Wunderflats and thousands of its supporters are assisting refugees from Ukraine with a housing initiative offering safe shelter. If you need accommodations, please click here.
This article provides refugees from Ukraine with the latest information related to their legal situation while staying in Germany. We will continually update the information in this article.
- Will I be able to come to Germany from Ukraine and stay in the country?
- Do I have to register in Germany?
- Which documents will I need for registration?
- Who will be able to register?
- What are the special requirements for children and adolescents who are not yet 18 years old?
- What about any other bureaucratic issues that are of concern in Germany?
- Currently, I do not have an appointment for registering with the authorities. What happens now?
- I have fled Ukraine and would now like to work in Germany. What do I need to do and what do I need to consider?
Will I be able to come to Germany from Ukraine and stay in the country?
Yes. If you had to leave Ukraine due to the war and are seeking refuge in Germany, you can immigrate without a biometric passport, visa, or any other residency title and will be allowed to stay in the country. This is based on the Mandate issued by the German Department of the Interior and Home Country on March 8, 2022. The regulation was initially limited until May 23, 2022, and extended until August 31, 2022 (read more about the designated Mandate here). As of the date of your arrival, you will be legally protected pursuant to § 24 AufenthG. In order to receive a temporary residency permit pursuant to § 24 AufenthG you will have to file an application with the responsible agency for foreign nationals upon arrival. Click here to find the agency for foreign nationals in charge of your case.
Initially, the temporary residency permit will be issued for one year and a prolongation to three years will be possible depending on how the situation evolves.
Do I have to register in Germany?
Upon your arrival, you should register with the competent agency for foreign nationals to receive a temporary residency permit. Once you have received this temporary residence permit pursuant to § 24 AufenthG, you will be eligible for benefits that will cover your everyday and medical needs in accordance with the AsylbLG.
From 01.06.22 onwards, social benefits for war-displaced persons from Ukraine will be paid via the Job Centre or via the basic income support scheme (Grundsicherung). Registration will then be a prerequisite for the payment of social benefits and access to the labor market.
You are principally required to register, for instance at immigrant housing facilities or with agencies for foreign nationals, according to the German Department of the Interior.
With the immigrant contact certificate issued after registration (and in Berlin even without the official certificate) you can go to the competent welfare office to apply for benefits.
In addition, the option to attend integration and language courses should be available as well as the option for children to be enrolled at daycare centers. For children over the age of six, school attendance is mandatory. Currently, the states and municipalities are organizing and planning these arrangements.
Which documents will I need for registration?
In most German states you will first have to make an appointment for your registration. You can make this appointment on the website of the relevant agency for foreign nationals or at the immigrant entry facility as well as the central registration office in Berlin.
For registration, you will need the following documents:
- Ukrainian personal identification documents or residency titles
- Your current address in Germany at your (private) residence – or the registration certificate if you have already registered with the city/municipality
- Evidence of a current negative covid test
- Verification of the appointment made (e.g. confirmation email)
Who will be able to register?
Anyone who has fled Ukraine post February 24, 2022, is eligible for registration.
- Ukrainian citizens who fled Ukraine after February 24, 2022, and their family members
- Non-Ukrainian citizens and those who do not hold a citizenship title who have been accredited as refugees in Ukraine or those who are in possession of an international protection title and their immediate family members
- Non-Ukrainian citizens who were legal residents of Ukraine and do not have the option of a secure return to their countries of origin
What are the special requirements for children and adolescents who are not yet 18 years old?
Children and adolescents under the age of 18 are considered minors in Germany. If they arrive in Germany without an adult who is in charge of them or if they are left behind without such a chaperone, they will be considered unaccompanied minors. The locally responsible Department of Youth agency is in charge of unaccompanied minors (for more information click here for the BAMF information).
In Berlin, minors will be in the custody of the Senate Administration Office for Education, Youth, and Family. The responsible point of contact is the Initial Acceptance and Clearing Office (EAC) at the address Prinzregentenstr. 24, 10715 Berlin. This institution is open around the clock and organizes the acceptance and accommodations for adolescents.
It is mandatory for all children in Germany to attend school as of the age of six. Consequently, children who are refugees will also have to attend school in Germany after their arrival. If you have questions, you may contact the Youth Migration Services or the hotline for parents: +49 800 777 18 77 (Mon-Fri: 9 am – 5 pm, German/English). You can reach their team also via email in other languages at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents who have children under the age of six have the option to request a spot with a daycare center for their children with the responsible Youth Agency.
What about any other bureaucratic issues that are of concern in Germany?
An official registration is of critical importance in Germany. Principally, every person who comes to Germany and intends to stay for more than three months is required to register with the competent agencies with his/her residential address no later than two weeks after their arrival. The exact contact address is the Einwohnermeldeamt (Population Registration Office) or the Bürgeramt (Citizens’ Agency).
If you are a refugee from Ukraine and reside with a family or acquaintances or free of charge with supporters, you will have to register with the registration agency after a maximum of three months. For more information, please consult the Handbook Germany.
Currently, I do not have an appointment for registering with the authorities. What happens now?
All refugees from Ukraine should register with the German authorities. The Department for Refugee Affairs (Landesamtes für Flüchtlingsangelegenheiten – LAF) is currently receiving an exceptionally large number of inquiries. For this reason, in March 2022 the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community declared that refugees from Ukraine do not have to register immediately. This regulation will remain in effect until 31 August 2022.
I have fled Ukraine and would now like to work in Germany. What do I need to do and what do I need to consider?
The provisional residence document that forms part of your right of residence issued by the relevant immigration authority under Section 24 of the AufenthG also includes a work permit. The provisional residence document (and later your temporary residence permit) must include a comment saying “Erwerbstätigkeit erlaubt” (“gainful employment permitted”). You will then be able to undertake any form of employment in Germany, including working as an agency worker. Please keep in mind that under German professional law, there are access restrictions for some professions. This is the case, for example, for medical professions and for jobs in teaching and education. More information on this topic can be found on this Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs webpage or can be obtained directly from the Federal Employment Agency.
Other relevant information can be found in our Blog Article Important Phone Numbers and Points of Contact for Refugees from Ukraine in Germany.
Please keep in mind: This article does not constitute legal advice – the content of this page has been compiled to provide you with information only. We would like to thank the law firm Sozietät Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek for reviewing the German version of this article for legal accuracy pro bono!