Majority of Ukrainian refugees remain in Belgium
A large proportion of fleeing Ukrainians who have applied for temporary protection in Belgium remain here, according to figures revealed on Friday by the state secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor. The majority have already renewed their so-called 'A-card', a proof of identity that expired on March 4. One-third, more than 25,000 Ukrainians, did not.
Some 66,648 Ukrainians have been granted temporary protection status in Belgium since March 2022. They are then given an A-card in the municipality where they will live or be accommodated. This proof of identity is needed to open a bank account or sign an employment contract, among other things.
The cards expired on March 4 and had to be renewed a fortnight ago. 40,422 Ukrainians have already done so. Why over 25,000 others, who already applied for a card once, did not do so again is not systematically tracked. They may have returned to Ukraine or gone to a different country. Some have yet to renew their residence card or are currently going through the procedure.
A registration centre for Ukrainian refugees in Brussels, March 2022 © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT