Information for refugees from Ukraine - frequently asked questions

Entry & Arrival

I am a refugee from Ukraine and came to Germany from Ukraine before or after 24 February 2022. What is my situation at present regarding right of residence?

You are in Germany legally and with permission. The Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI) has issued an ordinance (Ukraine-Residence-Transitional Ordinance), permitting you to stay here initially until 31 August 2022.

An application for asylum is not necessary for your future protection status.

If you were allocated to Berlin by the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) or another authority or if you have found permanent accommodation in Berlin, please apply to the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA) exclusively online.

You will find further information in the online application.

Should I apply for asylum?

No.

I am a Ukrainian national. Was my crossing the border to come to Berlin permitted and may I reside here?

Yes. By issuing the Ukraine-Residence-Transitional Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has exempted Ukrainian nationals resident in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by 31 August 2022 from the need for a residence permit until 31 August 2022.

This applies regardless of whether you are in possession of a passport or a personal identity card.

I am a Ukrainian citizen and would like to temporarily leave Germany. Am I allowed to re-enter?

Yes. With the enactment of the Ukraine Residence Transition Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has exempted Ukrainian nationals who were staying in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by 31 August 2022 from the requirement of a residence title until 31 August 2022.

Your residence permit as a war refugee also entitles you to travel abroad. The journey may only be temporary and last a maximum of 6 months.

I am a refugee from Ukraine and was recognised there as a refugee under the Geneva Refugee Convention or enjoyed international or equivalent protection status there. Was my crossing the border to come to Berlin permitted and may I reside here?

Yes. By issuing the Ukraine-Residence-Transitional Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has exempted persons resident in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by 31 August 2022 from the need for a residence permit until 31 August 2022.

This applies regardless of whether you are in possession of a travel document for a person granted complementary protection or a travel document for refugees. If you have no valid travel document, please make your online application to the Berlin Immigration Office, which will check to see which German travel document you can be issued as a substitute.

I am a refugee from Ukraine and was recognised there as a refugee under the Geneva Convention or had international or equivalent protection status there and would like to temporarily leave Germany. Am I allowed to re-enter?

Yes. With the enactment of the Ukraine Residence Transition Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has exempted persons who were in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by 31 August 2022 from the requirement of a residence title until 31 August 2022.

Your residence permit also entitles you to travel abroad as a war refugee. The journey may only be temporary and last a maximum of 6 months.

I am a refugee from Ukraine where, as a non-Ukrainian national, I had a Ukrainian residence permit. Was my crossing the border to come to Berlin permitted and may I reside here?

Yes. By issuing the Ukraine-Residence-Transitional Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has exempted foreigners resident in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by 31 August 2022 from the need for a residence permit until 31 August 2022.

That applies regardless of whether you are in possession of a passport or substitute passport. If you have no valid passport, please turn to your embassy here in Berlin or to your consulate-general in Germany.

I am a refugee from Ukraine and had a Ukrainian residence title as a non-Ukrainian national and would like to temporarily leave Germany. Am I allowed to re-enter?

Yes. With the enactment of the Ukraine Residence Transition Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has exempted foreigners who were in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by 31 August 2022 from the requirement of a residence title until 31 August 2022.

Your residence permit also entitles you to travel abroad as a war refugee. The journey may only be temporary and last a maximum of 6 months.

Registration as a Refugee

I fled from Ukraine. How and where can I register as a war refugee?

That depends on your personal situation.

1. If you do not yet have private, permanent accommodation (for at least 6 months) in Berlin, please report to the Ukraine Arrival Centre in the former Tegel Airport at Saatwinkler Damm in 13405 Berlin. There are regular bus shuttles from the Berlin main train station (Hauptbahnhof – Hbf) and the central bus station (Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof Berlin – ZOB). Alternatively, you can take the bus numbers 109 and 128 to the station “General Ganeval Brücke”. From there, shuttle buses will also take you to the Arrival Centre. It is open daily around the clock. If you come by car you can park on deck 4.

At the Arrival Centre in Tegel, we first check whether you will be assigned to another German federal state or whether you meet the requirements to be assigned to Berlin. You can find more on this at “Under what conditions can I stay in Berlin?”

2. If you already have private, permanent accommodation in Berlin (for at least 6 months), you do not need to register in Tegel. Instead, you can apply for a residence permit online: Online Application for Residence Permit.

Further information is provided by the State Office for Immigration (LEA) further down on this page.

Am I obliged to register as a war refugee?

No. As a citizen of Ukraine, you can stay legally in Germany without a visa until 31 August 2022. If you need social benefits (financial support, medical care, accommodation), you must register. Then you have a legal right to state support.

What happens after I register as a war refugee?

At the Ukraine Arrival Centre Tegel, you will be officially registered in Germany and assigned according to a quota system. If you meet certain requirements, you can stay in Berlin and receive your social benefits here.

Otherwise, you will be assigned to another German federal state, where you will receive your social benefits (money, accommodation, medical care).

I am a refugee from Ukraine and have already been recognised as a war refugee in another country of the European Union and have received a residence permit there. Can I enter Germany and also apply for war refugee status here and get access to social assistance?

No, this is not usually possible.

If temporary protection has already been granted in an EU member state and a residence permit has been issued by this state, residence cannot usually be transferred to another EU member state.

Those concerned would first have to apply to their local foreigners’ authority in their EU host country. This application would then be forwarded to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) from the equivalent office there.

If the BAMF declares its consent to the requested transfer of residence, the authorities of the other EU member state will issue a certificate with which the persons concerned can then apply to the relevant German immigration authority for the residence permit pursuant to section 24 of the Residence Act.

Register & Staying in Berlin

Under what conditions can I stay in Berlin?

You can apply at the Ukraine Arrival Centre Tegel to stay in Berlin if at least one of the following conditions applies to you:

  • If you or a close family member have urgent medical, care or mental health needs and are therefore temporarily or permanently unable to travel. This is determined by a doctor at the Arrival Centre.
  • If you have already found a flat or permanent accommodation (for at least 6 months) in Berlin. You must prove this by means of a registration certificate, a certificate from the accommodation provider, a permanent tenancy agreement or a confirmation of accommodation.
  • If your partner, children, parents, siblings, grandparents or grandchildren already live in Berlin.
  • If you already have a job, a training place or a place at university in Berlin. You must prove this in writing.
  • If you are heavily pregnant or have just given birth (maternity leave) and would like to stay in Berlin.

If you do not meet any of these requirements, you can be assigned to another federal state.

I live in a bi-national partnership. Do I have the right to be accommodated together with my partner or to be assigned together to another German federal state?

Yes. Persons who have fled Ukraine and live together in one household will be accommodated together or transferred together to another German federal state.

This applies both to married and unmarried couples. It is irrelevant whether the partners both have Ukrainian citizenship, whether it is a bi-national partnership or whether both partners come from a third country with a residence title for Ukraine. However, it is important that you appear together at the registration appointment and inform the administrative staff that you are one household and would like to be accommodated or assigned together.

I have not yet received my residence permit as a war refugee. Can my family move to me in Berlin from another German city?

This is complicated. Your family should seek local advice. Moving to Berlin without advice is not recommended.

I am a Ukrainian citizen and have fled Ukraine. Can my family member from Ukraine move to Berlin with me?

Yes. With the enactment of the Ukraine Residence Transition Ordinance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has exempted foreigners who were in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by 31 August 2022 from the requirement of a residence title until 31 August 2022.

Until the end of August, your family member can enter Germany from Ukraine without a visa.

The following groups of persons are considered family members of a refugee from Ukraine:

  • Husband/Wife
  • Unmarried partner living in a long-term relationship with the person entitled to protection,
  • Underage, unmarried children,
  • Close relatives, e.g. grandparents, who were living with the family at the outbreak of the war and were dependent on the person admitted to Germany.

Your family member will receive a separate residence permit for war refugees or for family reunification.

I am already registered as a refugee in Berlin and have a residence permit, but I would like to move. Can I still voluntarily report to the Arrival Centre in Tegel in order to be reallocated to another city?

No, after the permit has been issued, a binding residence order has been issued for the state of Berlin in accordance with Section 24 (5) of the Residence Act (AufenthG). Voluntary reallocation through the Arrival Centre in Tegel is therefore no longer possible. In this case, the holders of the residence permit must apply to the State Office for Immigration (LEA) to have their residence obligation lifted or changed in accordance with Sections 12a and 73 para. 3a of the Residence Act.

After an application has been made, the LEA contacts the immigration authority at the desired place of residence and asks for approval to cancel or revoke the residence obligation. If the relevant authority at the desired place of residence agrees to the application, the residence obligation is adjusted accordingly by the LEA. The issued permit remains valid regardless of this and is not reissued at the place of arrival.

Residence permit (online application)

How, where and under what preconditions can I apply for a residence permit for war refugees in Berlin?

You may only make an online application if you have a permanent place of residence in Berlin.

This is the case if you
  • have already been registered by the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) and have been allocated to Berlin (allocation decision) or
  • have registered with a Berlin Residents’ Office (registration certificate) or
  • have an unlimited lease for accommodation in Berlin (lease) or
  • are permanently accommodated in a private apartment (confirmation by landlord/host).

Then you may make an online application to be granted a residence permit via the website of the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA).

Please do NOT make the online application if
  • you are only temporarily accommodated in Berlin (e.g. in emergency accommodation, exhibition halls, churches, tempohomes (containers), hostels, hotels, with private helpers, or the like) and
  • have not been allocated to Berlin. Please go first to the LAF to be registered and allocated.

I have been registered by the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF). Do I still have to make an online application to the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA)?

Yes, if you were allocated to Berlin please make an online application. You need a residence permit to be allowed to stay in Germany. You can only obtain it from the Berlin Immigration Office. When you apply online to be granted a residence permit, we will send you an email with an appointment to appear in person. Please bring the document with the allocation decision to the appointment at the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA).

If you were not allocated to Berlin, please turn to the immigration office (Ausländeramt) at the place to which you were allocated.

I am accommodated privately and consequently not registered with the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF); nor have I been allocated to Berlin yet. Is that a problem?

No, as long as you can remain permanently in your present accommodation. When you come to your appointment, please bring along confirmation of registration with a Berlin Residents’ Office, an unlimited lease or confirmation of accommodation.

After you have been granted your residence permit we will see to it that you are subsequently allocated to Berlin by the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF).

I have submitted an online application but have not yet received an appointment for an interview. What should I do?

Please do not make enquiries. The Berlin Immigration Office (LEA) will send you an appointment by e-mail to the e-mail address given in the online application. Therefore, please regularly check the spam folder of your email inbox in addition to your inbox. However, due to the very high number of refugees from Ukraine in Berlin, it may take some time until you receive the appointment. We ask for your understanding and patience.

How long is the certificate showing that you have made an online application valid for?

The certificate is valid until the decision on granting your residence permit. The precondition is, however, that you appear at the appointment sent you by the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA). This certificate only applies in connection with a valid passport or substitute passport, as well as one of the following documents:

  • a decision allocating you to Berlin from the Berlin Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF), or
  • confirmation of registration from a Berlin Residents’ Office,
  • an unlimited lease for accommodation in Berlin or
  • confirmation by the owner/main tenant, that you are staying in private accommodation and can stay there permanently.

Due to the large number of refugees who have fled to Berlin from Ukraine it is not possible to issue a residence permit to all refugees immediately. Appointments will therefore be granted over an anticipated period of 9 months.

The delay does not entail any disadvantage for you. You residence status is legal and you are allowed to work. The residence permit will be granted you for two years as of the day of your appointment, regardless of whether this is sooner or later.

Please be patient until we notify you by email of your appointment and refrain from making inquiries. To be sure of not missing the email, you should regularly check the spam folder of your email account.

If you have received your appointment and find that you are unable to make it, please let us know. We will postpone our appointment. Your certificate will continue to be valid.

What do I do if other public authorities (e.g. the social welfare offices) or employers do not recognise the certificate?

The Berlin authorities, the Federal Police and the Federal Employment Agency have been informed about our procedure and the certificate.

If another authority or an employer should have queries about our procedure or not accept the certificate you have been sent, please refer them to the latest information on our website.

I have no passport at present but I do have other identity papers like a driving licence, military ID card or birth certificate. Can I obtain a residence permit without a passport?

Yes, a residence permit for war refugees will also be granted if you cannot produce a passport but your identity has been clarified.

Ukrainian nationals who are not in possession of a valid passport or other identity document with a photograph are requested to turn to the Ukraine embassy here in Berlin and to bring the documents issued there to the appointment at the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA).

Non-Ukrainian nationals who are not in possession of a passport are requested to turn to the embassy of their country of origin here in Berlin or to their consulate-general in Germany, and to bring the documents issued there, along with a photo, to the appointment at the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA).

If you were recognised as a refugee in Ukraine under the Geneva Refugee Convention or enjoyed international or equivalent protection status there, the Berlin Immigration Office will check on which German travel document you can be issued as a substitute, once you have made your online application.

On presentation of new, valid documents, the residence permit for war refugees will be issued, as appropriate with a German travel document for foreigners. Both the residence permit and travel document are valid for 2 years. A fee of up to EUR 100 will be charged for the travel document, with no exception being made. The issuing of a substitute travel document is free of charge (EUR 0). Only travel in Germany is possible with the substitute travel document. Travel is possible in most countries with the travel document.

I don’t live in Berlin. Can I make an online application?

No. The online application is only intended for refugees from Ukraine who have already been allocated to Berlin and/or already have permanent accommodation in Berlin. This must be proved by presenting
  • a decision allocating you to Berlin from the Berlin Office for Refugee Affairs, or
  • confirmation of registration from a Berlin Residents’ Office,
  • an unlimited lease for accommodation in Berlin or
  • confirmation by the owner/main tenant, that you are staying in private accommodation and can live there permanently.

If you are residing in Berlin but are only in temporary accommodation (e.g. in emergency accommodation or staying with private helpers) and also have not yet been allocated to Berlin by the Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF), please first go to this office so that you can be registered and allocated.

If you live outside of Berlin, please turn to the immigration office (Ausländeramt) responsible for your place of residence.

What happens if I move after making the online application?

If you move somewhere within Berlin you do not have to inform us. The only important thing is that we can reach you via the email address you have given us.

If you move outside Berlin or even leave Germany, the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA) will no longer be responsible for you. Please cancel the appointment to appear at the office as soon as you receive it by email. Kindly register then, as appropriate, at the immigration office (Ausländeramt) responsible for you at your new place of residence.

What happens to the people who are not aware of the online application or are unable for health reasons to make the online application?

If you know someone who is not in a position to fill out the online application, please support them by filling it out together.
Please note: The online application is also available in Ukrainian, Russian and German.

I made a mistake when registering online. How can I correct it?

If you have made a mistake with your email address: please register again online and give the correct email address. Enter all the other data exactly as before.

If you have made a mistake with your personal details, your address or other information, then no harm is done. We will correct the data when you come to your appointment. The only important thing is that we can reach you via the email address you have given us.

If you have forgotten to mention a member of the family: please register this family member separately.

I am a Ukrainian national, but one or several family members whose names I have listed have another nationality. I was not able to give that information, however. What should I do?

The nationality of the family members whose names you have listed is not relevant. A family member with another nationality can also obtain a residence permit. You do not need to do anything more.

Must every single person register individually online?

No. One member of the family should fill out the online application and give the names of all the other family members.

Family members are in this case not only children under 18 and spouses but also other close relatives (e.g. children aged 18 and over, or grand-parents) with whom you are residing in Berlin in the same accommodation. There is no harm done, however, if these persons register separately for the online application.

Parents and their children under 18 should, however, always be named together in the online application, as that is the only way to guarantee that you all come to the same appointment at the LEA.

I have lost my certificate. What can I do now?

Please enter exactly the same data once again, and then you can download a new certificate. However, we will only send you one appointment to appear in person at the LEA.

I am worried about the personal details that I had to give in the online application. How are my details dealt with?

The details requested for our online application are processed in accordance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

As soon as we have invited you to an appointment, or were able to decide on your application in another way, we will immediately delete these details.

If you have any questions in this regard you are welcome to contact the data protection officer of the Berlin Immigration Office at the following email address: “datenschutz@lea.berlin.de“mailto:datenschutz@lea.berlin.de.

Social benefits

What benefits am I entitled to as a war refugee?

After registration you are entitled to social benefits (maintenance) and medical care if you have been allocated to Berlin. The benefits are paid out by the relevant social welfare office. Even if you are not yet registered as a war refugee, you are entitled to basic medical care. This also applies if you are currently staying in Berlin without a visa and have private accommodation.

For further information, please see: https://www.berlin.de/ukraine/ankommen/sozialleistungen-beantragen/

From 1 June 2022, benefits for you and your family will be paid by the Job Centre if you are not yet retired. Before that, you must attend an appointment to be identified. You will receive an invitation. All information will be published here shortly.

Until then, your benefits will continue to be paid by the relevant social welfare office. As a registered war refugee, you will not be without social benefits at any time.

Accomodation & Housing

I have no family or friends who can take me in. What should I do?

If you are a new arrival in Berlin and do not have accommodation, please report to the new Ukraine Arrival Centre at the former Tegel Airport. A bus shuttle will take you there from the main Berlin train station (Hauptbahnhof) or the central bus station (ZOB). In Tegel, you will receive temporary accommodation and care. Afterwards, you will be assigned to accommodation in Berlin or another federal state. You will then be given your accommodation, social benefits and medical care at your destination.

Alternatively, you can register with a private accommodation agency, for example at www.unterkunft-ukraine.de. At the moment, many people are offering free overnight accommodation for a limited period at these agencies. The state of Berlin does not assume any liability in this case.

I still have not found permanent accommodation in Berlin and am staying temporarily with private helpers or in emergency accommodation. What should I do?

Please do not make an online application to the LEA. First of all, you should go to register at the Ukraine Arrival Centre TXL (former Berlin-Tegel Airport).

The registration desk is open round the clock on every day of the week. You can reach the Arrival Centre TXL by shuttle bus from Berlin Main Station or the Central Omnibus Station Berlin (ZOB).

All members of the family will be registered together in the LAF so all of you must be personally present. Please bring your luggage and your identity documents with you.

My housing confirmation has been cancelled and I no longer have any accommodation. Does this affect my residence permit?

There are two different possibilities in this case:

a) If to date you only have a temporary residence permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung) (online procedure):

Report to the Ukraine Arrival Centre in Tegel. If you fulfil one of the other requirements for staying in Berlin, you will be assigned to Berlin and receive state accommodation (accommodation provided by the district or state). You can find out what these conditions are under the question: “Under which conditions can I stay in Berlin? If you do not have private accommodation and do not fulfil any of the other requirements for remaining in Berlin, you will be allocated from Tegel to another federal state. There you will then receive accommodation and social benefits as well as a residence permit.

b) If the residence permit (after appointment at the LEA) has already been granted (stamp in the passport):

In this case, the loss of permanent accommodation has no effects on residence law. Assignment to Berlin takes place by means of an internal exchange between the authorities. You no longer need to appear in Tegel. If you should lose your accommodation, please contact the relevant social welfare office. You will then be given shelter in an accommodation for refugees or in a social housing assistance facility.

Health & Medical Care

I have no money and no medical care because I am not yet officially registered as a war refugee. Who will help me?

You can only apply for social benefits once you have been assigned and registered in one of the German federal states. You can only receive social benefits in the federal state to which you have been assigned.

If you have fled Ukraine and arrived in Berlin, you can immediately report to the Ukraine Arrival Centre in Tegel without an appointment. There you will either be assigned to another German federal state or assigned to Berlin.

If you already have a flat or permanent accommodation (for at least 6 months) in Berlin, you do not need to register in Tegel. You can register online at the State Office for Immigration (LEA) and receive a confirmation that you can use to present to the Social Welfare Office.

I don't have health insurance. What if I get sick?

If you have an emergency, you can go to the emergency centre at any of Berlin’s hospitals.

Or you can call the medical on-call service at (030)116 117 for outpatient care. As soon as you are registered as a war refugee according to Section 24, you have access to standard medical care.

But even if you are not yet registered as a war refugee, you are already entitled to basic health care.

How do I get health insurance?

People fleeing from Ukraine to Germany do not have health insurance from the day of their arrival. However, they are generally entitled to urgently necessary medical treatment and medication in the case of illness or pain. (see the question: “I don’t have health insurance. What if I get sick?”). If you are already registered as a war refugee in Berlin or are participating in the online procedure of the State Office for Immigration (LEA) and are waiting for your residence title, you can get health insurance from your benefit provider (social welfare office or job centre).

If you take up a job here in Germany, on the other hand, immediate health insurance is necessary. Then you can choose a health insurance scheme yourself or your employer will register you with a statutory health insurance company.

If you have a family member who already lives in Germany and has statutory health insurance here, you may be able to be insured free of charge through “family insurance”. To do this, please contact the relevant health insurance company.

I fled Ukraine and have not yet received a Covid vaccination. Where can I get vaccinated?

You can get vaccinated against Corona at a vaccination centre in the state of Berlin. You can find an overview here:
www.service.berlin.de/standorte/impfzentren (www.service.berlin.de/standorte/impfzentren).

All you need to do is present your official photo ID. Alternatively, you will receive a certificate of vaccination and can get a digital vaccination certificate at any pharmacy, which you can upload to your mobile phone. You can show this at all events you wish to attend or when visiting restaurants and you do not need to take a current Corona test (3G regulation).

You can also get a yellow vaccination certificate (for all future vaccinations) at the pharmacy or from your doctor.
Further information: www.service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/330073

These pages can also be used to book an appointment.

My children and I are under a lot of psychological strain due to having fled Ukraine and the situation at home. Where can I find help?

Talks with experienced therapists can help you to deal with a stressful situation.

For children and young people up to 25 years of age, the non-profit Berlin-based company krisenchat offers helpful talks.
More than 400 therapists offer free counselling and can be reached digitally from anywhere. Simply send an SMS or WhatsApp to +49 1573 599 3126 and you’re ready to go. All the necessary info can be found at www.krisenchat.de/ukraine.

Adults aged 25 and over who need psychotherapeutic help can find all the necessary information at www.kvberlin.de/ukraine.

Work & Profession

Can I work in Germany without a residence permit or without having made an online application to the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA)?

No. Taking up a job without a residence permit, or without the certificate showing you have made an online application, is not permitted during the time you are here exclusively without a visa.

I have applied online to the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA) to be granted a residence permit for war refugees. Am I allowed to work?

Yes. This also applies to the members of your family whose names appear with yours on the certificate.

Can I work with a residence permit for war refugees?

Yes, you can work immediately and do not need any other work permit. For your own security, however, you are strongly advised always to conclude a proper employment contract with your employer.

You may also found a company or become self-employed, e.g. as an artist. Since further permits may be required for this, you are recommended to seek advice beforehand.

Further information is available from the responsible authority, the Point of Single Contact Berlin.

I am registered as a refugee from Ukraine and have a residence permit. Now I would like to work. My employer requires a tax identification number (tax ID). How do I get the tax ID?

The tax identification number (Steuer-ID or IdNr.) is assigned to every person who registers with a main or sole residence in a registry of residents in Germany. It is also required for children to identify them in tax procedures, such as for the payment of child benefit, for exemption orders or for the payment of benefits from pension insurance (orphan’s benefit).

It is issued automatically after registration of a residence in Germany. The ID number is then sent by post to the registered residential address.

Further information (in German only) is available here:
https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/329123/

I am registered as a refugee from Ukraine and do not yet have a residence permit in Berlin. Now I would like to work. My employer requires a tax identification number (tax ID). How do I get the tax ID?

If you are unable to register your residence, for example because you have not yet found a permanent place to live but are already working, you must submit an application for your tax identification number to the tax office of the district in which you currently reside. You can find the relevant application form on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance. Search the forms database for the form 010250 – Antrag auf Vergabe einer steuerlichen Identifikationsnummer für nicht meldepflichtige Personen durch das Finanzamt (010250 – Application for a tax identification number by the tax office for persons not required to register). Proof of identification (e.g. copy of ID card) must be enclosed with the application.

Further information (in German only) can be found here: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/329216/

I am registered as a refugee from Ukraine and have a residence permit. Now I would like to work. My employer requires a social security card or a national insurance number. How do I get this?

If you are in paid employment in Germany, you usually need a social security card. If you are working in Germany for the first time, you will be assigned a social security number when you take up employment or apply for a social security card, which is valid until you reach retirement age.

Social security cards can be issued upon application by you or by your employer. The application does not have to follow any special procedure. The health insurance fund with which you are insured is responsible for accepting applications for a social insurance card. For employees who do not have health insurance or who have statutory health insurance, the health insurance fund chosen by the employer accepts the application.

There are two possible ways to apply:

1. the employer can register you using your personal details and you would then be sent the social security card after a few weeks.

2. however, if you or the employer already need the social security card at the start of employment, please contact an information and advice centre of the German Pension Insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung), presenting your passport/ID card, and you can apply for the social security card there directly.

https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Bund/DE/Home/home_node.html

If you have any further questions, please contact us directly:

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund
(German Pension Insurance Association)
Free service telephone (in German)
MO – TH 07:30 – 19:30, FR 07:30 – 15:30
0800 1000 480 70
E-mail: meinefrage@drv-bund.de

I am registered as a refugee from Ukraine and have a residence permit. Now I want to start a business, what do I have to do?

In order to start a business, further applications and information are necessary. For example, a questionnaire for tax registration must be submitted electronically to the tax authorities.

Further information on “Foundations – tax registration of companies, societies, associations, trades, self-employment or agricultural and forestry activities” can be found (in German only) at:
https://www.berlin.de/sen/finanzen/service/dienstleistungen-finanzaemter/service.1087112.php/dienstleistung/325409/

Based on the information provided, the tax office checks the issuance of a tax number. Companies that provide or receive goods and services within the European Single Market also need a VAT identification number (USt-IdNr.) for processing. When setting up a new company, this can be applied for directly at the relevant tax office and will then be issued by the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt.). Please note that the tax number or VAT identification number should not be confused with the above-mentioned tax identification number, which every person receives when they register their place of residence.

Further information (in German only) is available here:
https://www.berlin.de/sen/finanzen/service/dienstleistungen-finanzaemter/service.1087112.php/dienstleistung/325409/

Studying & University admission

Where can I study in Berlin?

Berlin is one of the largest education clusters in Europe. You can study at eleven state universities, two denominational universities and around 30 state-recognized private universities.

Here you can find further information (in German only) about the universities in Berlin: https://www.berlin.de/sen/wissenschaft/einrichtungen/hochschulen/

Are there special courses for refugees?

Many universities offer special courses to refugees to give them the opportunity to prepare to study and fulfil their entry requirements. Further information and the conditions of participation are available from the respective university.

An overview (in German and English) of Berlin’s universities’ courses specifically for refugees can be found here:
https://www.berlin.de/sen/wissenschaft/politik/integration-von-gefluechteten/artikel.652156.php

I would like to study at university. What do I have to do?

In principle, refugees – regardless of their nationality – can take up a course of study under the same conditions as other applicants with foreign nationality. The minimum requirements for studying are:

  1. a recognized university entrance qualification and
  2. sufficient language skills for the chosen course of study.

In the event that your certificates are incomplete or completely missing due to being a refugee, the universities have procedures in place to facilitate proof of the university entrance qualification.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a first point of contact through the admissions database (in German and English) on its website or the internet platform anabin (in German only). These provide non-binding information on whether you can be admitted to study at German universities on the basis of a school leaving certificate or periods of study completed in Ukraine.

If your Ukrainian school or university degree, or the academic results you acquired in Ukraine, do not entitle you to study in Germany, you must take the assessment test (Feststellungsprüfung) for admission to higher education. You can do this at a Studienkolleg: these institutions offer preparatory courses through which you can acquire subject-specific knowledge and language skills that are required for study successfully at a German university. In Berlin, you can do this at the Free University of Berlin, the TU Berlin and at the University of Applied Sciences in cooperation withTU Berlin (https://www.htw-berlin.de/studium/bewerbung/besondere-faelle/studienkolleg/) (all in German and English).

It is always advisable to contact the student advisory service of the university you are interested in. The counselling centres of the universities can help you choose a course of study and inform you about the course admission requirements, the recognition of academic work and study preparation. A central contact point for refugees who want to study is currently being planned.

The application deadline for regular courses which begin in the winter semester is usually July 15. However, some universities set earlier deadlines, for example for a master’s program or Studienkolleg. You can find out the exact deadlines for your desired course of study directly from the respective university.

If you meet the requirements for a course of study, you can apply for a course of study using Uni-Assist (in German and English). Uni-Assist can also check for refugees if they fulfil the requirements to study and has set up a separate FAQ for refugees (in German and English).

How can I finance my studies?

The living expenses of refugees according to Section 24 German Residency Law (AufenthG) are currently financed through benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act (AsylblG) and, from June 1, through social security statute book II (SGB II). From June 2022, students who have fled Ukraine will be able to receive funding for their education through the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG), provided they have a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 AufenthG.

In addition, refugees can apply for scholarships from various institutions, foundations and organizations. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has set up a database (in German, English and Ukrainian) to help you search: https://www.daad-ukraine.org/de/studieren-in-deutschland/finanzierung/daad-stipendiendatenbank/.

Berlin’s state and denominational universities generally do not charge tuition fees. However, a semester fee must be paid at the beginning of the semester, which includes a contribution for the semester ticket for public transportation (ÖPNV).

Short-term financial support has been made available through the student organisation “Studierendenwerk Berlin” for those refugees who have been admitted to a Berlin university for the first time. The financial grant helps needy refugee students to pay for study-related expenses to begin their studies. These include, for example, semester fees or technical equipment. Information (in German and English) can be found here https://www.stw.berlin/news/ukraine.html

How expensive is it to study in Berlin?

Usually, Berlin’s state and denominational universities do not charge tuition fees. However, a semester fee must be paid at the beginning of the semester, which includes a contribution for the semester ticket for public transportation (ÖPNV). For questions about financing, see the answer to: “How can I finance my studies?”

I would like to continue my studies in Berlin. What do I have to do?

If you wish to continue your studies, your previous academic results may possibly be recognized, as Ukraine has been a member of the Bologna Process since 2005. The final decision about the recognition of credits earned abroad is made by the university at which you would like to study.

Which residence regulations apply to me?

If you have fled from Ukraine and have not received a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG, you can apply for a residence permit for the purpose of studying/vocational training (Section16b AufenthG). This requires, among other things, that you have been admitted to a course of study or you attend e.g. a relevant preparatory course (Sudienkolleg), and proof that you can maintain yourself financially. Please seek advice on this from the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde).

If you are a Ukrainian student/researcher who is already studying or doing research in Berlin and whose residence permit is about to expire, please contact the Immigration Office in Berlin regarding a possible extension of your residence permit or questions about the issuance of a residence permit for another purpose. The protection status according to Section 24 AufenthG is granted by the Immigration Office as a humanitarian residence permit. Ukrainian citizens who have already resided in the Federal Republic of Germany with a residence permit can submit a corresponding application if the previous residence permit could no longer be extended or for which the conditions for issuance no longer apply.

Where can I get further information?

The Berlin universities provide information on their websites about current offers and contact points. An overview of Berlin’s universities can be found here (in German only): https://www.berlin.de/sen/wissenschaft/einrichtungen/hochschulen/

In addition, the Studierendenwerk Berlin offers various counselling services for financial and study organization problems as well as psychosocial problems. The Studierendenwerk Berlin provides information (in German and English) at https://www.stw.berlin/news/ukraine.html.

General information and links to services specifically for refugees at Berlin’s state universities can be found (in German and English) at https://www.berlin.de/sen/wissenschaft/politik/integration-von-gefluechteten/artikel.652156.php.

In addition, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides information (in German, English and Ukrainian) at https://www.daad-ukraine.org/ on residence, university admission, study and research, and everyday life in Germany. This National Academic Contact Point Ukraine (Nationale Akademische Kontaktstelle Ukraine) is available in its entirety in German and English, and the Ukrainian language version is constantly being expanded.

For questions concerning support for researchers from Ukraine, you can contact the central contact point of the EU Commission. The main focus there is on finding housing and employment opportunities and facilitating the recognition of your university degree/s. For more information (in German, English, and any other EU language), please visit:
https://germany.representation.ec.europa.eu/news/eu-kommission-richtet-zentrale-anlaufstelle-zur-unterstutzung-von-forschern-aus-der-ukraine-ein-2022-03-22_de

Everyday life in Germany

I am a refugee from Ukraine and have one or more dogs. Do special regulations apply to dogs in Germany? And do the same rules apply to dog owners from Ukraine as to German dog owners?

Every dog must be registered within one month after it is acquired or moves to Berlin. This also applies to dogs belonging to Ukrainian refugees. The tax registration of a dog takes place at the dog tax office of the tax office responsible for the owner’s place of residence. After registration, the tax office will issue the dog tax stamp.

Ukrainian refugees can apply for exemption from dog tax at the tax office responsible for them with regard to keeping dogs: If they receive assistance for living expenses according to the third chapter of the Social Code (SGB) XII or benefits according to the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act (AsylbLG), keeping a dog is exempt from dog tax (Section 5 paragraph 1 no. 6 Dog Tax Act). For this purpose, it is necessary for the persons concerned to apply for tax exemption at the tax office responsible for them.

In addition to the tax registration of a dog, dogs must be registered in the so-called dog register. Furthermore, a separate registration is required for dogs that are classified as particularly dangerous.

Helpful links (exclusively in German):
Dog register: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/330785/
Tax registration of a dog: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/121494/
Registration of dangerous dog: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/326263/

How can I open a bank account in Germany as a refugee from Ukraine?

You can open a so-called “basic account” at most banks. With it, you can deposit and withdraw money, make transfers, execute direct debits and set up standing orders. The fees for basic accounts vary depending on the bank. All you need to open a basic account is proof of identity, such as your passport. If you want to open a regular current account, further documents are required depending on the bank. Please note that it is currently not possible to make a deposit in Hryvnia on German accounts.

For Helpers

I would like to support people who have fled from Ukraine. What can I do?

We are currently experiencing a wonderful surge of support and willingness to help. We would like to thank you very much for that. At the moment, the most important thing is initial accommodation. If you want to offer a room or a bed for refugees from Ukraine, you can register at one of the private accommodation platforms, for example at www.unterkunft-ukraine.de.

You can also help Ukrainian war refugees and people in Ukraine by making donations in kind and giving money. You can find all the important information concerning this at www.berlin.de/ukraine/helfen/.

Also, you can register here as a volunteer to give support to shelters and other facilities that need volunteers: www.volunteer-planner.org

Where can I donate goods?

The Berlin Arrival Centre can currently no longer accept these donations.
The central logistics centre for donations for people in and from Ukraine is Hangar 1 at the former Tempelhof Airport.

There you can hand in your donations in kind or help with organisation. Please first look at the information provided at www.spenden-bruecke.de.

Will the state help me with additional housing costs?

If you have taken in people from Ukraine, and contractually agree rental or subletting, your tenants can have the resulting housing costs reimbursed by the social welfare office – or, from 1 June 2022, by the job centre. In order for the housing costs to be covered, several requirements must be met:

  • You and your tenants must sign a rental or subletting agreement.
  • In addition, the rent must not exceed certain maximum limits and
  • the apartment must comply with certain minimum sizes, depending on the number of residents.

Further information can be found here: “https://www.berlin.de/sen/soziales/soziale-sicherung/grundsicherung-fuer-arbeitssuchende-hartz-iv/kosten-der-unterkunft/”_https://www.berlin.de/sen/soziales/soziale-sicherung/grundsicherung-fuer-arbeitssuchende-hartz-iv/kosten-der-unterkunft/

You should always find out from the office responsible in good time before concluding a subletting agreement whether, or up to what amount, the costs of accommodation will be covered. Furthermore, it is advisable for people providing accommodation to check any tax consequences of such a subletting in good time before concluding the rental agreement. Please also remember that tenants need their landlord’s permission to sublet.

What happens if I cannot continue housing refugees?

If you find that the burden is too much for you, or if the period you set for hosting has expired, this creates an emotionally difficult situation for everyone involved. This is especially true if the people you have taken in have not yet found a new or permanent place to stay. In this case, please communicate with your tenants and set a binding move-out date. In this difficult situation, please do not hesitate to seek help in advance – for example, by calling the telephone hotline for volunteers 030 403 665 888 or the following organizations:

I would like to help refugees from Ukraine, what do I have to consider in terms of taxation?

On the one hand, this depends on the type of assistance and on the other hand, it depends on whether you want to do this as a private person or as a company.

Comprehensive information on tax issues is available in a special FAQ (in German only) from the Senate Department for Finance: FAQ Taxes – Berlin.de

Further Questions

Have you got a question that is not answered in these FAQs?

We have set up telephone hotlines for questions that our FAQs have not covered. These are available here:

General Ukraine Hotline:
The central service number can be reached from Monday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at +49 30 90 127 127. You can currently obtain information in Ukrainian, Russian, German and English.

Hotline of the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA):
Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. to 12 noon; telephone 90269-4407 or 90269-4408.

You can also send an email to the advisory service of the Berlin Immigration Office at beratung@lea.berlin.de.

Further Information