Important information on entry and residence for people fleeing Ukraine
The Russian invasion of Ukraine forces many people to flee Ukraine. Here you will find information on the situation at the borders and on entering/staying in Germany for Ukrainian citizens and people of other nationalities who have lived in Ukraine. Ukrainians already in Germany can also find reliable and up-to-date information here.
We are striving to provide answers to all questions. As soon as we have news, we will inform you immediately here and on Facebook.
If you have further questions on the topics of residence, finding accommodation, dealing with authorities, government financial aid, medical care and psychological support, daycare, school or work, register on our community platform “Together in Germany” and ask them anonymously and free of charge. There you will receive reliable and verified answers to all your questions from our moderators, experts or other members of the community.
On our "Local Information" page, you will find an overview of counselling and support services throughout Germany in English and German. There you can also use our search engine to look for counselling services in larger cities. Visit asyl.net to look for additional local services. In both search engines, you can filter the results by language.
IOM offers free counselling to refugees from Ukraine. They can provide you with support and advice on looking for a job, medical care and state aid, among other things. You can reach the staff via WhatsApp, Telegram or Viber on the following numbers: +38 050 428 45 65, +38 050 030 22 68 and +38 050 428 46 60. The staff speak Ukrainian, Russian and English.
Roma Center e.V. offers help to Roma refugees from Ukraine. If you need help after your arrival in Germany, you can call their hotline. Among other things, you can receive help for registration, searching for relatives, translations and advice on working and studying in Germany. The staff speak Romani, Ukrainian, German, Serbian and Russian. You can reach the staff by dialling: +491623554670. You will have to pay standard phone call fees, but their counselling and support is free of charge.
Where can I find help?
On faire-integration.de, you will find counselors in your area who are well versed in labor law and your rights towards the Jobcenter. To find counseling nearby, click on the white dot closest to where you live on the map. You will then receive the address and name of the advisor. The employees speak different languages. Their service is free.
You can also ask a Migration Counselling Centre or a Youth Migration Service in your area for support. The Youth Migration Service provides support to people under the age of 27. The employees of the Migration Counselling Centre and Youth Migration Service speak different languages. They can also help you fill out applications and forms. Their service is free.
You can find mentors who will help you upon arrival in Germany at imagine-ukraine.org. The mentors can help you find a flat or a job, for example. In our “Work” and “Learn” chapters, you will find useful tips and offers which can help you search for a job, a training position or a place at university.
You can also search for sponsors nationwide on patenmatch.de. A sponsor can help you to settle in Germany. Among other things, they can support you to look for a flat and job, learn German, and help you in your search for a place at school or university. They can also give you tips on how to spend your free time and help you to make new friends. To find a sponsor, you have to fill out a form on patenmatch.de. The forms are available in Ukrainian, German, English and Russian. In the form, you must enter your full name and email address. You must also state for whom you are looking for a sponsor (i.e., yourself, your family or your child).
Check out cant-stop.me for lots of support offers from people in different German cities. They can help you with learning German, finding free childcare, dealing with the German authorities and many other things.
There are more offers specifically for people in Berlin: You can find many links and addresses of initiatives that can help you on berlin4ukraine.com. You can directly ask for help at laruhelpsukraine.com.
At dtz-bildungswerk.eu, you will find support in your search for language courses, for filling out forms, applying for benefits and job hunting.
There are also many Telegram channels with offers of help in various cities. On google.com/maps, you can find Telegram channels ordered by the name of the city and the type of help they offer.
You can get free legal advice from Ukrainian lawyers on the we4ua.com website. To get help, you need to fill out a form in Ukrainian. In the form, you should provide your personal information and the country where you are located. You also need to formulate your question and describe your situation. You can upload documents (e.g. a notification letters) too if you need to.
Refugees from Ukraine (in Germany or other countries) can seek free legal advice on the ua.support. The website is available in Ukrainian and English. You must first select the country where you are or want to enter. You then have to fill out a contact form. In the form, you must provide your personal information, email address and the language you speak. You must also choose the subject of your question and write down the question. After you submit the form, lawyers will contact you and advise you. The lawyers are based in the country where you are or want to enter and work voluntarily. That means you don't have to pay for counselling.
Among other services, the organisation United for Ukraine (UFU) also offers free legal advice for refugees from Ukraine. The website is available in Ukrainian, English and Russian. On the website, you must first select the country where you are located and then fill out a form. You must enter your email address in the form and mark the area where you require legal assistance. After you have submitted the form, you will be contacted and advised by legal experts. Please note that processing your request may take some time as the organisation is receiving many inquiries.
You can find detailed information on psychological counseling in the "Mental Health" section.
On se-atlas.de, you will find a list (in Ukrainian) with addresses and contact details of medical facilities that treat rare diseases throughout Germany.
On EnableMeUA, people with disabilities and chronic or mental illnesses can find help and support. On enableme.com.ua, you will find contact details of organisations across Europe that support people with disabilities or illnesses. You can also register on the website and ask questions to get answers from experts. The website is available in Ukrainian, Russian, English, German and French.
At fluechtlingsrat-mv.de, you will find a list of counselling centres that people with disabilities can turn to (in German).
The Crossroad project supports refugees from Ukraine who have a disability. Counselling is provided on various topics, including access to social benefits, Social Welfare Offices, Jobcenters, residence status, daycare, school and learning German. You can find more information and contact details at hi-deutschland-projekte.de.
The federal contact point coordinates nationwide the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine with disabilities or additional care needs. You can reach the contact point from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on telephone number +49 30 854 04 789. You can also email the staff: email@example.com. The employees speak German.
The "Down Syndrom Bündnis" help Ukrainian children with Down Syndrome and their families to come to Germany. They can also help you search for foster families and support you to establish contact with other families with children with Down syndrome. The "Down Syndrom Bündnis" will support you with questions about medical care, day care centres and schools. You can reach the staff on the telephone number: +49 174 6466236 or via the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
People with disabilities can also seek support from behinderung-und-flucht.isl-ev.de to find accommodation in Germany. Here you can also find information about the recognition of the severe disability and look for various advice centres.
The Kriegsdienstverweigerungs-Netzwerk Connection e.V. has set up the “Get out” hotline for the conscientious objectors of the war and defectors from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. You can reach the hotline on +49 157 824 702 51. The employees there speak German and Russian. You can also contact them by email via email@example.com. The consultation is free. You will have to pay standard telephone charges for the call.
Blind and visually impaired refugees from Ukraine can find help from the German Blind and Visually Impaired Association (DBSV). The DBSV supports you with auxiliary aids (e.g., white canes, magnifying glasses) and help you find accommodation and deal with the authorities. The association also arranges interpreters. You can reach the staff on 030 285387174. The employees speak Ukrainian, Russian and German.
You can also order a tactile map of Ukraine from DBSV. With the help of this map, blind and visually impaired people can better understand how the war in Ukraine is developing. The card is free. You can order it at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 030 285387174.
The nationwide network deaf helps deaf refugees to find the right contact person. On the website, you can access all the information you need in Ukrainian, German, English, and Russian - and you will find numerous videos in sign language. You can also contact the staff directly via email@example.com. On the website of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) you will find various information in sign language, e.g., on medical care and employment in Germany.
In many cities, there are volunteers who are ready to help you as interpreter. You can find them on your city's WhatsApp or Telegram groups. Also check out your city’s website to see if they provide interpreters for refugees from Ukraine.
Furthermore, some public institutions, doctors, banks, insurance companies, employment offices and other organisations provide interpreters now. Before your appointment, ask whether an interpreter will be available.
If the problem is medical, your doctor can get help from Triaphon medical interpreter hotline. At Triaphon, a person joins you on the phone line during your appointment to translate for you.
The Youth Welfare Office is responsible for all young individuals and children under 18 without parents. Minors who are in Germany without their parents must register with the authorities immediately. Reach out to the police, an administrative office or the official helpers at the train stations. You can also contact the Youth Welfare Office directly. You will find the nearest Youth Welfare Office on unterstuetzung-die-ankommt.de by entering the name of the city where you currently are.
Important: Never go with strangers who might approach you at the train station or on the street.
Unaccompanied minors are not housed in adult or family accommodation facilities. You will be placed in a special accommodation facility. You can read more about your options in our chapter “Unaccompanied minor refugees”.
If you have lost contact with a family member while fleeing, the missing persons tracing service of the German Red Cross (DRK) can help you. You can submit your search request at drk-suchdienst.de. This offer is free of charge.
If your child is missing, you can contact missingchildreneurope.eu for free. You can also post information on their website if you have seen a lost child.
The pan-European hotline for missing children can be reached on 116 000. The hotline is available in all EU countries as well as in Albania, Serbia, Switzerland and England. The staff speak many languages.
If you have witnessed war crimes, you can have them documented at the Pilecki-Institut (in the Raphael Lemkin Center) in Berlin. To do so, you must go directly to the Pilecki Institute and complete a questionnaire.
You can also report war crimes to the police in your area. There you can fill out a questionnaire in Ukrainian, English or Russian. To find the police station in your area, check out polizei.de.
You can also report war crimes in Ukraine on the International Criminal Court website.
You can find advice and support for LGBTQIA+ at quarteera.de. The staff will help you with all questions regarding your entry into Germany, your onward journey within Germany, your stay, housing, and psychological help. They will also support you directly with food, clothing, medication, and hygiene articles. If you need help, write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org in Russian, Ukrainian, German or English. Quarteera is based in Berlin but directs those seeking help to friendly associations throughout Germany.
Miles offers psychosocial counseling and legal advice for LGBTIQIA+ refugees and immigrants. The staff will help you with psychosocial issues, legal matters, and questions about your asylum procedure. The project is based in Berlin and you can reach the staff on 030 – 22 50 22 15 or by e-mail email@example.com. The staff speak German and English.
Important: Some Immigration Offices seem to be urging people without Ukrainian citizenship to leave the country or apply for asylum. If you face similar problems with the Immigration Office, you can seek help from the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) - contact them directly via the contact form on queer-refugees.de.
If you are currently taking hormones and need a refill, you can contact Casa Kuá and the Schwulenberatung Berlin. The staff there will try to help you. You can search for queer-friendly doctors at queermed-deutschland.de.
On queer.de you can also find a list of support services for LGBTQIA+ throughout Germany in German. You can also contact the Telegram channel t.me/lgbtukrainebot. The volunteers there will try to find a suitable offer for you.
You can find more information in our chapter „LGBTQIA+“.
If you are a victim of violence or human trafficking, you can call the cost-free women's helpline on 08000 116 016 -their staff speak many languages and are available 24/7. You can also contact the police by dialling the emergency number 110. However, their staff usually only speak German and English.
Women who have been victims of violence can find counselling centres nearby on frauenhauskoordinierung.de. You can also go to a so-called “women's shelter”. A women's shelter is a temporary accommodation facility for women who fear violence by their family/partner/etc. The addresses of the women's shelters are not openly available, so nobody can find you there.
At damigra.de, you will find a flyer (in Ukrainian, Russian and German) with necessary addresses for victims of violence and human trafficking.
Just Access e.V. provides legal advice to victims of human rights violations and represents them before international bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council free of charge. You can contact the staff directly in Ukrainian, English, German or Russian via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and describe your situation.
On helpforukrainians.info, you can find information on how to recognise the signs of human trafficking and how to protect yourself from it. The website is available in Ukrainian, English and Russian. You can also find the contact information of authorities you can contact in case of suspicion of trafficking in different countries.
You can find reliable information from authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the following websites. Some information is also translated into different languages. In principle, the information is updated regularly. Please note: These pages are not overseen by Handbook Germany, so we cannot guarantee that they are up-to-date.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Federal Integration Commissioner
- Federal Ministry of Education and Research
- Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women & Youth Affairs
- Federal Ministry of Health
- German Embassy in Ukraine
- European Commission
You can find a helpful overview and further information at:
You can also find specific information about the situation in your federal state of residence at the refugee councils:
- Refugee Council Bavaria
- Refugee Council Berlin
- Refugee Council Baden-Württemberg
- Refugee Council Bremen
- Refugee Council Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
- Refugee Council Niedersachsen
- Refugee Council Nordrhein-Westfalen
- Refugee Council Rheinland-Pfalz
- Refugee Council Sachsen-Anhalt
- Refugee Council Schleswig-Holstein
- Refugee Council Thüringen
- Refugee Council Hessen
- Refugee Council Sachsen
At eu-gleichbehandlungsstelle.de, you can download a guide to the administration offices in Germany in German and English. There you can learn which authority is responsible for which tasks. The guide also shows you what to look out for when you contact each office and what to expect from them.