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Below is an overview of useful information for all refugees from Ukraine. Whether you are a refugee or helping refugees from Ukraine get settled in Germany, you will find comprehensive information about the following issues: Important legal foundations, Guidelines regarding entitlement to social benefits and Admission requirements at German universities.While we have done our best to provide up to date information, it is possible that regulations have been passed or amended in the meantime. Below we included a list of links with current information as well as (free) advisory services you can make use of.
General information/Residence status
· Pursuant to the Ukraine Residence Transition Regulations (Ukraine-Aufenthalts-Übergangsverordnung) of 7 March 2022, war refugees from Ukraine can legally remain in Germany without a visa until 31 August 2022. As of 1.9. a visa-free stay is expected to apply for 3 months from the day of entry into Germany. After rejection of a residence title, however, there is no longer any legal visa-free stay even before the 90 days have expired.
· Ukrainian nationals, recognized refugees in Ukraine, other nationals who cannot return to their home country, and their close relatives can receive a residence permit as war refugees under Section 24 of the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz – AufenthG). This is issued for an initial two years by the Berlin Immigration Office (LEA).
· War refugees (including nationals of third-countries) are generally advised against making an asylum application, as you are then unable to work or be housed in collective accommodation. You may also have issues regarding residency if your asylum application is denied (Section 10 AufenthG). Be sure to seek legal advising! (See advisory services)
· Refugees who arrive at the State Office for Refugee Affairs’ (LAF) arrival center at Tegel Airport and who do not have accommodation will be driven by bus to another federal state. If you have proof of work, certain relatives, or private accommodation in Berlin, you will be permitted to remain in Berlin. To receive a resident permit, you require proof of registration with the registration office, a (sub)lease agreement, or proof of residence from your landlord. You can request your residence and work permit online from the LEA: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/330875.
· Once you have been issued a fictional certificate or Fiktionsbescheinigung (which includes mention of Section 24), you are permitted to work
· As soon as you have applied for or receive a residence permit, you can request benefits (see below). Once you have submitted the application, you are also entitled to take an integration course (https://www.berlin.de/vhs/kurse/deutsch-integration/integrationskurse/) and learn German.
· Once you have submitted an application for social benifits (AsylBLG/SGB II/SGB XII), you can also receive medical care.
· It is also possible to submit an application for a residence permit for other reasons, such as to study, when submitting an application or after receiving a resident permit under Section 24 AufenthG. If your application under Section 24 AufenthG is denied, then an application for a residence permit for other purposes is likely only possible if you are entitled to legally stay in accordance with the Ukraine Residence Transition Regulations, which were extended until 31 August 2022.
· However, with a residence permit for the purpose of studying (§16b AufenthG) there are some things to consider – e.g. you need a blocked account with more than 10,000 € to guarantee that the studies can be financed or a guarantee. Furthermore, you cannot receive social benefits with this residence permit. You are allowed to work (with exceptions) 120 full or 240 half days per year. Be sure to get advice!
Entitlement to social benefits
- As soon as you have requested or received a residence permit under Section 24 AufenthG (see above), the following applies: Anyone who is a refugee from Ukraine is entitled to social benefits.
- Beginning 1 June 2022, if you have a residence permit under Section 24 AufenthG or a fictional certificate, you can request unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld II) pursuant to SGB II or basic security benefits due to reduced earning capacity or age (Grundsicherung) pursuant to SGB XII. In addition, an identification service treatment (ED treatment = fingerprints and photo) and a storage of the personal data with photo in the Central Register of Foreigners (AZR) is mandatory. This identification service treatment is made since 1.6.2022 directly in the arrival center, but otherwise at the appointment in the LEA.
- If you do not have these documents, you will likely be able to continue to receive social benefits under AsylbLG.
- Send your application form to the Social Welfare Office (AsylBL) or Jobcenter (SGB II) in the district where you are registered. If you are unable to provide proof of registration or a sublease agreement, submit confirmation of residence from your landlord.
- Documents should be sent via registered mail or fax.
- Students with a residence permit according to § 24 AufenthG or a fictitious certificate according to § 81 paragraph 5 in connection with paragraph 3 or 4 AufenthG can apply for BAföG: https://www.bafög.de/bafoeg/de/das-bafoeg-alle-infos-auf-einen-blick/hinweise-fuer-gefluechtete-aus-der-ukraine.html
- Students who continue their studies in Ukraine online are unfortunately not entitled to BAföG.
- For all questions regarding social benefits, you can contact the AStA TU BAföG and Social Counseling!
The Sozialamt or Jobcenter of the district makes a registration with one of the four health insurance companies (GKV), which have a contract with Berlin according to § 264 Abs. 1 SGB V, at the time of application. In the transitional period until the health insurance card, a copy of the registration certificate with GKV is sufficient for the entitlement to treatment. You can ask for the insurance number by phone!
Search for doctors and psychotherapists in Berlin: https://www.kvberlin.de/fuer-patienten/arzt-und-psychotherapeutensuche
If you already have a fixed destination in Germany or Western Europe, you should use the free HelpUkraineTicket of Deutsche Bahn and travel by train to your desired destination. You can get the HelpUkraineTicket at the main train station in Berlin and in Dresden, Munich or Nuremberg. For this you need a Ukraine ID a residence title of Ukraine (e.g. student ID): bahn.de/info/helpukraine. According to current information, the offer ends on October 31, 2022. You may need to inquire about an extension.
For June, July and August 2022, there is the 9 Euro monthly ticket valid nationwide on local trains and regional express trains of the Bahn: https://www.bahn.de/angebot/regio/9-euro-ticket
Requirements for admission to a German university
1. Language skills
To enroll in a German-language degree program, applicants must have German language skills at level C1. However, universities accept a variety of different language tests and scores.
· DSH – overall score DSH-2 or DSH-3
· Goethe-Zertifikat C2 (Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom – GDS or Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom or Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP) of the Goethe Institute
· Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz, Level II (DSD II)
· Deutsche Sprachprüfung II (DSPII) of the Sprachen- und Dolmetscher-Institut München
· TestDaF with at least 16 points (a minimum grade of 4 must have been achieved in every subtest)
· TELC Deutsch C1 Hochschule
· Successfully passed German language section of an assessment test at a preparatory school in Germany (FSP Deutsch)
· School-leaving certificate equivalent to a German university entrance qualification certificate (German as the language of instruction)
· Foreign educational certificates in accordance with No. 3 item 4 of the agreement on the admission of foreign applicants with foreign educational certificates to studies at German universities: proof of sufficient German language skills
Unfortunately, all of the above language tests are for a fee.
Further information: https://www.tu.berlin/studieren/bewerben-und-einschreiben/bewerbung-einschreibung-master/zugangsvoraussetzungen/sprachkenntnisse/
2) University entrance qualification certificate
If you do not have a German Abitur, you must have your school-leaving certificate converted to the equivalent Abitur grade.
You can use the platform Uni-Assist when applying to German universities. Anabin is also a useful website. It allows you to check in advance whether your school certificate will be recognized.
Further information: https://www.tu.berlin/studierendensekretariat/bewerbung-einschreibung-bachelor/studieninteressierte-mit-auslaendischen-bildungsnachweisen/zugangsvoraussetzungen/hochschulzugangsberechtigung/
Additional helpful websites for students
Information for people from Ukraine
University application checklist
Anabin recognition of school-leaving certificates: https://anabin.kmk.org/no_cache/filter/schulabschluesse-mit-hochschulzugang.html#land_gewaehlt
Useful links and advising offices
· Flüchtlingsrat Berlin – current information about residence and social law for refugees: https://fluechtlingsrat-berlin.de/news_termine/ukraine_english/
· General information from Berlin for refugees from Ukraine (arrival, social benefits, apartment search, medical care, psychological support, support for refugees with a disability) (GER, ENG, UKR, RU): https://www.berlin.de/ukraine/
· Information from the German Academic Exchange Service for Ukrainian students: https://www.daad-ukraine.org/en/
· Demands from the Student Coalition for Equal Rights for international students: https://www.studentcoalitionforequalrights.org/
· TU Berlin AStA advising for international students: https://asta.tu-berlin.de/en/international-student-advising/
· StudierendenWERK Berlin: assistance for students affected by the war in Ukraine (GER, UKR, RU, EN), social counseling, academic advising, psychological counseling: https://www.stw.berlin/en/international.html
· Migrationsrat – overview of advisory services for Ukrainian nationals and other refugees from Ukraine: https://www.migrationsrat.de/beratungsstellen-fuer-drittstaatsangehoerige-aus-der-ukraine/
· Information center and legal counseling for international students from Ukraine, Tuesdays 15-18:00: https://savvy-contemporary.com/en/events/2022/infopoint/
· BASTA Erwerbsloseninitiative Berlin – advising regarding the Job Center and social benefits (GER): https://www.bastaberlin.de/
· Advisory services for LGBTI* refugees (ENG, GER, UKR, RU): https://www.berlin.de/ukraine/en/arrive/contact-points-for-lgbti-refugees-1183415.en.php