Registering as a war refugee: rights and obligations arising from temporary protection status

Ukrainische Pässe

Ukrainian refugees who have fled Ukraine since 24 February 2022 can obtain war-refugee status throughout the EU. This is also known as temporary protection status. Two steps are necessary to obtain this status.

Firstly, it will be decided at the Arrival Centre in Tegel whether you will stay in Berlin or be allocated to another federal state. If you have relatives or close friends in Berlin, please inform us at the Arrival Centre. As a rule, you can stay in Berlin if your spouse or civil partner, your children, parents or an unmarried, minor sibling already live here. In the case of second-degree relatives (grandparents or grandchildren), authorities will check whether you were completely or largely dependent on the part of the family living in Berlin (financial dependence, dependence in terms of living situation, dependence due to nursing care etc.). This dependency must be proven. You can also stay in Berlin if you have found permanent accommodation or a job in Berlin. If you have a trans* or inter* identity, you will be allocated to Berlin.

The following persons receive temporary protection status:
  • Ukrainian nationals and their close family members who have fled Ukraine since 24 February 2022
  • Non-Ukrainian nationals, stateless persons and their close family members who are recognised as refugees in Ukraine or possess international protection status
  • Non-Ukrainian nationals who cannot return safely to their country of origin

Ukrainian refugees who already have a residence permit as a refugee in Poland, for example, can receive a residence permit in Germany under the same conditions as refugees who come directly from Ukraine.

Registering as a war refugee and the allocation decision

You do not have to register as a war refugee immediately. You can stay in Germany without a visa or residence permit for up to 90 days after entering the country. However, if you wish to stay longer, find work or claim social benefits, you must register and apply for a residence permit.

In order to register, go to the Arrival Centre at Tegel Airport. Take the S-Bahn or U-Bahn to the station Jungfernheide. From there, shuttle bus number 410 will take you to the Ukraine Arrival Centre at the former Berlin-Tegel airport. This bus also stops at the U-Bahn station Jakob-Kaiser-Platz and at the General-Ganeval-Brücke. You cannot reach the airport by foot! The shuttle bus is free of charge and a bus comes every 10 minutes starting on 1 May 2023. The shuttle bus will also take you from the Ukraine Arrival Centre back to the Jungfernheide station.

Alternatively, you can take bus number 109 from the stations Zoo or Charlottenburg and transfer to the shuttle bus 410 at General-Ganeval-Brücke. Please note: You must pay the regular BVG fare to take bus 109.

At the Arrival Centre it is decided assess whether you can stay in Berlin or will be allocated to another federal state in Germany. The allocation takes place according to the Königstein distribution scale, by which about 5 percent of all refugees can stay in Berlin. If another federal state is responsible for your accommodation and supplying your basic needs, you can travel there free of charge and apply for a residence permit on arrival. If you have relatives in Berlin, or you have found permanent accommodation or you have found a job, you can usually remain in Berlin. This applies regardless of whether your relatives have lived in Berlin for some time or whether they also fled from the war and already have a right of residence in Berlin. If you have a trans* or inter* identity, you will be allocated to Berlin.

If you are able to stay in Berlin, you will also be registered at the Arrival Centre in Tegel.

Registration usually takes 20 to 60 minutes. To make sure the appointment goes as smoothly as possible, please bring the following documents with you:

  • Ukrainian identity documents or residence permit in Ukraine
  • If available: residents’ registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung), lease or your current address if you have made your own accommodation arrangements with friends or family.

During the registration, your fingerprint and photos of you will be taken. After the registration, you are not yet allowed to work and do not yet have a residence permit. To receive a residence permit you have to apply online.

Applying for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis)

If you are registered in Berlin, you can apply for a residence permit. An online procedure is available for this. You can access the online application here.

The temporary residence permit will be issued for an initial period of two years; depending on how the situation develops, it may be possible to extend this to three years. It may take some time to process your application. All rights and obligations arising from the temporary residence permit will already apply to you through the confirmation (“Certificate of an application for refugees from Ukraine for temporary protection under §24 Residence Act”) you will receive after completing the online application.

Extending a residence permit

If you have a residence permit, you can request an extension using the online request form. The confirmation of your request confirms that your residence permit remains valid in Germany beyond the expiry date. Your work permit also remains valid.

Rights: You are entitled to these benefits as a war refugee

If you have submitted an online application for a residence permit, you are entitled to claim social benefits and standard health care.

After submitting your online application for a residence permit, you will receive a PDF document as confirmation. This certificate or the confirmation of registration in Berlin allows you to apply for social benefits – for instance a health card or accommodation costs. You apply for these at the social services (Sozialamt) office responsible for you, which belongs to the district you are living in. An overview of the social services offices in Berlin is available here. In order for the costs of your accommodation to be paid, some requirements must be met. You need a tenancy or subtenancy agreement. In addition, the rent must not exceed certain maximum limits and the accommodation must comply with certain minimum sizes, depending on the number of residents. You can find more information here.

The certificate of your online application also allows you to work.

Obligations for war refugees

As a matter of principle, you must follow the laws and regulations applicable in Germany and Berlin.

You are required to register your residence within two weeks of moving in. A specific citizens’ registration office is responsible for the area where you live. You can find more information here.

Children aged six or older are required to attend school. Refugee children must also attend school after arriving in Germany. Further information is available here.

Regulations for non-Ukrainian students

If you are a non-Ukrainian citizen who studied in Ukraine on 24 February and would like to continue your studies in Berlin, you can submit an online application for a residence permit. To do so, you must first register at the Arrival Centre Tegel and be allocated to Berlin.

If you do not receive a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act, you can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying or carrying out vocational training (Section 16b of the Residence Act). This requires, among other things, admission to a university or taking part in preparatory measures to study at university, such as attending a preparatory course together with proof that you can finance your livelihood. If you cannot yet fully meet these requirements, you will first be issued a temporary residence permit.

Further information


Online application for residence permits

Online application for residence permits for the purpose of temporary protection for refugees from Ukraine. More information


Applying for social benefits

Information on applying for social benefits: downloading the form, the required documents and the contact details of the relevant office. More information

Ankunftszentrum Tegel

Your first days in Berlin: accommodation and support

If staying with friends or relatives in Berlin is a possibility for you, the following applies: Since you are residing in Germany legally, you do not have to register with the authorities initially. More information

Brandenburger Tor

Arrival: Important information for refugees from Ukraine

Important information for refugees from Ukraine: Visa and right of residence, accommodation and registration, asylum application and “temporary protection status”. More information