In a small church hall this spring in East London, some two dozen people who had fled the war in Ukraine drank tea and shared lunch as they tried to meet members of their new community.

Among them were two young men, Abdul Safwa and Muhsen Hamed, who smiled and chatted away with the group in Russian and snippets of Ukrainian as they shared their harrowing experiences.

But unlike the others gathered for the lunch, this was the second time the men had been displaced: first from their home country, Syria, and then from Ukraine, where they had spent the past decade living in limbo.

“I still don’t know if I can stay here or not,” said Mr. Safwa, detailing how they had both applied for asylum in Britain. “How will they act with us? Will they treat us like Ukrainians or Syrians?”

More than seven million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded it in February, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The vast majority were Ukrainian nationals eligible for a plan for temporary resettlement in Britain through the Homes for Ukrainians visa program. European Union countries have offered temporary, visa-free protections for those who have fled the war.

But among those who fled were also people like Mr. Safwa and Mr. Hamed whose status falls into a gray area, and whose search for a safe and prosperous place to build new lives has been complicated. And in some countries, like Britain, they receive more limited support than Ukrainian citizens who fled the same war as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Without Ukrainian citizenship, the men were ineligible to apply for the visa programs that offer temporary resettlement to those who fled the war in Ukraine. Instead, they surreptitiously entered Britain through Ireland — which has allowed for visa-free travel for those fleeing the war — and then applied for asylum.

Shabia Mantoo, a global spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency, said that the phenomenon of people fleeing more than one conflict in this way — known as multiple displacement — is incredibly challenging and increasingly common as the number of people displaced by war continues to rise globally. “It’s a really precarious situation,” she said.

While Ms. Mantoo did not weigh in on Mr. Safwa’s and Mr. Hamed’s particular cases, she said that in their responses to Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war, European countries have shown what they can do to help.

But among those who fled were also people like Mr. Safwa and Mr. Hamed whose status falls into a gray area, and whose search for a safe and prosperous place to build new lives has been complicated. And in some countries, like Britain, they receive more limited support than Ukrainian citizens who fled the same war as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Without Ukrainian citizenship, the men were ineligible to apply for the visa programs that offer temporary resettlement to those who fled the war in Ukraine. Instead, they surreptitiously entered Britain through Ireland — which has allowed for visa-free travel for those fleeing the war — and then applied for asylum.

Shabia Mantoo, a global spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency, said that the phenomenon of people fleeing more than one conflict in this way — known as multiple displacement — is incredibly challenging and increasingly common as the number of people displaced by war continues to rise globally. “It’s a really precarious situation,” she said.

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While Ms. Mantoo did not weigh in on Mr. Safwa’s and Mr. Hamed’s particular cases, she said that in their responses to Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war, European countries have shown what they can do to help.