Ukrainian Immigration Policies & Support in Germany

Ukrainian Immigration Policies & Support in Germany

Marieke van Iperen
CEO and Co-Founder
min read
April 3, 2022

Entry into Europe

Restrictions related to COVID-19

Currently, you only need to provide evidence that you have either been vaccinated against COVID-19, have been infected and recovered, or have tested negative. However, German police are taking into account the current situation of refugees from Ukraine, and COVID-19 tests are also available at the border.

Visa free entry

Ukrainian nationals are able to enter Germany visa free and stay for up to 90 days without having to register. However, if they will stay for over 90 days, they must submit an application for temporary protection status. It is recommended that when entering, you have a Ukrainian passport or ID. For children, a Ukrainian birth certificate should suffice.

Free on Deutsche Bahn, the German railway system

You won’t need a ticket to enter Germany by train, a Ukrainian passport or corresponding Ukrainian ID document is sufficient. For onward journeys on long-distance transport, you can get a “helpukraine” ticket in DB travel centres (located in train stations) free of charge. Ukrainians do not need a ticket to travel on local German public transport.

Local public transport, such as buses or S-Bahn (city trains), can be used for free in many cities eg. in Berlin and Brandenburg.


Leaving Ukraine

From 24th February, men between 18-60 years cannot leave Ukraine (unless the man has sole care for his child, has 3 or more children or has medical issues).

Entering Ukraine

It is advised not to travel to Ukraine


Entering Germany

Exit is possible via land borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary (West), Moldova, Romania (SW). All these countries currently allow Ukrainian citizens to enter visa free. Advisable to bring:

- Passport

- Ukrainian Work permit, if applicable

- Driving licence

- BC/MC/Diploma

- Medical documents

Residence permit application

Due to the war, the use of a special protection status was agreed upon and referred to as temporary protection. This enables Ukrainian nationals and certain third-country nationals coming to Germany to obtain a residence permit more easily due to the war in Ukraine. This residence permit is granted by the immigration authorities in the form of a humanitarian residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act.

For more details

Moving between and staying in other EU countries

Ukrainian citizens who have entered without a visa but with a biometric passport may travel within the EU and Schengen area.

However, if you have a residence permit for a Member State, this only applies for 90 days within a period of 180 days. It is only possible to move with approval from the member state you intend to move to. You will need to apply for a work permit from each country in which you intend to work (i.e. being there while you work). You can find information below for Ukrainian citizens who do not have a biometric passport and therefore require a visa.

Travelling with birth certificates of children, if possible

Financial and accommodation support

If you require support, for example with accommodation, meals or medical care, you are entitled to benefits pursuant to the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act.

If you are initially granted a temporary so-called "fictitious certificate" (Fiktionsbescheinigung) and/or (subsequently) a residence permit according to § 24 AufenthG, you shall also be entitled to benefits according to the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act.

If you are employed or remain in Germany for at least 15 months, you are entitled to child benefits. If necessary, this will be offset against your existing claims under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act.

Temporary Housing

You do not need to apply for asylum to receive housing. There are several initiatives for temporary housing for Ukrainian nationals.

Minors may not be privately housed without their families under any circumstances.

The helpline Gewalt gegen Frauen (violence towards women) provides free advice by phone on 08000 116 016, as well as by e-mail and online chat in 18 languages, including Ukrainian.

You may also be housed in an immigration reception centre or emergency accommodation provided by the individual federal states. Please ask your local immigration authority or the police for an address.


Emergency reception centres

Each city has set up its own way of helping and registering refugees.


No need to apply for Asylum

Ukrainian nationals are advised not to apply for asylum. However, the right to apply for asylum at a later point in time remains independent of this. Registration upon entry does not constitute an application for asylum. It is not necessary to submit an application for asylum to secure a right of residence or to claim social benefits.


Medical Care for Ukrainians in Germany

Since the 1st of June, people fleeing from Ukraine in need of assistance have been eligible for medical services. After meeting residency conditions, they have access to statutory health insurance and its services.


You can get vaccinated against COVID-19 for free at vaccination centers, doctor’s surgeries or in pharmacies.

More on COVID in Germany

Learning German language

Refugees from Ukraine can take part in integration courses free of charge.

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