04.03.2022
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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.

This page is updated regu­lar­ly. Sta­te: 10.01.2023

REGULATIONS TO DATE AT EU AND GERMAN FEDERAL LEVEL

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

At the federal level, a Ukrai­ne Resi­dence Tran­si­tio­nal Regu­la­ti­on (Ukrai­ne­Auf­ent­hÜV, exten­ded on April 5 and July 8) was draf­ted on March 7 and a cir­cu­lar from the Federal Minis­try of the Inte­rior dated March 14 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 14 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.

On March 3rd the Euro­pean Uni­on imple­men­ted »tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion« for refu­gees from Ukrai­ne. They don’t need to go through asyl­um pro­cess, pro­tec­tion can last up to three years. More info here! (and also in Rus­si­an: русский перевод and Ukrai­ni­an: український переклад)

We have publis­hed infor­ma­ti­on on ent­e­ring Ger­ma­ny from Ukrai­ne here: Important infor­ma­ti­on on ent­e­ring and remai­ning in Ger­ma­ny for Ukrai­ni­ans.(Ger­man)

This infor­ma­ti­on is also avail­ab­le in Ukrai­ni­an (Sta­tus 30.05.) and Rus­si­an (30.05.)

AS AT PRESENT, NO APPLICATION FOR ASYLUM SHOULD BE SUBMITTED IN MOST CASES 

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 November 30 – legal stay up to 90 days after first entry

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

This regu­la­ti­on app­lies retroac­tively from the day the war began and was first exten­ded until August 31 and then until Novem­ber 30. 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 may be stay­ing here illegalized.

IMPORTANT! As of Sep­tem­ber 1, legal resi­dence is only valid for a peri­od of 90 days after first ent­ry into Ger­ma­ny. With this, the Minis­try of the Inte­rior wants to ensu­re that tho­se affec­ted regis­ter as soon as pos­si­ble. In the case of tho­se affec­ted who ent­e­red the coun­try immedia­te­ly after the start of the war, for examp­le, this peri­od will have long sin­ce expi­red on Sep­tem­ber 1. This group of peop­le is urgent­ly advi­sed – if they have not alrea­dy done so – to app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit befo­re Sep­tem­ber 1. Only such an app­li­ca­ti­on will trig­ger the so-cal­led fic­tion effect of Sec­tion 81 (3) of the Resi­dence Act. This means that the resi­dence is con­si­de­red legal even after the expi­ra­ti­on of the 90 days until the decisi­on of the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty on this app­li­ca­ti­on (more on the app­li­ca­ti­on and the requi­re­ments see below).

Howe­ver, this only regu­la­tes the ent­ry and stay of Ukrai­ni­ans and for­eig­ners from Ukrai­ne, initi­al­ly until August 31 or a peri­od of 90 days after first ent­ry until Novem­ber 30 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.

re if necessary.

TEMPORARY PROTECTION AS THE MAIN TYPE OF RESIDENCE

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.

For which groups of peop­le this pro­tec­tion is inten­ded and how they should now behave, you can read here:

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).

DISTRIBUTION WITHIN GERMANY

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.

TEMPORARY PROTECTION INCLUDES: 

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

or

- 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-cal­led 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.

REASONS FOR DISQUALIFICATION FOR TEMPORARY PROTECTION

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.

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