Many Ukrainian refugees are arriving in Hungary from Ukraine and many others are planning to do so. We collected information about what to do if you are one of them.
Anyone from Ukraine can enter
Since there is an emergency mandate in effect because of the coronavirus pandemic anyway, the government used that to amend the law at a lower level so as to avoid the application of the transitional provision on the asylum procedure, according to which, originally, asylum applications could only be submitted to the Hungarian embassy in Kyiv. This means that now anyone fleeing from Ukraine can enter the country, whether the person is a dual citizen (Hungarian and Ukrainian), a Ukrainian citizen, or a citizen of a third country who has been living in Ukraine legally. Further information may be found on the website of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, here.
You can also bring your pets
The same goes for pets. Hungary is also applying the exemption introduced by other countries bordering Ukraine to support the entry of animals arriving with their owners. The Hungarian veterinary authority is prepared for the arrival of pets that do not meet the current veterinary standards (no microchip, not vaccinated, no blood tests). In order to ensure a smooth entry, only a simplified registration form is needed to be filled out which can be downloaded here.
Which organizations can be contacted?
In the article below, we collected the Hungarian charity organizations that are helping refugees (to which you can also donate):
Refugees from Ukraine may receive free medical care from Hungarian general practitioners, specialized clinics, and hospitals – upon presentation of a passport.
Semmelweis University’s website (SOTE) states that care will be provided to refugees in all acute and urgent cases. The clinic has also offered to help medical students and professionals with their studies or employment in Hungary.
If necessary, the institution will also assist the families of students with Ukrainian ties to find housing, and is currently looking into which common rooms could be made available for this purpose.
Ukrainian refugees may use MÁV trains free of charge from Záhony
Due to the war in Ukraine, those who come from the country and head to another destination in Hungary can travel free of charge with a so-called “solidarity ticket” from Záhony regardless of their nationality, state-owned railway company MÁV announced. The solidarity ticket is only available for second class and may only be obtained at the Záhony station or on the trains departing from the border town.
Budapest public transport free for Ukrainian refugees
Refugees from Ukraine are given the chance to travel free of charge on Budapest’s public transport network from Friday. Free travel for Ukrainian citizens who are refugees will be available until April 15.
But people with Hungarian citizenship who have fled Ukraine because they do not have refugee status will not be given the same opportunity, the mayor of Budapest said on Thursday, adding that the government would hopefully address this issue soon.
The mayor said all children under the age of 14 from Ukraine would have free travel rights.
Also, from Monday, a 24-hour information center in the Nyugati Square underpass will be available.
There are several places people fleeing from Ukraine can stay in Hungary, all across the country.
Both Budapest municipalities and several municipalities in other Hungarian cities are supporting charities financially. For example, the X district administration has decided to give three million forints to the Cserkész street hostel for immediate assistance to refugees. They also decided to prepare the main building of the camp in Balatonlelle, where they will be able to accommodate 60 more people, and started negotiations with the district’s workers’ hostels (the camp is owned by the Kőbánya Municipality of the X district in Budapest).
Municipalities are also helping with employment: Kaposvár, for example, provided temporary accommodation for ten Ukrainian refugees, including four children, and the Kométa meat factory is able to provide work for the adults. Two of the children have already been taken in by a kindergarten, and the school district is looking for a suitable class for the two schoolchildren.
Universities are also helping with accommodation, as well as donating to charities: many of them are offering places in their dormitories for refugees, especially their students’ families.
Szallas.hu, a Hungarian accommodation portal reported that 292 of their partners have already indicated that they would like to offer their accommodation in some form. Airbnb is also providing accommodation to 100,000 people thanks to donors and accommodation providers alike.
Featured image via Zoltán Balogh/MTI