Answers to questions frequently asked by Ukrainian refugees

The Hague is providing initial shelter and accommodation to refugees from Ukraine. Refugees who have no place to stay can come to the Broodfabriek in Rijswijk. Read the answers to the questions most frequently asked by Ukrainians in The Hague.

Belangrijke informatie: Біженці з України: Прочитайте відповіді на поширені запитання

Shelter in The Hague

The Hague is providing shelter to refugees who have no place to stay. The refugees can come to the regional arrival centre. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9.00 to 19.00 hrs.

Address of arrival centre

Broodfabriek
Volmerlaan 12
2288 GD Rijswijk

Refugees will be transferred from the arrival centre to a shelter. Refugees who have a temporary place to stay (for example, with family, friends or a host family) do not have to come to the arrival centre now.

Do you have any questions about the arrival procedure or shelter? Please call the municipality on tel. (070) 353 80 24 (+3170 3538024 from abroad). This number is available Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs.

Safety

Stay alert! Many people are offering help, but unfortunately you cannot trust everybody. How can you protect yourself? Read this information to get tips on what you should be aware of.

Safety infographic (PDF, 371,3 kB)

Answers to frequently asked questions by Ukrainian refugees

Reception and emergency shelter

  • Refugees are being put up in shelter locations in The Hague region. Many refugees are also being housed with private people. If you have no place to stay, you can physically come to the Broodfabriek in Rijkswijk (address: Volmerlaan 12). The municipality will arrange the initial shelter. You can request shelter in every region in the Netherlands.
  • If you have no place to stay, the municipality will arrange the initial shelter. You must first come to the Broodfabriek in Rijswijk (address: Volmerlaan 12). At the arrival centre the municipality will make sure that you get a place to sleep.

    Do you have any questions about the arrival procedure? Call the municipality on tel. (070) 353 80 24 (+31 70 3538024 from abroad).

  • The location of the regional arrival centre is De Broodfabriek, Volmerlaan 12, 2288 GD Rijswijk.

    From Den Haag Centraal Station:

    The train departs from Track 1, 2 or 3 in the direction of Dordrecht. Get off at the Rijswijk train station. It is a 12-minute walk to De Broodfabriek.

    From Den Haag Hollands Spoor:

    The train departs from Track 3 in the direction of Dordrecht. Get off at the Rijswijk train station. It is a 12-minute walk to De Broodfabriek. Tram 17 departs from platform B in the direction of Wateringen. Get off at the the Volmerlaan Rijswijk stop. It is a 3-minute walk to De Broodfabriek.

    How to walk from Rijswijk train station

    Get out at the Rijswijk train station and use the exit in the station hall which comes out at the Sir Winston Churchilllaan. Go right and walk to the Lange Kleiweg. Turn right on the Visseringlaan and at the traffic lights take a right on the Volmerlaan. The main entrance is located 100 metres down on the right-hand side.

    Look at the route in Google maps

  • You come to the arrival centre in Rijswijk. Employees from the municipality and the public health service (GGD) are available at the arrival centre. They will welcome you and make sure that you get a place to sleep. You will first get emergency shelter in the region. Later the municipality will try to move you to a location where you can stay longer. A larger number of refugees are being housed at these locations. Facilities such as a kitchen and bathroom are usually shared.
  • The municipality is providing acute emergency shelter for refugees from Ukraine at different shelter locations. All refugees will get breakfast, lunch and dinner provided at the shelter locations. If you have questions about this, you can contact the support staff.
  • No. This is only necessary for refugees who have no place to stay. Ukrainian refugees are allowed to travel freely to the Netherlands. They do not yet need to register with the municipality or the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
  • Refugees with temporary protection have the right to shelter from the municipality. These are:

    1. people with Ukrainian nationality who

      • left Ukraine after 26 November 2021
      • travelled from Ukraine to the Netherlands before 27 November 2021
    2. people with another nationality (not Ukrainian) who before 24 February 2022

      • had international or national protection in Ukraine becaues they were not safe in their country of origin
      • had a valid permanent Ukrainian residence permit and did not return to their country of origin.
    3. family members of the people listed in 1 and 2:

      • partner (married or unmarried) with whom there is a long-term relationship
      • a child under the age of 18 years and not married (born or adopted in or out of wedlock)
      • other close family members who were living with the family and who are (largely) dependent on this family

    If you do not fall in one of the categories, you are not entitled to temporary protection in the Netherlands. You might need to apply for asylum at Ter Apel to get shelter or return to your country of origin.

    This includes:

    • non-Ukrainians with a temporary Ukrainian residence permit.
    • Ukrainians who were already living in another EU country before 27 November 2021.
  • You can bring your pet with you to the arrival centre. At the arrival centre, the municipality will discuss with you what the possibilities are for a home for your pet. The municipality will try to find a place for you and your pet to stay together. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. You may have to visit a veterinarian to have your pet vaccinated. For more information, go to the website of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.
  • Pets can get the necessary vaccinations and medical help. But also practical matters such as a litter box and pet food. If it is not possible for you to take your pet with you to the shelter location, temporary shelter can be arranged for your pet.

    Contact Hulp voor dieren uit Oekraine by calling tel. 088 - 811 33 33 (Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs.) or by sending an email: info@hulpvoordierenuitoekraine.nl. Or look at the website Hulp voor dieren uit Oekraïne.

    The contact point is an initiative of Dutch and international animal aid organisations for refugees from Ukraine who need help for their pets.

  • Refugees from Ukraine can travel by train free of charge the first 24 hours in the Netherlands. You must have a Ukrainian identity document and be able to show a German, Belgian, French or Austrian train ticket which is not more than 24 hours old. You can use this ticket to pick up a 1-day ticket at the Tickets and Service counters of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). For other types of public transportation, such as buses, trams and metros, you will need a valid ticket as of 1 June 2022.
  • Unaccompanied underage refugees are children who entered the Netherlands without a parent or guardian. They are extra vulnerable and therefore deserve extra protection. Municipalities register these children at the Nidos Foundation. This national organisation will apply to be a guardian at the court and takes care of practical matters and a safe place to live.

    Read more on the website of the Nidos Foundation.

  • It could happen that you have to temporarily leave your shelter location. For example in order to arrange your affairs in your home country or because you want to pick up family in order to bring them to safety. You are allowed to stay at a different location (also outside of the Netherlands), but there is a limit on the number of days you can stay away. If you exceed this maximum number of days, it will affect your right to shelter. You can read more below.  

  • Municipal shelter

    If you are staying at a municipal shelter location, you may be absent for a maximum of 28 days per year, including 7 days in a row. You are considered to be absent if you are not staying at the shelter location, even if you are staying at a different facility in the Netherlands. You are required to report your absence to the location manager. If you exceed the amount of days you are allowed to be absent, then you will lose your right to shelter. You can then apply again in order to get a spot in a shelter. In special cases the number of days can be extended if this is approved by the location manager.

    Private shelter

    If you are staying with a private host family, the municipality does not decide how long you are allowed to be absent. You decide this together with your host family. Rules apply to how long you can stay abroad in connection with the living allowance.

Registration, residency status and asylum

  • If you have a biometric passport, you are allowed to travel freely to the Netherlands and stay in the Netherlands for 90 days without a residence permit. You can find more information on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).
  • If you are a refugee from Ukraine, you have to register in the municipality where you are staying (temporarily). In The Hague you will register during an appointment in City Hall on the Spui. After you register, your information will be added to the Personal Records Database (BRP). And you will get your citizen service number (BSN). You will need this number to arrange all of your government affairs. Read more at Registration at the municipality for Ukrainians.
  • You do not have to apply for asylum in Ter Apel. Refugees from Ukraine can get temporary protection in the Netherlands through the European Union’s Temporary Protection Directive. The Temporary Protection Directive provides the right to shelter, medical care and education for underage children in the Netherlands. And it makes it possible to work.  

    To be allowed to live and work in the Netherlands refugees from Ukraine must apply for proof of residence. As of 31 October 2022 refugees must be able to show that they fall under this temporary protection.

    Step 1

    The first step is to register in the Personal Records Database (BRP) at the municipality. Read more on the page:

    You will get a citizen service number (BSN) when you register. The registration process is your application for residency in the Netherlands under the Temporary Protection Directive.  

    Step 2

    The second step is to apply for proof of residence at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). During the appointment you need to sign an application form. This form is called the M35H and is an official asylum application. As long as the Temporary Protection Directive applies to you, the IND will not decide on your application. Refugees from Ukraine have a different asylum procedure.

    Apply for asylum

    If you are not a Ukrainian citizen, a permanent resident of Ukraine or a first-degree family member, you probably need to apply for asylum in order to stay here. This does not apply to non-Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons who resided legally in Ukraine and cannot return to their country or region of origin. You can apply for asylum by contacting the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) in Ter Apel.

  • After you register in the Personal Records Database (BRP) at the municipality you can apply for proof of residence at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

    Make an appointment

    You can make an appointment to apply for this proof of residence in the Broodfabriek in Rijswijk. You make an appointment via:

    Needed at your appointment

    Do not come to the IND in the Broodfabriek without an appointment. Read what you need to take with you to the appointment on the page below:

    During the appointment you need to sign an application form. This form is called the M35H and is an official asylum application. As long as the Temporary Protection Directive applies to you, the IND will not decide on your application.

    Sticker

    You will get a sticker or document from the IND during the appointment. Read more about it in the PDF:

    Residence in the Netherlands: what does this mean to you?

    Перебування в Нідерландах: що це означаєдля вас? (UKR)

    Пребывание в Нидерландах: что это значитдля вас? (RU)

    As long as your sticker or document is valid you are allowed to live and work without a work permit in the Netherlands and travel. You will need a valid passport to travel. The sticker or document is valid until 4 March 2023. This could be extended depending on the situation in Ukraine.

  • There are more and more Ukrainian refugees who voluntarily want to return to Ukraine. Refugees from Ukraine with a non-Ukrainian nationality (so-called third country nationals) can also get help.

    DT&V and IOM do not offer support for temporary repatriation.

Education and childcare

  • Every child has the right to education. Children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 years who have fled from Ukraine can be registered for a spot at a school. This applies to children who are living in shelter locations in The Hague as well as children who are living with private people in The Hague. This education is free.

    Registration up to 18 years (primary school and secondary school)

    Somebody will contact you as quickly as possible to look for a suitable spot at a school.

    Registration as of 18 years (secondary vocational education)
  • Ukrainian preschoolers who are staying in The Hague are allowed to go to childcare and preschool facilities. The parents will be eligible for the municipal preschooler (toddler) allowance (in advance of their registration in the municipality). It is still not clear what the parental contribution will be. You register your child yourself at the childcare facility. Would you like to know how to do this? Ask for help at the childcare facility.
  • In the Netherlands all children must attend school between the ages of 5 and 18 years, regardless of their residency status. Education is very important in the Netherlands: for many professions you are only eligible to work if you have a diploma. How does the school system work in the Netherlands?

    Primary education

    Children aged 4 to 12 years go to primary school. Primary schools have 8 groups. Group 1 and 2 are the nursery school and kindergarten classes. As of group 3 the children learn to read, write and do arithmetic. In group 8 all pupils have to take a compulsory attainment test (eindtoets). The result of the attainment test + the school advice give an indication of what type of secondary education would be most suitable for the individual pupil. Pupils go on to secondary education after primary school.

    Secondary education

    There are 3 types of secondary education:

    1. VMBO (pre-vocational secondary education)VMBO is a 4-year programme and offers 4 options. The programme is mainly theoretical and practical. After getting a VMBO diploma, pupils can go on to HAVO or further training or education in secondary vocational education (MBO).
    2. HAVO (general secondary education)The HAVO programme takes 5 years. During the first 3 years the pupils follow a general curriculum. In the last 2 years pupils choose a subject combination: science and technology, science and health, economics and society, or culture and society. Pupils can go to VWO with a HAVO diploma or enter a programme in higher professional education (HBO).
    3. VWO (pre-university education)The VWO programme takes 6 years. During the first 3 years the pupils follow a general curriculum. Afterwards pupils choose a subject combination for the last 3 years. The VWO diploma allows pupils to attend university (WO).
    MBO (secondary vocational education)

    MBO prepares students for a wide range of occupations. The focus is on practical training and work experience. MBO courses are given at 4 different levels of training and the duration depends on the level.

    HBO (higher professional education) and WO (university education)

    Higher education comprises higher professional education and university education. HBO students can complete a full-time HBO programme with a bachelor’s degree. University students can earn this degree in 3 years. Afterwards these students can get a master’s degree in a minimum of 1 year.

    Costs of education

    Primary education and secondary education are mainly funded by the Dutch government. Parents may be asked to pay a voluntary contribution towards the costs of extracurricular activities. They also pay for some school supplies themselves.

    Higher education (MBO, HBO and WO) is usually not funded by the government. It is possible to get a student loan from the government. Sometimes the educational institutes have a reduced tuition fee or it is possible to get a waiver.

  • The Taalhuis can provide you with more information on language courses and initiatives. The Taalhuis is located on the second floor of the Central Library near City Hall (address: Spui 68).

Work and money

  • Refugees from Ukraine who are living in the Netherlands may be entitled to a living allowance. This is a sum of money you can use to pay for your daily needs, like food and clothing. Read whether you have the right to a living allowance and how you can apply for it on the page Living allowance for Ukrainian refugees.

    Whether you are eligible for certain benefits depends on your personal situation. You could be entitled to a rent benefit, supplementary child benefit, child budget, childcare benefit and sometimes also a healthcare benefit. Read more information about benefits on the website of the Tax Administration. Calculate how much you can receive in benefits on the page Proefberekening Toeslagen 2021 en 2022.

    Let op!

    When making the test calculation for benefits you will be asked about your income. The living allowance your family members receive from the municipality does not count as income. The living allowance also does not count towards the means-test income when calculating how much you can receive in benefits.

    You can also phone the Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) at tel. 0800 - 0543 (free). Available from Monday to Thursday from 8.00 to 20.00 hrs. And on Friday from 8.00 to 17.00 hrs.

    Would you like help making a test calculation? Staff of the Municipality of The Hague can help you. You can visit the first floor of City Hall from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 16.30 hrs. The address is Spui 70 in The Hague. You do not need to make an appointment.

  • Read more information on Work for refugees from Ukraine.
  • The Dutch government has set up a separate measure for the repatriation and evacuation of Dutch citizens, their first-degree family members and a group of vulnerable Ukrainian citizens. This group of people is entitled to certain compensations and insurances in the Netherlands. You can contact the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB).

    Read more information on Government.nl.

Language and integration

  • The Taalhuis can provide you with more information on language courses and initiatives. The Taalhuis is located on the second floor of the Central Library near City Hall (address: Spui 68).
  • People who are staying in the Netherlands temporarily are not required to go through the civic integration process.
  • You need to pay for language classes yourself. You do not always have to pay for informal language lessons.

Help and support

  • Do you have questions about the arrivals centre, shelter facilities, registration, the living allowance, health care or work? Call the municipality on the telephone number (070) 353 80 24 (+31 70 353 80 24 from abroad). This number is available on Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs.

    The Rode Kruis has set up a WhatsApp helpline for people who are fleeing from Ukraine to the Netherlands. The helpline is available for practical questions. You can leave a voice message in Ukrainian, Russian, English and Dutch. A volunteer will contact you as quickly as possible in your preferred language. You can also send a (voice) message via WhatsApp to 06 - 48 15 80 53.

  • Go to Refugee Help for more national information from VluchtelingenWerk. The platform provides information and compiles initiatives by the government, companies, social organisations and private individuals. VluchtelingenWerk also has a helpline for Ukrainian refugees: tel. +31 (0) 20 300 70 00.
  • You can visit the Servicepunten XL for example for questions about the Ooievaarspas, registering for school or childcare and assistance. Look for the locations and opening hours at Ukrainian refugees - Servicepunt XL. If you have a number of questions or if you do not speak English and you need help from a translator, we recommend that you make an appointment by sending an email to ukraine@wijkz.nl.

Published: 30 April 2022Modified: 22 September 2022