Entry: Arriving in Germany, entry rules, onward journey

Willkommen am Hauptbahnhof

Important note

Please note that criminals may be active at Berlin Main Station trying to take advantage of the situation war refugees are in. The police have increased their presence at the main station to ensure your safety and security. Please first go to the arrival tent “Welcome Hall Land Berlin” on Washingtonplatz in front of the main station if you require assistance or are looking for accommodation. All further assistance will be coordinated from there.

Visa-free entry for all war refugees from Ukraine

All people who were in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 may enter Germany without a visa and stay on German territory. This applies initially until 31 August 2022. You do not need a biometric passport or Schengen visa to come to Germany and Berlin. Visa-free entry is possible for all people, irrespective of their nationality, if they were in Ukraine on 24 February.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community issued a ruling to this effect on 9 March. This applies retroactively to 24 February 2022: If you entered Germany before 9 March without a visa and without biometric identity papers, you are still in Germany legally and can claim support. For Ukrainian citizens and people with refugee status in Ukraine, the following also applies: You are allowed to stay in Germany legally even if you were not in Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

Entry by train and car

Many refugees are entering Germany and Berlin by train. There are train connections from Gdynia, Poznań, Warszawa, Przemyśl, Kraków and Wrocław in Poland, from Budapest in Hungary and from Prague in the Czech Republic. Most trains from Poland travel to Berlin, but some also travel to Frankfurt (Oder), Cottbus and Hanover. From Budapest you can travel to Munich, Nuremberg or Passau via Vienna and from Prague to Dresden. There are rumours circulating that arrival and registration are only possible in Berlin. This is false. You can register and receive assistance in all German towns and cities.

Travelling by train is free of charge for refugees. You do not need a ticket. You will be provided with food during the journey. Some powerbanks with charging cables are also available. Please feel free to use them and leave them on the train after your journey. There will be helpers and attendants on the trains to assist you with questions and medical needs. Do not hesitate to ask!

If you are not being picked up by friends or family, please first go to the “Welcome Hall Berlin” arrival tent at Berlin Main Station. All further help and assistance will be coordinated from there. If you need accommodation, free shuttles will take you there. Please approach a police officer immediately if you feel unsafe or are offered money for accommodation.

You can also enter Germany in your own car. In Germany, third-party liability insurance is mandatory. If your car is not insured, the German Insurance Association (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft) will cover possible third-party liability claims until the end of May 2022. If this applies to you contact the German Green Card Bureau (Deutsche Büro Grüne Karte)

Information on safety and security

Please note that criminals may be active at Berlin Main Station trying to take advantage of the situation war refugees are in. The police have increased their presence at the main station to ensure your safety and security. Please first go to the arrival tent “Welcome Hall Land Berlin” on Washingtonplatz in front of the main station if you require assistance or are looking for accommodation. All further assistance will be coordinated from there.

Please approach a police officer immediately and ask bystanders for help if you feel unsafe, you are being harassed or you are being offered money for accommodation. Unaccompanied children and young people are never placed directly in private accommodation, they are first registered at an initial reception centre. A mobile child protection/youth welfare team has been set up: You can identify the members by their red waistcoats with the logo “mobile child protection/youth welfare team”.

Onward travel to another federal state or EU country

If you do not wish to stay in Berlin, you can travel to another federal state free of charge. Buses are available for this purpose, for instance. You can also continue your journey by train. You can get a free “helpukraine” ticket at the DB Reisezentrum (German Rail Travel Centre). This allows you to travel to any destination in Germany and to numerous destinations abroad. It is possible to travel to Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and South Tyrol. Please note that if you register as a war refugee, you may be assigned to another federal state so that war refugees are not only hosted and provided for in the state of Berlin.

Further information

Regenbogenflagge in Berlin

Contact points for LGBTI refugees

Berlin is rainbow city and supports LGBTI refugees along with many projects and institutions. LGBTI refugees can get support at at lot of contact points in the city. Contact points for LGBTI refugees