Information on German Support for Ukrainian Refugees
Russia’s attack on the Ukraine forced many people out of their homes. Of those, many try to reach EU soil. The EU and the German government are ready and willing to help. Under the following link we have summarized relevant information for Ukrainian refugees seeking to enter Germany and to obtain relevant permits.
A. Entering Germany
The EU and Germany are willing to take anybody from Ukraine who seeks refuge. For those who have a biometric passport, entering Germany without visa continues to be legal. Once entered, owners of Ukrainian biometric passports may stay in Germany for up to 90 days legally. Once these 90 days are about to expire, Ukrainian nationals may apply for a residence permit. The stay in Germany then continues to be legal until there is a decision on the application (sec. 81 para. 3 sent. 1 German Residence Act (“Aufenthaltsgesetz”)). When staying in Germany under this regime, working is not permitted. The German Federal Ministry on Internal Affairs already recommend that the local foreigners’ authorities grant 90 days residence permits which do not permit to work (https://www.nds-fluerat.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/2022-02-23_Verlngerung_visumfreier_Kurzaufenthalte_von_ukrainischen_Staatsangehrigen__Absehen_von_erneutem_Visumverfahren_bei_lngerfristigen_Aufenthalt.pdf).
In addition to the aforesaid, it is planned to activate the Council Directive 2001/55/EC of July 20th, 2001, “on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof” (“Massenzustromsrichtlinie”). Activation requires a resolution by the Council of the European Union. After the activation is affected, the local foreigners’ authority may grant Ukrainian nationals residence permits which will be valid for one year. After one year, such residence permits may be extended (art. 4 para. 1) and will end automatically once the Council of the European Union has passed a resolution on the end of mass influx (art. 6 para. 1 lit. b)). In deviation to the “normal” permits described in the paragraph above, these “EU-permits” will allow applicants starting an employment (art. 12). However, please kindly note that the mass influx directive has not yet been activated so far.
Ukrainian nationals requiring a visa (e.g. applicants not holding biometric passports), usuall have to apply for it in the German representations in Ukraine (German embassy or consulates general). Due to the ongoing war, however, Ukrainian nationals may now also apply for a visa in the German representations in Ukraine’s neighboring countries - Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Moldova, and Hungary. The German representations in Poland set up information centers, 24-hour hotlines, and contact points.
In order to get to Germany, the Deutsche Bahn announced that traveling from Poland to Germany will be possible even without a valid ticket (https://www.deutschebahn.com/de/presse/pressestart_zentrales_uebersicht/Bahn-erleichtert-Gefluechteten-aus-der-Ukraine-Weiterreise-nach-Deutschland-Sonderzuege-in-Planung-7311236). It is, however, necessary to show a Ukrainian ID during ticket control. In addition, Deutsche Bahn is planning to increase the number of daily trains from Poland to Germany.
B. Whom to contact?
For Poland, there is a Northern Route (Warschau – Posen – Berlin) and a Southern Route (Krakau – Breslau – Dresden). For the Northern Route, the German Embassy in Warschau is competent, for the Southern Route, the German Consulate General in Krakau.
I. Northern Route
Informations- und Anlaufstelle Lubin (Botschaft Warschau)
Hotel Hamptons bei Hilton
Al. Kompozytorów Polskich 1
Tel.: +48 605 682 347
+48 605 682 347
II. Southern Route
Informations- und Anlaufstelle Rzeszów (HK Rzeszów / GK Breslau)
ul. Grundwaldzka 28
Tel.: +48 17 85 27 668
+48 605 682 347
C. Once Arrived in Germany
In addition to the above, there are many local offerings for helping refugees once they have arrived in Germany. Quite often local churches are involved in organizing support. If you are uncertain about the exact support offered for your case, feel free to contact the local Church or administration office in the city of arrival.
We sincerely hope that our short overview helps you and your families. Stay safe!