At the Ukrainian consulate in Krakow, the queue of refugees waiting for papers is getting longer

Audio 01:22

Poland alone hosts more than half of all refugees who have fled since the start of the Russian invasion.


Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

With the war, Ukrainians continue to flee, especially to Poland.

Once in the territory, they are welcomed with food, accommodation...but after a few days, you have to take care of the formalities to stay, which is not always easy.


Read more

With our special correspondent in Krakow


Murielle Paradon

A long line stretches in front of the Ukrainian consulate in Krakow.

Many exhausted women and children. 

Hundreds of them have just arrived in Poland 

and they have sometimes been waiting for several days to obtain papers. 


I need papers for my children,

" explains Darya, a tall blonde in a pink puffer jacket, patiently waiting in line.

I come from Kharkiv.

Kharkiv was bombed, so I went to Poland but in the panic I only took my passport, and if I want to go to a country in the European Union, I need papers for my children.

I want to go, to any country



►Also read: Polish Prime Minister calls for freezing Russian state assets in the West

Others want to stay in Poland.

Cristina, a 25 year old young woman has been living there for years.

She came to the consulate to help her grandmother who fled the fighting in Ukraine to take refuge at home.

We have to make new documents, the Ukrainian passport is not enough.

You have to do these papers to obtain a legal status, it allows you to have a job here, to rent an apartment and to have access to medical care, 

”she explains. 

To facilitate the reception of Ukrainian refugees, the Polish government has adopted a bill that could allow them to stay automatically in Poland for a year and a half. 


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Ukraine

  • Poland

  • Refugees

  • Russia