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. The municipality and the public health service (GGD) both have staff at the arrival centre. A doctor is also available. 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. Kitchen and bathroom facilities 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 who are entitled to reception by the municipality are:

    1. people with Ukrainian nationality
    2. people with another nationality (not Ukrainian) who had a valid Ukrainian residence permit from before 24 February 2022
    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 within these categories, you might have to apply for asylum in Ter Apel to get shelter.

  • 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 temporarily travel free of charge on public transport in the Netherlands with their travel document. For train travellers: if you show a Ukrainian ID and a German, Belgian, French or Austrian train ticket which is not more than 24 hours old, you can get a 1-day ticket at the Tickets and Service counters of the NS. After arriving in the Netherlands you can travel for free by bus, tram or metro if you show a Ukrainian passport or ID. If the access gates at a train station are closed, you can go to the service desk for a free 1-day ticket.

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.
  • Did you come to the Netherlands with a biometric passport from Ukraine or a short stay visa? Or do you have a residence permit here? Then you are allowed to stay in the Netherlands. You do not have to apply for asylum.

    Would you like to apply for asylum, now or later? Then it can take some time before the IND processes your application. In the coming months the IND will not take any decisions on asylum applications by Ukrainians.

    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.

  • Ukrainian refugees are allowed to stay in the Netherlands for a maximum of 180 days without a residence permit. Refugees from Ukraine can receive temporary protection in the Netherlands under the European Union Temporary Protection Directive. The temporary scheme for Ukraine entitles you to shelter, health care and education for underage children in the Netherlands. As well as the possibility to work.

    Look at the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service to see whether you qualify for the scheme. Do you qualify for the scheme? Then the municipality will allow you to register in the Personal Records Database (BRP). Your personal data from the BRP will be used by Dutch government organisations. The IND will also get your personal data and it will use it to arrange your residence status. At this moment the IND is still examining how you will be able to show that you are allowed to stay in the Netherlands. Once more information becomes available, you can read about it on the website of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Health and insurance

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

  • 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

  • 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.

Published: 30 April 2022Modified: 9 May 2022