Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - A Ukrainian refugee family is denied temporary protection status in the Karlsruhe district because they were on vacation in Egypt during the Russian attack on their homeland - and therefore entered the country from a third country outside the EU. In a statement on Wednesday, the Baden-Württemberg Refugee Council criticized the immigration authorities for the district of Karlsruhe for refusing the family any social benefits because they happened to be on vacation in Egypt at the time of the Russian invasion. The family from the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine now has to apply for asylum - although politicians from the federal and state governments have asserted that people from Ukraine do not have to apply for asylum in Germany.
"Obviously, this family has fallen into a loophole that must be closed as soon as possible by those responsible for politics," criticized Seán McGinley, Executive Director of the Refugee Council. "Could it be that the choice of holiday destination determines whether you receive protection if war breaks out in your home country?" Political leaders at state and federal level must quickly make it clear that the temporary protection applies to everyone who was resident in Ukraine at the time of the Russian invasion - even if they were temporarily out of the country.
"Due to the entry from a third country outside the EU, the family is not subject to the special rules that apply to refugees from Ukraine," said the responsible district office. Therefore, the country can neither pay out benefits nor issue a work permit. The office conceded that it was understandable that this decision was viewed as "not very appropriate". However, the family is supported in finding a solution within the framework of the legal possibilities in which they do not have to apply for asylum. The question of whether people can be regarded as war refugees from Ukraine despite entering from a third country outside the EU is still being examined at the level of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
The so-called EU Mass Influx Directive has actually offered Ukrainian refugees quick access to various areas of life in the host country since the beginning of March. They receive immediate benefits such as basic medical care or social benefits without a lengthy asylum procedure