You can find lots of information for refugees staying in the Netherlands at www.refugeehelp.nl. The information on this platform is available in Dutch, English, Ukrainian and Russian. The website explains how assistance to refugees is organised at the national level. Please note that other arrangements may apply or be organised for you in the municipality where you are staying.
Topics on which you can find more information on Refugeehelp:
- Arrival in the Netherlands
- Temporary Protective Direction
- Non-Ukrainian citizenship
- Return to Ukraine
- Proof of residence
Red Cross support hotline
The Red Cross has provided a WhatsApp support hotline for Ukrainian refugees. You can send a WhatsApp (voice) message to +31 6 48 15 80 53. You can do this in Ukrainian, Russian or English. More information about the WhatsApp support hotline:
- Ukrainian: rodekruis.nl/ukrainian
- Russian: rodekruis.nl/russian
- English: rodekruis.nl/english-information
A volunteer will contact you as soon as possible in the language of your choice.
Proof of residence (sticker)
A residence endorsement sticker will be put in your passport. This is proof that you are allowed to stay in the Netherlands while awaiting the necessary procedure and that you have legal residency status. Various government and other agencies may ask to see this sticker. To obtain proof of residence, you need to schedule an appointment at an IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) desk. To schedule an appointment and find the desk nearest you, go to refugeepass.nl. More information about the appointment and what it involves can be found at Refugeepass.nl.
Extension of proof of residence
Now that the Temporary Protection Directive has been extended until March 4, 2024, it is also important to extend your proof of residency. You do not need to make an appointment with the IND to have your proof of residence extended.
Did you flee Ukraine but do you not have the Ukrainian citizenship? Then many rules are different. On RefugeeHelp you can read about important topics you may have to deal with.
Regional information for refugees in Zuid-Holland-Zuid
The Zuid-Holland Zuid region includes the following municipalities: Dordrecht, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Zwijndrecht, Alblasserdam, Gorinchem, Hardinxveld-Giessendam, Papendrecht, Sliedrecht, Molenlanden and Hoeksche Waard.
Websites of the municipalities with information for refugees
The municipalities have set up websites with information for refugees. These are listed below. A lot of the information on these websites is in Dutch.
- Alblasserdam: alblasserdam.nl/oekraine
- Dordrecht: dordtvooroekraine.nl / dordrecht.nl/oekraine
- Hardinxveld-Giessendam: hardinxveld-giessendam.nl/oekraine
- Gorinchem: gorinchem.nl/oekraine
- Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht: h-i-ambacht.nl/oekraine
- Molenlanden: molenlanden.nl/opvang-oekrainers-molenlanden
- Hoeksche Waard: gemeentehw.nl/oekraine
- Zwijndrecht: zwijndrecht.nl/oekraine
- Papendrecht: papendrecht.nl/oekraine
- Sliedrecht: www.sliedrecht.nl/oekraine
If you are searching for housing in one of the municipalities in this region, contact the municipality or call the police at 0900-8844 (Dutch and English).
Phone numbers of the municipalities:
- Alblasserdam: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Dordrecht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Gorinchem: 14 0183
- Hardinxveld-Giessendam: 14 0184
- Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Hoeksche Waard: 14 0186
- Molenlanden: 088 75 15 000
- Papendrecht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Sliedrecht: 14 0184
- Zwijndrecht: 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
You will be taken to a reception centre as soon as possible. We will immediately try to offer you a place where you can stay for a longer period of time. You may also first be sent to the emergency accommodation in Dordrecht first. There you will receive a warm welcome as well as food and a place to sleep. From there we will make sure that you are transferred to another reception centre as soon as possible, where you can stay for a longer period of time. If our reception centres are full, we will ensure that you get a place in another region.
Are you staying with someone else and are you searching for other housing? Contact the municipality where you are staying or that you want to move to.
Support in the reception centre
There are people at almost all reception centres who can help you. You can contact them with all your questions. The site manager liaises with the municipality and the safety region. Arrangements have also been made at all sites so you can receive care quickly if you need it. Enquire with the site manager.
Housing on a ship
We live in a region with plenty of water. Some of the accommodation is on a cruise ship. These Rhine cruise ships are intended for sailing holidays.
Which ships are being used as reception centres?
Currently there are two ships:
Bellissima in Zwijndrecht
BellRiva in Dordrecht
Who can stay on these ships?
Unfortunately pets are not allowed on these cruise ships. We also cannot accept children under the age of 12. Children under twelve years of age sometimes climb on things without thinking and this is unsafe when you are on or near water.
Is the accommodation on cruise ships safe?
The accommodation on cruise ships is safe. These are large ships. The ships are moored at a quay and there are ship gangways so you can safely exit or board the ship.
Registration/Registration and living allowance
If you are from Ukraine and have a Ukrainian passport or permanent residence permit, you do not need to apply for asylum directly or go to Ter Apel. In your situation, the special Temporary Protection Directive applies. You must, however, register directly with the municipality where you are staying, see BRP Registration for Ukrainians. This will enable you to receive a living allowance and benefit from other assistance services provided by the municipality. Even if you are only planning to stay in the Netherlands for a short time.
Refugees from Ukraine without Ukrainian nationality, who had a temporary residence permit in Ukraine, must apply for asylum in Ter Apel immediately upon arrival in the Netherlands as from 19 July 2022. In this case, they are not entitled to assistance from the crisis centre (hub) at Crownpoint in Dordrecht.
Several municipalities in the region have a living allowance scheme:
- Municipalities in Dordrecht, Zwijndrecht, Papendrecht, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Sliedrecht, Ablasserdam and Hardinxveld-Giessendam.
- Municipality of Gorinchem.
- Municipality of Molenlanden.
New rules on living allowance and reception for refugees from Ukraine
The rules governing the reception and living allowance provided to Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands are about to change. These changes will be introduced in two phases, in December 2022 and February 2023. The rules are laid down in the Regulation on reception of displaced persons from Ukraine (Regeling opvang ontheemden Oekraïne, RooO). This factsheet contains information on the exact nature of the changes and how they will affect you and your family.
Proof of residence (sticker)
A residence endorsement sticker will be put in your passport. This is proof that you are allowed to stay in the Netherlands while awaiting the necessary procedure and that you have legal residency status. Various government and other agencies may ask to see this sticker. To obtain proof of residence, you need to schedule an appointment at an IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) desk. To schedule an appointment and find the desk nearest you, go to refugeepass.nl. More information about the appointment and what it involves can be found at Refugeepass.nl
Extension of proof of residence
Now that the Temporary Protection Directive has been extended until March 4, 2024, it is also important to extend your proof of residency. You do not need to make an appointment with the IND to have your proof of residence extended. From Jan. 27 to Feb. 25, 2023, the IND will send a letter to refugees from Ukraine who are covered by the Temporary Protection Directive. More information..
Return to Ukraine
Do you wish to return to Ukraine? You can choose to arrange this yourself. But you can also receive assistance and support from the Repatriation and Departure Service. They will put you into contact with a coordinator and together you will discuss the possibilities to leave the Netherlands. You will receive information and advice, support for travel documents (including replacements) and any transport assistance needed. Would you like support in returning to Ukraine? Send an email to [email protected] in Dutch, English or Ukrainian and you will be contacted as soon as possible.
Please note: It is important that you deregister from the municipality where you currently live if you decide to leave the Netherlands.
You can find information about national health care at Zorg voor Oekraïense vluchtelingen - GHOR Zuid-Holland Zuid (ghorzhz.nl) or www.refugeehelp.nl
If you are a refugee from Ukraine, you are entitled to medical care in the Netherlands. This includes visits to a general practitioner, midwife/obstetrician and hospital. Your medical care is covered by the RMO (Medical Care for Ukrainian Refugees Regulation). This means that you do not have to pay a health care premium or deductible.
I have recently arrived in the Netherlands and need medical care
When a refugee from Ukraine arrives at the reception centre in Dordrecht, he or she can schedule an appointment with a general practitioner. Depending on the time of day, this is usually possible the very same day. The general practitioner will determine what kind of medical care you need and the medication you need to take. If the medication you require is allowed in the Netherlands, the general practitioner can provide you with a repeat prescription. You can only obtain medicine from a chemist with a prescription from a general practitioner.
Medical care in a municipal reception centre
If medical care is required, you can always get help close to the reception centre. Talk to the site manager. Every site manager has an information sheet with a list of nearby doctors, dentists, midwives/obstetricians, chemists, youth care, etc. There is always a doctor available during the day, in the evening, during the night and on weekends.
Some of the reception centres in our region also organise consultations with a doctor a few times a week.
Medical care for people staying with private individuals
If you are staying with private individuals, you are also entitled to medical care from a general practitioner or dentist. In this case, you use the general practitioner or dentist of your host family.
I need mental health help. Where can I find this?
If you require mental health help, you first talk to a general practitioner. The doctor will then refer you to more specialised mental health services. Ask the site manager or your host family about contacting a general practitioner.
Do I have to pay for medical care?
If you have a passport and a Citizen Service Number (BSN), you show this to the medical professional. The costs will be paid through the RMO (Medical Care for Ukrainian Refugees Regulation). This takes place automatically and you do not have to do or pay anything. If you do not (yet) have a passport or Citizen Service Number, the CAK will pay for your medical care. You do not have to do or pay anything in this case either.
The site managers and reception centres have an information sheet with cost reimbursement information.
You can find more information online at Rijksoverheid.nl (only in Dutch) about what is covered under the basic package and which treatments are reimbursed.
Do I need health care insurance?
No, you do not. From 1 July 2022, both employed and unemployed refugees from Ukraine who are registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP) are automatically covered by the Medical Care for Ukrainian Refugees Regulation (RMO). This means that refugees from Ukraine no longer have to have private health insurance. You do not pay a health care premium and you are not entitled to a health care allowance. More information can be found at www.zorgverzekeringslijn.nl (including Ukrainian).
Are refugees from Ukraine vaccinated in the Netherlands?
Refugees from Ukraine join the Dutch National Immunisation Programme in order to prevent an increase of polio, measles and COVID infections. The Dutch Public Health Service GGD (Jong JGZ) provides information on this and, if necessary, administers these vaccinations. They also visit the reception centres to provide information.
Do you have symptoms of coronavirus? Take a self-test. Did you test positive? Stay at home (self-isolation). The people who live in your house must check whether they must quarantine. You can do this online at Quarantainecheck.rijksoverheid.nl (English version available). Contact the site manager of your reception centre in case of doubt or if you have questions. Contact the local doctor if you are staying with private individuals.
Ukrainian refugees travel for free on all public transport in the Netherlands during their flight. You can find more information at www.ov-nl.nl/vrij-reisrecht-voor-oekraiense-vluchtelingen (in Dutch).
Emergencies: call 112.
You can find general information about safety and help online at www.refugeehelp.nl.
Safety of your accommodation
Please contact your site manager if you feel unsafe in your reception centre. If you are staying with someone in their home and you feel unsafe, please call the police at 0900-8844.
Coercion, exploitation and work conditions
You can also find more information in:
School, daytime activities and work
The municipalities in our region are working together to offer appropriate solutions for education. As soon as more is known about regional solutions, we will provide an update here.
If you have any questions about education at the moment, contact the municipality where you are staying.
www.refugeehelp.nl will connect you with organisations that offer various activities, such as Dutch language lessons or sport, music and theatre activities for children through the Youth Fund for Sport and Culture. The municipality where you are staying may also organise activities and/or meetings.
Check www.refugeehelp.nl for more information.
Want to help?
Do you want to offer help during your stay in the Netherlands, for example by helping with education or activities for other refugees from Ukraine? Contact the municipality where you are staying to discuss what is possible. There are also various options at the national level, check www.refugeehelp.nl.
You can find out what to do if you brought a pet at www.refugeehelp.nl. If you bring a pet to a reception centre, have the site manager arrange for your pet to be checked by a vet and receive the necessary vaccinations and passport.
If you are staying with a host family, check if you need to make arrangements for your pet at the NVWA-website (also in Ukrainian, Russian and English).
Phone numbers municipalities
- Alblasserdam 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Dordrecht 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Gorinchem 14 0183
- Hardinxveld-Giessendam 14 0184
- Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Hoeksche Waard 14 0186
- Molenlanden 088 75 15 000
- Papendrecht 14 078 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)
- Sliedrecht 14 0184 (from abroad: +31 78 77 08 301)