wish, you can send us an email to comunicación@feliu.buz and our advisors specialized in foreigners will contact you as soon as possible.

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