In recent days, thousands of refugees from the war in Ukraine have entered our country. Some of them choose to settle temporarily in the city under the hills, which after solving the most important case of finding a place to stay, leads to a number of conditions such as registration, obtaining status, job opportunities and place in a children's or educational institution for children.
The team of Lost in Plovdiv tried to gather some points of reference on which you can find out how to proceed in Plovdiv and be prepared if you or someone around you needs help.
The visa-free agreement between Ukraine and Bulgaria - as part of the EU, allows Ukrainian citizens to enter the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and stay visa-free for up to 90 days, within 6 months (180 days), without the need for any permission or a document from the authorities, with the possibility of extending this period. During this period, they won’t have the right to access the labor market. They can use any identification document to enter the country, including an international passport, ID card, bank cards, birth certificate, etc. There is no need for special insurance when using a car.
An application for temporary protection with an initial term of 1 year can be submitted in person at the initial border checkpoints, as well as in the country (Bulgarian identity documents and Migration department/sectors/groups to the Regional Directorates) of the Ministry of Interior and the Sofia Directorate of Interior), and a registration card will be issued. The person under temporary protection will have the following rights:
• to remain on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria
• right to work and vocational training
• right to adequate accommodation or means of accommodation if necessary
• right to social assistance
• right to medical care in emergencies
• right to return freely to one's country of origin.
Arrival in Plovdiv
On March 9, in the city under the hills, a permanent headquarters Plovdiv - Ukraine was formed at the Regional Administration in order to provide all institutions involved in the crisis to the arriving Ukrainian citizens at one counter. It includes representatives of the Migration Service at the Ministry of Interior, SANS, RHI (for children's immunizations), District Hospital, St. Georgi University Hospital, the Inspectorate of Education, Plovdiv Municipality (as a representative of the municipalities in the district), the Labor Office, the Employment Service, the Labor Inspectorate, the Bulgarian Red Cross, the Ministry of Tourism (as responsible for accommodation allowances). The headquarters amassed a serious database of vacancies, accommodation and everything else that war refugees needed. They will guide you on the spot about all the steps and conditions related to obtaining status in Bulgaria. Phones for information: 032 605 515 and +359 879 18 22 50. The latter will be active both in the country and abroad. It supports Viber and Telegram and is available around the clock.
A coordination unit has been established at the Municipality of Plovdiv, the purpose of which is to provide assistance to citizens of the Republic of Ukraine who have sought help on our territory. Currently, shelter can be provided in the St. Vasiliy Veliki Home for the Elderly, the Youth Center and dormitories of the University of Food Technology and the Technical University - Sofia, Plovdiv branch. It is ready to provide hospital and pre-hospital care. There is a direct telephone available: 0800 112 32, on which calls will be accepted from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm from all those wishing to provide assistance, including shelter, basic necessities and others.
To contact the Honorary Consulate of Ukraine in Plovdiv you can use: 0882 505 117.
Obtaining status in Plovdiv
An application for international protection (refugee and humanitarian status) can be submitted in person at the initial reception points at the border, in the territorial divisions of the State Agency for Refugees, as well as before all state bodies. On the territory of the city the address of the Migration Department is 70 Volga Street with working hours 08.30 am - 5.30 pm with a break from 12.00 - 1.00 pm.
Obtaining address registration:
Citizens of Ukraine who arrive in the Plovdiv region and are accommodated in private homes and apartments can now obtain address registration in the Migration Department and in all Regional Police Offices in the municipalities in the district.
Citizens and legal entities that have provided shelter to foreigners are required by law to notify in writing within 3 days the service for administrative control of foreigners at the Ministry of Interior or the regional office of the Ministry of Interior at the location. The law stipulates that the hosts must provide the names of foreign citizens, date of birth, citizenship, number and series of the identity document of each accommodated foreigner, the relevant institutions reminded.
If the person who accommodates refugees is unable to submit the documents in person, Ukrainian citizens can register with a notarized power of attorney and a copy of the notary deed of the property.
When accommodating a foreigner, hoteliers register him or her by entering the full number of the foreigner's name in the passport or the travel document replacing it, the date and year of birth, citizenship, passport number or the travel document replacing it, and the period of their stay in the tourist site.
The services for administrative control of foreigners reflect the announced address in a specialized information file for administrative services to foreigners.
The Regional Department of Education and the Municipality of Plovdiv accept applications from refugees from Ukraine who want to enroll their children in kindergarten or school. Depending on the age, the class completed so far, the location and the desire of the parents, children and refugee students are directed to a specific educational institution. The aim is to complete this preparatory work as soon as possible so that they can start classes as soon as they receive official legal status in Bulgaria. Before admitting the child to school or kindergarten, it is necessary for the Regional Health Inspectorate to check whether he or she has the mandatory immunizations for Bulgaria.
Children of parents with dual citizenship can be admitted to kindergarten or school without going through the procedures for refugees who have only a Ukrainian passport.
Receiving medical care:
The emergency number in the country is 112.
At the suggestion of the Director of the Health Directorate, Dr. Kalin Kalinov, pre-hospital care, women's consultation for pregnant women and pediatric care will be provided if necessary. The mobile teams at the two municipal hospitals will also be available for testing for COVID-19.
In addition to them, DCC-II, located at 110 Shesti Septemvri Blvd. and Medicus Alpha Medical Center at 21 Veliko Tarnovo Street, have also announced free examinations for refugees.
Support and assistance organizations:
There is an active government portal for refugees from Ukraine. In it you can find news about the situation, any requirements related to border crossing and travel, as well as specific requests and offers of help. The address is: https://gov.bg/en/ukraine?fbclid=IwAR3UbqyFXpxfXfCKn7iiDMzLCoTAIO8ssDfh258Gzs51ZimpzjeB5D_ABYc
The mutual aid point of the Ukrainian community under the hills is located at 65 Iztochen Blvd., with an entrance from the parking lot, every day from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm by calling Elena at 0882977154. They constantly receive offers for accommodation and work. The Facebook page is the Ukrainian-Bulgarian Association Plovdiv.
Work in Plovdiv:
Ukrainians and their family members who have been granted temporary protection, asylum or international protection in Bulgaria have the right to work in the country. Persons with refugee or humanitarian status can register as jobseekers at the Labor Office - https://www.az.government.bg/pages/regionalni-obiavi-plovdiv/, at their permanent or current address.
The business in Plovdiv has announced that it is ready to hire Ukrainian citizens. Trakia Economic Zone offers jobs in production. The site of the zone is https://tez.bg/bg/home/.
The information will be updated in a timely manner in case of new conditions and requirements.