Ukraine

Ukraine
Update 27.09.2022

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.

All the information is also available in GermanUkrainian and Russian language. 

Looking for counselling by phone? Then call the Particip.ai hotline. The staff speak Ukrainian, Russian and English and will provide you with all the essential information free of charge. You can reach the hotline Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on 0800 5052400. The call is free.

Additional information

Staying in Germany

What options do I have for a long-term residence in Germany?

People currently fleeing Ukraine do not need a visa to enter Germany until November 30, 2022. You can find out more about this in the “Am I allowed to enter Germany?” section. 

However, your visa-free stay is limited to 90 days (within 180 days) starting from the time you enter Germany for the first time. You must therefore have applied for a residence permit within 90 days of entering Germany.

Please note: If you have not applied for a residence permit after 90 days, your further stay in Germany will be considered illegal.

You have several options for obtaining for a long-term right of residence in Germany:

1. You apply for a long-term visa. Normally, you must apply for a long-term visa at the German embassy in your home country. However, there is currently an exception for all persons who are exempt from the visa requirement. You can find out whether you are one of them in the section "Am I allowed to enter Germany?". If you meet the requirements for a long-term visa (e.g. a student visa, a visa for a skilled worker, family reunification, etc.), you can apply for the visa directly at the immigration office responsible for you. The immigration office responsible for you is the one at your current place of residence. You can find the address on bamf.navi. You can find out more about the various long-term visas in our “National Visa” chapter.

2. You apply for a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act. You can read more about this in the "What is 'temporary protection' and who can get it?" section.

3. You apply for asylum. This is currently not recommended. You can find out more about this in the “Should I apply for asylum?” section.

4. If you are of Jewish descent, you can also apply for Jewish immigration. You can learn more about this in the "I am of Jewish descent. What are my options?" section.

I do not have Ukrainian citizenship, but I have lived in Ukraine. What possibilities do I have?

The possibilities mentioned in the "What are my options for long-term residence in Germany?" section also apply to people without Ukrainian citizenship. You can find out whether you meet the requirements for a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act in the "What is temporary protection and who can get it?" section.

If you do not meet the requirements for Section 24, you should definitely seek advice as soon as possible. Currently, your visa-free stay in Germany is permitted until  November 30, 2022.

However, you may only stay in the Federal Republic without a visa for 90 days from the time you first entered Germany. This means that (without a visa/residence permit) your right of residence is limited to 90 days.

Within these 90 days, make sure to check whether you can obtain a residence permit, for example, as a skilled worker or for studying or an apprenticeship in Germany. You can read more about the different types of long-term visa in our National Visa chapter.

You can find more information about non-Ukrainian citizens and their options in Germany in the section “Residence for Non-Ukrainian Citizens”.

I was born in Ukraine but never had a passport or ID. What options do I have?

There is currently no information available from the federal government about what type of residency status Ukrainians can obtain if they have never had papers. As soon as we have any news concerning the issue, we will inform you here and on our Facebook page.

Meanwhile, you need to contact a counseling center - you can find one in the “Further assistance” section.

I am of Jewish descent. What are my options?

People of Jewish descent can apply for Jewish immigration in addition to the other general options. You can apply directly to the Jewish community in the city or region where you reside. You can find a Jewish community near you at zentralratderjuden.de. The Jewish community will then forward your application to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge). A decision on your application will be made there. The prerequisite is that you were living in Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and that you have either Ukrainian citizenship or a Ukrainian residence permit. You must also be able to prove your Jewish ancestry with original documents. You can also first apply for a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act and only later apply for Jewish immigration. The residence permit you receive through a successful application for Jewish immigration is unlimited.
You can find out more about the general options for a long-term right of residence in Germany in the section "What options do I have for a long-term right of residence?".

I was already in Germany as a tourist before February 24th, 2022. What options do I have?

As tourists or business travellers, Ukrainian citizens and people with a permanent residence permit in Ukraine who have been in Germany shortly before February 24th, 2022, can also obtain a residence permit according to Section 24. As tourists can stay in Germany for up to 90 days, "shortly before" means up to 90 days. If you face difficulties with the Immigration Office, you should seek advice. You can find a counselling centre in the "Further assistance" section.

I came to Germany as a student. My visa is expiring soon. What can I do?

If your previous residence permit cannot be extended, you must contact the responsible Immigration Office. There you can apply for temporary protection in accordance with § 24 of the Residence Act. For more information, see the section: "What is 'Temporary Protection' and who can get it?".

I am Ukrainian and live in Germany. Can I leave the country now and come back later?

That depends on your residence permit:

  • If you currently only have  Tolerated Stay Permit (Duldung) or a temporary residence permit, the following applies: These papers expire when you leave the country. You are not allowed to re-enter Germany with it.
  • If you have a residence permit, the following usually applies: If you are abroad for more than 6 months, your residence permit will expire.

Important for trainees/apprentices: An interruption of an apprenticeship is usually only possible in the event of illness, maternity leave or parental leave. Military service abroad is not included.

Can I travel to other EU countries (or Schengen countries) with my residence permit?

With a residence permit according to §24 Residence Act, you are allowed to travel to other EU or Schengen countries for 90 days within 180 days. The prerequisite is that you are able to finance your trips yourself. For your trip, you need a biometric passport or a travel document for foreign citizens ("Reiseausweis für Ausländer"), but you don't need a visa. If you do not have a biometric passport, in principle, you require a visa. Currently, many countries allow Ukrainian citizens entry without a biometric passport or visa. To make sure, you should ask the embassy of the country you want to travel to in advance.

Visit ec.europa.eu for more information on traveling within the EU in English.

You can find out more about travel in our chapter “Travelling as a refugee”.

Am I going to receive support to return to my country?

Non-Ukrainian citizens who left Ukraine after February 24, 2022, and do not want to stay in Germany will receive support for their voluntary departure. They will be supported by the REAG/GARP (Reintegration and Emigration Programme for Asylum-Seekers in Germany/Government Assisted Repatriation Programme) and, if applicable, the StarthilfePlus. You can learn more in our chapter “Voluntary Return”.

Since April 19, 2022, the application has been possible via the OAM online application module. The prerequisite is that you have already been registered in Germany.

Please note: Your stay in Germany is permitted until at least 30.11.2022. However, you may only stay in the Federal Republic of Germany without a visa for 90 days (within 180 days) from the time you enter Germany for the first time. You can learn more about your long-term residence options in the section “What options do I have for long-term residence in Germany?”.

Important: Voluntary return to Ukraine is currently not supported.

Residence Permit According to §24 Residence Act

What is 'temporary protection' and who can get it?

The EU has decided that under certain conditions people from Ukraine can get a so-called "temporary protection". In Germany this will be a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act. This status comes from the European Directive on "Minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons" (Directive 2001/55/EC).
 

On Thursday, March 3rd, 2022, the EU agreed on the activation of this protection. The protection status applies to the following groups:

  • People with Ukrainian citizenship who fled Ukraine on or after February 24th, 2022. You do not necessarily need a passport for this. Another official document proving your identity should be sufficient.
  • Non-Ukrainian citizens of other countries and stateless persons who were recognized as refugees in Ukraine or had other international or national protection status and left Ukraine on or after February 24th, 2022. As proof it is sufficient to present a Ukrainian travel document for refugees or a travel document on complementary protection ("Travel Document for Person Granted Complentary Protection").
  • The nuclear family of the groups mentioned above, if they have already lived together in Ukraine. The nuclear family is spouses and minor children and stepchildren or parents of minor children. The citizenship of the family does not matter. If another family member has lived with them in Ukraine and is dependent on you (e.g. because he or she is in need of care or or is financially dependent), this family member can also apply for a residence permit according to Section 24. Unmarried partners living in a permanent relationship are also considered nuclear family.
  • Non-Ukrainian citizens of other countries and stateless persons who had a permanent residence permit in Ukraine and who are unable to return safely to their country of origin. This is the case, for example, if you do not have a passport, you are not able to travel due to health reasons or there is no flight connection to your country of origin at all. The length of your stay in Ukraine and whether you have or had family there also plays a role. Whether you can return to your country of origin is decided by the Immigration Office.

Furthermore, Germany has extended temporary protection to the following groups:

  • Non-Ukrainian citizens of other countries and stateless persons who had a temporary residence permit in Ukraine and who are not able to return safely to their country of origin. This is the case, for example, if you cannot obtain a passport, you are not able to travel due to health reasons or there is no flight connection to your home country at all. The length of your stay in Ukraine and whether you have or had family there also plays a role. Whether you can return to your country of origin is decided by the Immigration Office. It is required that your residence permit was valid for more than 90 days. So tourists or business travelers are not included. However, students or people who have worked in Ukraine and cannot return to their home country can get a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act (AufenthG), if they cannot return to their home country.
  • Persons who have applied for asylum in Ukraine but their application has not yet been decided.
  • Ukrainian citizens and individuals with a permanent residence in Ukraine who were already in Germany before February 24th, 2022 and had another residence permit here (e.g. as a student, qualified professional, etc.), provided their original residence permit cannot be extended. This also applies to Ukrainian citizens and individuals with a permanent residence in Ukraine who were in Germany as tourists up to 90 days before February 24th, 2022.
I have applied for temporary protection in another EU country. Can I come to Germany?

The general rule: You can only get temporary protection in one country. Once an EU country has granted you temporary protection, you usually cannot get this protection in another country. The rights and obligations you get through temporary protection are only valid in the country where you got the protection. So, for example, you may only work in the country where you got a residence permit. However, you are allowed to travel within the EU.

If you have already been granted temporary protection in an EU country, you can no longer freely decide whether to move to Germany or another country. The country you want to move to decide whether to accept you. Reception capacities in the respective country, for instance, play a major role here. You cannot influence this decision.

You can only move if the country where you want to relocate is willing to accept you. When you leave, you lose all the rights and obligations you had in the first country. If you want to move, it is best to seek legal advice. Check out the Further Assistance section to learn where you can seek legal advice.

You can find information on your possibilities regarding the residence law in different EU countries at ecre.org.

What rights and obligations would I have with 'temporary protection' (Section 24 of the Residence Act)?

With a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act, you have the following rights and obligations:

  • You do not have to go through an asylum procedure, but will receive the residence permit regardless of your individual situation. You do not have to prove German language skills or your own income.
  • If you do not have an income, you will receive financial support from the state on the basis of the Social Security Codes II and XII ("Grundsicherung"). You can find out more about it in the "state aid" and "Jobcenter“ sections.
  • Generally, you cannot choose your place of residence yourself, but will be assigned to a certain federal state and then to a certain municipality. If you have a long-term accommodation in a certain city, you are allowed to stay there. You can prove this, for example, by presenting a rental contract or a police registration certificate. Under certain circumstances, you can later move to another city. You can learn more in section “Accommodation”. Important: If you have family or friends in Germany and want to live near them, you should therefore first travel to the place where you expect to live. Only then register with the authorities.
  • You are subsequently allowed to bring your nuclear family to Germany. These are spouses and minor children or parents of minor children. You can read more about this in the "Family reunification" chapter. The usual requirements (securing ones livelihood, passport obligation, etc.) do not have to be fulfilled. Your family also does not have to apply for a visa at the embassy, but can apply for a residence permit directly at the Immigration Office at your new place of residence in Germany. Visa-free entry into Germany is possible for all people coming from Ukraine until November 30, 2022.
  • You will presumably have no entitlement to attend an integration course, but you may attend an integration course if there are free places. An integration course is a place where people learn German. At the end there is an examination. You can find out more about integration courses in the "Integration course" chapter.
  • You are allowed to work in Germany. You do not need to apply for a work permit. You can read more about this in the "Work" chapters.
  • You are entitled to support for vocational training and job hunting. You can find more information in the sections: "How does the Jobcenter help me find a job?" and "What financial support can I receive from the Jobcenter?".
  • If you are studying, you are entitled to BAföG – a financial support from the state for students. You can learn more about it in our chapter “BAföG”.
  • If you have children, you are entitled to child benefits ("Kindergeld"), parental allowance ("Elterngeld") and maintenance advance ("Unterhaltsvorschuss"). You can find more information in the chapters Parental Allowance and Child Benefits.
  • Your children can go to kindergarten, and later, must attend school. You can find out more in our Child Care and School chapter.
When should I apply for the residence permit according to Section 24?

On September 1st, 2022, an amended Residence Ordinance for Ukrainians will come into force. According to the ordinance, you can stay in Germany without a visa until November 30, 2022. However, your visa-free stay is limited to 90 days (within 180 days) from your first entry into Germany. This means that you must submit an application for a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act within 90 days of entering Germany for the first time.

For the deadlines of residence permit (§24 of the Residence Act) application, the new ordinance means:

  • If you were in Ukraine before February 24, 2022, and entered Germany before or on June 3, 2022, you have until August 31, 2022, to apply for a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act.
  • If you were in Ukraine before February 24, 2022, and entered Germany after June 3, 2022, you have 90 days from the time of your entry to apply for a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act.
  • If you enter Germany for the first time on or after September 1, 2022, you have 90 days to apply for a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act.

Please note: The 90-day period will not be paused if you leave the country in between and subsequently re-enter Germany. It starts from the first time you enter Germany and will not start over when you re-enter.

If you do not apply for a visa or a residence permit within 90 days of entering Germany for the first time, and do not apply for asylum either, your stay will be deemed illegal after 90 days.

Submitting your application for a residence permit earlier can be beneficial. After you have submitted the application, you will receive a so-called fictitious certificate. This gives you all the rights that you will have with the residence permit. You are allowed to work, for example. And can also switch to the Jobcenter. You can find out more about your rights and obligations with a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act (AufenthG) in the "What rights and obligations would I have with 'temporary protection'?" section.

Please note: From June 1st, 2022, identification procedure (ED procedure) is a mandatory requirement for the issuing of a residence permit or a “Fiktionsbescheinigung”. So, without ED procedure, you will not be issued a residence permit or a “Fiktionsbescheinigung”. This means that you may have to wait even longer for the residence permit to be issued.

Your personal data will be recorded during the ED procedure. Fingerprints are also taken from people over the age of 14. Children under the age of 6 will not be fingerprinted. Children between 6 and 14 can, but do not have to, provide fingerprints. If you already have a residence permit or a “Fiktionsbescheinigung”, you must go through the ED procedure by October 31, 2022.

If you are in Berlin: In Berlin, the ED procedure takes place in the State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) in the former Tegel Airport. You will receive an appointment from the LAF for the procedure.

If you are currently in a hospital or nursing facility or have a severe disability, you do not have to undergo an ED procedure. The prerequisite for such an exemption is that giving fingerprints, in particular, is not reasonably possible for you until October 31, 2022.

Important: Since many are currently in need of ED procedures, there may be delays in the issuance of residence permits and “Fiktionsbescheinigung” at this time.

You do not have to pay for the residence permit according to §24 of the Residence Act.

Where can I apply for the residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act?

The Immigration Office in your place of residence/registration is the responsible authority. You can find the address on bamf.navi. You can also apply for a residence permit online in some cases. This is the case in Berlin, for example.

How long will my residence permit (issued according to §24 Residence Act) remain valid?

The residence permits according to §24 Residence Act is currently valid until March 4, 2024. If the war continues, the residence permits can be extended. As soon as there is more information in this regard, we will inform you here and on our Facebook page.

I have a residence permit according to § 24 Residence Act. Can I obtain another residence permit later?

It is possible to switch to another residence permit. If you meet the requirements, you can, for instance, apply for a residence permit for the purpose of vocational training (“Aufenthaltserlaubnis zum Zweck der Berufsausbildung”) or a residence permit for skilled workers (“Aufenthaltserlaubnis als Fachkraft”). This can be useful, for instance, if the current "temporary protection" is not renewed after 2 years and you still want to stay in Germany. You can learn more about other residence permits in our “Immigration” chapter.

Registration & Passport

Where do I have to register?

In general, if you are staying at a private residence and do not need urgent financial or medical assistance, you can wait a few weeks before registering. Many authorities are currently experiencing overload. Therefore, it may make sense to wait a little. Important: This does not apply to minors who have come to Germany alone. Minors who are in Germany without their parents must register immediately. There are special clearing offices for this. You can find out more about this in the "Unaccompanied minor refugees" chapter.

If you need accommodation or financial or medical help, you should register immediately. The place where you need to register depends on the city you are located in. Important: If you have family in a particular city and would like to live there, be sure to mention this when you register. The authorities will then try to help you stay close to your family.

Detailed registration information is currently available for the following cities / states:

For all other cities or federal states, the following applies: You can contact the Immigration Office or the police everywhere. The staff there will then give you the address you should contact. Do not be afraid of the employees of the authorities and the police. You can also find the police at any major train station.

If you need financial or medical assistance or housing, you can also go directly to the social welfare office. You can find out more about this in the section "State Aid".

Important: If you have family in a particular city and would like to live there, be sure to mention this when you register. The authorities will then try to help you stay close to your family.

What happens after registration?

It depends on the city where you register. In any case, you will receive a confirmation of your registration on the same day. This confirmation is the basis for everything else. So make sure you take good care of it. In some cities, after this registration, you have to go to another government office to get accommodation or financial aid and, if possible, to apply for a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act (AufenthG). In other cities, everything is done at the same location. Important: If you do not have private accommodation, you might have to travel to another state or city.

Please note: Especially in big cities like Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, a lot of people want to register at the moment. This could lead to long waiting times.

Do I have to register my address?

Basically, all people who come to Germany and want to stay longer than three months have to register at the authorities after no longer than two weeks with their residential address. However, if you are living privately with family or friends or free of charge with supporters, you do not have to register with the registration office until after 3 months. If you wish, you can also register now. This can be useful if you need financial assistance from the state. You can read more about this in the "State Aid" section. If you live in an initial reception center or other accommodation assigned by the authorities, you must register immediately at the registration office.

Registration takes place in person at the Residents' Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) or Citizens' Registration Office (Bürgeramt). As a general rule, you will need an appointment for this. You can find the address of your Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt at melderegister-auskunft.de. For more information on the obligation to register, please check the "Registration" chapter. There you will also find out which documents you need for this.

Do I need a passport to obtain a residence permit?

Basically, you need a passport or a recognized passport substitute to apply for a residence title. Currently, according to the general decree of the German Ministry of the Interior dated March 17, 2022, the Ukrainian ID card is also exceptionally accepted as a passport substitute. This exception is valid until February 23, 2023, so you can currently also get a residence permit with an ID card. If you cannot identify yourself at all, it is possible to obtain a substitute ID card from the immigration office per Section 48 IV of the Residence Act. However, this substitute ID is only valid within Germany. You cannot use it to travel to other countries. In order to obtain this replacement ID, you must prove that you have previously resided in Ukraine or had your residence there.  You can verify this, for example, with a rental contract, an employment contract, or a student ID.

Can the authorities or the police keep my passport?

People fleeing Ukraine can enter and stay in Germany until 30.11.2022. After entering Germany, you can stay here for 90 days (within 180 days) without a visa. That mean you do not need a residence permit for this period. Therefore, the authorities or the police have no right to take away and keep your passport-this applies to Ukrainian citizens and people with other citizenship. The authorities or the police are only allowed to keep your passport if there is a specific reason, for example, if they suspect your passport is fake.

I do not have my passport / ID card with me or have lost it. What can I do?

The Ukrainian embassy, one of the Ukrainian consulates in Germany, or the embassy of your country of origin can issue you a certificate of identity or even a new identity card/passport. You can find the addresses at auswaertiges-amt.de.

If you cannot obtain a passport from your embassy, the Immigration Office can issue you a “travel document for foreign citizens” (“Reiseausweis für Ausländer”). However, you must be able to prove your identity with official documents.

My residence permit is stolen or lost. What can I do?

If you have lost your residence permit or it has been stolen, you must immediately notify the Immigration Office responsible. If your residence permit has been stolen, you must also report it to the police. You can find the nearest police station on polizei.de by selecting the state in which you live.

If you have activated the online ID function of your residence permit, you must also call the so-called "Sperr-Hotline” and have the online ID function blocked, so that no one else can use your residence permit. You can reach the “Sperr-Hotline” anytime on: 0180-1-33 33 33. To block the online ID function, you need a blocking password (“Sperr-Kennwort”) and your PUK. You can find this information in the letter in which you were sent the PIN to activate the electronic function of your residence permit. If you no longer have the blocking password, you must immediately contact the Immigration Office responsible for you. The Immigration Office can then block your residence permit directly. To do so, you need to present your passport.

Important: You do not have to block your residence permit if your supplementary sheet or “Zusatzblatt” is lost. All you have to do is apply for a new supplementary sheet from the Immigration Office responsible for you.

Please note: It can take up to 3 months for a new residence permit to be issued. Until then, you will receive a temporary paper. You also have to pay a fee for the issuing of the new residence permit. The amount of such a fee varies from state to state.

I am in Germany. My passport is about to expire or has already expired. What can I do?

If your passport is about to expire or you do not have a valid passport/passport replacement, you must immediately contact the Embassy of Ukraine or the Embassy of your country of origin.
Currently, expired Ukrainian passports are renewed by hand at the Ukrainian Embassy. In this process, the children's data and photographs are also added to the parents' passports. These additions are recognized by the German authorities only if they are additionally provided with a consular seal or stamp.

Seeking Asylum

Should I apply for asylum when I am in Germany?

On Thursday, March 3rd, 2022, the EU agreed on the activation of this protection. The protection status applies to the following groups:

  • People with Ukrainian citizenship who fled Ukraine on or after February 24th, 2022. You do not necessarily need a passport for this. Another official document proving your identity should be sufficient.
  • Non-Ukrainian citizens of other countries and stateless persons who were recognized as refugees in Ukraine or had other international or national protection status and left Ukraine on or after February 24th, 2022.
  • The nuclear family of the groups mentioned above, if they have already lived together in Ukraine. The nuclear family is spouses and minor children or parents of minor children. The citizenship of the family does not matter.
  • Non-Ukrainian citizens of other countries and stateless persons who had a permanent residence permit in Ukraine and who are unable to return safely to their country of origin. A safe return is not possible, for instance, if there is a war in your country and you would be persecuted upon return. Each case is examined individually. It is best to seek advice from the Immigration Office before applying. You can find free counseling centers in your area, for instance, on the Pro Asyl website.

If you belong to any of these groups, an asylum application does not make sense for you.

According to the current information, the same does not apply to any other groups of persons. Germany could extend the protection to other groups, but whether this will happen is currently unclear. As soon as we have news on this, we will inform you here and on Facebook. Since the situation is currently still unclear, it may make sense to wait before applying for asylum. An asylum procedure usually takes more than a year. As an asylum seeker, you must abide by many rules. 

It is currently difficult to assess whether your asylum application would have a chance of success. If it were decided positively, you would probably be granted either subsidiary protection or a ban of deportation. You can read more about this in the "Residence Permit" chapter.

However, a negative asylum application has many negative consequences. For example, it is more difficult to get a visa or a residence permit later on.

Many experts, therefore, advise waiting before applying for asylum. Make sure to check your other options beforehand. You can find out more about this in the "Staying in Germany“ section above.

If you are considering applying for asylum, please be sure to read the "Asylum Procedure" chapter. Furthermore, you should seek professional counseling in advance. You can get free counseling at Pro Asyl for example, or at state refugee counseling centers. The staff usually speak at least English and German and can also recommend a consulting center or lawyers in your area. The services are free of charge. You can also use our multilingual search engine Local Search to find free counseling centers near you.

The Immigration Office wants me to apply for asylum. What should I do?

Some Immigration Offices seem to be pressuring people without Ukrainian citizenship to leave the country or apply for asylum. Do not be pressured into anything. Even people without Ukrainian citizenship can get a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act under certain conditions. Therefore, you should definitely apply for a residence permit according to Section 24. Until a decision has been made on your application, you will receive a temporary residence permit. This gives you all the rights that people with a residence permit according to Section 24 have. You can read more about this in the section "What rights and obligations do I have with a residence permit according to Section 24?". If your application is rejected, you can still apply for asylum.

Important: Be sure to get legal advice. You can find counseling centers in the "Further assistance" section.

How long does it take for an asylum application to be processed?

There is currently no information on this. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is currently not making decisions on the asylum applications of Ukrainians. It is not known how long this decision freeze will last. However, asylum procedures usually take several months to years.

Please note that an asylum application is currently not recommended. You can read more about this in the "Should I apply for asylum?" section.

Can I decide for myself where I want to live if I apply for asylum?

Unfortunately, if you apply for asylum, you will generally not be able to decide where you want to live. You will be accommodated in an initial reception facility. In which federal state you will be accommodated depends on your citizenship.

Please note: Persons who are in possession of a valid residence permit with a validity period of more than six months do not have to live in an initial reception facility.

You can find out more about this in the "Temporary Stay Permit" chapter.

Please note that an asylum application is currently not recommended. You can find out more about this in the "Should I apply for asylum?" section.

I have a Tolerated Stay Permit (Duldung). Can I be deported?

There is currently no Germany-wide ban on deportation for Ukrainians. Some federal states have already officially announced that they are currently not deporting to Ukraine. However, there are currently no deportations being made to Ukraine from the other federal states either.

Be sure to seek advice on your options. A follow-up application for asylum may make sense for you in the long term. You can find free advice from e.g. Pro Asyl or the state refugee councils. The employees usually speak at least English and German and can also recommend a counseling center or lawyers in your area. The consultation is free. You can also use our multilingual Local Search engine to find free counseling centers near you.

I already applied for asylum before the Russian invasion. Do I have to do anything?

So far, asylum applications from Ukrainians have usually been rejected. Be sure to seek advice. You can find free advice e.g. at Pro Asyl or at the state refugee councils. The employees usually speak at least English and German and can also recommend a counseling center or lawyers in your area. The consultation is free. You can also use our multilingual Local Search engine to find free counseling centers near you.

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