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Legal aid for Ukrainian citizens

On Friday the Information Centre for Ukrainian citizens was launched. It was created as a joint initiative by the Mayor for Warsaw, the Mazowieckie Province Governor, the Office for Foreigners and NGOs, and is supported by lawyers from the Legal Aid Programme for Refugees and Migrants.

The Centre is a place for foreigners to obtain legal aid and psychological support, as well as information on medical and social care, and the assistance of translators. On the Centre’s first day, the HFHR lawyers distributed information materials for people looking for international protection and maps with directions for visiting the Foundation. They also opened a helpline available 7 days a week on 506 184 375. On Saturday one of the lawyers was on duty in the Center’s head office.

“At the moment we see a growing interest among Ukrainians on migration regulations. They phone us and want to know how to prolong their visas or residence permits so that they won’t have to go back to Ukraine in these uncertain times for their country”, says Jacek Białas, lawyer for the HFHR’s Legal Aid Programme for Refugees and Migrants.

On the other hand, there are fewer foreigners who have recently left Ukraine and want to seek international protection in Poland. “Not all of the Ukrainians who over the recent couple of weeks have been forced to leave Ukraine plan to stay here and apply for a refugee status. Although, of course, there will be such persons and the Office for Foreigners must be braced for it – both in terms of giving them social assistance and ensuring fast and effective procedures”, adds Karolina Rusiłowicz, lawyer for the HFHR’s Legal Aid Programme for Refugees and Migrants.

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