Many people show their solidarity with Ukraine at a demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: Wiebke Judith / PRO ASYL

The attack by Putin's army on Ukraine in violation of international law forced and continues to force millions of people to flee. We would like to give those affected, their family members, friends and supporters an orientation on the regulations that now apply to them in Germany and what their prospects are.

Information for refugees from Ukraine 

The attack by Putin’s army on Ukrai­ne in vio­la­ti­on of inter­na­tio­nal law forced and con­ti­nues to force mil­li­ons of peo­p­le to flee. We would like to give tho­se affec­ted, their fami­ly mem­bers, fri­ends and sup­port­ers an ori­en­ta­ti­on on the regu­la­ti­ons that now app­ly to them in Ger­ma­ny and what their pro­s­pects are.

NEW: Resi­dence per­mits for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion in accordance with Sec­tion 24 (1) Auf­enthG that are still valid on Febru­ary 1, 2024 are auto­ma­ti­cal­ly exten­ded until March 4, 2025. This is regu­la­ted by the Ukrai­ne­Auf­enthFGV, which has now come into effect. As no new docu­ment is issued, this can lead to problems.

This page is updated regu­lar­ly. Sta­te: 18.12.2023


In addi­ti­on to the March 4 2022 EU Coun­cil decis­i­on on tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion, the EU Com­mis­si­on also published ope­ra­tio­nal gui­de­lines for imple­men­ting the Coun­cil decis­i­on in a March 21st 2022 communication.

At the fede­ral level, a Ukrai­ne Resi­dence Tran­si­tio­nal Regu­la­ti­on (Ukrai­ne­Auf­ent­hÜV, exten­ded on April 5 and July 8 and Novem­ber 17th 2022) was draf­ted on March 7th 2022 and a cir­cu­lar from the Fede­ral Minis­try of the Inte­ri­or dated March 14th 2022 on the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the EU Coun­cil Decis­i­on and on the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of per­sons in need of pro­tec­tion among the fede­ral sta­tes. Ano­ther let­ter from the BMI dated April 14th 2022 pro­vi­des sup­ple­men­ta­ry infor­ma­ti­on on the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the EU regu­la­ti­ons in Ger­ma­ny. The BMI cir­cu­lars are recom­men­da­ti­ons, some of which have been incor­po­ra­ted into the decrees of the fede­ral sta­tes. Howe­ver, the­re may be slight­ly dif­fe­rent approa­ches to imple­men­ta­ti­on in the various fede­ral sta­tes. Due to the com­ple­xi­ty of the mat­ter, we are unable to pro­vi­de a com­pre­hen­si­ve over­view of pos­si­ble dif­fe­ren­ces and recom­mend that you cont­act regio­nal advi­so­ry offices if you are in any doubt.

We will update this page regu­lar­ly and include and explain new rules and regu­la­ti­ons. Howe­ver, many ques­ti­ons are and will remain open, as the­re are not and will not be regu­la­ti­ons for ever­y­thing. The­se »gene­ral« advi­so­ry notes can also only pro­vi­de an over­view and initi­al advice, but can­not replace indi­vi­du­al advice on more com­plex issues.


As a rule, neither peo­p­le with Ukrai­ni­an pass­ports nor peo­p­le wit­hout Ukrai­ni­an pass­ports who have fled Ukrai­ne are recom­men­ded to app­ly for asyl­um. Such an appli­ca­ti­on should – if at all – only be made after pri­or indi­vi­du­al coun­seling. Ukrai­ni­ans can app­ly for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion unbu­reau­cra­ti­cal­ly (see below) and should usual­ly do so.

Even for peo­p­le wit­hout a Ukrai­ni­an pass­port, an asyl­um appli­ca­ti­on is usual­ly a dead end, sin­ce in most cases it is not about thre­ats in the coun­try of ori­gin, but they would like to con­ti­nue their stu­dies in Ger­ma­ny, for exam­p­le. An asyl­um pro­ce­du­re is an extre­me­ly unfa­vorable path for this. An asyl­um appli­ca­ti­on means accom­mo­da­ti­on in an asyl­um shel­ter as well as assign­ment to a cer­tain fede­ral sta­te and pos­si­bly later to a cer­tain dis­trict. A move to ano­ther city, for exam­p­le to con­ti­nue stu­dies the­re, is then usual­ly not possible.

In addi­ti­on, an asyl­um appli­ca­ti­on leads to a block on the issu­an­ce of a resi­dence per­mit. This means that no resi­dence per­mit may be issued befo­re the asyl­um pro­ce­du­re has been com­ple­ted, unless the­re is a legal entit­le­ment. Moreo­ver, after an asyl­um appli­ca­ti­on has been rejec­ted, a resi­dence per­mit may only be issued for reasons of inter­na­tio­nal law, huma­ni­ta­ri­an or poli­ti­cal reasons befo­re depar­tu­re, but not, for exam­p­le, for stu­dy­ing, even if the requi­re­ments for this would have been met in the mean­ti­me. This is ano­ther reason why an asyl­um appli­ca­ti­on is gene­ral­ly not advi­sa­ble in the cur­rent situation.

Legal entry until May 31st – legal stay up to 90 days after first entry.

With the Ukrai­ne­Auf­ent­hÜV of March 7th 2022, the first ent­ry and resi­dence of all refu­gees from Ukrai­ne was regu­la­ted (exten­ded on April 5th and July 8th and Novem­ber 17th 2022).Initi­al­ly, Ukrai­ni­ans resi­ding in Ukrai­ne can stay in Ger­ma­ny wit­hout a resi­dence title, but also for­eig­ners who were in Ukrai­ne on Febru­ary 24, 2022.

This regu­la­ti­on appli­es retroac­tively from the day of the begin­ning of the war and was now exten­ded until May 31st 2023. This means that the­se peo­p­le have ente­red or are ente­ring Ger­ma­ny legal­ly and are stay­ing here legal­ly. The peo­p­le con­cer­ned the­r­e­fo­re do not have to fear any punish­ment, for exam­p­le becau­se they would actual­ly only have been allo­wed to enter Ger­ma­ny with a valid visa. They do not have to fear that they might be stay­ing here illegally.

IMPORTANT! Sin­ce Sep­tem­ber 1st 2022, legal resi­dence is only valid for a peri­od of 90 days after first ente­ring Ger­ma­ny. With this, the Minis­try of the Inte­ri­or wants to ensu­re that tho­se affec­ted regis­ter as soon as possible.

Howe­ver, this only regu­la­tes the sin­gle ent­ry and stay of Ukrai­ni­ans and for­eig­ners from Ukrai­ne for a peri­od of 90 days after first ent­ry until May 31th 2023 at the latest (thus August 28th 2023 at the latest). This pro­vi­des a quick reme­dy, but says not­hing about the long-term resi­dence pos­si­bi­li­ties of tho­se affec­ted (more on this below).

This regu­la­ti­on can be exten­ded again – we will inform about it here if necessary.


Tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion is an instru­ment for gran­ting peo­p­le pro­tec­tion and gua­ran­te­e­ing cer­tain rights in a com­pa­ra­tively uncom­pli­ca­ted way and wit­hout having to go through leng­thy and bureau­cra­tic asyl­um pro­ce­du­res. Howe­ver, in actu­al prac­ti­ce, the­re are unfort­u­na­te­ly con­sidera­ble pro­blems and delays in many places, as well as some­ti­mes chao­tic con­di­ti­ons, with regard to the allo­ca­ti­on of appoint­ments for regis­tra­ti­on, dis­tri­bu­ti­on, accom­mo­da­ti­on or the gran­ting of benefits.

In order to sim­pli­fy the enti­re pro­cess of regis­tra­ti­on, dis­tri­bu­ti­on and appli­ca­ti­on for a resi­dence per­mit, it has been pos­si­ble sin­ce mid-April to app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit elec­tro­ni­cal­ly via http://www.germany4ukraine.de/www.Germany4Ukraine.de. This ser­vice allows refu­gees to app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit elec­tro­ni­cal­ly. Through this ser­vice, refu­gees can sub­mit their data online for the issu­an­ce of a resi­dence per­mit, which should redu­ce the dura­ti­on of on-site cont­acts. Howe­ver, this does not replace bio­me­tric regis­tra­ti­on, but is inten­ded to be used to coll­ect basic data on indi­vi­du­als who have not yet been regis­tered in order to trig­ger dis­tri­bu­ti­on. It is to be hoped that this new sys­tem can pro­vi­de for a reli­ef of the aut­ho­ri­ties and thus of cour­se also for the refugees.

Ukrai­ni­ans* who have been forced to flee to Ger­ma­ny sin­ce Febru­ary 24 can app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit accor­ding to § 24 Auf­enthG for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion at the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty at their place of resi­dence, if one alre­a­dy exists (for exam­p­le, after being assi­gned to a cer­tain muni­ci­pa­li­ty or city – more on this below). Until the resi­dence per­mit is issued, peo­p­le tem­po­r­a­ri­ly recei­ve a so-cal­led fic­ti­tious cer­ti­fi­ca­te. The resi­dence per­mit its­elf is to be issued in Ger­ma­ny for two years. By EU Coun­cil decis­i­on, tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion can be exten­ded by ano­ther year to a maxi­mum of three years. In this case, the resi­dence per­mit would then also have to be exten­ded by ano­ther year.

The same appli­es to tho­se who ente­red the coun­try befo­re Febru­ary 24, pro­vi­ded they fled Ukrai­ne »not long« befo­re Febru­ary 24, 2022, or were in the EU »short­ly befo­re that date.« The peri­od »not long befo­re Febru­ary 24, 2022« is to be assu­med to be no lon­ger than 90 days. This means, for exam­p­le, that peo­p­le who were alre­a­dy visi­ting Ger­ma­ny or ano­ther EU sta­te befo­re the start of the war are also cover­ed by tem­po­ra­ry protection.

Ukrai­ni­an natio­nals with a resi­dence title in the fede­ral ter­ri­to­ry can also app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit accor­ding to § 24 Auf­enthG if the exten­si­on of the exis­ting resi­dence title is not possible.

In the case of Ukrai­ni­an natio­nals who have appli­ed for asyl­um (even befo­re Febru­ary 24) and now app­ly for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion, the asyl­um pro­ce­du­res will not be pur­sued until the resi­dence per­mit under Sec­tion 24 of the Resi­dence Act is issued. Accor­din­gly, tho­se who do not app­ly for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion will only recei­ve an asyl­um exami­na­ti­on by the BAMF. As a rule, howe­ver, it is not advi­sa­ble to con­duct an asyl­um pro­ce­du­re (see above).

The­re may also be pos­si­bi­li­ties for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion for Ukrai­ni­an natio­nals who are only living in Ger­ma­ny with a tole­ra­ti­on. If the pre­vious reason for tole­ra­ti­on has cea­sed to app­ly, an appli­ca­ti­on can be made for a resi­dence per­mit under Sec­tion 24 of the Resi­dence Act. Howe­ver, peo­p­le who were pre­vious­ly tole­ra­ted becau­se of miss­ing tra­vel docu­ments or unclear iden­ti­ty should be excluded from tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. In case of doubt, the per­sons con­cer­ned are recom­men­ded to seek indi­vi­du­al advice on site.

If the pre­vious reason for tole­ra­ti­on per­sists, the tole­ra­ti­on should be exten­ded and the peri­od of the new tole­ra­ti­on should be gene­rous. In addi­ti­on, it should be pro­vi­ded with a work per­mit if the­re are no legal pro­hi­bi­ti­ons on working (e.g. due to lack of coope­ra­ti­on in obtai­ning a passport).

Non-Ukrai­ni­an third-coun­try natio­nals or sta­te­l­ess per­sons who had inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion or a com­pa­ra­ble natio­nal pro­tec­tion sta­tus in Ukrai­ne befo­re Febru­ary 24, 2022, and their fami­ly mem­bers (see below) can app­ly to the ali­ens‘ regis­tra­ti­on office at their place of resi­dence (for exam­p­le, after being assi­gned to a spe­ci­fic muni­ci­pa­li­ty or city),) for a resi­dence per­mit under Sec­tion 24 of the Resi­dence Act for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. Until the resi­dence per­mit is issued, the peo­p­le tem­po­r­a­ri­ly recei­ve a so-cal­led fic­ti­tious cer­ti­fi­ca­te. The resi­dence per­mit its­elf is to be issued in Ger­ma­ny for two years. By EU Coun­cil decis­i­on, tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion can be exten­ded by ano­ther year to a maxi­mum of three years. In this case, the resi­dence per­mit would then also have to be exten­ded by ano­ther year.

Fami­ly mem­bers of Ukrai­ni­ans and bene­fi­ci­a­ries of inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion in Ukrai­ne also recei­ve a resi­dence per­mit for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion if the fami­ly alre­a­dy exis­ted in Ukrai­ne and regard­less of whe­ther the fami­ly mem­bers could return to their home count­ries. The natio­na­li­ty of the fami­ly mem­bers does not mat­ter for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. They, too, can app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit under Sec­tion 24 of the Resi­dence Act for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion at the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty at their place of resi­dence (for exam­p­le, after being assi­gned to a spe­ci­fic muni­ci­pa­li­ty or city). This also appli­es if only the fami­ly mem­bers are in Ger­ma­ny, and the Ukrai­ni­ans or tho­se entit­led to inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion in Ukrai­ne, from whom the tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion is deri­ved, are not yet in Germany.

At first, the peo­p­le usual­ly recei­ve a so-cal­led fic­ti­tious cer­ti­fi­ca­te until the resi­dence per­mit is issued. The resi­dence per­mit its­elf is to be issued in Ger­ma­ny for two years. By EU Coun­cil decis­i­on, the tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion can be exten­ded by ano­ther year to then a maxi­mum of three years in total. In this case, the resi­dence per­mit would then also have to be exten­ded by ano­ther year.

Fami­ly mem­bers in the sen­se of this regu­la­ti­on are spou­ses and underage child­ren. The child­ren must have been minors on the day the war began, i.e. Febru­ary 24. Howe­ver, it is not detri­men­tal if they have alre­a­dy rea­ched the age of majo­ri­ty at the time of appli­ca­ti­on for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. Non-Ukrai­ni­an par­ents of Ukrai­ni­an minors who have cus­t­ody and a per­ma­nent Ukrai­ni­an resi­dence per­mit are also gran­ted tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion if the other Ukrai­ni­an parent can­not lea­ve Ukrai­ne, for exam­p­le. In their case, it should be assu­med that this parent can­not safe­ly and per­ma­nent­ly return to the coun­try of origin.

In addi­ti­on, unmar­ried cou­ples (inclu­ding same-sex cou­ples) in long-term rela­ti­onships, as well as other rela­ti­ves living in the same house­hold who lived in a fami­ly bond with the main per­son befo­re the out­break of war and are ful­ly or most­ly depen­dent on the main per­son, are also con­side­red fami­ly mem­bers for the pur­po­ses of the regu­la­ti­on. Thus, one does not neces­s­a­ri­ly have to be mar­ried to recei­ve tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion and a resi­dence per­mit under Sec­tion 24 of the Resi­dence Act.

Howe­ver, the ques­ti­on of the respec­ti­ve indi­vi­du­al pro­of ari­ses, sin­ce a mere house­hold or eco­no­mic com­mu­ni­ty is not sup­po­sed to be suf­fi­ci­ent to be con­side­red a fami­ly mem­ber in the sen­se of tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. In the case of non-mar­ried part­ners or other rela­ti­ves living in the house­hold, it should be a long-term com­mu­ni­ty that does not allow for any other coha­bi­ta­ti­on of the same kind. The rela­ti­onship must be cha­rac­te­ri­zed by inner ties that jus­ti­fy a mutu­al com­mit­ment of the per­sons in case of need. Thus, if neces­sa­ry, very clo­se ties to each other must be demons­tra­ted, which go bey­ond a com­mon resi­den­ti­al address. On the other hand, evi­dence gaps cau­sed by expul­si­on should be taken into account in a con­clu­si­ve fac­tu­al pre­sen­ta­ti­on in favor of the per­sons con­cer­ned. Prac­ti­ce will show what this means in each indi­vi­du­al case.

Non-Ukrai­ni­an fami­ly mem­bers who do not resi­de in Ukrai­ne or in Ger­ma­ny or other EU sta­tes and who meet the requi­re­ments for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion can sub­mit visa appli­ca­ti­ons to the embas­sies in accordance with Sec­tion 24 of the Resi­dence Act, for exam­p­le if air­lines are not allo­wed to trans­port them wit­hout a visa.

For­eig­ners and sta­te­l­ess per­sons who have lived in Ukrai­ne for a limi­t­ed or unli­mi­t­ed peri­od of time (e.g. stu­dents or employ­ed per­sons) and who are not con­side­red fami­ly mem­bers of Ukrai­ni­ans or bene­fi­ci­a­ries of inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion can only recei­ve a resi­dence per­mit accor­ding to Sec­tion 24 of the Resi­dence Act under cer­tain con­di­ti­ons and thus in the indi­vi­du­al case to be reviewed.

Accor­ding to the Fede­ral Minis­try of the Inte­ri­or, tho­se who can­not return safe­ly and per­ma­nent­ly to their home coun­try should recei­ve a resi­dence per­mit for tem­po­ra­ry protection.

Per­ma­nent resi­dence in Ukraine

Peo­p­le who have stay­ed in Ukrai­ne with a valid unli­mi­t­ed resi­dence per­mit are to be assu­med to be unable to return safe­ly and per­ma­nent­ly to their coun­try of ori­gin becau­se they have clo­ser ties to Ukrai­ne than to their coun­try of ori­gin. They can app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit accor­ding to § 24 Auf­enthG for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion at the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty at their place of resi­dence, if one alre­a­dy exists (for exam­p­le if they are accom­mo­da­ted with rela­ti­ves or fri­ends). Until the resi­dence per­mit is issued, the peo­p­le tem­po­r­a­ri­ly recei­ve a so-cal­led fic­ti­tious cer­ti­fi­ca­te. The resi­dence per­mit its­elf is to be issued in Ger­ma­ny for two years. By EU Coun­cil decis­i­on, tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion can be exten­ded by ano­ther year to a maxi­mum of three years. In this case, the resi­dence per­mit would then also have to be exten­ded by ano­ther year.

Tem­po­ra­ry resi­dence in Ukraine

For all other peo­p­le with a tem­po­ra­ry Ukrai­ni­an resi­dence title, the important ques­ti­on ari­ses as to how the pos­si­bi­li­ties of a safe and per­ma­nent return to the coun­try of ori­gin are che­cked by the aut­ho­ri­ties?  The EU Com­mis­si­on’s com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on of March 21 and the second cir­cu­lar of the Fede­ral Minis­try of the Inte­ri­or of April 14 pro­vi­de addi­tio­nal infor­ma­ti­on in this regard:

A safe return to the coun­try of ori­gin would be impos­si­ble, for exam­p­le, if armed con­flicts or ongo­ing vio­lence pose an obvious risk to the safe­ty of the per­son con­cer­ned. Other risks of per­se­cu­ti­on or inhu­man or degra­ding tre­at­ment must also be exami­ned. For the count­ries of ori­gin Eri­trea, Syria and Afgha­ni­stan, it is gene­ral­ly assu­med that safe return is not pos­si­ble and the per­sons con­cer­ned should be gran­ted resi­dence per­mits for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion by the for­eig­ners authorities.

Howe­ver, peo­p­le from other count­ries of ori­gin may also be gran­ted tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion under cer­tain cir­cum­s­tances. In asses­sing whe­ther a ‚safe and dura­ble‘ return is pos­si­ble, the aut­ho­ri­ties should con­sider and exami­ne the indi­vi­du­al cir­cum­s­tances of the peo­p­le con­cer­ned, in addi­ti­on to the gene­ral situa­ti­on in their coun­try of ori­gin. This means that in the pro­ce­du­re, peo­p­le must have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to indi­vi­du­al­ly jus­ti­fy why they can­not return to their coun­try of ori­gin under safe and dura­ble conditions.

As the­se issues can be very com­plex, it is stron­gly recom­men­ded that affec­ted per­sons seek indi­vi­du­al inde­pen­dent advice befo­re app­ly­ing for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. Not least becau­se in many places peo­p­le have been and are being refer­red to the BAMF and asked to app­ly for asyl­um. Howe­ver, the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ties are initi­al­ly respon­si­ble for the exami­na­ti­on within the frame­work of the pro­ce­du­re for the exami­na­ti­on of a resi­dence per­mit for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. Only if it can be infer­red from a per­son’s pre­sen­ta­ti­on that he or she is see­king pro­tec­tion from poli­ti­cal per­se­cu­ti­on, i.e. that it is mate­ri­al­ly an asyl­um appli­ca­ti­on, should they be refer­red to the BAMF, with all the asso­cia­ted legal con­se­quen­ces (see abo­ve). Peo­p­le must be infor­med of this by the Ali­ens‘ Regis­tra­ti­on Office befo­re sub­mit­ting their appli­ca­ti­on. If peo­p­le’s state­ments about a non-safe and per­ma­nent return do not cor­re­spond to an asyl­um request, the appli­ca­ti­on for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion must be exami­ned by the for­eig­ners authority.

Tho­se who were in Ukrai­ne only for a short stay (for exam­p­le, to visit or for short-term jobs or the like) and then had to flee do not fall under tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. A tem­po­ra­ry short stay is any stay in Ukrai­ne for a tem­po­ra­ry pur­po­se that does not exceed 90 days from the out­set. Thus, for exam­p­le, a short stay is not to be assu­med – even if the actu­al stay las­ted less than 90 days – if a per­ma­nent stay was in pro­s­pect, but no pro­tec­tion sta­tus or per­ma­nent resi­dence title could be obtai­ned by Febru­ary 24, 2022. Sta­te­l­ess per­sons shall also be excluded from tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion if they do not belong to the abo­ve-men­tio­ned group of beneficiaries. .

Non-Ukrai­ni­ans who are not eli­gi­ble for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion or for whom this is curr­ent­ly unclear should, if neces­sa­ry, app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit in good time befo­re Sep­tem­ber 1 or within a peri­od of 90 days after first ent­ry. An appli­ca­ti­on sub­mit­ted in time will result in a so-cal­led fic­ti­tious cer­ti­fi­ca­te; the resi­dence will then con­ti­nue to be con­side­red per­mit­ted until the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty has deci­ded on the appli­ca­ti­on. This means that the­se per­sons are not obli­ged to lea­ve the coun­try. At the latest at this point, howe­ver, the per­sons con­cer­ned are urgen­tly advi­sed to seek indi­vi­du­al and inde­pen­dent advice with regard to their respec­ti­ve opti­ons and pro­s­pects under the law on residence.

As a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple, it is alre­a­dy recom­men­ded that the­se peo­p­le »use« their legal resi­dence until August 31 or within a peri­od of 90 days after first ent­ry to crea­te the con­di­ti­ons for a medi­um- or long-term stay. So, for exam­p­le, to look for a place to stu­dy, who would like to stu­dy here fur­ther, or for a qua­li­fied job, who has a pro­fes­sio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on or a uni­ver­si­ty degree. If »alter­na­ti­ve« pos­si­bi­li­ties for a resi­dence per­mit exist and an appli­ca­ti­on can be made for a cor­re­spon­ding resi­dence per­mit, for exam­p­le, to stu­dy, for trai­ning or for a qua­li­fied job, the peo­p­le con­cer­ned must not be refer­red to cat­ching up on the visa pro­ce­du­re (i.e. return and coun­try of ori­gin and re-ent­ry with the cor­re­spon­ding visa). Peo­p­le have ente­red legal­ly and can obtain the resi­dence per­mit within the country.

As for health care or recei­ving social bene­fits, peo­p­le wit­hout Ukrai­ni­an pass­ports who have not yet appli­ed for a resi­dence per­mit for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion or have not yet recei­ved such a resi­dence per­mit will recei­ve bene­fits under the Asyl­bLG if they sub­mit a request for assis­tance (accom­mo­da­ti­on, food, medi­cal care) to an aut­ho­ri­ty. This request for assis­tance should not be con­side­red an appli­ca­ti­on for asyl­um, and peo­p­le should not allow them­sel­ves to be rus­hed into an asyl­um pro­ce­du­re becau­se of pos­si­ble nega­ti­ve con­se­quen­ces (see above).


Refu­gees from Ukrai­ne who have arri­ved in Ger­ma­ny and have been accom­mo­da­ted by the sta­te have been dis­tri­bu­ted among the indi­vi­du­al Ger­man sta­tes sin­ce March 16. As is the case with asyl­um see­kers, the dis­tri­bu­ti­on is car­ri­ed out accor­ding to the so-cal­led »König­stein Key«, and the Fede­ral Office for Migra­ti­on and Refu­gees (BAMF) is respon­si­ble for car­ry­ing out the dis­tri­bu­ti­on. As soon as the BAMF has deter­mi­ned a place of resi­dence, this is refer­red to as allo­ca­ti­on to a spe­ci­fic muni­ci­pa­li­ty or city.

Peo­p­le who are pri­va­te­ly accom­mo­da­ted can be exempt from this. If you have pri­va­te accom­mo­da­ti­on in pro­s­pect, ask the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty of the poten­ti­al place of resi­dence whe­ther they will assu­me respon­si­bi­li­ty. If the aut­ho­ri­ty does not exer­cise dis­cre­ti­on to refrain from assig­ning them, they must regis­ter with a sta­te initi­al recep­ti­on cen­ter if in doubt.

The inter­nal dis­tri­bu­ti­on within the respec­ti­ve fede­ral sta­te also essen­ti­al­ly fol­lows the same rules as tho­se for asyl­um see­kers*. What is important here is that the house­hold com­mu­ni­ty of fami­ly mem­bers is to be taken into account in the allo­ca­ti­on. This means that the exten­ded cir­cle of fami­ly mem­bers com­pared to asyl­um see­kers should not be sepa­ra­ted by allo­ca­ti­on and dis­tri­bu­ti­on. Thus, for exam­p­le, unmar­ried cou­ples should be dis­tri­bu­ted together.

Admit­ted per­sons do not have the right to stay in a cer­tain fede­ral sta­te or in a cer­tain place, they have to take their resi­dence and actu­al stay in the assi­gned place.

Howe­ver, the resi­dence requi­re­ment is not impo­sed or it is lifted – among other things – if a fami­ly mem­ber ear­ns a cer­tain inco­me through employ­ment sub­ject to social secu­ri­ty con­tri­bu­ti­ons or takes up voca­tio­nal trai­ning or stu­dies. The requi­re­ment is also lifted if an inte­gra­ti­on or voca­tio­nal lan­guage cour­se or a qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on or fur­ther trai­ning mea­su­re is available for a fami­ly mem­ber »in a time­ly manner«.

For an inten­ded move, peo­p­le must app­ly for the can­cel­la­ti­on or chan­ge of the resi­dence requi­re­ment at the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty respon­si­ble for them at the place of resi­dence, and the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty at the place of move must agree. If a refu­sal is made, reasons must be given. If the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty does not object within four weeks, con­sent is dee­med to have been gran­ted and the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty at the place of resi­dence must chan­ge or dele­te the resi­dence requirement.

Onward migration within the EU

A BMI cir­cu­lar dated August 8, 2022, explains under what con­di­ti­ons peo­p­le who have alre­a­dy recei­ved tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion in an EU coun­try can con­ti­nue to migra­te within the EU. Due to the non-appli­ca­ti­on of Artic­le 11 of the Tem­po­ra­ry Pro­tec­tion Direc­ti­ve, as agreed in Reci­tal 15 of the EU Coun­cil Decis­i­on, bene­fi­ci­a­ries of tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion enjoy exten­si­ve „free­dom of move­ment“ within Euro­pe. Per­sons who have alre­a­dy recei­ved tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion in one EU coun­try are the­r­e­fo­re entit­led to recei­ve pro­tec­tion again in ano­ther EU coun­try. The pre­re­qui­si­te for this is a rene­wed appli­ca­ti­on to the com­pe­tent for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty (which aut­ho­ri­ty is respon­si­ble can be found under »Dis­tri­bu­ti­on within Ger­ma­ny«). Through an auto­ma­tic com­pa­ri­son of per­so­nal data on the Euro­pean Regis­tra­ti­on Plat­form (Tem­po­ra­ry Pro­tec­tion Direc­ti­ve Plat­form – TPD-Plat­form), the aut­ho­ri­ties can see whe­ther pro­tec­tion has alre­a­dy been gran­ted in ano­ther coun­try. If this is the case, the rele­vant Mem­ber Sta­te will be infor­med. As soon as the per­son has been gran­ted tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion in Ger­ma­ny, social wel­fa­re bene­fits in the other Euro­pean coun­try, for exam­p­le, are dis­con­tin­ued. It can be assu­med that tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion in the first coun­try will also expire.

If a per­son moves from Ger­ma­ny to ano­ther EU coun­try and is gran­ted tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion the­re again, this leads to the expi­ra­ti­on of the resi­dence per­mit in Ger­ma­ny accor­ding to § 24 Auf­enthG. The reason for this is that the aut­ho­ri­ties assu­me a per­ma­nent depar­tu­re (see § 51 para. 1 no. 6;7). This means that you have to choo­se one coun­try and can­not have resi­dence per­mits in dif­fe­rent count­ries at the same time. Howe­ver, the time of appli­ca­ti­on is not decisive.


Right to employ­ment: resi­dence per­mits accor­ding to § 24 Auf­enthG are to be issued with the ent­ry »employ­ment per­mit­ted«. Until the resi­dence per­mit is issued, the fic­tion­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te should also con­tain the ent­ry »employ­ment per­mit­ted«. The term »employ­ment« covers both depen­dent employ­ment and any self-employ­ed activity.

Entit­le­ment to social bene­fits: As of June 1, 2022, peo­p­le with tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion, curr­ent­ly pri­ma­ri­ly refu­gees from Ukrai­ne (for entit­le­ment to tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion, see above/advice notes), are to recei­ve regu­lar social bene­fits under the Social Code. Until now, the­re was only a cla­im to social bene­fits and health care under the so-cal­led Asyl­um See­kers‘ Bene­fits Act. The­se nor­mal social bene­fits are gran­ted accor­ding to Social Code (Ger­man: Sozi­al­ge­setz­buch, SGB) II or XII. They are hig­her than asyl­um see­ker bene­fits and include addi­tio­nal needs, e.g. for pregnant women or sin­gle parents.

This also means that for most peo­p­le the respon­si­ble aut­ho­ri­ty chan­ges: SGB II bene­fits are no lon­ger the respon­si­bi­li­ty of the local social wel­fa­re offices, but of the job cen­ters. Peo­p­le who are unable to work or have rea­ched the age limit for working will no lon­ger recei­ve SGB II bene­fits (com­mon­ly cal­led »Hartz IV«), but SGB XII bene­fits (social assis­tance, basic secu­ri­ty in old age). This means that they will also recei­ve bet­ter bene­fits than tho­se under the Asyl­um See­kers‘ Bene­fits Act, but unli­ke peo­p­le who are capa­ble of working, they will remain the respon­si­bi­li­ty of the social wel­fa­re office.

For SGB bene­fits, howe­ver, the­re are various pre­re­qui­si­tes and a tran­si­tio­nal pha­se:

The requi­re­ment is

- a resi­dence title accor­ding to § 24 (1) AufenthG


- the pre­sen­ta­ti­on of a for­mal, offi­ci­al fic­tion­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te AND regis­tra­ti­on in the Cen­tral Regis­ter of For­eig­ners (Ger­man: Ausländerzentralregister)

As long as the­se requi­re­ments have not yet been met, or if the­re are other pro­blems (for exam­p­le, an exces­si­ve­ly long pro­ces­sing time until pay­ment by the job cen­ter), tho­se affec­ted must con­ti­nue to cont­act the social wel­fa­re office in any case. They will often initi­al­ly recei­ve bene­fits under the Asyl­um See­kers‘ Bene­fits Act and later switch to SGB benefits.

The­re are fur­ther social bene­fits accor­ding to the Social Code: Peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties are entit­led to social assis­tance and help with work and edu­ca­ti­on (so-alled inte­gra­ti­on assis­tance accor­ding to SGB IX). The same requi­re­ments app­ly as for other bene­fits under the Social Code: a resi­dence title under § 24 (1) Auf­enthG or an offi­ci­al fic­tion­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te and regis­tra­ti­on in the Cen­tral Regis­ter of For­eig­ners (Ger­man: Aus­län­der­zen­tral­re­gis­ter).  In other cases, dis­ab­led per­sons are also entit­led to inte­gra­ti­on assis­tance in prin­ci­ple, but it could be dif­fi­cult to enforce in prac­ti­ce. Tho­se affec­ted should cont­act a coun­seling cen­ter if they have any problems.

The situa­ti­on is simi­lar with care bene­fits:  This entit­le­ment is also ancho­red in the Social Code and is pro­vi­ded eit­her by the social wel­fa­re offices or by the health insu­rance fund (after two years of membership).

In addi­ti­on, from June 2022 the­re will also be an entit­le­ment to child bene­fit and other fami­ly bene­fits (paren­tal allo­wan­ce, advan­ce main­ten­an­ce pay­ments) – the pre­re­qui­si­te for this is that a resi­dence per­mit has alre­a­dy been issued in accordance with §24 (1) Auf­enthG – fic­tion­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te is not suf­fi­ci­ent here.

It should be noted that the child bene­fit is taken into account as money that is deduc­ted from social bene­fits, so the­se claims only effec­tively play a role in the case of employees. An appli­ca­ti­on should nevert­hel­ess be made at an ear­ly stage. Peo­p­le who have a low inco­me of employ­ment and recei­ve child bene­fits can also recei­ve a child allo­wan­ce- on appli­ca­ti­on to the fami­ly bene­fits office.

An over­view of the com­pli­ca­ted social entit­le­ments and tran­si­tio­nal arran­ge­ments for peo­p­le with tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion has been pre­pared by the GGUA.

Entit­le­ment to health care: Social bene­fits under SGB II are lin­ked to enrol­ment in a nor­mal health insu­rance plan. Peo­p­le are free to choo­se the health insu­rance fund. They should take care of this them­sel­ves at an ear­ly stage and cla­ri­fy the con­di­ti­ons for the ear­liest pos­si­ble insu­rance covera­ge and receipt of the health insu­rance card.

If the con­di­ti­ons for SGB II bene­fits are not (yet) met – or if the pro­ces­sing of the appli­ca­ti­on takes too long – the local social wel­fa­re office can help: Here, the refu­gees – at least accor­ding to the Asyl­um See­kers‘ Bene­fits Act – can imme­dia­te­ly recei­ve a cer­ti­fi­ca­te for medi­cal tre­at­ment (Ger­man: Kran­ken­schein) or a cer­ti­fi­ca­te to be refun­ded medi­cal cos­ts (Ger­man: Kos­ten­über­nah­me­schein) , with which they can go to a doc­tor, in some cases they recei­ve a »health card« for this. Howe­ver, bills alre­a­dy paid pri­va­te­ly to doc­tors are not reim­bur­sed retroactively!

Peo­p­le who do not recei­ve SGB II but SGB XII bene­fits recei­ve an elec­tro­nic health card with which they recei­ve the same bene­fits as peo­p­le with sta­tu­to­ry health insurance.

The­re is always a right to medi­cal assis­tance in an emer­gen­cy – even for peo­p­le wit­hout regis­tra­ti­on or a resi­dence per­mit. Howe­ver, the emer­gen­cy ser­vices in hos­pi­tals can­not pro­vi­de ongo­ing tre­at­ment and can­not issue pre­scrip­ti­ons for medi­ca­ti­on that can be rede­e­med free of charge.

In some orga­niza­ti­ons, doc­tors tre­at peo­p­le wit­hout papers anony­mously and free of char­ge. The web­site gesundheit-ein-menschenrecht.de lists such orga­niza­ti­ons, as do the web­sites of Mal­te­ser and Medi­bü­ros. In some places, estab­lished doc­tors and hos­pi­tals offer free tre­at­ment for Ukrai­ni­an refu­gees. Inqui­re local­ly if necessary.

Access to Ger­man cour­ses: Access to inte­gra­ti­on cour­ses is pos­si­ble upon appli­ca­ti­on. The appli­ca­ti­on can be sub­mit­ted to the respon­si­ble regio­nal offices of the Fede­ral Office for Migra­ti­on and Refu­gees. In order to enable par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the inte­gra­ti­on cour­se as ear­ly as pos­si­ble, the fic­ti­tio­nal cer­ti­fi­ca­te should con­tain a refe­rence to the issu­an­ce of a resi­dence per­mit accor­ding to § 24 AufenthG.

Access to the school sys­tem: All child­ren in Ger­ma­ny are sub­ject to com­pul­so­ry edu­ca­ti­on up to a cer­tain age. Sin­ce the edu­ca­ti­on sys­tem in Ger­ma­ny is a mat­ter for the indi­vi­du­al fede­ral sta­tes, the­re are dif­fe­rent pro­ce­du­res for this. More infor­ma­ti­on can be found on Hand­book Ger­ma­ny.

Right to fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on: For the reuni­fi­ca­ti­on of spou­ses and underage child­ren, the requi­re­ments for fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on with a per­son with a resi­dence per­mit accor­ding to § 24 Auf­enthG are lowe­red if the fami­ly unity in the coun­try of ori­gin was dis­rupt­ed due to the flight situa­ti­on and the fami­ly mem­bers are in ano­ther EU mem­ber sta­te or are out­side of the EU and are in need of pro­tec­tion. If the­se con­di­ti­ons are ful­fil­led, the­re is no need to secu­re a liveli­hood or to have a »cla­ri­fied iden­ti­ty« or a pass­port (usal­ly this would need to be ful­fil­led for fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on). This means that the clo­sest rela­ti­ves can join the fami­ly, even if the per­son recei­ves social bene­fits in Ger­ma­ny. Fami­ly mem­bers joi­ning the fami­ly do not recei­ve a resi­dence per­mit for fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on, as is usual­ly the case, but also a resi­dence per­mit for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. The­r­e­fo­re, the descri­bed time rest­ric­tions, access requi­re­ments for employ­ment and social bene­fits or health insu­rance also app­ly to them. In addi­ti­on, fami­ly mem­bers joi­ning the fami­ly do not have to have ente­red the coun­try with the requi­red visa, as is usual­ly the case. After ente­ring Ger­ma­ny wit­hout a visa, they can the­r­e­fo­re app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit direct­ly at the rele­vant for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty wit­hout having to go through a visa pro­ce­du­re from abroad before­hand. Other fami­ly mem­bers – such as the par­ents of adults who have found tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion in Ger­ma­ny – can join them under the very nar­row con­di­ti­ons of fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on accor­ding to § 36 (2) Auf­enthG. Accor­ding to this rule, the sub­se­quent immi­gra­ti­on must be neces­sa­ry to avo­id excep­tio­nal hard­ship. This may be the case, for exam­p­le, if the per­son wis­hing to join the fami­ly is in need of care and no care is available in the coun­try of ori­gin. Howe­ver, the situa­ti­on in Ukrai­ne alo­ne is unli­kely to con­sti­tu­te excep­tio­nal hard­ship under the cur­rent rules. Accor­din­gly, the same regu­la­ti­ons regar­ding access to work, social bene­fits or health insu­rance app­ly to fami­ly mem­bers that came to Ger­ma­ny as to all peo­p­le with a resi­dence per­mit under § 24 AufenthG.


The gran­ting of tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion is excluded in the case of per­sons suspec­ted of serious cri­mi­nal offen­ces, for exam­p­le, if the­re are serious reasons for assum­ing that they have com­mit­ted a war crime, a crime against huma­ni­ty or a serious non-poli­ti­cal cri­mi­nal offence (Artic­le 28 of the Direc­ti­ve or Sec­tion 24 (2) of the Resi­dence Act in con­junc­tion with Sec­tion 3 (2) of the Asyl­um Act).

The same shall app­ly if the per­son con­cer­ned is to be regard­ed as a dan­ger to the secu­ri­ty of the Fede­ral Repu­blic of Ger­ma­ny for serious reasons or poses a dan­ger to the gene­ral public becau­se he or she has been con­vic­ted of a fel­o­ny or par­ti­cu­lar­ly serious mis­de­me­an­or and sen­ten­ced by a final court decis­i­on to a term of impri­son­ment of at least three years (Sec­tion 24 (2) Resi­dence Act in con­junc­tion with Sec­tion 60 (8) Resi­dence Act). Howe­ver, this broad exclu­si­on is not cover­ed by Artic­le 28 of the directive.

Even if, as a result of a ground for exclu­si­on, the issu­an­ce of a resi­dence per­mit pur­su­ant to Sec­tion 24 (1) of the Resi­dence Act is out of the ques­ti­on, this does not mean that resi­dence-ter­mi­na­ting mea­su­res may be taken, sin­ce the per­sons con­cer­ned have at least been deter­mi­ned to be »dis­pla­ced per­sons« pri­or to an armed con­flict (see abo­ve). The­r­e­fo­re, if the­re is a reason for exclu­si­on for the dura­ti­on of the armed con­flict, tho­se affec­ted must at least be issued a tole­ra­ti­on cer­ti­fi­ca­te in accordance with § 60 a) Auf­enthG.

IMPORTANT! In the case of an exis­ting ent­ry and resi­dence ban, e.g. due to a pre­vious depor­ta­ti­on from Ger­ma­ny, or also in the case of a depor­ta­ti­on (at least inso­far as such a depor­ta­ti­on is not based on serious cri­mi­nal offen­ses), it appli­es accor­ding to § 11 para. 4 sen­tence 2 Auf­enthG that this should be lifted if the gran­ting of a resi­dence per­mit for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion accor­ding to § 24 Auf­enthG is to be expected.

  • Are expired residence permits still valid?

    Peo­p­le from Ukrai­ne who have tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion do not have to app­ly for an exten­si­on of their resi­dence per­mit at the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty. Only if the resi­dence per­mit expi­res befo­re Febru­ary 1, 2024, or if the resi­dence per­mit has to be reis­sued due to a chan­ge in a con­di­ti­on or ancil­la­ry pro­vi­si­on, an appoint­ment must be made with the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty. Rene­wal dates must also be agreed for resi­dence per­mits for ano­ther pur­po­se of resi­dence, i.e. for all resi­dence per­mits that were not issued for tem­po­ra­ry protection.

    Fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on can be found in the let­ter from the Fede­ral Minis­try of the Inte­ri­or dated Novem­ber 24, 2023.

    Infor­ma­ti­on in dif­fe­rent languages:

    - Eng­lish

    - Ukrai­ni­an

    - Rus­si­an

    This unbu­reau­cra­tic exten­si­on of resi­dence sta­tus for war refu­gees from Ukrai­ne is inten­ded to reli­e­ve the bur­den on tho­se affec­ted and the immi­gra­ti­on aut­ho­ri­ties, and is the­r­e­fo­re very wel­co­me in principle.

    Howe­ver, it remains to be deter­mi­ned how this will work in prac­ti­ce.  At least in indi­vi­du­al cases, the­re could be pro­blems with employ­ers or land­lords, for exam­p­le, if peo­p­le have sup­po­sedly expi­red resi­dence per­mits. The infor­ma­ti­on that resi­dence per­mits for tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion remain valid despi­te the expiry date must the­r­e­fo­re not only reach the aut­ho­ri­ties and tho­se affec­ted. Quite the oppo­si­te: the rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on must also be easi­ly acces­si­ble and under­stan­da­ble for the gene­ral public. Other­wi­se, in the worst case sce­na­rio, tho­se influen­ced could lose their job or even their home.

    Ques­ti­ons also remain unans­we­red when it comes to the tra­vel opti­ons for peo­p­le with tem­po­ra­ry pro­tec­tion. Tra­vel­ling abroad should remain gua­ran­teed. Howe­ver, the­re is a risk that peo­p­le with appar­ent­ly expi­red resi­dence per­mits will encoun­ter issues with (bor­der) aut­ho­ri­ties and air­lines, espe­ci­al­ly when tra­vel­ling out­side the Schen­gen area. Air­lines, for exam­p­le, are legal­ly obli­ged not to car­ry peo­p­le wit­hout a valid resi­dence per­mit. If they do, they have to bear the cos­ts for the return trans­por­ta­ti­on. It could the­r­e­fo­re hap­pen that peo­p­le retur­ning from trips abroad are not allo­wed on the pla­ne at all. To avo­id such pro­blems, tho­se affec­ted should cont­act their for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty befo­re tra­vel­ling abroad.

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