Number of Visas Issued to Ukrainian Refugees By Czech Republic Tops 500,000
In the past week, 2,154 temporary protection visas were issued. Photo credit: Freepik.
Prague, March 28 (CTK) – The Czech Republic has now provided over half a million temporary protection visas to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. According to data released on Twitter by the Interior Ministry, about 2,100 visas have been issued per week recently, compared to over 2,400 a week in February and early March.
The Russian aggression against Ukraine started on 24 February 2022. In late March, 2022, 3,000 to 5,000 visas were being issued every day.
In the past week, 2,154 temporary protection visas were issued.
Temporary protection visas provide the holders with access to public health insurance, education and the labour market. Since the start of the Russian invasion, 502,000 of them have been issued. Some of the refugees have left the Czech Republic, travelling back home or to other countries, but around 300,000 are currently estimated to be staying in the Czech Republic, though the exact number is unknown.
A more precise number of refugees staying in the Czech Republic might be known in early April, as the deadline for refugees to extend their temporary protection visas is the end of March.
Interior Minister Vit Rakusan told Czech Television on 12 March that so far, 271,000 refugees had applied for an extension. After the visas are extended, they will be valid until late March 2024.
Rakusan said it was hard to estimate how many refugees would stay in the Czech Republic long-term. He said evidence from other migration crises showed that if the conflict lasted more than a year, some 40 to 45% of refugees usually stayed in the country to which they escaped. He also said that this group of refugees was very specific, mostly women with children.
In late February, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that over 8 million Ukrainian refugees had been registered in Europe since the start of the invasion and 5.4 million Ukrainians had been displaced within the war-stricken country.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in late February that the war has claimed the lives of at least 8,000 civilians, noting, however, that the real total would probably be much higher.