In our training course “Peace at War”, we were fortunate to have the visit of Arturas Gromovas, a worker of the Integration Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania and responsible for the section dedicated to the care of Ukrainian refugees.
Due to its proximity to Ukraine, Lithuania has been a destination for many Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion. Fortunately, the country has streamlined its asylum procedures and set up a large number of humanitarian aid programs for Ukrainians.
- Asylum and refugee procedures that generally take months to be processed have been reduced to 30 minutes. Conclusion and necessary formalities such as presentation of identity documents and Ukrainian nationality have been lowered to such a level that asylum seekers can apply for asylum without such papers. An attempt will be made to confirm their identity afterwards. Also, volunteers from organizations such as the Red Cross help people to fill in all the papers they need to submit to the registry. In addition, the website and the documents and signs of the registry have been translated into Ukrainian.
- As for humanitarian aid, several NGOs (Red Cross, Maltiečiai, Caritas and the registry itself) maintain a protocol that promotes: finding housing, finding a job and learning Lithuanian. In addition to extra help for pregnant women and young children. They also have medical assistance and psychological support, among others.
Ukrainians do not receive refugee permits but Subsidiary protection in the current situation. Subsidiary protection guarantees them security and a residence permit in Lithuania for a limited time. It is expected that most Ukrainians will decide to return home once the war is over (remember that many families have been split up as the males could not leave Ukraine).
At the end of mid-May 2022, an estimated 50.044 Ukrainians have received subsidiary protection in Lithuania (17.419 of them at the registration center in Vilnius).
More information about subsidiary protection and social resources can be found at: