José Luis Escrivá, Minister for Migration. / e.p.

An estimated 25,000 Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in Spain

Around 9,000 already have their residence and work permits. Some 48 per cent of those who have arrived are well-educated and have a degree, said a government minister

JAVIER ARIAS LOMO Madrid

The Minister for Inclusiveness, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, has estimated that around 25,000 Ukrainian citizens have arrived in Spain since the Russian invasion of their country, and so far 9,000 have already received their residence and work permits.

“That is a good approximate figure, it seems close to reality,” he said in a TV interview, when he also explained that another 9,000 to 10,000 refugees would be getting their residence and work permits soon.

A girl and her pet dog flee the Russian invasion of Ukraine / REUTERS

He clarified that when Ukrainian nationals arrive at the reception centre “they are given permission to stay on the spot, and can also work,” and said that 48 per cent of those who have arrived are well-educated and have a degree.

With regard to the conflict with the region of Madrid over the opening of a reception and registration centre at the Isabel Zendal hospital, the minister said that in all the meetings with the regional governments, including the recent one in La Palma, it had been agreed that there is a need to join forces and work together to be as effective as possible in this strategy, and that has been the case all along.

“The regional governments have to take charge of education, health care and the care of unaccompanied children,” he said, also stressing that the government will reimburse them for all their expenses in dealing with the humanitarian crisis.

For Escrivá, “the importance of not subjecting the refugees to additional bureaucratic processes is evident, and they must receive every type of help and documentation they need. Once those in Madrid have been to the reception centre there, they have every right to use the health and education system,” he said.