The Ukraine crisis a year on: More refugees apply to extend visas

Around half a million temporary protection visas have been granted to Ukrainian refugees, with about 200,000 finding work in the past 12 months.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 21.02.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 24.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

About 200,000 of the half million Ukrainians who fled to Czechia from their attacked country have asked for a one-year prolongation of temporary protection until March 2024, the government announced Monday.

Those who wish to have their visas extended must sort all necessary paperwork with Czech immigration police by the end of March. Online applications to extend the visas opened at the end of January.

Some 300,000 refugees in Czechia

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started a year ago, the Czech Republic has granted about 500,000 temporary protection visas to Ukrainians – mainly women and children. The temporary protection visas provide the holders with access to public health insurance, education, and the labor market.

According to the latest estimates, there are over 300,000 documented Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic. About 6 in 10 Czechs support their acceptance.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Czechia has the largest number of refugees per capita in Europe.

At the end of last year, Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura told iDnes that slightly over 1 percent of Czechia's entire annual expenditure has gone on Ukrainian refugees.

Women make up majority of workforce

Out of all employed Ukrainian refugees in Czechia, seven out of 10 are women.

The majority of Ukrainian refugees work in manual, low-skilled jobs over 30 hours weekly. Examples of common roles are cleaners, assembly workers, helpers in construction, production, and transport.

According to the Labor Office, 94,383 refugees from Ukraine held jobs in Czechia by the end of January. About 16,300 were registered as jobseekers. In total, 190,400 Ukrainians with temporary protection found jobs last year.

Two-fifths of employed Ukrainians have jobs "well below their qualifications." About a half of technical and professional workers, and more than one in four refugees who were formerly in managerial and specialist positions, now work in auxiliary or blue-collar jobs.

Since gaining employment in Czechia, some Ukrainians have returned to their homeland and others have left their jobs. They mainly face language barriers in their search for more skilled jobs.

As Ukrainians continue to flee war and struggle to find well-paid employment in Czechia, the government recently announced a public campaign to help integrate Ukrainians into the Czech labor market in 2023.

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