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.
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.
What do I need to know?
That depends on your status:
- If you have applied for or already received a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act, you are allowed to work. You are also allowed to become self-employed. After you apply for a residence permit according to Section 24, you will receive a so-called “Fiktionsbescheinigung”, which confirms that you are allowed to work. Please note: You are entitled to a “Fiktionsbescheinigung” which reads “Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet” (i.e., "Employment permitted"). That means you can work as an employee or become self-employed. The prerequisite for this is that you have applied for a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act, have undergone identification procedures and are staying in Germany.
- As long as you are staying in Germany visa-free or with a visitor visa, you are not allowed to work.
- If you cannot get a residence permit according to Section 24, you can, for example, apply for a visa as a skilled worker if you meet the requirements. Obtaining this visa will also allow you to work. You can find out more in the "Residence" section.
- As an asylum seeker or tolerated person (that is, a person with a "Duldung") you have to comply with a lot of rules, including regarding work. You can read more about this in the "Work Permits for Refugees" chapter.
If you are allowed to work in Germany, you are generally also allowed to work in your trained profession. However, there are some professions for which you need recognition beforehand. These are, for example, doctors, lawyers, nurses or engineers. These professions are called "regimented professions" („reglementierte Berufe“). If you want to work in a regimented profession, you have to get your degree recognized. For skilled craftsmen: If you would like to become self-employed with a so-called "licensed trade" („zulassungspflichtigen Handwerk“), you must also have your professional qualification recognized.
Please note: If your profession is not regimented, you do not have to have your degree recognized. However, recognition will improve your chances in the German labour market.
Please note: Since July 27, 2022, new regulations apply to refugees from Ukraine who were working as truck or bus drivers in Ukraine and now have temporary protection in Germany: Under certain conditions, you can work in Germany and throughout the EU in your profession (i.e., as a driver). To start work, you must first have your qualifications recognised and go through a training course. The training is expected to last 60 hours and consists of theory and practical lessons. After passing the exam, you can work as a truck or bus driver.
In the coming months, there will be regular free online information events concerning recognition organised by the IQ network in Russian. You do not have to register beforehand and can participate via the link on the IQ network website.
You can seek case-specific advice concerning the recognition of qualifications free of charge from an IQ network counselling centre nearby. The employees speak different languages.
You can also seek advice from the IHK in German. Or contact the "Hotline Working and Living in Germany". You can reach the employees from Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. under the telephone number +49 30 1815 1111. The employees speak German and English. You can also fill out and submit a contact form online.
For more information, check out our chapter “Recognition of Foreign Qualifications”.
From October 1st, 2022, the statutory minimum wage in Germany was raised to €12 gross per hour. Gross means that some money is deducted from your wages before payment. If you work 40 hours a week and receive the minimum wage, you will receive €2080 gross at the end of the month. The minimum wage applies to all employees who have reached the age of 18.
If you have any questions about the minimum wage or want to make a complaint, you can contact the minimum wage hotline (Mindestlohn-Hotline). You can reach the staff by calling 030-60 28 00 28 from Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Please note: In Germany, apart from the statutory minimum wage, there is an industry minimum wage. It only applies to certain sectors. These are, for example, care, the construction industry and building cleaning. A collective agreement usually determines how high the minimum wage is for the respective industry. As a rule, these industry minimum wages are above the statutory minimum wage. At bmas.de, you will find an overview (in German) of the minimum wages in different sectors.
You can find more information on the topic in the chapters within our "Work" category.
You can find information about finding a job in Germany in the "Job Hunting and Application" section.
Workeer is a job platform on which thousands of companies willing to hire refugees are active. You can create a profile in just a few minutes so that the employers can contact you or apply directly for open job positions. Alternatively, you can contact initiatives that can support you in job hunting and answer your questions. The website is in German, but you can use Google Translate to benefit from it in your language.
The social-bee.de platform helps you to look for a job or language course. On Socialbee, you can find jobs in logistics, gastronomy, production and trade. To benefit from their service, you need to register on the website. The website is available in Ukrainian, German, English and Russian.
There are also some platforms specifically for people from Ukraine looking for work in the EU:
The uahelp.wiki/jobs page lists numerous internet platforms where you can look for a suitable job. The links are arranged according to the profession (e.g., doctor, teacher, journalist). The website also lists platforms where students and children (aged 14+) can look for job offers.
If you are in Berlin, you will also find numerous platforms on ukr-dim.de, where you can search for a job (in Berlin). Most of the employers listed there not only are ready to offer jobs, but can also help you with difficulties such as finding a suitable language course.
Refugees from Ukraine can look for a job in the fields of culture, film and media on the website of the Netzwerks new-start.media. The website is available in Ukrainian, German and Russian. As part of the online academy, the network new-start-media also offers an online German course for beginners and helps you in preparing for job interviews.
Mriya supports refugee musicians from Ukraine in job hunting. You can register on mriya.de and get help to find a job in the music field. The website is available in Ukrainian and German. Ukrainian artists from other fields can also register on the platform and receive support. If you have any questions about this offer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff speak several languages – including German, English, Russian and Ukrainian.
You can also search specifically for freelance jobs on freieberufe-jobportal.de. The search function is available in Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.
On hoteljobs.help, you can search for a job in the catering and hotel industry throughout Germany.
The State Medical Association in Saxony supports refugee doctors from Ukraine in their search for a job. You can reach the counselling centre of the Medical Association daily from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on 0351 8267-164. The employees speak Ukrainian, Russian, German and English. You can also contact the staff via email@example.com.
Refugee scientists and researchers from Ukraine can search for job offers throughout the EU on the European Commission’s website ERA4Ukraine.
If you live in Berlin and would like to work in a kindergarten, e-mail: KitaPersonalUkraine@senbjf.berlin.de. Socio-educational training is not a requirement. You can also help out as a language mediator in a kindergarten.
You can register on work4u.org and seek professional help in job hunting. When registering, you must provide your contact details and specify what language you speak. You can also register and log in with your mobile phone. The experts at work4u.org can help you in Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.
At jobs4refugees.org you will find support in finding a job or vocational training programme. In addition, Jobs4refugees offers various preparatory courses and application training for refugees. To get help, you need to register and provide your personal information. The website is available in German and English.
On hr-integrate.com, you will find mentors who will help you search for a job or training position. They speak English and German.
Refugees from Ukraine can also find mentors on Volunteer Vision. To find a mentor, you have to register on the app.volunteer-vision.com. The mentors support you in finding a job and learning German. They will also help you write applications and prepare you for job interviews. The mentoring sessions are held in German.
You can also register at forms.office.com and search for mentors. Registration is possible in Ukrainian, English and Russian. You can make an appointment for a video call with the mentors - in the session, the mentors will review your application and give you tips, and you can ask questions. You will also receive support in writing applications and filling out forms, and finding out which job portals there are in Germany. On the website, you can also search for tandem partners with whom you can improve your German language skills.
Trenkwalder.com will help you find a job and a language course. You will also receive free advice there on topics like work permits, account management and finding accommodation. You can contact them in Ukrainian, German or English at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important: If someone offers you a job that will earn you a lot of money in a short time, it is usually not a serious job.
You can get information and advice on your rights as an employee in the "Faire Integration" section. The employees there speak different languages. If you work in Berlin or the Berlin area and have problems with your employer, you can find advice and support in Ukrainian, Russian, German and English at bema.berlin.
Furthermore, you can check out the flyer (in German) published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for more information about your rights as an employee and job hunting.
A “mini-job” is a small, limited job. There are two types of mini-jobs: the so-called "€520 mini-job" and the "short-term mini-job". When you have a "€520 mini-job", your monthly salary must not exceed the limit of €520. With a “short-term mini job” you are not allowed to work more than 3 months or 70 days a year. In the latter case, it does not matter how much you earn.
Please note: As a so-called “mini-jobber”, you have no health, nursing care or unemployment insurance – you only have accident insurance. You must therefore take care of your health insurance yourself.
You can learn more about mini-jobs in our “Mini-job” chapter.
Librarians, archivists, scientists, information specialists, artists and cultural workers, authors, translators and educators as well as people involved in reading promotion, language cafés or tutoring can receive a grant from the German Library Association (dbv) and the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM) if they have fled to Germany from the war in Ukraine.
The scholarship will be paid from September 2022 to December 2022. The application period begins on September 1st, 2022. You can find out the exact conditions on the website of the German Library Association in German, Ukrainian and English. You can apply for the grant at stipendien.bibliotheksverband.de. To apply, you need to fill out the form in German or English. If you have any questions about the scholarship, contact the organisers via the e-mail address email@example.com.
With a residence permit according to §24 Residence Act, you can also work as self-employed. If you would like to become self-employed, you will find the essential information you need in Ukrainian and Russian on wir-gruenden-in-deutschland.de.
Obtaining a residence permit per Section 24 allows you to register at the Employment Agency as a jobseeker. The staff there will help you find a job or an apprenticeship. The Employment Agency also supports you financially with various measures, such as the recognition of your qualifications. You can find the employment agency responsible for you on arbeitsagentur.de by entering the postcode of your place of residence.
You can also call the Employment Agency and seek advice before receiving a residence permit. The staff speak Ukrainian and Russian and can be reached at 0911-178 7915 - they are available Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can also seek advice in German by calling 0800 – 4555500. You can find more information about the counselling services offered by the Employment Agency in Ukrainian and German in the flyer published on arbeitsagentur.de.
You can download a free application-writing guidebook from bewerbungstraining.de. The book is in Ukrainian and can provide you with information on, among other things, how to write a CV and what to pay attention to in a job interview.
A certificate of good conduct contains information about your criminal record. It shows whether you have been convicted of any crimes in the past and when so, for which crimes. You need a certificate of good conduct in Germany if you want to work in certain sectors. That is the case, for instance, if you would like to work with children or young people or in security-related professions.
You can apply for a certificate of good conduct through the online portal of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine (МВСУ). After filling out the form, you will receive a QR code which redirects you to the Ministry's website. You can then access your criminal record there. The document is in Ukrainian, and you have to have it translated into German. The translation must be carried out by a sworn interpreter. Ask the office that requires your certificate of good conduct whether you must have the document authenticated. You can find sworn translators at justiz-dolmetscher.de or bdue.de. You will learn more about authentication procedure in our chapter "Certified Copies".
You should be handed an employment contract –examine the contract carefully before signing it. An employment contract is a crucial piece of document because it contains all the working conditions and information concerning your job, e.g., how many hours you should work, how much money you will get and when you can resign or get dismissed. You can find out more about employment contracts in Germany in our “Employment contract” chapter.
If you do not understand parts of the employment contract you are offered or are not sure whether it is legitimate, contact the Fair Integration counselling centres. You can find their counselling centres nearby at faire-integration.de.
If you have been receiving financial help from the Jobcenter so far, you must inform the Jobcenter when you find a job. As soon as you have signed the employment contract, Jobcenter must be notified. The Jobcenter will then check whether you can continue to receive financial support – that depends on your salary.
Important: You are obliged to inform the Jobcenter. If you do not inform the Jobcenter in due time and continue to receive financial aid from the state despite working, you must pay what you’ve received back.
You can find more information about working in Germany and your rights in our "Work" category.
On lohntastik.de, you will find a "gross-net calculator" in Ukrainian. To see how your net salary is calculated, you'll need to include your tax bracket, state, year of birth, and health insurance type, among other things. Then press the "Berechnen" button. The table that appears shows how much tax and social security contributions you pay.
On the same page, you will also find explanations about tax brackets and tax types. You can find more information about the German tax system in our chapter "The German tax system".
You can find a list of cost-free coworking spaces on coworkingmap. You can directly contact the coworking spaces in the city that is suitable for you and clarify the details.
You can also find a job at roman-fritz-coworking.de by select the appropriate city and filling out the registration form. You will then be contacted by the staff to discuss the details.