Information and help for refugees from Ukraine.
Please note that some regulations have not yet been clarified conclusively. The documents will be updated continuously.
Comprehensive information on Ukraine can be found on the website of the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration: https://www.integrationsbeauftragte.de/ib-de/staatsministerin/war-in-ukraine-2008510 and on the website of the Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia: https://www.land.nrw/ukraine
The North Rhine-Westphalia Victim Protection Portal: https://www.opferschutzportal.nrw/en
- Counselling and advisory services for families from Ukraine: https://www.elternsein.info/alltag-mit-kind/hilfe-ukraine/counselling-and-advisory-services-for-families-from-ukraine/
Website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community: Have you fled the war in Ukraine? https://www.germany4ukraine.de/hilfeportal-en
- Website of the Federal Ministry of Justice: https://www.bmj.de/DE/Themen/OpferschutzUndGewaltpraevention/OpferhilfeundOpferschutz/Opferhilfe_node.html
Website of the German NGO Network against human trafficking: https://www.kok-gegen-menschenhandel.de/en/home
Video of the THB Campaign European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbja3uK799g
Flyer: Be safe on the way
Flyers of the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA): What you need to know about temporary protection for adults, What you need to know about temporary protection for children and How to use the EUAA template leaflets on temporary protection
Where is accommodation offered and how do I get a place?
If you are not accommodated in a private household, you will be accommodated in one of the initial reception centres of the German federal states. Your contact for accommodation-related matters is the local foreigners’ registration office.
I am looking for private accommodation. Where can I find this?
Private accommodation for people from Ukraine is now being arranged via various channels. For example via the following organisations:
Refugees from Ukraine are also welcome in the rural areas of North Rhine-Westphalia. What opportunities do rural areas in North Rhine-Westphalia offer?
In rural areas, the opportunities for integration, access to child daycare places, schools, sports clubs and social networks are often better than in a larger city. When choosing their accommodation location, Ukrainian refugees should therefore take advantage of the opportunities offered by rural areas and not just focus on cities. An overview of the individual districts in North Rhine-Westphalia can be found at https://www.geoportal.nrw/portale_krs.
I have rented an apartment myself. What do I need to consider regarding smoke detectors?
Smoke detectors save lives by warning you in the event of a fire or smoke. For this reason, smoke detectors are now compulsory across Germany. In North-Rhine-Westphalia, the following applies:
- Smoke detectors must be installed in all bedrooms and children’s rooms.
- At least one smoke detector must be installed in all hallways in apartments or single-family homes which form part of emergency escape routes leading to stairwells or outside. In single-family homes with an open-plan stairwell, this also counts as an escape route and must have at least one smoke detector installed.
- The tenant is obligated to install the smoke detectors.
You can find more information at: https://www.rauchmelder-lebensretter.de/rauchmelderpflicht/rauchmelderp…
You as the tenant are responsible for maintenance, servicing and upkeep of the smoke detectors, unless your landlord takes on this responsibility themselves. For example, your landlord may engage a company to take care of servicing and you may – with advance notice - need to grant this company access to your apartment.
What does a chimney sweep do, and do I really need to allow them into my apartment?
Chimney sweeps check regularly whether chimneys, exhaust pipes, fireplaces, heating systems or ventilation systems are clean and functioning properly. They also check the carbon monoxide emission values of heating appliances (e.g. heating systems), because carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which can be deadly at high concentrations.
In general, you must grant chimney sweeps access to the heating appliances. If you live in an apartment building, this can – depending on the type of heating – also mean that you must allow them access to your apartment. Usually, this work will be announced two to five days in advance of the appointment.
You can find more information about chimney sweeps here: https://www.schornsteinfeger.de oder https://www.schornsteinfeger-nrw.de/.
What do I need to know when renting a flat?
There are many things for you to bear in mind when renting a flat. You can find more information on this topic at:
I am an unaccompanied child/adolescent. Where will I live and who will take care of me?
Refugee minors are subject to special protection and are taken into care by the local competent child protective services.
The minors' individual needs are determined during what is known as the clearing process. Afterwards, they are placed in residential homes for children and young people.
You can find more information here:
Where and from what age can my child attend school? Is school attendance compulsory for my child?
In Germany, all children from the age of 6 or 7 must attend school. For more information on this, please contact the school authority at your place of residence (https://www.schulministerium.nrw.de/BiPo/SchuleSuchen/). School attendance is free of charge.
For more information, visit:
Are you having difficulties finding a school or daycare centre? Do you need help with the registration? Then contact a municipal integration centre (MIC) in your city or municipality. You can find a list of all MICs at: https://www.mkjfgfi.nrw/kommunale-integrationszentren-0
What language support will my child receive at school?
Some schools offer extra classes just for refugee children. Here the children receive special language support. The aim is for the children to learn the German language, enabling them to participate in regular classes as quickly as possible. https://www.schulministerium.nrw/umgang-mit-den-auswirkungen-des-russla…
Where can I find care for children who are not yet of school age? Where and from what age can my child visit a daycare centre?
If there is a place available for your child at a daycare centre, you must submit an application to the Youth Welfare Office at your place of residence https://www.unterstuetzung-die-ankommt.de/de/.
Are you having difficulties finding a school or daycare centre? Do you need help with the registration? Then contact a municipal integration centre (MIC) in your city or municipality. You can find a list of all MICs at: https://www.mkjfgfi.nrw/kommunale-integrationszentren-0
Is attendance of a daycare centre compulsory for my child?
Attendance at a daycare centre is not compulsory.
What types of school are there in Germany and how can I find the right school for my child?
In Germany, children go to Grundschule [primary school] after kindergarten. Here, children pass through Years 1 to 4. After Year 4, children go to a secondary school. There are various types of secondary school, from which the most appropriate can be selected.
You can find more information in this collection of brochures:
Information in Ukrainian:
What do I need to consider when enrolling my child into school?
First, every child must undergo a medical examination. This is compulsory:
How will a school be allocated for my child?
The allocation of a school place for school-age children and young people will be carried out by the state education authority responsible for your area. You can find more information at:
Are there educational programmes in the central accommodation facilities?
Since 2020, a school-like educational programme has been offered in the central accommodation facilities.
This includes language support and literacy, among other aspects.
For more information, visit:
When are the school holidays, how many are there, and on which other days are schools closed?
In Germany, there are days when schools are closed. Sometimes these days are accompanied by what are known as “bridging days”.
If a public holiday falls on a Thursday, schools are usually closed the following Friday. The respective school or day care centre will inform you of any bridging days.
While most public holidays are the same nationwide, schools may be closed on different days depending on the state.
Please see the link below for information on all public holidays and school holidays for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia:
Are there Ukrainian lessons?
Language of origin teaching (Herkunftssprachliche Unterricht or HSU) is a central component of North Rhine-Westphalia's integration policy. Children and young people with an immigration background will therefore have the opportunity to grow up as either bilingual or multilingual. The Ministry for Schools and Education in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Ministerium für Schule und Bildung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen) is aiming to provide Ukrainian lessons. You can find further information on HSU at: https://www.schulministerium.nrw/herkunftssprachlicher-unterricht
We also run a state programme called "Strengthening primary school education using HSU - Using multilingualism to support children's educational success” (Grundschulbildung stärken durch HSU – Mehrsprachigkeit unterstützt den Bildungserfolg der Kinder). You can find information about this here: https://www.schulministerium.nrw/mehrsprachigkeit-als-chance-nutzen-her…
How can my child learn German quickly so that they can follow lessons taught in schools?
We run a state programme called “FerienIntensivTraining - FIT in Deutsch”. The programme is voluntary, free of charge, and takes place during the Easter, autumn, and summer holidays. Pupils receive intensive German language support in learning groups. They learn to use and practise the language within the framework of activities and excursions related to everyday life.
The offer is open to all newly immigrated children and young people of school age. We have also been providing language instruction in German to refugee children and young people from Ukraine since the Easter holidays.
Further information on this state programme can be found at: https://www.schulministerium.nrw/ferienintensivtraining-fit-deutsch
I would like to get involved in the education of my child/children. What can I do?
There are various school committees in which parents can get involved. For example, booster clubs and PTAs. Parents with an immigration background have also made use of the Parents' Network NRW to join forces.
Among other things, the network is responsible for running the "Parental involvement - participation means change” project (Projekt „Eltern mischen mit – Mitwirken heißt verändern“). Within the framework of this project, parents with an immigrant background are qualified to get involved in school committees for early childhood education and schooling.
Information on this can be found at: https://www.elternnetzwerk-nrw.de/, www.eltern-mischen-mit.de
Am I permitted to work in Germany? What do I have to consider?
You will certainly have lots of questions about working in Germany. For example, how many hours are you allowed to work and what is a mini-job. Many questions about working in Germany are answered here (https://www.bmas.de/DE/Europa-und-die-Welt/Europa/Ukraine/FAQ-DE/faq-ar…).
I was already employed and am now looking for a new job.
If you are looking for a new job in Germany, contact the Employment Agency. Here, you will find help with your search and also with the application process. You can find out which employment agency office is closest to you at https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/ukraine.
Do I have to have my vocational training qualification or my higher education degree recognised?
If you have completed vocational training or a higher education degree, it can be recognised under certain conditions. Visit https://www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/html/de/faq.php# to find out whether your qualification is eligible for recognition and where you can get further advice.
In addition, you can find more information (in Ukrainian) at the IQ network:
What does gross wage and net wage mean?
The meaning of these terms and what the gross and net amounts include is explained on the following website:
What funding schemes are there for vocational training?
If you would like to undertake vocational training, you can find out about funding schemes on the following webpages:
What support offers are there for the integration of women (with children) into the labour market?
Information on the integration of women into the labour market can be found at:
I am a Ukrainian researcher. Where can I find information or even employment?
To support Ukrainian researchers, the European Commission has set up the central platform “European Research Area for Ukraine - ERA4Ukraine”.
You can get a good overview of the offered support services from the German Academic Exchange Service: https://www.daad-ukraine.org/de/unterstuetzungsangebote/uebersicht-vorh…
English-language information is available from the association “National Research Data Infrastructure” - a large network of research institutions in Germany – https://www.nfdi.de/wichtige-links-fuer-wissenschaftlerinnen-aus-der-uk….
I was a teacher in Ukraine and would like to work as a teacher here in Germany.
The "Lehrkräfte Plus" programme (part of the "NRWege Leuchttürme" funding programme) gives teachers with a refugee background, inter alia, an insight into the German school system and prepares them for employment at schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. The programme is funded and managed by the Ministry for Culture and Science in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen).
Please visit https://lehrkraefteplus-nrw.de/ for all the information you will need on this topic.
Who is eligible for minimum wage?
The minimum wage applies regardless of nationality.
For more information, visit:
Does health and safety in the workplace exist in Germany and to whom does it apply?
If you wish to learn more about the applicable workplace health and safety regulations in Germany, you can find more information at https://www.bmas.de/DE/Arbeit/Arbeitsschutz/erklaerung-arbeitsschutz.ht….
I do not have the (professional) skills needed to find employment. Where can I find support?
Please contact the Federal Employment Agency for support.
I have questions about employment law (including salary, dismissal, etc.). Who do I speak to?
Please visit the Federal Ministry's website for a list of the various advice centres and information platforms available.
How many hours am I permitted to work per day?
Working hours are governed by § 3 of the Working Hours Act. You can find more information at: https://www.bmas.de/DE/Europa-und-die-Welt/Europa/Ukraine/FAQ-DE/faq-ar…
I would like to enrol in a vocational training programme. What requirements do I have to fulfil?
You can find further information on this at:
Or by visiting: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/unternehmen/arbeitskraefte/foerderung-gef… (You can also find information on vocational training programmes for certain trades here)
I would like to improve my German language skills (in addition to the language course). Where can I find additional material and books?
You can find digital offers at: https://www.bamf.de/DE/Themen/MigrationAufenthalt/ZuwandererDrittstaate…
Information for people from Ukraine who are unable to support themselves (last updated 2 June 2022)
As of 1 June 2022, under the conditions described here, people from Ukraine are eligible for Basic Provision for Jobseekers (SGB II) if they are in need of assistance and do not have enough money to live on. The Jobcenter is then responsible. For this, you need to submit an application to the Jobcenter.
You should prepare the following points before applying for benefits according to SGB II:
FAQ regarding registration, application, money transfers
Where do I need to register?
- First, you must register with the immigration authority responsible for your place of residence. You can identify the immigration authority responsible using the authority search function Behördenfinder . The webpage also provides information on whether your local immigration authority offers the option to register online.
- Please enquire which recommendations are given by the local immigration authority responsible for you regarding the timing, method and type of registration.
- When you register, you apply for the issuing of a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act (AufenthG) from the immigration authority.
- Please contact the immigration authority responsible for you regarding other residence permits.
- Be aware of fake websites; if you are unsure, do not pay any money online and do not enter bank details online. Immigration authorities will not ask for this information, even to allocate appointments more quickly.
What conditions are there for applying to receive support according to SGB II?
- In order to receive support from the Jobcenter (Basic Provision for Jobseekers), you need either a residence permit according to Section 24 (1) AufenthG (residence document) or a probationary certificate showing that you have applied for such a residence document.
- Replacement certificates issued by the immigration authority instead of a probationary certificate on or before 31 May 2022 may be recognised under certain circumstances until 31 October 2022.
What support is provided according to the SGB II?
- The scope of the SGB II includes two types of benefits:
- Benefits which provide for living costs
- Benefits which are intended to help to start work/training.
- You can find more information in the following documents:
- Brochure SGB II – Simply explained in Ukrainian
- Brochure SGB II – Simply explained in Russian
- Brief information on Unemployment Benefit II / Income Support in Ukrainian
- Brief information on Unemployment Benefit II / Income Support in Russian
- Flyer for Education and Social Participation Package (Ukrainian)
- Flyer for Education and Social Participation Package (Russian)
Apply to open a bank account:
- So that the Jobcenter can transfer money to you, you need an account at a German bank or savings bank.
- You can find more information regarding this on the BaFin website.
Select a health insurance fund:
- In Germany, you must have health insurance. This is important so that you can make use of medical services.
- When you receive Unemployment Benefit II, you are compulsorily insured in the statutory health insurance system and are included in social nursing care insurance.
- You can select a statutory health insurance fund yourself.
- Obtain information from the statutory health insurance fund regarding membership and ask for a certificate (certificate of membership) to be issued for the Jobcenter.
- When you receive money from the Jobcenter, the Jobcenter pays the monthly contributions to your health insurance fund. Submit the certificate of membership to the Jobcenter together with your benefit application.
- You can find more information on the website of the Federal Employment Agency and the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community.
Which Jobcenter is responsible for me?
- After a probationary certificate has been issued, regulation of your place of residence may take place.
- However, you receive this at the latest when your residence permit according to Section 24 (1) AufenthG is issued. Regulation of your place of residence means that you must take up residence within the federal state or local authority indicated.
- If regulation of your place of residence applies, the Jobcenter in whose area you must take up residence is responsible for you.
- The Jobcenter responsible for your place of residence can be found here: AGENCY SEARCH
FAQ (Frequently asked questions) regarding application for benefits according to SGB II
What do I need to do?
- If you already have a residence permit according to Section 24 (1) AufenthG or a probationary certificate according to Section 81 (5) in connection with (3) or (4) AufenthG with proof of application for a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG:
- Register with the Jobcenter responsible for you.
- If you have neither a residence permit according to Setion 24 (1) AufenthG nor a probationary certificate according to Section 81 (5) in connection with (3) or (4) AufenthG with proof of application for a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG:
- Please first register with the immigration authority responsible for you and apply for a residence permit according to Section 24 (1) AufenthG
When can I apply?
- As soon as you have a residence permit according to Section 24 (1) AufenthG or a probationary certificate according to Section 81 (5) in connection with (3) or (4) AufenthG with proof of application for a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG, you should make an application for benefits according to the SGB II.
- The following conditions also apply:
- You require help, meaning that you do not have enough money to live on
- You have registered with the registration office in your place of resident, taking the regulation of your place of resident into account.
- You are at least 15 years old, are not receiving a retirement pension in Ukraine and have not yet reached the age of retirement in Germany.
- To make an application, you need an appointment at the Jobcenter. You can make the appointment over the telephone. In some Jobcenters, you can also book the appointment online.
- IMPORTANT: Attend the meeting in person.
What application do I need to make?
- Application for unemployment benefit II
- Please note that the application must be made in German using Latin characters.
- Important: Please only complete the application form if you already have a residence permit according to Section 24 (1) AufenthG or a probationary certificate according to Section 81 (5) in connection with (3) or (4) AufenthG with proof of application for a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG.
Which documents do I need for my application?
- Copies of all residence permits / probationary certificates or replacement certificates (until 31 May 2022)
- Completed application with signature (if you already have a customer number from the Agentur für Arbeit, please ensure that you fill this in)
- If available: Current registration certificate
- If available: Confirmation of membership from a health insurance fund
- Housing costs: Copies of (sub-) lease agreements (if there is a written contract), other proof of the actual cost of the accommodation or confirmation of the size of the apartment, the number of rooms and all persons who are living in the apartment
- If available: Evidence of income and assets (e.g. bank statements)
How do children and young people receive money from the Jobcenter?
- As a rule, children and young people receive money from the Jobcenter together with their parents if they live with their parents, require help, are not married and are younger than 25 years old.
- Children and young people from the age of 15 years old onwards can receive benefits from the Jobcenter if they live with other relatives, e.g. grandparents, aunts or uncles.
- Young people from the age of 18 years old can receive benefits from the Jobcenter if they are living alone, e.g. if their parents are still in Ukraine.
Who can I make an application to the Jobcenter for
- For your so-called “shared household”:
- This includes you as the applicant and, if applicable, your
- Children living in your household who are younger than 25 years old and not married
- Cohabitating partner with their children / stepchildren
- Civil partner (same-sex registered civil partnership similar to marriage) with their children / stepchildren
My first appointment to make an application is after 1.6.2022 – will I still continue to receive money?
Yes. If you received asylum seekers benefits in May 2022, you will continue to receive payments according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act until your application is approved by the Jobcenter.
Where can I receive benefits from if I arrive after 1 June 2022?
- If a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG or the relevant probationary certificate has been issued, you can claim benefits according to the SGB II.
- If you do not yet have a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG or the relevant probationary certificate, you may be able to claim asylum seekers benefits if you have made an application for asylum. In this case, the responsible party is the immigration authority in your place of residence.
Will my assets be taken into account?
- All usable items of property will be taken into account as assets.
- Currently, your assets will only be taken into account if you have access to assets which can be used at short notice towards living costs and which total more than 60 000 euros and more than 30 000 euros for each additional person in your household.
- Assets situated in war or crisis zones, particularly including real estate, is usually not taken into account.
Will my income be taken into account?
- Income is taken into account when calculating your claim to benefits. Please submit the relevant proof, if possible.
- Bank statements from a bank account at a Ukrainian or Russian bank should be submitted, if possible.
- Income from gainful employment carried out in Germany will be taken into account.
- If you receive payments from a current employment in Ukraine, e.g. an online job, these will be taken into account as income.
- However, only those funds which you receive and which you can access in Germany will be taken into account.
Will my retirement pension from Ukraine be taken into account?
- If you receive an age-based pension comparable with a retirement pension in Germany, you cannot receive money from the Jobcenter. In this case, you may receive money from social welfare offices.
- The question of whether Ukrainian retirement pensions are comparable with German retirement pensions is still to be clarified.
Can I apply for child benefit?
- Yes. As a priority benefit, child benefit should be applied for from the Family Benefits Office.
- Child benefit will be taken into account when calculating your benefits according to the SGB II.
- You can find key information regarding this benefit on the website Child benefit for refugees from Ukraine.
- Multilingual information:
Am I allowed to stay overnight away from my place of residence?
With the prior agreement of your Jobcenter, you can stay overnight away from your place of residence for a maximum of three weeks per calendar year (so-called local absence). An extension is possible for individual cases under certain circumstances. Please obtain information regarding this in advance from your Jobcenter. You can also find out more here: Jobcenter:Information on local absence – Federal Employment Agency (arbeitsagentur.de).
Can I go back to Ukraine, e.g. to fetch possessions which were left behind, to visit someone etc.? Source: BAMF
- If you already have a residence permit entitling you to temporary support in Germany, this will lapse under the following conditions:
- You leave Germany for a reason which is not merely temporary or
- You reside outside Germany for more than six months.
- If you already have a residence permit entitling you to temporary support in Germany, it is in principle possible to travel abroad, including to your country of origin (please note any entry requirements there may be for your chosen destination country). During the validity period of your residence permit and with valid travel documents, you can enter Germany again at any time.
Please note: Those who are residing in Germany and have applied for a residence permit will receive a so-called probationary certificate. This does not entitle the holder to travel throughout the Schengen zone without a visa, as no residence permit has yet been issued. The probationary certificate thus does not represent a replacement for a residence certificate and therefore also does not permit re-entry after a stay abroad (although entry is currently allowed without a residence permit until 31 August 2022 via the transitional Ukraine residence regulation). Accordingly, this naturally also applies to other official certificates issued instead of a probationary certificate confirming the holder via registration or application as a war refugee from Ukraine.
Do I have obligations towards the Jobcenter?
- You must attend your first appointment at the Jobcenter in person to allow your identity to be checked.
- Please bring proof of identity for this purpose, e.g. passport or Ukrainian ID card.
- You must attend the appointments arranged (in person, via telephone or video) or cancel them in good time, giving a reason.
- You are obligated to give complete, correct information in applications and forms. In addition, you must tell your Jobcenter as soon as possible about any changes which occur after you have submitted your application. This is important as changes may affect the benefits paid.
FAQ (Frequently asked questions) regarding accommodation
What do I need to consider if I want to rent an apartment
- The Jobcenter can accept rental costs, if you are unable to pay them yourself.
- Please contact the Jobcenter responsible for you before signing a rental contract.
- The Jobcenter will check what accommodation costs can be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
Does the Jobcenter also pay for furniture?
If you need furniture: Please contact the Jobcenter. Here you will be given advice on whether you can receive support and, if applicable, how.
FAQ (Frequently asked questions) regarding support to enter employment
- The law on the promotion of employment stipulates a range of support facilities supporting people to enter employment or training.
- Services supporting you to enter employment or training may include, for example, payment of application costs or reimbursement for travel costs to an interview.
- Employment agencies and the Jobcenter also support young people below the age of 25 to enter the job market with careers advice and help to search for apprenticeship positions.
- The Jobcenter can advise you individually on qualification opportunities. Ø The Jobcenter can also support you with the recognition of formal professional qualifications.
FAQ (Frequently asked questions) regarding language courses
Can I participate in services offered for advice, childcare and language learning?
- With a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act (AufenthG – granting of residence for temporary protection), you can participate in the following offers:
- Federal migration advice for adults (MBE)
- Initial orientation courses for asylum seekers (EOK)
- Programme “Migrant women strong in everyday life” (MiA courses)
- Integration courses
- Professional language courses
- In general, participation in these courses and advice services is free and possible with proof of your background.
- A list of providers of EOK courses can be found at https://www.bamf.de/DE/Themen/Integration/ZugewanderteTeilnehmende/Erst… and providers of MiA courses can be found at www.bamf.de/mia.
- Using the BAMF-NAvI, you can easily find out where integration courses and migration advice is offered in your area: https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/
Do I have to enter employment as a matter of priority, or can I visit a language course before entering the employment market?
- If your language skills are not yet sufficient to enter employment, you can generally take part in a language course as a matter of priority, in order to achieve a B1 level (https://www.europaeischer-referenzrahmen.de/sprachniveau.php).
- In general, you can attend an integration course. You are usually not obliged to work in parallel to your integration course.
FAQ (Frequently asked questions) regarding working in Germany and employment law
Am I allowed to work in Germany?
- Yes, you can. For people who have already been issued with a residence permit according to Section 24 AufenthG, pursuit of an economic activity is allowed by law. This includes self-employment. Permission from the immigration authorities is not required.
- If you want to search for work directly, you can find job vacancies at the Job search of the Federal Employment Agency.
What do I need to consider when working in Germany?
German employment law applies to you. If you enter employment, the following is required from your employer, among other aspects:
- Payment of minimum wage: A minimum wage applies in Germany. This means that every employer must pay at least this wage. If the employer does not pay the minimum wage, they are breaking the law.
- Social security: Every employee in Germany has a right to social protection in certain cases. This is the so-called social insurance. This means that employers must pay social insurance contributions for each employment contract. Employees must also pay social insurance contributions. This applies to health insurance, nursing care insurance, pension insurance and accident insurance. Exception: mini-jobs. You can find further information on the website of the Minijob-Zentrale.
- Employment law protective rights: The employer must observe employment law protective rights. For example, employers must provide the appropriate protective clothing, if this is required.
Where can I find information on employment and social topics in Germany?
- In German germany4ukraine.de
- In Ukrainian germany4ukraine.de
Where can I find information on German employment law?
- You can find a short flyer on the topic of employment law in Germany in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, English and German on the website of the advice organisation “Faire Integration”
- More detailed flyers on the topics of employment law and pay in Ukrainian, Russian and German are provided by the German Trade Union Federation Saxony division
Where can I obtain advice on employment law issues?
If you need advice regarding employment law, you can contact the consulting project “Faire Integration” (www.faire-integration.de ). In NRW, “Faire Integration” has two information centres. The consultants’ contact information is:
Phone: +49(0) 231 997 701 50
Mobile: +49(0) 170 989 809 9
Email: aydogan.guel[at]dgb-bildungswerk.de ()
Address: Ostwall 17-21, 44135 Dortmund
Phone: +49(0) 211 158 418 67
Mobile: +49(0) 151 730 524 90
Email: Mousa.Othman[at]dgb-bildungswerk.de ()
Address: Graf-Adolf-Strasse 41, 40210 Düsseldorf
The state of NRW promotes a variety of advice services for people at risk of or suffering from labour exploitation. An important component of this is the Employment Information Centres (BSA) in every county and every district-free city in Nordrhein-Westfalen (53 in total). The BSA cooperate with linguistic mediators, allowing them to also offer you support. The information centre search is also available in Ukrainian and Russian.
Further information on good working conditions
The consultancy network “Gute Arbeit” from Arbeit und Leben has compiled a list of touchstones for good work for refugees from Ukraine. They are especially intended for those supporting refugees to enter employment, i.e. not directly for the refugees themselves. The touchstones provide orientation with the aim of preventing the risk of labour exploitation. They are not related specifically to the minimum standards according to German employment law alone, but go beyond them.
Can I get financial support and if so, where can I apply for it?
Yes, you can get financial support. You can either receive benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (AsylbLG) or from 1 June 2022 onwards money from the JobCenter (benefits according to Social Security Statute Book II (basic provisions for jobseekers) if you are able to work) or from the social welfare office (benefits according to Social Security Statute Book XII (social security benefit) if you have a reduced working capacity or receive a pension). If you are able to work, your local Jobcenters can advise you, otherwise the local social welfare offices can advise you.
If you have other questions on whether you can receive social benefits and what you need to consider, you can get detailed information regarding this, including application forms, instructions for filling these forms out and explanatory videos, from the Federal Ministry or Labour and Social Affairs as well as from the Federal Labour Office.
German: https://www.bmas.de/DE/Europa-und-die-Welt/Europa/Ukraine/FAQ-DE/faq-ar… oder https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/ukraine
Ukrainian: https://www.bmas.de/DE/Europa-und-die-Welt/Europa/Ukraine/FAQ-UA/faq-ar… oder https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/ua/ua/ukraine
Russian: https://www.bmas.de/DE/Europa-und-die-Welt/Europa/Ukraine/FAQ-RU/faq-ar… oder https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/ru/ru/ukraine
Which authority can I contact to receive benefits?
If you are staying with relatives, the Jobcenter or social welfare office of the town or city you are staying in or were assigned to is responsible for granting your benefits. Go to the town hall / city administration there or use the Federal Labour Office’s office search to find the Jobcenter responsible: https://web.arbeitsagentur.de/portal/metasuche/suche/dienststellen?in=j….
If you are living in state accommodation, the district government or the social service provider (Jobcenter or social welfare office) for the area you are staying in is responsible. You can find out which district government or social service provider is responsible for you from the employees of your state accommodation.
Do I need to register in order to receive benefits?
In general, you can only receive benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act once you are registered and a means test has been carried out. In individual cases, benefits may be paid out before you are registered. However, registration must then take place promptly.
This applies in cases where you are living in a state reception centre or in communal accommodation in your city. It also applies when you are living with friends or relatives and do not have any money. If you are in private accommodation, you must clarify with the city where you are living that you are not already registered in another city.
Medical services can also be provided without registration. Here too, registration must then take place promptly.
You can receive money from the Jobcenter (Social Security Statute Book II – basic provisions for jobseekers) or from the social welfare office (here: Social Security Statute Book XII – social security benefit) if you are registered and have applied for a residence permit according to Section 24 (1) of the Residence Act (AufenthG) from the immigration authority in your place of residence or abode. If a residence permit cannot be issued immediately, you will be issued with a so-called “probationary certificate”. The probationary certificate (as well as a replacement certificate issued by the immigration authority, if this was issued on or before 31st May 2022) entitles you to receive social benefits.
What benefits will I receive?
The Jobcenter can provide you support with:
- Benefits to secure living costs as well as accommodation and heating
- Benefits for integration into employment (see Chapter 3)
- Benefits to secure living costs as well as accommodation and housing are cash payments or vouchers for food, clothing, personal hygiene and rent, for example. You also have health insurance in the statutory health insurance system. For children and young adults, costs for educational support and music lessons, for example, may also be covered.
Your local Jobcenters can also advise you on this.
The social welfare office can also support you with benefits to secure living costs, i.e. money/vouchers for rent, food and personal hygiene. It is also possible to receive one-off support, for example when you have found an apartment and need to purchase furniture. If you receive money from the social welfare office, you are not covered by statutory health insurance. However, you will receive a health insurance card from a statutory health insurance company and can, for example, go to a doctor if you are ill. The costs incurred will then be accepted by the social welfare office.
Benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (AsylbLG) also include costs for accommodation, food, personal hygiene etc. You can also receive benefits for mobility or communication and basic medical care.
How high are the payments I will receive?
The level of financial aid you receive depends, for example, on whether you receive benefits according to Social Security Statute Book II (basic provisions for jobseekers), Social Security Statute Book XII (social security benefits) or the Asylum Seekers Benefit Act, how old you are, whether you have a family or are alone, where you live – in a private apartment or in state accommodation – and whether the benefit must be rendered as a non-cash benefit.
If you are living with friends or relatives and the required benefits can be rendered as cash benefits, the full standard rate will be granted. The level of this standard rate can be found here:
- For Social Security Statute Book II: https://www.bmas.de/DE/Arbeit/Grundsicherung-Arbeitslosengeld-II/Arbeit…
- For Social Security Statute Book XII: https://www.bmas.de/DE/Soziales/Sozialhilfe/sozialhilfe.html
- For Asylum Seekers Benefits Act: https://www.bmas.de/DE/Service/Presse/Meldungen/2021/neue-leistungssaet…
Please note that if you are living in state accommodation or in a municipal facility, the payment will in general only be the standard rate for necessary personal needs – also known as allowance. In these facilities, you can also receive your first allowance.
I have found accommodation with private individuals. Will my accommodation costs be paid for me?
Yes, the accommodation costs will be refunded to you and paid to your current account if you make an application to the social service provider responsible (Jobcenter or social welfare office) and can prove that you are in private accommodation. Your private accommodation should be indicated to the local authorities responsible (immigration authority, Jobcenter or social welfare office).
However, only the necessary costs for the accommodation will be refunded, and these will be subject to strict assessment. For accommodation in a private household (e.g. in a guest room), the documented and reasonable additional costs to your host, e.g. heating costs for your room, can be proportionally accepted.
Documented running costs for water and hot water can also usually be refunded to you within reasonable scope.
Am I entitled to child benefit?
You are entitled to child benefit if the following applies:
- The parent making the application has a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act. The residence permit must allow employment for at least 6 months.
- The parent making the application must be residing in Germany.
- The child is residing in Germany or another country belonging to the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Since 1 June 2022, employment is not required in order to receive child benefit. Applicants no longer need to provide proof of employment.
However, you must consider that the child benefit is taken into account as income when calculating benefits received from the state, such as benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act or benefits according to the basic provisions for jobseekers (Social Security Statute Book II).
You can find further information regarding child benefit and the application process at the following link from the Family Benefits Office of the Federal Labour Office: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/familie-und-kinder/ukraine-kindergeld
I am ill. Can I get free medical treatment?
If you have had an accident or you are in so much pain that it is no longer possible for you to delay a visit to the doctor, you can directly go to a doctor or hospital. In this case, a doctor or hospital is obligated to provide you with emergency medical care.
You can find a hospital near you on the hospital database at https://www.mags.nrw/krankenhausdatenbank. To call the rescue services, dial 112.
Do you have further questions, e.g. about psychological support or medical assistance during pregnancy or medical support for children? In this case, visit https://www.germany4ukraine.de/hilfeportal-de/medizinische-versorgung
I am looking for a doctor to receive medical treatment.
To receive free medical treatment, you will need a medical treatment certificate. As a rule, you will first have to go to the social welfare office at your place of residence (https://www.meldebox.de/sozialamt/) if you have not yet been provided with a health insurance card.
I live in a state facility and need a doctor.
In this case, you will receive the medical treatment certificate from the facility. Generally, medical services will be offered directly at the facility.
You can find more information on medical care for people who have fled Ukraine because of the war on the portal of the Federal Ministry of the Interior at https://www.germany4ukraine.de/hilfeportal-de (also in Ukrainian, Russian or English).
Where can I find doctors in NRW who speak Ukrainian, Russian or another language?
Start by searching for your place of residence in this overview of municipalities in North Rhine-Westphalia https://www.mhkbg.nrw/kommunen. There, you can find out which administrative district your place of residence belongs to.
Do you live in the administrative districts of Düsseldorf and Cologne?
Then you can find doctors in your area at https://patienten.kvno.de/praxissuche. You can also specifically search for the languages offered by the doctors.
Do you live in the administrative districts of Arnsberg, Detmold and Münster? Then you can find doctors in your area at https://portal.aekwl.de/web/serviceportal/arztsuche#suche. There, too, it is possible to search for the languages offered by the doctors.
You can also use the Germany-wide portal https://www.arzt-auskunft.de to search directly for doctors in your area who speak Ukrainian, Russian or another language.
Can I get vaccinated against COVID-19 free of charge in Germany?
Yes. You can get vaccinated against COVID-19 free of charge in vaccination centres, in many medical practices or pharmacies. If you have been vaccinated with a Russian or Chinese vaccine, you will be considered as unvaccinated in the EU (https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/impfen/#deutschlandkarte).
Can I get tested for COVID-19 free of charge?
Yes. Refugees from Ukraine are entitled to a PoC antigen test. An identity document must be presented for a so-called Bürgertest (citizen test). If no identity document available - especially in the case of children - the Federal Ministry of Health recommends an unbureaucratic approach.
Where can I find information about the current regulations on COVID-19 in North Rhine-Westphalia?
All current regulations that apply in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example due to the current infection situation and the situation in hospitals, can be found here: https://www.mags.nrw/coronavirus-regeln-nrw
If you would like to know how high the case numbers are at your place of residence, you will find this information on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.
I have psychological problems and suffer from mental health challenges. Where can I find help?
If you require psychological support, you can find help on the BAfF e.V. website – German Association of Psychosocial Centres for Refugees and Victims of Torture. The BAfF is the umbrella association of psychosocial centres, organisations and initiatives which offer psychosocial and therapeutic support for refugees in Germany.Where can I find information on this?
Is help available digitally/over the telephone in the event of psychological problems?
You can find crisis lines (including Russian-language crisis lines and assistance for traumatised refugees) and chats at:
I have heard about a Corona Warn App. Where can I find this app or information about it?
The Corona Warn App is part of the fight against the pandemic. You can find information on this at https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/corona-warn-app. You can, for example, save your proof of vaccination or test results in the app. Above all, however, the app will also inform you if you have had contact with someone who has had a positive corona test result. The app is also available in Ukrainian. You can find it in the App Store or the Google Play Store.
Which vaccinations are recommended in Germany?
The Robert Koch Institute has translated an immunisation schedule into many languages. It gives an overview of at what age a person should receive which vaccination.
What healthcare am I entitled to?
You will receive the necessary protective vaccinations for protecting against, and detecting the early stages of, diseases as recommended by the Standing Committee on Vaccinations (STIKO) for people living in Germany, and you are also entitled to medical check-ups.
If you undergo medical treatment as an out-patient or need hospital treatment, you will usually be issued with a medical care certificate or hospital treatment certificate.
If you fall acutely ill and are suffering from pain and need urgent treatment, you do not need to make an application for treatment. However, if you need further medical care beyond emergency treatment of acute illnesses and pain, and this further medical care must not be carried out immediately, you will require consent. This can be obtained from the city in which you are living, or the regional government responsible for you if you are living in state accommodation. You can find out which regional government is responsible for you from the employees of your state accommodation.
I take medication regularly. Where can I get prescriptions if I have run out of medication?
In Germany, many medicines have to be prescribed by a doctor. E.g.: this also includes medication for treating heart disease or diabetes. The doctor will give you your prescription. You can then use this to get the medication you need at a pharmacy.
It is possible to buy certain types of medicine over the counter. Pharmacies will be happy to advise you on what products are available without a prescription.
I have a disability. Which benefits am I entitled to?
If you have special requirements due to your disability which cannot be covered by the basic benefits provided, then you can receive further support. This support should make it possible for you to live as you would like. This includes support with accommodation and leisure time. You can also receive mobility benefits. The type of additional help you receive depends on your specific situation. If you have further questions, please contact the funding agency in your city (town hall/city administration, social welfare office) or, if you are still living in state accommodation, the relevant regional government. You can find out which regional government is responsible for you from the employees of your state accommodation.
I am dependent on care. Which benefits am I entitled to?
If you have special requirements due to your disability which cannot be covered by the basic benefits provided, then you can receive further support.
The type of additional help you receive depends on your specific situation. If you have further questions, please contact the funding agency in your city (town hall/city administration) or, if you are still living in state accommodation, the relevant regional government. You can find out which regional government is responsible for you from the employees of your state accommodation.
Further information on entitlement to benefits for care-dependent people and people with disabilities.
You can find information at:
Will documents issued in Ukraine confirming a disability be recognised in Germany?
German-language or translated medical documents containing information on the type, severity and impact of the disability can be recognised or taken into account during the decision-making process by the German authorities regarding the degree of disability. Ukrainian documents containing a general statement on the presence of a disability, however, cannot be recognised.
According to German law, is an assessment of the disability required?
Yes, the German authorities must make an independent assessment of whether and to what degree a participation disability is present.
Who can I contact to have a disability assessed?
In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, assessment of the degree of disability is carried out by the county, boroughs or districts in which the applicant is living. In some instances, the social security offices are responsible, and in some instances the health authorities are responsible. You can find a list of all authorities here.
Applications for the assessment of a disability can be made initially in digital form at www.elsa.nrw.de, or directly by filling out specific forms which can be requested informally or picked up from the town hall. In order to accelerate the assessment process, any medical findings reports should be submitted, if possible. If such reports are not available, a medical evaluation may potentially be required.
Will I receive home-related support?
In Germany, people with disabilities may be entitled to home-related support as part of integration support according to Volume IX of the German Social Code (SGB). The funding agencies responsible in North Rhine-Westphalia are the Landschaftsverband Rheinland and Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (Regional Council of the Rhineland and Regional Council of Westphalia-Lippe). For those receiving asylum seekers benefits, however, integration support according to SGB IX is generally excluded. In these cases, local councils, as the responsible authorities for the implementation of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, decide on the granting of support which may correspond to integration support benefits. With the transition of refugees from Ukraine from the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act to the benefits systems SGB II and SGB XII, refugees from Ukraine with disabilities are subsequently conferred the right to integration support benefits according to Volume IX of the German Social Code (SGB).
Can I enter employment?
Refugees from Ukraine with a disability can receive facilitation benefits for participation in working life, e.g. cost absorption for certain aids, help with workplace layout, wage subsidies for employers, etc.
The condition is that a severe disability (degree of disability of at least 50%) has been determined or that the Federal Labour Office has established “Gleichstellung” [equality] (see below).
The legal basis for the benefits is formed by Volumes II, XII or II of the German Social Code, each in combination with Volume IX of the German Social Code (SGB).
Here, the following codes apply:
- SGB II for employable refugees;
- SGB XII for non-employable refugees who are already of retirement age or dependent on care, as well as those who cannot be employed due to a disability (for a change to the legal system of SGB XII for this group of people, a short application must be filled out);
- SGB III for those who do not receive basic social benefits.
Where can I get advice on questions regarding participation and rehabilitation?
People with disabilities and their relatives can receive free, independent support and information on all questions regarding rehabilitation and participation from one of the many services provided by the Supplementary Independent Participation Advice (Ergänzende unabhängige Teilhabeberatung or EUTB®). The advisors can provide support in particular during preparation for applying for specific benefits. The services offered by the EUTB® are available to everyone, regardless of their residence permit. Please note that the EUTB® does not provide advice on residence law or asylum law. Legal advice and support in appeal procedures or legal actions is also not provided by the EUTB®.
You can find more information on the services offered by the EUTB® and other advisory services here: https://www.teilhabeberatung.de/
What German courses are there and how do I sign up for a German course?
For people from Ukraine, the federal government provides integration and professional language courses as well as initial orientation courses and special courses for women, so-called “MIA courses” – Empowering migrant women in their daily lives.
If you are granted temporary protection according to Section 24 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG), you are eligible to attend a free integration course. To do so, you must send your application for attendance of such a course to the competent regional office of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). The regional office responsible for this can be found here: https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/. For this, you will require a residence permit or a probationary certificate. If it is not possible to present these documents due to overburdening of the immigration authorities, admission can be granted on presentation of other documentation issued by public authorities. The pivotal aspect for admission to an integration course is being able to credibly prove to the BAMF that you are receiving temporary protection according to §24 of the Residence Act and have registered at a public authority (immigration authority, residential registry office, social welfare office).
You can download the application form for the integration course here: https://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/Integration/Integrationskurse…
Please note that the courses have a limited number of places.
If you have a child who does not yet attend school, please contact the provider of the integration course regarding childcare during your integration course.
The initial orientation courses (EOK) will provide you basic information on life in Germany, and also give you some basic German language skills. With immediate effect, these courses can also be attended by all those who have fled from Ukraine since 24th February 2022. Here, you simply need to present the relevant passport, probationary certificate or the residence permit issued according to §24 of the Residence Act. Unlike the integration courses, there is no admission process. An overview of course providers/contact partners for the initial orientation courses can be found here under Downloads:
https://www.bamf.de/DE/Themen/Integration/ZugewanderteTeilnehmende/Erst…. Attendance is free of charge.
“MIA courses” – Empowering migrant women in their daily lives – are special courses offered by, and designed for, women. Here, topics are discussed which are important for you. You can also improve your German in the process. This course is also free of charge. There is no admission procedure. An overview of course providers of the MIA courses near you can be found here under Downloads:
The target audience of the MIA courses also includes women who have fled from Ukraine since 24th February 2022.
I am no longer of compulsory school age and would like to start a vocational training.
If you are no longer of compulsory school age and are looking for a job or training position, contact the Employment Agency. The Employment Agency acts as your primary contact in all job search related matters. You can find a lot of useful information on the website of the Employment Agency (https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/ukraine).
And even more detailed information on individual (training) programmes at https://www.eu-gleichbehandlungsstelle.de/eugs-de/eu-buerger/infothek/b….
I have not yet been admitted to an integration course. Is there any other way to learn German free of charge until I get admitted?
Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, for instance, offers free German language courses for Ukrainian refugees(https://www.dw.com/de/kostenlos-und-mobil-deutschlernangebote-der-dw-f%…). In addition, the German language learning portal of the Deutsche Welle are also available in Ukrainian(https://www.dw.com/uk/%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%B2%D1%87%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B8-%D0%BD…).
Various free German language courses are also available on the webpages of the Goethe Institute :
I studied in Ukraine. Can I continue my studies here? Where can I find information on this?
Students can continue their studies in Germany. For a good overview of the offered support services, visit the webpages of the German Academic Exchange Service. https://www.daad.de/de/der-daad/ukraine/hilfsangebote/
You can find an overview of the institutions of higher education in North Rhine-Westphalia here: https://www.mkw.nrw/hochschule-und-forschung/studium-und-lehre/ueberbli…
You can find information on your first steps towards a course of study, financing options, contact persons and advisory offices here: https://www.mkw.nrw/hochschule-und-forschung/studium-und-lehre/informat…
Since 2017, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has been supporting refugees in taking up studies with the programme “NRWege ins Studium” ((NRWege Pathways into Studying). This programme is also open to refugees from Ukraine. Part of the programme is also to support language courses that prepare students for studies at institutions of higher education.
The Handbook Germany also provides a lot of useful information.
I have heard about vocational training programmes. What does this mean exactly?
In Germany there are different pathways to learn a profession. The Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers provides detailed information on this on their homepage:
The Handbook Germany also provides a lot of useful information.
Do institutions of higher education have special courses for refugees?
The best way to find out whether there are special preparatory, language or guidance courses for refugees is to contact the respective institution of higher education directly.
Do I have to speak German to study in North Rhine-Westphalia?
German language skills are not a prerequisite for all degree programmes. For example, knowledge of German is not necessary for international degree programmes (https://www2.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programm…). We recommend claritying this directly with the respective institution of higher education. However, in order to feel more at home at the selected institution of higher education and get to know other students, it is still important to learn the German language.
If German language skills are required for your degree programme, you must provide proof of these language skills, i.e. either:
• a passed “German language test for admission to higher education”, abbreviated in German as “DSH”, at level 2 or
• or a “German as a foreign language test”, abbreviated in German as “TestDaF”, at TDN 4.
The DSH test can be taken at institutions of higher education. DaF tests can be taken at the corresponding TestDaF centres. Information on the DaF tests can be found at www.testdaf.de ..
More information is available at: https://www.study-in-germany.de/de/studium-planen/voraussetzungen/deuts…
Do I have to pay fees for studying in Germany?
In North Rhine-Westphalia there are basically no tuition fees. Minor fees may be charged for special individual services (e.g. guest auditor courses or semester tickets for the use of public transport). In individual cases, students may be exempted from the obligation to pay tuition fees. Please contact your institution of higher education for more information.
Do I get financial support for living expenses during my studies?
Students can receive different types of financial support:
The “NRWege ins Studium” programme provides scholarships for particularly talented refugees.
Various foundations and organisations also award scholarships specifically for refugees. You can find more information at: https://www.mkw.nrw/hochschule-und-forschung/studium-und-lehre/informat….
Students can also receive individual state funding for living expenses which is referred to as BAföG in German and is awarded in accordance with the Federal Training Assistance Act. Detailed information on the BAföG state funding can be found at www.bafög.de. Information on BAföG for refugees is available athttps://www.xn--bafg-7qa.de/bafoeg/de/das-bafoeg-alle-infos-auf-einen-b…. We recommend you to contact the BAföG office (student affairs office at/near your institution of higher education) and to make an appointment for BAföG counselling.
I finished school in Ukraine and now I want to start studying here. Will my school leaving certificate be recognised in Germany?
The respective higher education institutions are responsible for making decisions on higher education admissions for foreign nationals.
The Certificate Recognition Office (Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle) for the District Government of Düsseldorf is responsible for making decisions in cases where foreign citizens need to have their higher education entrance qualifications recognised for another purpose (e.g.: for entry to a profession) https://www.brd.nrw.de/themen/schule-bildung/schulrecht-verwaltung/zeug…
What Ukrainian language media services are there for adults in Germany?
- Every day Radio WDR Cosmo broadcasts 3 to 4 minutes of Ukrainian language news and information for refugees and people from Ukraine in Germany, called “Ukrainische Deutschlandminute”.
- RTL and NTV show a “Ukraine Update” from Mondays to Fridays. The programme, which lasts about ten minutes, presents the most important issues surrounding the Ukraine conflict and the everyday lives of refugees in Germany.
- The WDR offers an overview of information in Ukrainian and German for Ukrainians on arriving in Germany and for those providing assistance.
What Ukrainian language media services are there for children in Germany?
- The WDR site provides Sendung mit der Maus videos in Ukrainian. https://www.wdrmaus.de/extras/maus_international/ukrainisch.php5
- The ARD Mediathek provides a children’s page for Ukrainian refugees. Here, programmes such as Das Sandmännchen, Die Sendung mit der Maus, Sendung mit dem Elefanten and Shaun das Schaf are available in Ukrainian. There are also videos for learning German and learning the German alphabet.https://www.ardmediathek.de/kinderseite_fuer_ukrainische_fluechtlinge
Are there apps or social media channels that help me find my way around Germany?
- The Instagram channel “How to Deutschland” is a joint offer by ARD and ZDF https://www.instagram.com/how.to.deutschland/
- WDRforyou “For Ukrainians in Germany” https://www.facebook.com/wdrforyou.fuerukrainerindeutschland
Do I need to pay a licence fee?
The license fee has been financing public broadcasters in Germany since 2013. You may be entitled to discounts or concessions on your license fee depending on your circumstances, and you may even qualify for an exemption in certain cases.
- Information published in German: https://www.rundfunkbeitrag.de/presse_und_aktuelles/hinweise/ukraine/ru…
- Information published in Ukrainian: https://www.rundfunkbeitrag.de/welcome/ukrainisch/index_ger.html
How is the administration structured and organised in Germany?
The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany states that Germany is a democratic and social federal state. The Federal Republic of Germany consists of 16 federal states. In addition, the municipalities have the right to self-administration. This means that Germany has a federal administration, an administration at state level and a municipal administration. All administrative areas have their own specific functions.
The functions at state administration level, for example, include the administration of the police or the education system (schools, universities). The functions at municipal administration level in the cities and municipalities, for example, functions voluntary tasks, such as the provision of sports facilities or swimming pools, and compulsory tasks, such as fire protection (fire brigade) or passport and registration services.
Further information can be found at www.bpb.de.
How is Germany structured?
The Basic Law stipulates that Germany is divided into three levels:
state level with 16 federal states and
North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the 16 federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The constitution of the federal state of NRW stipulates that the municipalities and municipal associations are generally also the sole public administration authorities in their areas of responsibility.
In other words, they basically act as the duty bearers for the citizens. State administrations are only set up as an exception if there are special reasons why tasks should not be carried out at the municipal level (e.g. safeguarding supra-local interests, keeping specially trained staff at municipal level is uneconomical). For example, this applies to the police or the financial authorities.
The direct state administration consists of the state government, the state ministries and their subordinate authorities and institutions.
The state administration is basically organised on three levels.
The highest state authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia are:
the state government
the minister presidents
However, there are also other authorities and institutions of the state. For example, state central authorities (e.g. the education authorities) or institutions such as schools, universities of applied sciences, central library facilities or the NRW state archives.
I need/want to open a bank account. How do I proceed?
The North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Advice Centre offers a very good checklist. It explains exactly what you need to pay attention to. You can also get personal advice from the consumer advice centre (www.verbraucherzentrale.nrw).
What should I pay attention to after opening an account?
Information on what you should pay attention to after opening an account is also available from the NRW Consumer Advice Centre.
What do I have to pay attention to when I enter into a mobile phone contract?
The North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Advice Centre offers a very good checklist. It explains exactly what you need to pay attention to. You can also get personal advice from the consumer advice centre (www.verbraucherzentrale.nrw).
I am recommended to take out a lot of different insurances. Do I really need them all?
There are many different insurances in Germany. Some of them are very important. Others are not so important. You can get a good overview of what insurances are important from the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Advice Centre. You can also get personal advice there (www.verbraucherzentrale.nrw).
Where can I do sports near my place of residence, maybe together with other people?
In North Rhine-Westphalia there are nearly 19,000 sports clubs with approximately 5 million members. The sports clubs offer an extremely diverse range of activities. For example: Football, handball, swimming, athletics, judo, fitness, dancing, etc.
The offers are aimed at all people living in NRW - children, young people, adults, women and men. Many sports clubs in NRW also specifically cater to the interests of refugees and welcome them warmly.
The umbrella organisation of sports clubs in North Rhine-Westphalia is the “Landessportbund NRW” www.lsb-nrw.de.
You can search for sports clubs close to where you live on the website https://www.vereinssuche-nrw.de/.
Where can I find information on public transport?
There are many ways to find information on public transport:
For example, on the website www.busse-und-bahnen.nrw.de you will find timetables and information about the public transport companies. Here you can simply enter the start and destination of your journey. You will then get all necessary information about which trains and buses you can use and their departure times.
You can download the apps of the regional transport associations in NRW with information on the individual stops and departure times to your smartphone with iOS and Android operating systems free of charge.
The departure times of trains and buses and the routes are available at the stops. The hotline (01806 504030) provides information about local transport. In addition, the staff at the customer service centres will also be happy to assist you.
Where can I buy tickets?
You must buy tickets before your starting journey, either at the ticket counter, from ticket machines (cash and EC card) or in travel agencies. This is because you may only use buses and trains with a valid ticket.
In some cases, such as in buses, you can also buy tickets directly from the driver using cash payment. Large value banknotes will not be accepted. Some tickets must be validated/stamped in a ticket validator at the station or in the means of transport.
I have experienced discrimination. Who can I contact if I have been discriminated against?
In North Rhine-Westphalia there are 42 service points entrusted with anti-discrimination work. These service points are independent counselling centres. Various people work here to accompany and strengthen those seeking advice and those affected by discrimination. You can find the right service point for your concern at https://www.ada.nrw (English: https://www.ada.nrw/en/).
Rights and duties in case of temporary protection
Information about rights and duties in case of temporary protection
I would like to swim in a river, lake or swimming pool in the summer. What do I need to consider?
Swimming in rivers, lakes, swimming pools or other bodies of water can be dangerous. Always be careful. You can find information at:
Which traffic regulations must be observed in Germany?
To travel safely on German roads, please inform yourself of the applicable regulations.
You can find information at:
I have heard about a so-called environmental zone (Umweltzone) in many German cities. What does this mean exactly?
You can find an overview of the environmental zones in Germany here: https://gis.uba.de/website/umweltzonen/index.php#karte
If you want to drive into one of these cities in your vehicle, you will need an emissions sticker on your vehicle’s windscreen. Cars without emission stickers may not enter the environmental zone or will need to pay a fine. Vehicles registered abroad also require emissions stickers.
You can find all the necessary information at:
What is the NINA Warn App and what is the KatwarnApp?
- The NINA Warn App is the federal government’s Emergency Information and News app, where the population can be given various warnings of hazardous situations.
Information on the NINA Warn App: https://www.bbk.bund.de/DE/Warnung-Vorsorge/Warn-App-NINA/warn-app-nina…
- The KatwarnApp also provides you with information on hazardous situations.
For information on the KatwarnApp visit: https://www.katwarn.de/
What are the emergency telephone numbers in Germany?
Police emergency calls: 110
Ambulance/Fire brigade 112
Emergency medical service: 116117
Poison information centre (NRW): 0228/19240
Crisis line: 0800/1110111, 0800/1110222 oder 116123
What should I do in the event of a fire?
You can find an overview of what to do in the event of a fire here:
How does waste separation work in NRW and what do I need to consider when disposing of waste?
You can find information on waste disposal, including disposal of special products (such as batteries) at:
I have waste which does not fit into the normal rubbish bin (e.g. furniture). How can I dispose of this?
If you have waste which is too large for household rubbish bins, you must request pick-up of bulky waste. Please contact the town you are living in.
Do I need to dispose of paint, chemicals, waste oil, batteries and other harmful substances separately?
Renovation waste, chemicals and other items are considered harmful substances. This must be disposed of separately. You can find important information here: https://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/wissen/umwelt-haushalt/abfall/schads…
Can I dispose of electrical waste in household rubbish bins or as bulky waste?
Electrical waste must be disposed of separately. The consumer advice centre provides information on what is considered electrical waste and how it can be disposed of: https://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/wissen/umwelt-haushalt/abfall/elektr….
I need financial support for my leisure activities, sports activities, tutoring, lunches. Where can I find support for this?
You may have to pay for sports and other leisure activities. If you are in receipt of welfare benefits, you are also entitled to make use of what is known as the education and participation package (Bildungs- und Teilhabepaket).
You can find more information on this topic at:
Where can I find the nearest playground?
Some local authorities have websites which sometimes show playgrounds:
District of Herford: https://geoportal.kreis-herford.de/freizeit/?dpLat=52.15315240705951&dp…
A family from Cologne has also developed the “Spielplatztreff” website. Here, you can already find many playgrounds in North Rhine-Westphalia. A search engine allows you to find the nearest playground which has been registered in this database. https://www.spielplatztreff.de
What happens if a car registered in Ukraine causes an accident in Germany?
Victims of traffic accidents receive financial protection in the event of an accident. Either the Ukrainian car has a green card, a frontier insurance policy, or the damages are regulated on the basis of the initiative of the German insurers. In these cases, injured parties should contact the German Green Card Bureau (Deutsche Büro Grüne Karte). You can find more information here:
(Information in Deutsch/Englisch/Ukrainisch)
I have a Ukrainian driving license. Is this also valid in Germany?
You are permitted to drive vehicles in Germany provided that you have a valid national/international driving licence and that you only drive vehicles that correspond to the classes permitted by this licence.
Please visit the following website for further conditions regarding your driving licence:
I have personally experienced discrimination or witnessed others being discriminated against. Where can I turn, where can I find help?
There are advice centres in North Rhine-Westphalia that provide support to people affected by discrimination. You can find further information on these centres here:
Do you need an overview of the legal basis for residence or legal issues regarding entitlement to benefits?
Arnsberg district government - information for the municipalities: https://www.bra.nrw.de/integration-migration/ukraine-krieg/ukraine-krie…
Would you like to learn more about the activities of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia?
You can find an overview of all press releases of the ministries in North Rhine-Westphalia on the topic of Ukraine at:
Where can I find accommodation for me and my pet?
You can find offers of accommodation at the following websites:
Housing in state accommodation:
If you are housed in state accommodation of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia or in shared accommodation of a local authority, your pet generally cannot live there with you.
In such cases, your pet will be temporarily taken in by an animal shelter or similar institution and will be taken care of there.
Important: Nobody wants to take your pet away from you permanently. Please do not worry! You will get your pet back!
How can I offer accommodation for refugees with pets?
You can register your offer at https://help.tasso.net/de/.
If you would like to offer your help with accommodating pets, please contact the office of the animal welfare officer.
You can find further information on this at: https://www.land.nrw/pressemitteilung/tierschutz-hilfe-fuer-mitgebracht…
What do I need to know when entering the country with a pet?
Accept offers of help!
Your pet is also exhausted from the long journey and urgently needs a medical examination as well as, if appropriate, vaccinations for its stay in Germany. You may also be required to quarantine your pet for a certain period (you can find more information on this under the question “My dog needs to go into quarantine. What does this mean exactly?”).
This is the only way to ensure protection of all animals and fellow humans!
You can find the current immigration laws on the website of the federal ministry.
- Avoid contact with other pets, in order to avoid possible infection with rabies or other illnesses.
- Immediately after arrival, contact the local veterinary inspection office.
- The animal will then undergo a health examination, and measures will be taken, such as administering rabies vaccinations, microchipping or identifying antibodies, where applicable.
- The veterinary inspection office will issue you with a pet passport.
- If required, the veterinary inspection office will prescribe isolation (quarantine) for your pet. (More information on quarantine under the question “My dog needs to go into quarantine. What does this mean exactly?”)
Are you looking for a veterinary authority or a vet?
When you enter Germany, your pet must be examined by a veterinarian.
If you require a vet after this because your pet is unwell, or if you have questions regarding its health, you can find help at the following addresses.
Find a veterinary authority here:
Find a vet here:
My dog needs to go into quarantine. What does this mean exactly?
Please clarify with the veterinary inspection office the conditions which must be fulfilled during quarantine, such as:
• Are you allowed to take your dog for a walk?
• What conditions must be fulfilled if there are several animals living under the same roof?
If you have any questions, please contact a local vet or the veterinary inspection office directly.
Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration
Bundesministerium des Innern und für Heimat
Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales
Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge
Bundesministerium für Gesundheit
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