Important information on entry and residence for people fleeing Ukraine
The Russian invasion of Ukraine forces many people to flee Ukraine. Here you will find information on the situation at the borders and on entering/staying in Germany for Ukrainian citizens and people of other nationalities who have lived in Ukraine. Ukrainians already in Germany can also find reliable and up-to-date information here.
We are striving to provide answers to all questions. As soon as we have news, we will inform you immediately here and on Facebook.
If you have further questions on the topics of residence, finding accommodation, dealing with authorities, government financial aid, medical care and psychological support, daycare, school or work, register on our community platform “Together in Germany” and ask them anonymously and free of charge. There you will receive reliable and verified answers to all your questions from our moderators, experts or other members of the community.
What do I need to know?
You can find an overview of the German healthcare system’s structure online, for instance, in the Federal Ministry of Health’s brochure “Das deutsche Gesundheitssystem”. The brochure is available in Ukrainian and German.
You can find more information concerning the health system, vaccinations, children's, women's and men's health in several languages on migration-gesundheit.bund.de.
You can find more details on the healthcare system in Germany and preventive medical check-ups in the “Health” category on our website.
People who can get a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act (“§24 AufentG”) are entitled to medical help within the framework of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. People who apply for asylum also have this right. As an asylum seeker, you will not be a member of a health insurance scheme, but you are going to be able to receive basic care. You must apply for this at the Social Welfare Office.
If you have an acute illness or pain but don't have enough money, you can get help from the Social Welfare Office. The same applies to emergency medical care. You can learn how to apply for such support in the section “Can I get financial support?”. Please note: You must apply for support before you go to the doctor. The Social Welfare Office will then give you a so-called “treatment certificate” (“Behandlungsschein”). In some federal states, you will also receive a so-called “health card” (“Gesundheitskarte”) with which you can visit a doctor free of charge. You can learn more about it in our chapter “Healthcare for refugees”.
Please note: Individuals who already have a residence permit according to §24 or a corresponding “Fiktionsbescheinigung”+ registration at the Central Register of Foreign Nationals will receive financial support from the Jobcenter. You will then be covered by statutory health insurance. And the Jobcenter will make contributions on your behalf.
You can choose your statutory health insurance yourself. At krankenkasseninfo.de you will find a list of statutory health insurance companies in Germany. You must apply the insurance cover yourself with the health insurance company of your choice. You can get help with filling out the applications from the Jobcenter responsible for you or from a counselling centre. Some health insurance companies also offer membership applications in Ukrainian. If you do not apply to a health insurance company yourself, the Jobcenter can register you at any health insurance company. You can learn more in the section “Jobcenter”.
Important: After submitting an application to a health insurance company, you will receive a health insurance card. This confirms that you have health insurance. You must have your health insurance card with you at every doctor's visit. Without the card, the doctor is not obliged to treat you. If you need urgent medical treatment, you can pay for treatment as a private patient.
It usually takes a few weeks for a health insurance card to be issued. If you have to see a doctor during this time, your health insurance company can issue you a letter confirming your membership. You can submit this letter at doctor’s office to seek treatment. You can request such a confirmation letter from your health insurance company by telephone or online.
If you have a job, are studying, or starting an apprenticeship, you can also become a member of a health insurance scheme. You can learn more about health insurance in Germany in our chapter “Health Insurance”. You can choose your statutory health insurance yourself. At krankenkasseninfo.de you will find a list of statutory health insurance companies in Germany.
Important: Even if you do not have health insurance and do not want to apply for asylum, you are entitled to medical help in an emergency. So, in the event of a medical emergency, be sure to go to the nearest hospital or call an ambulance. You can find a hospital nearby on deutsches-krankenhaus-verzeichnis.de by entering your post code or your city’s name in the search field.You can read more about emergencies in our "Emergency" chapter.
There are also organizations in Germany that treat undocumented people anonymously. Help from these organizations is free. Your stay will not be forwarded to the social welfare office. You can search for such an organization in your area on the website gesundheit-ein-menschenrecht.de. You can also search for anonymous medical help in your area on the Malteser and Medibüro websites.
If you are in Berlin, you can also find a list with contact details of organisations offering medical help to people without health insurance on aekb.de.
You can search for doctors throughout Germany who treat people from Ukraine free of charge on the platform jameda.de. In addition to German, all doctors speak either English, Russian or Ukrainian.
If you cannot find doctors who speak your language, contact the Ethno-Medizinisches Zentrum e. V. and ask for help. The staff will help you find interpreters for your doctor's visit. In the "Further Assistance" section, you will also find a link to a cost-free interpreters’ hotline.
There are also over 500 medical practices in Berlin that currently offer free medical and psychological help to refugees from Ukraine. You can find an overview at kvberlin.de. There you can also see which languages the individual practices speak.
In principle, every person residing in Germany has a family doctor. If you have health issues, you can go directly to your family doctor. To do so, however, you need to contact them to make an appointment in advance. However, making an appointment is not necessary in emergency cases. That means you can go directly to your family doctor's office in emergency cases.
If you do not have a family doctor yet, you should look for one. You can search for a family doctor online. In the search box, type in the name of your city and the word „Hausarzt” ("family doctor").
If you need to see a specialist, your family doctor will give you a referral slip. You can then use this referral letter to make an appointment with the specialist.
There still are some special regulations in some doctors’ offices in order to prevent the spreading of the Coronavirus. That means, for instance, that you might have to wear a mask during your appointment. It is best to inquire in advance about the regulations in the respective office.
People who can get a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act are entitled to medical help within the framework of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. People who apply for asylum also have this right. You are then not a member of a health insurance program but receive basic care. If you have special needs because you have a disability or need care, you can apply for additional assistance. You can find out how to do this in the “Can I get medical help?” section.
You can find out more about the topic of disability in our chapter “People with disabilities”.
You can find out more about care in our chapter “Nursing Care System”.
People who can get a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act are entitled to medical help within the framework of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. People who apply for asylum also have this right. You are then not a member of a health insurance scheme, but receive basic care. If you have special needs because you have a disability or need care, you can apply for additional assistance. You can find out how to do this in the “Can I get medical help?” section.
You are also entitled to pregnancy counselling. If you have any questions, you can call the Pregnancy Emergency Hotline. You can reach the staff free of charge on: 0800 40 40 020. The hotline staff are available 24 hours and speak English, German, Ukrainian and Russian, among other languages. You can find more information about the hotline on hilfetelefon-schwangere.de.
You also have the right to financial support. You can apply for child and parental benefits. You will find out more about child benefit in our chapter “Child benefit". You can learn more about parental allowance ("Elterngeld") in our “Parental allowance” chapter.
You can find out more about pregnancy in our chapter "Pregnancy".
You are entitled to medical assistance. For more information, see the "Can I get medical help?" section. You can also contact the organization MedWatch. The employees there can provide medication for people with cancer or multiple sclerosis. There is also insulin for people who need it. They will also help you find a place in a clinic.
On the German Cancer Society (deutschen Krebsgesellschaft or DKB) website, you will find a list of facilities that treat people with cancer throughout Germany in Ukrainian, Russian, German and English.
On the German Cancer Information Service (der Deutsche Krebsinformationsdienst) website, you will also find information about institutions that provide help to cancer patients who have fled Ukraine. The information on their website is published in Ukrainian, Russian, German, and English and is constantly updated. The Cancer Information Service also provides direct counseling. You can reach their staff directly through email in Ukrainian, Russian, English, or German via firstname.lastname@example.org.
People with HIV / AIDS or hepatitis can contact the AIDS service. The staff there will support you free of charge and put you in touch with doctors in your area. You can also get advice there. You can find an AIDS organization near you on kompass.hiv by selecting “Aidshilfe” under the category. You can also call the "Deutsche Aidshilfe" on 030 / 69 00 87 0 and ask for an address. However, the employees on the phone only speak German.
The Deutschen Leberhilfe e.V. can provide you with the most vital information on various types of liver diseases (in German). There you can also find addresses of doctors and clinics in your area.
You can find further information in our chapter “STDs & HIV”.
You can search directly for a specialist in your area in the ASV directory. In the section "Leistungsbereich", you must select the "Tuberculosis" category. People with tuberculosis can also contact the German Central Committee to Combat Tuberculosis (DZK). Their staff can answer your questions and provide you with information about treatment options. However, their staff usually speak only German.
On the DZK Tuberculosis Leaflet you can read in Ukrainian about various treatment options available for tuberculosis in Germany. There you will also find general information about the disease.
Important: In Germany, tuberculosis patients have to register at the Health Department. On rki.de, you can find the Health Department responsible for you by entering your postcode or location.
If you have received temporary protection in Germany in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act, you can apply for a Disability ID Card (“Schwerbehindertenausweis”) in Germany by submitting an application to the relevant authority given you meet all the requirements. To do so, you should first consult your general practitioner and inform them that you would like to apply to have your degree of disability (GdB) determined. Your doctor will then issue you with a referral to specialist doctors who will examine you and prepare a report. You will then need to send these reports along with your application to the relevant State Office for Social Affairs (“Landesamt für Soziales”). The processing of the application can take up to six months. After your application has been processed, you will receive a letter with further instructions.
You can find more information about the rights of severely disabled persons and the process of determining the degree of disability in Ukrainian on enableme.com.ua.
On the website of the German Society for Palliative Medicine you will find information on hospice and palliative care in Germany. On their website, you can search for help in your area for adults and young people. The website is available in Ukrainian, German, English and Russian.
You can also get an overview of hospice and palliative care in Germany in Ukrainian in a YouTube video published by the coordination centre for hospice and palliative care in Germany. Watching the video will help you learn what types of assistance exist and where you can find it.
You can get vaccinated against Corona at a vaccination center (“Impfzentrum”). You can also get vaccinated easily in many medical practices and pharmacies. This is also possible if you are not yet registered. You do not need an ID. After the vaccination, you will receive a so-called “insert sheet” („Einlegeblatt”). You can use this to get a digital vaccination certificate later.
At bzga.de, you will find flyers with helpful information in Ukrainian on the COVID vaccination for adults, adolescents and children from the age of 5.
You can read more about COVID in our "Coronavirus" chapters.
In this document docs.google.com you will find a list of doctors of various specialities who offer free medical consultations in Ukrainian and Russian and their contact details. Refugees from Ukraine can also receive advice from doctors via video or telephone. The doctors speak Ukrainian, Russian or English. For more information, visit fernarzt.com.
You can also seek medical assistance in Ukrainian, Russian and English free of charge from doctors4ua: the doctors answer all your medical questions via text, video or audio message. You must first register to be able to seek advice.
You can have an interpreter accompany you to your doctor's visit. See the "Where can I find interpreters?" section to learn where you can find Ukrainian and Russian interpreters.
If you have not found an interpreter, you can prepare for the doctor's visit with the help of various information brochures which are available in your language so that you can better understand the doctors. On setzer-verlag.com, you will find information booklets on various medical topics available for free download. You first need to click on the magazine that interests you and then select your language.
On thieme.de, you will find a German – Ukrainian dictionary, including numerous medical terms and helpful phrases for a doctor's visit.
Furthermore, the Apotheken-Umschau has published a visual dictionary for refugees with important medical terms and phrases. You can download the dictionary for free in Ukrainian, German, English and Russian on apotheken-umschau.de.
At medi-bild.de, you will find a small booklet with useful information in Ukrainian about the most common childhood diseases. There you will also find some tips on what you can do in case of each illness.