Conflict in Ukraine

1. Overview

Solidarité Ukraine in Geneva

What assistance for Ukrainians fleeing their country ?

Human trafficking

English
українськa

Victim or witness of human traficking : who to contact (in French)

Human trafficking and other forms of abuse : Protect yourself! 

 

Information on the situation in Ukraine

For all questions on Ukraine : ukraine@sem.admin.ch 

 

2. Solidarity with Ukraine

Would you like to welcome a family in exile, make a donation or volunteer your time? Contact 022 420 5900 or find out more about Solidarité Ukraine

To address the massive upcoming humanitarian crisis, the canton of Geneva has set up a welcome and assistance system. It is also appealing to the population for support in order to :

  • Provide accommodation for persons coming from Ukraine
  • Make donations in cash or in kind
  • Become a volunteer to help the aid network

Phone support line 

3. Applying for protection status and the S permit

It is important for people from Ukraine to apply for an S permit, as it entitles them to the following benefits and facilities:

  • Medical care
  • Financial assistance
  • Accommodation (with private individuals or in a structure provided by the State of Geneva)
  • Schooling for children
  • Possibility of enrolling in French language courses
  • Possibility to work
  • Free movement throughout the Schengen zone

Download the procedure to obtain an S permit for persons in need of protection coming from Ukraine


Step 1: applying for protection
  • Persons from Ukraine who wish to apply for protection in Switzerland must go to a Federal centre for asylum seekers (FCA) with procedural tasks, where their application will be processed.
  • Persons who already have an address in Switzerland and an identity document must make an appointment directly at RegisterMe for registration in a FCA. They will receive a link to download a train ticket to the FCA. The return  ticket will be given ton them when they leave the FCA.
  • They must in principle present themselves in person at the FCA. It is not possible to be represented by somebody else.
  • If the person concerned is in possession of a biometric passport, it must be brought along. If the applicant does not have a biometric passport, he/she will be asked to prove his/her Ukrainian citizenship by other documents or means.
Federal centres for asylum seekers (FCA) 

Before going to one of the FCAs, we advise you check the administrative charge status in each of these FAC.

Boudry
Rue de l’Hôpital 60
2017 Boudry

T. 058 465 03 03

Map

Bern

Morillonstrasse 75
3007 Bern

T. 058 465 75 80

Map

Basel

Freiburgerstrasse 50

4057 Basel

T. 058 482 12 82

Map

 

Chiasso

Via Milano 23

6830 Chiasso

T. 058 466 70 10

Map 

Zürich

Duttweilerstrasse 11

8005 Zürich

T. 058 480 14 80

Map

Altstätten SG

Bleichemühlistrasse 6

9450 Altstätten

T. 058 480 49 50

Map

The closest FCA to the canton of Geneva is the centre in Boudry (Neuchâtel), which is open 24 hours a day.

Public transport in Switzerland is no longer free for refugees from Ukraine. Only the entry into Switzerland and the crossing of the country remain free. 
  • Once the application for protection has been registered, the person concerned will be allocated accommodation in a canton. If the asylum seeker was already living in a private household and is willing and able to stay there, he or she may return to that household and be assigned to the corresponding canton.
     
Step 2: Persons allocated to the canton of Geneva
  • Persons referred to the canton of Geneva must report to the Hospice général:
Centre du Bouchet

Centre administratif du Bouchet

Accueil Ukraine
Route de Meyrin 49 - 1203 Geneva

 

Mon-Fri
Open 8h30-17h30 non-stop 

​​​​​​
Tram 14 going towards Meyrin-Gravière - Bouchet bus stop

 

  • They will receive all necessary assistance: accommodation (if they do not already have housing), health insurance, financial assistance, as well as confirmation of the date and time of their appointment to provide the required data for their S permit.

Step 3: Issuing the S permit
  • The S permit is issued in a credit card format. It involves taking the following biometric data: photo and signature.
  • All concerned persons are invited to present themselves without an appointment between 8 a.m. and 12 noon at the dedicated counter of the Office cantonal de la population et des migrations (Cantonal Office of Population and Migration).
OCPM

Office cantonal de la population et des migrations

Route de Chancy 88
1213 Onex

Reception hours : Monday to Friday 8h-12h
Tram 14 going towards Bernex-Vailly - "Bandol" bus stop

 

ocpm.ukraine@etat.ge.ch

  • Applicants must show up with the following documents: the laissez-passer issued by the FCA; the decision of the Federal migration secretariat (SEM) granting temporary protection status and their passport (or any other document proving their identity).
  • The S permit is sent directly by registered mail within 5 to 7 working days to the address of the person concerned.

 

FAQ on protection status and S permit 

Who may benefit from the S protection status?

The S protection status will be granted to :

  • Ukrainian citizens seeking protection and their family members (partners, minor children and other close relatives whom they were fully or partially supporting at the time of escape) who resided in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
  • Persons of other nationalities and stateless persons seeking protection and their family members (as listed above) who had national or international protection status in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
  • Persons of other nationalities and stateless persons seeking protection and their family members (as listed above) who can prove via a valid short-term or residence permit that they had a legitimate right to reside in Ukraine and who are unable to return to their country of origin on a safe and sustainable basis.

S status will not be granted to persons who have already obtained protection status in another EU state (Directive 2001/55/EC).

 

What is the S protection status?

The S protection status provides collective protection to a defined group of persons during the duration of a serious threat.

The S protection status entitles someone to a right to stay as well as a right to have access to accommodation, assistance and medical care. It allows for family reunification and children may attend school.

For more information : The federal state secretariat for migration "S protection status Fact sheet" (currently available only in French, German and Italian):

 

What is the duration of the protection afforded by the S permit?

The S permit is valid for 1 year. It can be extended for a maximum total of 5 years. If after 5 years the protection status has not been lifted by the federal authorities, a person in need of protection receives a residence permit (permit B).

 

 Is a person with protection status S allowed to work?

A person who has obtained protection status S can work in Switzerland with an authorisation Each new job or change of job is subject to prior authorisation. When applying for a job, the S permit must be submitted to the employer. 

 

What formalities should a Ukrainian person who is already present in Geneva and unable to return to Ukraine take in order to regularise his/her situation?

  • Ukrainian nationals who were temporarily staying in Switzerland for a trip not subject to authorisation (e.g. tourism) may apply for protection in Switzerland (S permit) in a Federal Asylum Centre (FAC).

  • People who do not wish to apply for protection can apply for a national visa (D visa) to legalise their sojourn.

Applications for residence permits (first applications or renewals) which were submitted by Ukrainian nationals before the start of the war will be dealt with in priority by the cantonal authorities.

 

Is a person with S status allowed to travel?

Ukrainian nationals holding a biometric passport may continue to travel within the Schengen area without a visa for 90 days within a period of 180 days. The S residence permit in itself is not a recognised travel document. Ukrainians holding non-biometric passports and third-country nationals who have obtained an S permit should contact the consulates of the countries they intend to visit before travelling abroad to clarify entry requirements.
 

Can a person who has obtained the S status in Switzerland reside in France?

No. People who have obtained an S permit in Switzerland cannot reside in France.
 

Is a person who has been granted S status authorised to relocate to another canton?

Requests to relocate to another canton must be submitted in writing to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) in accordance with the information given under the last item in the section "Cantonal allocation".
 

 

4. Registering children in school

Are you in contact with a refugee family in Geneva? Would you like to help them register their children in school? In accordance with the canton of Geneva's commitment to humanitarian assistance, all children and young people coming from Ukraine are entitled to attend school, regardless of their legal status.

Children do not need to know French to be registered in a school administered by the canton of Geneva.
  • For all questions related to the registration of pupils in compulsory education (4-15 years): T. 022 327 04 82 (office hours); E-mail: admissions.ukraine@etat.ge.ch
  • For all questions related to the registration of pupils in secondary II education (16-18 years): T. 022 388 12 60 (office hours)

For questions related to solidarity actions towards displaced persons from Ukraine:  Solidarité Ukraine  or the Green Line "Solidarité Ukraine": T. 0800 900 995.

5. Access to employment for people with an S permit

Persons who have been granted temporary protection status S may engage in paid employment or self-employment in Switzerland subject to authorisation. 

Each new activity or change of employer is subject to prior authorisation. This prior authorisation is intended to ensure protection against abuses and wage undercutting. The wages and working conditions must be in accordance with the practices of the region, profession and industry concerned. 

The application is submitted to the cantonal office of inspection and labour relations, which charges a fee of CHF 50.00 to check compliance with the work conditions.

How to apply for a work permit?

Applications cannot be filed until protection status has been granted.

The employer or the self-employed person, whose place of business is in Geneva, must apply for a work permit by completing and returning the pS form to the following address: 

Office cantonal de la population et des migrations
Secteur asile
Case postale 2652
1211 Genève 2

The following documents must be enclosed with the application:

  • For an employed activity :
    • Completed pS form
    • Copy of S permit or national identity document
    • Copy of the employment contract signed by both parties
    • Curriculum vitae
       
  • For self-employed activity :
    • Completed pS form
    • Copy of the S permit or a national identity document
    • Summary of project / business plan
    • Curriculum vitae
Any termination of activity must be announced by the last employer/self-employed person using the R form

People who have obtained protection status in France are not allowed to work in Switzerland (it is not possible to obtain a cross-border work permit).

Teleworking

Persons with an S permit who are teleworking for a foreign employer (e.g. for their previous employer in their country of origin) or who are continuing their existing self-employed activity without influencing the Swiss labour market do not need to apply for an authorisation to continue their activity.

 

6. Access to health care and health information

EMERGENCIES

Life-threatening emergency 144
Non life threatening emergency

Adults

Geneva University Hospitals (HUG)

HUG emergency room

Rue Gabrielle-Perret Gentil 2

7j/7 - 24h/24

022 427 88 00

 

Children

Paediatric emergencies

Avenue de la Roseraie 47

7j/7 - 24h/24

 

Psychological support    

Young people

Telephone line: 147

7j/7 - 24h/24

By phone, SMS, chat or e-mail

 

Adults

Telephone line: 143

7j/7 - 24h/24

By phone, SMS, chat or e-mail

 

General health consultation guidelines 

All persons coming from Ukraine are strongly encouraged to have a health screening consultation. The earlier care is provided, the better it is for one' s health.

Geneva's healthcare system looks after new incomers to the canton.

All S permit holders benefit from health insurance with LAMal coverage (basic health insurance).

As soon as S permits have been issued, newly arrived adult refugee may benefit from the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) migrant health programme (PSM), which provides a health assessment consultation to all and the HUG-SAMI paediatric consultation centre will do the same for children aged 0 to 17.  

 

To make an appointment with the PSM (adults)
T. 022 372 03 63
Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) 

Rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4
1205 Geneva

MON-FRI ¦ 9h-11h30 and 13h30-17h.

To make an appointment with the SAMI (children 0-17 yrs)
T. 079 553 86 21
HUG paediatric centre
Hôpital des enfants, rue Willy-Donzé 6
1205 Geneva

MON-FRI ¦ 9h-11h30 and 13h30-17h.

 

After arrival in Geneva | Bouchet reception desk

Since May, when registering at the Bouchet reception of the Hospice General, the nursing staff of the HUG Migrant Health Programme (PSM) are on site to perform a quick assessment of the health needs of all persons coming from Ukraine. This initial assessment is strongly encouraged as it will ensure that the necessary decisions are made quickly to maintain the health of the newcomers.

The nursing staff will be able to issue a prescription when a patient is in need of a treatment that he/she regularly takes.

The medical information collected is confidential and is not passed on to the authorities or social workers.

 

For children aged  0 to 17 years (SAMI)

Children up to 17 years included are taken care of by the HUG-SAMI paediatric consultation centre (SAMI).

To make an appointment with the SAMI
HUG paediatric consultation centre
Hôpital des enfants, rue Willy-Donzé 6
1205 Geneva
T. 079 553 42 52

Paediatricians and doctors provide systematic consultation for all children and adolescents and refer them within the health care system for follow-up.

A child health brochure exists in French, English, Ukrainian and Russian.

 

For adults as of 18 years - PSM

HUG Migrant health program (PSM) - Consultation in Geneva University Hospitals  

To make an appointment with the HUG - PSM
T. 022 372 03 63
MON-FRI ¦ 9h-11h30 and 13h30-17h.
On Wednesdays: only from 13h30-17h

The PSM medical staff systematically carries out at the Bouchet reception of the Hospice General a first assessment of the physical and psychological state of health. If necessary, a medical follow-up is set up. 

The PSM can provide psychological support. It also refers people to specialist doctors according to their needs, for example to a gynaecologist for check-ups in the event of pregnancy, to a cardiologist, a diabetologist or to psychiatric care. 

The HUG also offers a consultation for victims of torture and war (CTG) with specialist doctors and psychologists. It is not always necessary to go there; the need for a CTG consultation is assessed with the PSM medical staff.

 

Waiting period for an appointment

For systematic nursing consultations at the HUG Migrant health program (PSM) and the HUG paediatric consultation centre (SAMI) : expect a delay of about 15 days.

For nursing consultations at the PSM, depending on the type of problem, the secretariat will do its best to respond to each person's request.

The HUG medical staff at the Bouchet reception desk will give priority to persons with the most serious health problems for the first appointment at the hospital. 

Children from 0 to 17 years are invited by telephone or SMS for an appointment in the weeks or months following their arrival in Geneva (depending on their age and pre-existing health problems). There is also a specific consultation for adolescents. Depending on the age of the child, he or she may be referred there.

If a child is ill and is in need of an appointment sooner, one may call 079.553.86.21 (Ukrainian, Russian and French). 

Please bring your vaccination booklet if you have one with you to any appointment

 

Language translation of consultations

A person coming from Ukraine may be accompanied by a relative who will assist and translate for him/her.

If there is a language barrier and a person is not accompanied, the HUG will resort to interpretors via the services of Connexxion and the Geneva Red Cross. The HUG work with interpreters in a trialogue to ensure smooth communication and mutual understanding during consultations. The interpreter acts as a link between the patient and the doctor/nurse/psychologist.  

The interpretor is subject to the confidentiality of his/her function.

 

Coverage of health care costs

Medicare and the canton of Geneva cover the cost of care.

Healthcare and follow-up, including mental health consultations, are free for people who have applied for an S permit

It is therefore very important to register for an S permit.

People without an S permit, i.e. without health insurance, may also benefit from free care at the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG).

Having rapid access to care is a fundamental right. 
Acting quickly reduces damaging impacts on health. 

 

COVID-19 in Switzerland

COVID-19 is still very present in Switzerland. However, the number of severe cases requiring hospitalisation is limited compared to the total number of cases. The health system is currently able to absorb the health needs of the population. 

People arriving from Ukraine are routinely offered the COVID-19 vaccine, especially people over 65, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.

The circulation rate of the virus is already very high in Switzerland. The arrival of a large number of people shoulld therefore not have a major impact on the evolution of the epidemic, given the predominant variant currently circulating. As is the case since the beginning of the pandemic, the cantonal doctor's office continues to closely monitor the evolution of COVID cases in hospitals.

 

Vaccination against COVID-19  

Regular vaccination against COVID-19 is possible at the HUG. The nursing staff of the HUG migrant health programme (PSM),  the HUG-SAMI paediatric consultation centre  and the HUG Youth Health Unit systematically offers them during the health assessment appointment. 

If you have a personal health booklet, please bring it with you to the appointment.
Vaccination against COVID-19 in Geneva
  • Vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly recommended in Switzerland for adults.
  • Children from 5 to 17 years old may also be vaccinated.
  • At the HUG, vaccination is free for everyone, including people who do not have an S permit.

Vaccination for people without an S permit

HUG 
Rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 2-4
Bus : 1,5,7 ou 35 _ Arrêt : Hôpital
T. 022 372 03 94
Mon, Tue, Thu, Frid : 9h-17h
Wed : 9h-12h

Documents to provide:

  • ID card
  • Vaccination booklet if possible 
  • Telephone number
  • Email

 

Vaccination for people with an S permit (with a prior appointment)

One may make an appointment for vaccination by sending an email to vaccination.CMU@hcuge.ch in English, French, Ukrainian or Russian including the following details:

  • First name and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • Information on vaccination history against COVID-19 (which vaccine? date of vaccination, etc.)

Email requests are processed 3 times a week. It may therefore take a few days before you receive an answer.
 

Most common health problems affecting people coming from Ukraine

People arriving in Geneva are currently mainly women with children and elderly people. The following health issues are therefore frequent:

  • Chronic diseases in elderly people (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) which could be worsened by a temporary lack of medication.
  • Mild infectious diseases in children (gastroenteritis, nasopharyngitis) and updating of their vaccinations.
  • Possible cases of COVID 19, but full vaccination and/or booster shots will be systematically offered to arrivals.
  • Gynaecological needs for pregnant women.
  • And above all, for all persons, important mental health needs due to exposure to trauma. Trauma may be primarily related to the bombings, scenes of war or caused secondarily through exposure to news found on social networks and in the media or when receiving bad news concerning close relatives. Such events generate acute stress that can develop into post-traumatic stress and require psychological support, including preventive support, which consists of explaining to people what the symptoms are. Acute reactions to bereavement are also very likely, with the added difficulty of distance and the inability to attend funerals.
  • Increased use of tobacco and other substances (e.g. alcohol) is also possible as a form of 'self-stress management'. It is important to refer persons who appear to be using these substances to health services and again to support persons with stress symptoms in order to limit the use of these substances.

 

MM-Mobile Health Check questionnaire
 

In the interests of their health, people seeking protection are advised to complete the electronic MM-Mobile health check questionnaireavailable on the federal website in several languages including Ukrainian and Russian.
 

After doing so, a person seeking protection will receive a note as to whether it is necessary to consult a doctor. The opportunity to complete the questionnaire is offered to all persons seeking protection at registration.

 

Tuberculosis

 

Tuberculosis (TB) is present in Ukraine but this doesn't imply that all people coming from Ukraine are infected with TB bacteria. However, in order to reduce the risk, all children over 6 months old coming from Ukraine will be tested. 

 

It is recommended to make an appointment for a consultation at the PSM (022 372 03 63), for all people who:
 

  •  have been coughing for more than 10 days, 
  •  are tired (extreme fatigue)
  •  have lost weight
  •  are sweating when resting at night

Treatments for tuberculosis exist and are free of charge for the patient. You may find more information (mode of transmission, treatment, etc.) via the following link: 

 

HIV and hepatitis

 

For people with HIV and/or hepatitis, it is important to know that this  does not have any negative impact on the residence status. It is therefore useful to declare your status in order to be referred to the appropriate services. 

 

For questions related to HIV and to hepatis, you can consult the following documents available in French, Ukrainian or Russian :

 

Sexual and reproductive health

 

For questions related to sexual and reproductive health, you can consult the following documents available in French, Ukrainian or Russian :
 

If you are a victim, witness or perpetrator of psychological, physical, sexual and/or economic violence

 

You may contact either :
 

  • the UIMPV (interdisciplinary unit for medicine and prevention of violence) at 022 372 96 41
  • the LAVI centre (Geneva centre for victims of crime) at 022 320 01 02.

In case of emergencies, call 117 (police) or 144 (medical emergencies).

 

     

    People arriving with their pet dog or cat?

    People arriving from Ukraine with their pet dog or cat must declare it via the Travelling with Pets form available on the federal website which should be completed and sent to: petsukraine@blv.admin.ch. This is to ensure that the animal's vaccinations and documents are up to date.

    Accommodation in the Canton of Geneva with a pet may be complicated.

     

    Must one take iodine tablets in Switzerland?

    Iodine tablets as a protective measure for the population in Switzerland are primarily intended to be taken in the event of an accident in a Swiss nuclear power plant or in a neighbouring country. 

    In the current situation, there is no need to take iodine tablets. Given the distance between Switzerland and the Ukraine, it is highly unlikely that iodine tablets would be needed in Switzerland.
     

     

     

    7. Protection of the Geneva population

    For the time being, no particular measures are recommended for the population.  
    Information
    Swiss Confederation Canton of Geneva | FAQ

    Regarding potential food supplies and basic commodities, the federal government states that, regardless of the current situation, Swiss households should always stock up on emergency supplies.

    Information line

    An information line is available to answer your questions: 022 427 47 47

    Ligne d'information Protection de la population
    Ligne d'information Protection de la population

    Useful links