resources for displaced designers

07.04.2022 Professional Practice

We've started a resource page collecting info for displaced designers seeking legal information to facilitate their relocation to a new country. This resource was created by European ICoD Members in response to the incoming Ukrainian refugees, so the info is primarily from that region. But we hope to expand it for displaced designers around the globe.

Our Members in Europe have been working to welcome the designers among the displaced Ukrainians joining their communities. They have developed online resources, including job search site and are hosting local events, making available co-working spaces and access to computers and other supplies. Designers that are finding themselves in new countries, needing to find work. They need a community first and foremost. We encourage all our Members to create opportunities for designers newly arriving in their countries. In order to work, one needs a legal status, be that a legal residency, working permit or the capacity to incorporate an entity (studio or other) through which to take contracts. The below is a compilation of this legal information provided by our Member associations. The URLs listed link directly to government websites, which are regularly updated.


Citizens of Ukraine who hold a valid biometric passport can stay in the territory of the Czech Republic for a period of 90 days without a visa. It is necessary to register with the Foreign Police within 30 days. Those wanting to stay for longer may apply for temporary protection. The Czech Ministry of the Interior has updated information in English and Ukrainian.  The Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs has useful information for new arrivals and also for people wanting to help those that are newly arrived.


Ukrainian nationals can apply for 'temporary protection', a one year residence permit that allows Ukrainian citizens and their family members equal rights as Estonian residents. This applies to stateless and third country nationals living in Ukraine before the breakout of hostilities under some conditions. The Estonian Ministry of Education and research has relevant information in Ukrainian as well as Estonian, English and Russian. The Estonian Refugee Council offers some useful information including counseling services. The City of Talinn has their own support page for those that have recently landed in the capital.


The government of Finland allows for temporary protection status for those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Those granted a residence permit based on temporary protection, are allowed to work and study without restrictions. This status can be applied for with the Finnish Immigration Service. Designers arriving in Finland should refer to the web portal of Grafia the Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland. The website details information including the posting of design jobs in Finland.


The German government has introduced a special measure that applies to displaced Ukrainian nationals and stateless persons and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine who enjoyed international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, permitting them to apply for residency. Ukrainian citizens can currently reside in Germany without a visa until 23 May 2022 or live freely in the EU and move within the EU for 90 days without a visa if they are in possession of a biometric passport. The website of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has information in both German and Ukrainian.


Ukrainian citizens with a biometric passport do not need a visa for their first 90 days in Latvia. Residents without a biometric passport will be issued a visa free of charge. Ukrainians have the right to apply for a long-term visa (one year with the possibility of renewal) with the right to employment, or additionaly to apply for asylum in Latvia. Information for Ukrainians in Latvia is centralised in one web portal The information is available in Ukrainian, English, Latvian and Russian.


Ukrainian Citizens can start work immediately if they have a biometric passport. A work permit is not reuired. Those who do not possess a biometric passport, do not need a work permit either but must register with the Migration Department (Migracijos departamentas prie Lietuvos Respublikos Vidaus reikalų ministerijos). The Migration Department has a website listing comprehensive information for newly arrived Ukrainian Citizens. The Lithuanian Employment Services has further resources in both English and Russian. Legal information for Ukrainian Refugees is available at


Refugees from Ukraine can receive temporary protection in the Netherlands under the EU Temporary Protection Directive. Those that receive the status under this directive can work in the Netherlands without a work permit (in Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning or twv). Information on how to obtain this status in the Netherlands is available from the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service. The Dutch Council for Refugees has the information available in Ukrainian.


The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration provides information on work permits via their online portal. The website has information about applying for protection (asylum) or residence in Norway for Ukrainian and Russian nationals in Norway.


Developed by the Advertising industry in Poland (including our Member STGU!) the website has job postings for designers (and other Ad industry workers) throughout Europe.

The website has job postings for displaced Ukrainian designers


Ukrainian refugees in Spain have the right to request a status of 'temporary protection' that grants  residency and a right to self-employment. CEA(R) is the Spanish Commission for Refugees has information on their website on how to apply for this status in both English and Ukrainian.


Ukrainian citizens as well as stateless and third country citizens that were residing in Ukraine prior to February 2022 can apply for protection status 'S'. Persons holding this status may engage in gainful employment (including self-employment) without a having to wait a certain period to do so. Information is available on the State Secretariat for Migration's site in English, (as well as Italian, German and French) and also Ukrainian.



Find and post jobs:
The Association of Polish Designers (STGU) is working with local partners on a website to post jobs for ad industry workers, including designers. On employers can post job opportunities that are open to Ukrainian refugees, to be completed either in their country or remotely. Associations and Educational Institutions have a good network of studios and other potential employers, so please share information about the site and encourage them to post!

Offer workspaces: Ukrainian designers will need a place to work. More importantly, they will need community support. If your association or school can open your space to displaced designers, please do so. Reach out to your community to encourage them to do likewise.

Share legal information: Every country has different rules for work permits, paying taxes and a legal framework that all newcomers will need to navigate. To complicated matters, many EU countries are instituting special rules for refugees. If you have something to add to the information above, please contact

Offer social opportunities for designers to meet their colleagues:
Anyone newly arriving to your country will need a lot of support – from specifics on where to find the supplies they need or how to draft a contract, to more personal things like new cultural norms or childcare options. If you’re able, open your doors and create opportunities for arriving designers to connect with your local design community. It can make a huge difference.

Do you have information to share with us? Send any useful links and information to

[EDITED 20 April 2022]


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