Emergency shelters in the Netherlands

The first and most important need is providing a safe place for the refugees to stay. Special emergency shelters have been opened by Dutch municipalities, such as Groningen, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Maastricht. The Red Cross also helps people find emergency shelters. It is possible to ask The Red Cross questions in Ukrainian, Russian or English via WhatsApp: +31 6 48 15 80 53.

Registering with a municipality

The municipalities will register refugees who fall under the Directive on temporary protection of displaced persons and persons with a Ukrainian residence permit in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP). The municipalities do not distinguish between a biometric passport and a passport without biometrics. Nationality is also mentioned on domestic identity cards, and these can therefore also be used to determine identity and nationality. A person whose identity, nationality or residence status cannot be established cannot be registered with the municipality. Individuals who do not qualify for municipal registration may report to the Ukrainian embassy.

A foreign national cannot work in the Netherlands without a citizen service number (BSN).

Ukrainian Embassy

The embassy can verify a person’s identity and issue a certificate confirming identity and nationality. This is possible during the walk-in consultation hours of the consular department of the Ukrainian embassy on working days from 09:00 to 13:00 at Zeestraat 78, 2518 AD in The Hague.



Parents with minor children who do not have an identity document can (in the absence of other documents) make a statement under oath or promise. Based on this, the municipalities determine the identity of the children, so that the children can be registered. This exception only applies to Ukrainian parents and their children.


As of 1 April 2022, and retroactive from 4 March 2022, an exemption from the work permit requirement applies. This applies to persons covered by the “Temporary Protection Directive” and who wish to engage in ‘paid employment’.



The conditions for the exemption from the work permit requirement as of 1 April 2022 are as follows:

  • Employers have a duty to report if they want to employ Ukrainian refugees. Employers must report to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) at least two working days before the start of the work that they are employing a ‘foreigner’ to perform, based on the exemption.
  • A transition period will apply up to and including 15 April 2022, during which employers will be given the opportunity to make a report, even if the work has already started. Failure to comply with the duty to report can be fined under the Aliens Employment Act.
  • The exemption for applying for a work permit is initially limited to performing ‘paid employment’.
Exemption work permit and identity documents

The exemption from the work permit requirement is for all Ukrainian nationals who can prove their nationality based on valid identity documents.In addition, consideration is being given to expanding the transition period from mid-April 2022 to apply to stateless persons and nationals of countries other than Ukraine who can demonstrate that they enjoyed international protection in Ukraine or were in possession of a valid Ukrainian residence permit. This transitional period will initially run until 31 May 2022.


Verification of identity documents

Keesing opens a key section of its ID reference database – Keesing Documentchecker – to all customers to help them verify Ukrainian identity documents. Through Keesing DocumentChecker – Ukraine customers have access to information about Ukrainian passports, passport cards, identity cards and residence permits currently in circulation, including details about their security features.

Additional information (in Dutch)