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: 22.04.2022

REGULATIONS TO DATE AT EU AND GERMAN FEDERAL LEVEL

In addi­ti­on to the EU Coun­cil Decisi­on on Tem­pora­ry Pro­tec­tion, the­re has been a Ukrai­ne Resi­dence Tran­si­tio­nal Regu­la­ti­on in Ger­ma­ny (Ukrai­ne­Auf­ent­hÜV, pro­lon­ged until 31st of August 2022) 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 peop­le in need of pro­tec­tion among the federal sta­tes. In a recent let­ter from the Federal Minis­try of the Inte­rior dated April 14, addi­tio­nal infor­ma­ti­on was pro­vi­ded on the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the EU regu­la­ti­ons in Ger­ma­ny. More will pro­bab­ly follow.

We will update this page regu­lar­ly to inclu­de and exp­lain new rules and regu­la­ti­ons. Howe­ver, many ques­ti­ons are and will remain unclear, as the­re are not and will not be regu­la­ti­ons for all issu­es. Moreo­ver, this »gene­ral« advice can only pro­vi­de an over­view and initi­al gui­d­ance, but can­not replace indi­vi­du­al advice on more com­plex ques­ti­ons.

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 25.02.).

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 fle­eing from Ukrai­ne should app­ly for asyl­um. Such an app­li­ca­ti­on should – if at all – only be made after pri­or indi­vi­du­al coun­se­ling. Ukrai­ni­ans can app­ly for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion easi­ly and with a mini­mum of admi­nis­tra­ti­ve effort (see below), and should cer­tain­ly do so.

Also for peop­le without a Ukrai­ni­an pass­port, an asyl­um app­li­ca­ti­on is usual­ly a dead end in this situa­ti­on, sin­ce in most cases it is not about a thre­at in the coun­try of ori­gin, but they would for examp­le like to con­ti­nue their stu­dies in Ger­ma­ny. An asyl­um pro­ce­du­re is a very unfor­tu­n­a­te way to do this. An asyl­um app­li­ca­ti­on implies the obli­ga­ti­on to live in an asyl­um shel­ter, even if the peop­le are alrea­dy pri­va­te­ly housed, as well as the 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 almost impossible.

LEGAL ENTRY AND RESIDENCE FOR REFUGEES FROM UKRAINE UNTIL August 31, 2022

The Ukrai­ne­Auf­ent­hÜV of March 7 (pro­lon­ged April 8) regu­la­tes the ent­ry and resi­dence of all refu­gees from Ukrai­ne (exten­ded on 08th of April). Accord­in­gly, Ukrai­ni­ans with resi­dence in Ukrai­ne, but also for­eig­ners who have stay­ed in Ukrai­ne on 24.02.2022 are exempt from the need for a resi­dence permit.

This regu­la­ti­on app­lies retroac­tively from the day the war began and with exten­si­on now until August 31,  implies that the­se peop­le have ent­e­red or are ent­e­ring Ger­ma­ny legal­ly and are stay­ing here legi­ti­mate­ly. The per­sons con­cer­ned do not have to fear any punish­ment, for examp­le becau­se they would have been allo­wed to enter Ger­ma­ny only with a valid visa. They do not have to worry that they might be stay­ing here illegally.

Howe­ver, this only regu­la­tes the ent­ry and stay of Ukrai­ni­ans and for­eig­ners from Ukrai­ne, initi­al­ly until August 31. This is a quick reme­dy, but it does not say anything about the long-term resi­dence pos­si­bi­li­ties of the peop­le con­cer­ned (more on this below).This regu­la­ti­on can be exten­ded again – we will inform about it here if necessary.

TEMPORARY PROTECTION AS THE MAIN TYPE OF RESIDENCE

Tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion is an instru­ment to pro­vi­de pro­tec­tion and to gua­ran­tee cer­tain rights to peop­le in a com­pa­ra­tively uncom­pli­ca­ted way and without con­duc­ting leng­thy and bureau­cra­tic asyl­um procedures.

In prac­ti­ce, howe­ver, the­re are unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly signi­fi­cant pro­blems and delays in many are­as, as well as chao­tic con­di­ti­ons in some cases, when it comes to making 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 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 shor­ten the dura­ti­on of on-site con­ta­cts at the for­eig­ners’ aut­ho­ri­ties. Howe­ver, this does not replace bio­metric regis­tra­ti­on, but is inten­ded to be used to ensu­re that the basic data of indi­vi­du­als who have not yet been regis­tered is collec­ted, ther­eby trig­ge­ring dis­tri­bu­ti­on. It is to be hoped that this new sys­tem will ease the bur­den on the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ties and thus, of cour­se, also on the refugees.

You can read here for which groups of peop­le this pro­tec­tion is inten­ded and how they should pro­ceed now:

Ukrai­ni­ans who have had to flee to Ger­ma­ny after Febru­a­ry 24 can app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit (Ger­man: Auf­ent­halts­er­laub­nis) accord­ing to § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG) for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion at the For­eig­ners‘ Regis­tra­ti­on Office (Ger­man: Aus­län­der­be­hör­de) at their place of resi­dence (e.g. if they are stay­ing with rela­ti­ves or friends).. Until the resi­dence per­mit is issued, the peop­le tem­pora­ri­ly recei­ve a so-cal­led fic­tio­n­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te (Ger­man: Fik­ti­ons­be­schei­ni­gung). 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.

If no pri­va­te accom­mo­da­ti­on is avail­ab­le, plea­se con­ta­ct a sta­te-run pri­ma­ry recep­ti­on cen­ter. From the­re, you will be assi­gned a place of resi­dence in Ger­ma­ny, whe­re you can then app­ly for § 24 Auf­en­thG at the respon­si­ble For­eig­ners‘ Regis­tra­ti­on Office. Sin­ce March 16, 2022, a dis­tri­bu­ti­on to the federal sta­tes is car­ri­ed out accord­ing to dis­tri­bu­ti­on key cal­led »König­stei­ner Schlüs­sel«, com­pa­ra­ble to the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of asyl­um see­kers. This means that the place of resi­dence can no lon­ger be free­ly cho­sen. Excep­ti­ons to this are – as descri­bed abo­ve – tho­se who can be accom­mo­da­ted privately.

The same also app­lies to tho­se who ent­e­red the coun­try befo­re Febru­a­ry 24, as long as they fled Ukrai­ne »not long« befo­re Febru­a­ry 24, 2022, or were in the EU »short­ly befo­re« that date. A peri­od »not long befo­re Febru­a­ry 24, 2022«  is assu­med to be no more than 90 days. Thus, for examp­le, peop­le who were alrea­dy visi­t­ing Ger­ma­ny or ano­t­her EU coun­try befo­re the war began are also eli­gi­ble for tem­pora­ry protection.

Ukrai­ni­an citi­zens with a resi­dence tit­le in Ger­ma­ny can also app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit accord­ing to § 24 Auf­en­thG, if the exten­si­on of the cur­rent resi­dence tit­le is not possible.

In the case of Ukrai­ni­an citi­zens who have app­lied for asyl­um (even befo­re Febru­a­ry 24) and are now app­ly­ing for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion, the asyl­um pro­ce­du­res will not be pur­sued until the resi­dence per­mit is issued in accordance with § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG). Accord­in­gly, tho­se who do not app­ly for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion will only recei­ve an asyl­um exami­na­ti­on by the BAMF. In gene­ral, howe­ver, it is not advi­s­able to con­duct an asyl­um pro­ce­du­re (see above).

The­re may also be pos­si­bi­li­ties for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion for Ukrai­ni­an citi­zens who are only living in Ger­ma­ny with a tole­ra­ti­on (Ger­man: Dul­dung). If the pre­vious rea­son for tole­ra­ti­on has cea­sed to app­ly, an app­li­ca­ti­on can be made for a resi­dence per­mit under § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG). 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 deter­mi­ned generous­ly. 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 were gran­ted inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion or a com­pa­ra­ble natio­nal pro­tec­tion sta­tus in Ukrai­ne befo­re Febru­a­ry 24, 2022, and their fami­ly mem­bers (see below) can app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit (Ger­man: Auf­ent­halts­er­laub­nis) accord­ing to § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG) for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion at the For­eig­ners‘ Regis­tra­ti­on Office (Ger­man: Aus­län­der­be­hör­de) at their place of resi­dence (e.g. if they are stay­ing with rela­ti­ves or friends). Until the resi­dence per­mit is issued, the peop­le tem­pora­ri­ly recei­ve a so-cal­led fic­tio­n­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te (Ger­man: Fik­ti­ons­be­schei­ni­gung) . 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.

If no pri­va­te accom­mo­da­ti­on is avail­ab­le, plea­se con­ta­ct a sta­te-run initi­al recep­ti­on cen­ter. From the­re, you will be assi­gned a place of resi­dence in Ger­ma­ny, whe­re you can then app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit accord­ing to § 24 Auf­en­thG for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion at the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty. Sin­ce March 16, 2022, a dis­tri­bu­ti­on to the federal sta­tes is car­ri­ed out accord­ing to a dis­tri­bu­ti­on key cal­led »König­stei­ner Schlüs­sel«, com­pa­ra­ble to the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of asyl­um see­kers. This means that the place of resi­dence can no lon­ger be free­ly cho­sen. Excep­ti­ons to this are – as descri­bed abo­ve – tho­se who can be accom­mo­da­ted privately.

Fami­ly mem­bers of Ukrai­ni­ans and of bene­fi­cia­ries of inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion in Ukrai­ne are also gran­ted a resi­dence per­mit (Ger­man: Auf­ent­halts­er­laub­nis) 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 accord­ing to § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG) for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion at the For­eig­ners‘ Regis­tra­ti­on Office (Ger­man: Aus­län­der­be­hör­de) at their place of resi­dence (for examp­le if they are stay­ing with rela­ti­ves or friends). This also app­lies if only the fami­ly mem­bers are in Ger­ma­ny and the Ukrai­ni­ans or the bene­fi­cia­ries of 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 fic­tio­n­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te (Ger­man: Fik­ti­ons­be­schei­ni­gung) until the resi­dence per­mit is issued. 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.

If no pri­va­te accom­mo­da­ti­on is avail­ab­le, plea­se con­ta­ct a sta­te-run initi­al recep­ti­on cen­ter. From the­re, you will be assi­gned a place of resi­dence in Ger­ma­ny, whe­re you can then app­ly to the rele­vant § 24 Auf­en­thG at the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty. Sin­ce March 16, 2022, a dis­tri­bu­ti­on to the federal sta­tes is car­ri­ed out accord­ing to a dis­tri­bu­ti­on key cal­led »König­stei­ner Schlüs­sel«, com­pa­ra­ble to the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of asyl­um see­kers. This means that the place of resi­dence can no lon­ger be free­ly cho­sen. Excep­ti­ons to this are – as descri­bed abo­ve – tho­se who can be accom­mo­da­ted privately.

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 rele­vant if they have alrea­dy reached the age of majo­ri­ty at the time of the app­li­ca­ti­on for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion. Non-Ukrai­ni­an par­ents of Ukrai­ni­an minors who have cus­to­dy and a per­ma­nent Ukrai­ni­an resi­dence per­mit also recei­ve tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion if, for examp­le, the other Ukrai­ni­an parent can­not lea­ve Ukrai­ne. 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 princi­pal per­son befo­re the out­break of war and are whol­ly or most­ly depen­dent on the princi­pal 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 accord­ing to § 24 AufenthG.

Howe­ver, the ques­ti­on of the respec­ti­ve indi­vi­du­al veri­fi­ca­ti­on remains, sin­ce a simp­le house­hold or eco­no­mic com­mu­ni­ty should not 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 rela­ti­ons­hip of the same kind. The rela­ti­ons­hip must be cha­rac­te­ri­zed by inter­nal ties that jus­ti­fy mutu­al sup­port 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 dis­pla­ce­ment are to be taken into account in a con­clu­si­ve sub­mis­si­on of facts in favor of the per­sons con­cer­ned. Time will tell in prac­ti­ce what this means in each indi­vi­du­al case.

Non-Ukrai­ni­an fami­ly mem­bers who do not resi­de in Ukrai­ne or in Ger­ma­ny or other EU coun­tries and who meet the requi­re­ments for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion can app­ly for a visa at the embas­sies in accordance with § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG), e.g. if air­lines are not allo­wed to trans­port them without a visa.

For­eig­ners an stateless peop­le who have lived in Ukrai­ne with a tem­pora­ry or per­ma­nent resi­dence per­mit (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 § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG) under cer­tain con­di­ti­ons and only in respec­tively indi­vi­du­al cases.

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

Peop­le who have stay­ed in Ukrai­ne with a valid per­ma­nent resi­dence per­mit should 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 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (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 (Ger­man: Fik­ti­ons­be­schei­ni­gung). 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.

If no pri­va­te accom­mo­da­ti­on is avail­ab­le, plea­se con­ta­ct a sta­te-run initi­al recep­ti­on cen­ter. From the­re, you will be assi­gned a place of resi­dence in Ger­ma­ny, whe­re you can then app­ly for § 24 Ger­man Resi­dence Act (Auf­en­thG) at the respon­si­ble for­eig­ners’ aut­ho­ri­ty. Sin­ce March 16, 2022, a dis­tri­bu­ti­on to the federal sta­tes is car­ri­ed out accord­ing to the so-cal­led »König­stein Key«, com­pa­ra­ble to the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of asyl­um see­kers. This means that the place of resi­dence can no lon­ger be free­ly cho­sen. Exempt from this are – as descri­bed abo­ve – tho­se who can be accom­mo­da­ted privately.

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 being 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 is, for examp­le, impos­si­ble 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 for­eig­ners’ aut­ho­ri­ty 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.

Anyo­ne who stay­ed in Ukrai­ne only for a short peri­od of time (for examp­le for a visit or for short-term jobs or simi­lar) and then had to flee does not qua­li­fy for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion. A tem­pora­ry short stay is any stay in Ukrai­ne not excee­ding 90 days for a tem­pora­ry pur­po­se. Thus, 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.

Non-Ukrai­ni­ans who are not enti­t­led to the tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion or for whom this is cur­r­ent­ly unclear should, if necessa­ry, app­ly for a resi­dence per­mit in time befo­re August 31st, 2022. A time­ly app­li­ca­ti­on will result in what is known as a fic­tio­n­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te (Ger­man: Fik­ti­ons­be­schei­ni­gung), and resi­dence will then con­ti­nue to be con­si­de­red per­mit­ted until the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ty has made a decisi­on on the app­li­ca­ti­on. This means that the­se per­sons are not for­ced 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.

In princip­le, it can alrea­dy be recom­men­ded that the­se peop­le »use« their cur­rent legal resi­dence until August 31, 2022, if pos­si­ble, in order to crea­te the con­di­ti­ons for a medi­um- or long-term resi­dence. So, for examp­le, to look for a place to stu­dy, who would like to con­ti­nue stu­dy­ing here, 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, e.g. to stu­dy, for voca­tio­nal trai­ning or for qua­li­fied work, the peop­le con­cer­ned must not be asked to catch up on the visa pro­ce­du­re (i.e. return to the coun­try of ori­gin and re-ent­ry with the cor­re­spon­ding visa). Peop­le have ent­e­red legal­ly and can obtain the resi­dence tit­le in the country.

As far as health care or the rece­i­pt of social bene­fits is con­cer­ned, peop­le without a Ukrai­ni­an pass­port who have not yet app­lied for a resi­dence per­mit for tem­pora­ry pro­tec­tion or have not yet recei­ved such a resi­dence per­mit recei­ve bene­fits under the asyl­um see­kers bene­fits act (Ger­man: Asyl­be­we­ber­leis­tungs­ge­setz, short Asyl­bLG) if they sub­mit a request for sup­port (accom­mo­da­ti­on, food, medi­cal care) to an aut­ho­ri­ty. This request for sup­port should not be con­si­de­red an app­li­ca­ti­on for asyl­um and peop­le should also not be pushed 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 will be dis­tri­bu­t­ed to indi­vi­du­al Ger­man sta­tes as of March 16. This does not inclu­de peop­le who can be accom­mo­da­ted pri­va­te­ly. As with asyl­um see­kers, the dis­tri­bu­ti­on is car­ri­ed out accord­ing to the so-cal­led »König­stei­ner Schlüs­sel«, and the Federal Office for Migra­ti­on and Refu­gees is respon­si­ble for car­ry­ing out the distribution.

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 have no 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 to be lifted, among other things, if employ­ment sub­ject to social insuran­ce con­tri­bu­ti­ons, voca­tio­nal trai­ning or stu­dies are taken up. In the­se cases, tho­se affec­ted can then move to ano­t­her city. 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; 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«, the for­eig­ners aut­ho­ri­ties are not to have any scope here. 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 AND HEALTH CARE: A resi­dence per­mit accord­ing to §24 Auf­en­thG so far enti­t­les to bene­fits accord­ing to the so-cal­led Asyl­um See­kers Bene­fits Act (even if the­se peop­le are not asyl­um see­kers, Ger­man: Asyl­be­wer­ber­leis­tungs­ge­setz), so the peop­le recei­ve bene­fits from the social wel­fa­re office and are cove­r­ed by health insuran­ce through the social wel­fa­re office. The pay­ment of bene­fits, as well as the prac­ti­ce of health care, is part­ly regu­la­ted dif­fer­ent­ly in the indi­vi­du­al districts. Star­ting June 2022, refu­gees from Ukrai­ne will recei­ve nor­mal social bene­fits by the Job­cen­ter and regu­lar health care. Pre­re­qui­si­te to recei­ve the­se bene­fits will be a regis­trar­ti­on in the cen­tral regis­try on for­eig­ners (Ger­man: Aus­län­der­zen­tral­re­gis­ter) and a fic­tio­n­al cer­ti­fi­ca­te (Ger­man: Fik­ti­ons­be­schei­ni­gung) or a resi­dence per­mit accord­ing to § 24 Auf­en­thG. In addi­ti­on, the­re is also an enti­t­le­ment to recei­ve child bene­fits and other fami­ly bene­fits as long as employ­ment is pur­sued or if cer­tain unem­ploy­ment bene­fits are recei­ved or paren­tal lea­ve is taken. If no employ­ment is pur­sued, the­re is an enti­t­le­ment to fami­ly bene­fits after 15 mon­ths of resi­dence in the federal territory.
  • ACCESS TO GERMAN COURSES: Access to inte­gra­ti­on cour­ses is pos­si­ble upon app­li­ca­ti­on. This 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 fic­tio­n­al 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 man­da­to­ry school atten­dance up to a cer­tain age. Sin­ce the edu­ca­ti­on sys­tem in Ger­ma­ny is a mat­ter of the indi­vi­du­al federal sta­tes, the­re are dif­fe­rent pro­ce­du­res for this. More infor­ma­ti­on can be found on Hand­book Ger­ma­ny.
  • RIGHT TO FAMILY REUNION: For the reuni­fi­ca­ti­on of spou­ses and minor child­ren, peop­le with a resi­dence per­mit accord­ing to § 24 Auf­en­thG are given pre­fe­ren­ti­al tre­at­ment if the fami­ly rela­ti­ons­hip in the coun­try of ori­gin was ter­mi­na­ted by the fle­eing situa­ti­on and the fami­ly mem­bers are trans­fer­red to ano­t­her EU coun­try or are out­side the EU and in need of pro­tec­tion. Under the­se con­di­ti­ons, the­re is a legal enti­t­le­ment to fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on in Ger­ma­ny. Secu­ring a live­li­hood may play just as litt­le a role as the exis­tence of a cla­ri­fied iden­ti­ty or the ful­fill­ment of the pass­port obli­ga­ti­on. Thus, 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 it 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 § 36 Para. 2 Auf­en­thG. The reuni­on must then be necessa­ry to avoid excep­tio­nal cir­cum­s­tan­ces of suf­fe­ring hardship. This may be the case, for examp­le, if the per­son wis­hing to join the fami­ly is in need of spe­cial assi­s­tance and no care is avail­ab­le in the coun­try of ori­gin. Howe­ver, the situa­ti­on in Ukrai­ne alo­ne should not gene­ral­ly repre­sent excep­tio­nal hardship, unless appro­pria­te arran­ge­ments are made.

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 § 24pParagraph 2 Auf­en­thG in con­junc­tion with § 3 Para­graph 2 AsylG).

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 (§ 24 para­graph 2 Auf­en­thG in con­junc­tion with § 60 para­graph 8 Auf­en­thG). Howe­ver, this broad exclu­si­on is not cove­r­ed by Arti­cle 28 of the directive.

Even if, as a result of a cau­se for exclu­si­on, the issuing of a resi­dence per­mit pur­suant to § 24 para­graph 1 Auf­en­thG is not an opti­on, 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 tole­ra­ted (Ger­man: Dul­dung) 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), accord­ing to § 11 para­graph 4 sen­tence 2 Auf­en­thG the ent­ry and resi­dence ban 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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