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Visa and Residence Title

Hand holding international passport
© DAAD/van Allwörden

The respective authorities at your place of residence are responsible for questions regarding visa regulations and residence titles. We will give you an initial overview here.

Basic information about your stay in Germany

Further Information

You will find additional information (also in Ukrainian language) on the Website of the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees).

The rule that a visa issued by the embassy or consulate is required before entering Germany for a long-term stay does not exceptionally apply to war refugees from Ukraine. According to the current status, this exception applies to first-time entries until 04th March 2024 for a period of 90 days. Information on the extension of facilitated entry is currently awaited. Entry (germany4ukraine.de)

Until the Ukraine Residence Regulation is extended, the following rule applies: Ukrainian nationals and third-country nationals residing in Ukraine must generally apply for a visa for a long-term stay in Germany before travelling to Germany. Due to the current situation, Ukrainian nationals and third-country nationals residing in Ukraine can now exceptionally apply for a visa for Germany at the German diplomatic missions in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. The same applies to Ukrainian nationals who do not have a biometric passport. https://kyjiw.diplo.de/ua-de/service/05-VisaEinreise/-/2264458

Ukrainian nationals who are in Germany as students (§16b Residence Act) may be able to apply for a residence permit for refugees. This is possible, for example, if

– the studies are terminated or discontinued and therefore a residence permit according to §16b cannot be extended

– the livelihood for the studies is no longer secured

– or there is another legal reason.

When you entered Germany, whether before or after 24.2.2022, is irrelevant. More

Contacting the Foreigners’ Registration Office / Receiving benefits

You can register in all German cities. In order to do so, it is best to go to the Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners’ Registration Office), but you can also go to the police or the Federal Police (Bundespolizei). First aiders standing at railway stations and airports can also guide you.

As of 1st June, refugees from Ukraine in Germany covered by the scope of application of section 24 of Germany’s Residence Act (AufenthG) are able to receive basic social security benefits according to the German Social Code, Book II (SGB II). To receive these benefits, you need to register as mentioned above. Once you are registered, you will receive an “arrival certificate”. With this, you can go to the social welfare office in your city, where you will receive the benefits, you are entitled to. These are benefits in cash and in kind. After registration, you can also, for example, work in Germany or go to the doctor.

Important! After regular enrolment in a degree-oriented programme, you can no longer receive social benefits, but you can receive the Federal Training Assistance (BAföG). Guest student or exchange students, on the other hand, receive social benefits and may not apply for BAföG.

Longer-term residence title

In order to stay in Germany for a longer period of time, it is necessary to obtain a residence title. A “residence title” (Aufenthaltstitel) determines the residence of foreigners in Germany. The application for a longer residence title is made at the responsible Foreigners’ Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) at your place of residence.

Please note that refugees from Ukraine have various options when applying for a residence title. These differ in, among other things, which country of origin you come from, in which activities you can pursue with these residence titles and which social benefits you can claim, if any.

You can get an initial overview on the website germany4ukraine.de. For more comprehensive information, we recommend the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI).

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