14 JUNE 2024

Ukraine Info: Temporary Protection to run till 4 March 2026, Malta rejects Ukrainian asyum-seekers

Yesterday, the EU took the political decision to extend Temporary Protection until 4 March 2024. This is good news for all current holders are future applicants as it guarantees their on-going protection and access to rights and support services. On the other hand, it is also a stark reminder of the terrible conflict and its impact on so many men, women and children.

The EU has so far been unable to decide what should come after the end of Temporary Protection. Specifically, the EU Member States are not clear on what they want for the approximately 4.2 million people currently benefitting from Temporary Protection.

This is an on-going discussion at EU level and in all EU capitals, with the options ranging from channeling persons to the international protection route (the regular asylum procedure) to focusing on work-oriented permits and solutions.  

Malta is also part of this discussion, and the Malta Refugee Council is unable to give any inforamtion on the current thinking of the International Protection Agency or the Home Affais Ministry. What we do know, however, is that a number of Ukrainian nationals who had applied for international protection years ago, are now rejected by the International Protection Agency.

This is a harsh reminder of the unfairness created by the strict adherence to the Temporary Protection ‘trigger date’ of 24 February 2022.

If a person fled Ukraine on or before 23 February 2022, they would be ineligible for Temporary protection. They would have to seek asylum, wait for some years for their case to be processed and face a possible rejection. Effectively, they are being told: “You may safely return to Ukraine. Please go.

If a person fled Ukraine on or after 24 February 2022, they would (if fulfilling the other conditions) be eligible for Temporary Protection. They would receive a residence permit within days and be able to work and obtain support services almost right away. Effectively, they are being told: “You may stay here as Ukraine is not safe. We welcome you.”


Established with the kind support of the Dutch Refugee Council