The OFII at the forefront of the reception of displaced Ukrainians

On Tuesday 8 March, Prime Minister Jean Castex, accompanied by Didier Leschi, the Director General of the OFII, visited the first reception centre for displaced Ukrainians in Paris

In response to the influx of displaced people from Ukraine, a special single desk for asylum seekers, managed jointly by the OFII and the Police and Paris prefectures, has been set up.

photo credit: Florian David / Matignon (Prime Minister’s communication service)

On the morning of Tuesday 8 March, Jean Castex was at Porte de la Chapelle in Paris visiting a first reception centre for asylum seekers managed by the association France Terre d’Asile, which is fully mobilised to receive displaced people from Ukraine. On site, the services of the Police Prefecture have set up a special desk for issuing temporary protection residence permits bearing the mention “temporary protection” for displaced Ukrainians and a single desk for asylum seekers (Guda). Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior in charge of Citizenship, Marc Guillaume, Prefect of Paris and the Île-de-France region, Julien Marion, Prefect Delegate for Immigration, Didier Leschi, Director General of OFII and André Genteuil, Territorial Director of OFII in Paris accompanied the Prime Minister.

This measure has proved necessary in recent days to provide the best possible reception for displaced people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the daily proportion of Ukrainians getting an appointment at the single desks for asylum seekers (Guda) of Ile-de-France through the OFII telephone platform has risen sharply from around 1% of daily appointments to over 30%, i.e., almost 150 Ukrainians per day since 28 February, thus becoming the most represented nationality in the calls.

photo credit: Florian David / Matignon (Prime Minister’s communication service)

In line with the European Union’s decision on 4 March, these displaced people can benefit from “temporary protection”. This protection applies to people of Ukrainian nationality and other nationalities residing in Ukraine at the start of the war. This “temporary protection” lasts for 6 months, renewable up to 3 years. It also entitles them to an allowance which is equivalent to the Asylum Seekers Allowance (ADA).

In a brief speech, the Prime Minister recalled that out of the 1.5 million people fleeing this war, estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a little over 5,000 had arrived in France. Some are in transit to Spain and Portugal and the 1,500 who have expressed a need for accommodation are already being accommodated in special facilities.

The government has also set up a system allowing French people to offer accommodation to those displaced by the conflict (Parrainage Réfugiés Info). To this day, more than 10,000 proposals have been received.

Didier Leschi and Jean Castex
An OFII asylum auditor interviewing a refugee in the Prime Minister’s presence.