Estonia Refuses to Deport Ukrainian Men of Conscription Age with Expired Passports

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.30 - 2024 9:57 AM CET

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Photo: Dmitriy Kandinskiy / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Dmitriy Kandinskiy / Shutterstock.com
Estonia will not deport Ukrainian men of conscription age with expired passports, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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The Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced that it will not deport Ukrainian men of conscription age who are legally residing in the country, even if their passports have expired. This assurance was provided by Anneli Weeks, an advisor at the Department of Citizenship and Migration Policy, and was reported by ERR.

Humanitarian Approach to Immigration

Weeks emphasized that the Ministry of Internal Affairs recognizes the unique circumstances faced by Ukrainians who have fled the war and are now legally residing in Estonia.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs does not plan the forced repatriation of citizens of Ukraine who have fled the war and are legally residing in Estonia, including those who may be targeted for Ukrainian mobilization,” she stated.

As of April 26, there are 6,500 Ukrainian men aged 18-60 in Estonia who have been granted residence permits under temporary protection. This measure provides them with safety and stability away from the conflict in their home country.

Challenges with Travel and Identification

While these individuals will face challenges, such as the inability to travel internationally without a valid passport, their status in Estonia remains secure.

Weeks explained that the absence of a valid travel document does not prevent the possibility of applying for or extending a residence permit, including those under temporary protection.

The Estonian authorities allow for the identification or confirmation of an individual based on other evidence, though these men cannot apply for visas without a valid passport.

By the end of April, approximately 31,000 Ukrainian refugees who fled the war had valid residence permits in Estonia under temporary protection.

Similar accommodations have been reported elsewhere in Europe; for instance, Ukrainians are allowed to stay in Germany even with expired passports.

Polish Minister of Internal Affairs Marcyn Kerwinskyi noted that Poland's decision regarding the extension of temporary protection for Ukrainians would consider Ukraine's suspension of consular services for men aged 18-60.

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