Getting employed by a German employer is less complicated than you might think. In the following, we have compiled information and advice for you on your residence status and with regard to the start of an employment relationship.
Which documents do I need to enter the EU?
- Most important, if available: biometric passport
- Other than that: other identity cards (passport, etc.)
- birth certificates
- marriage certificate
- school graduation certificate, university diploma
- covid-19 vaccination card
How can I enter Germany as someone who comes from Ukraine?
If you have a biometric Ukrainian passport or a Schengen-visa:
- You can enter visa-free for a short stay of 90 days in a period of 180 days.
- You can then apply for an extension for another 90 days or apply for another residence permit at the immigration authority (“Ausländerbehörde”) in Germany within the 90 days.
If you do not have a biometric passport / visa:
Ukrainian citizens can currently (initially until May 23rd, 2022) enter and stay in Germany without a biometric passport.
If you belong to one of the following groups, you can currently (initially until May 23rd, 2022) enter and stay in Germany legally without a biometric passport, visa or other residence permit:
- You are a (non-Ukrainian) citizen of a third country and have stayed in Ukraine on February 24th, 2022 and will enter Germany by May 23rd, 2022.
- You are a Ukrainian citizen and on February 24th, 2022, you were temporarily not in Ukraine but residing or habitually resident there and you enter Germany by May 23rd, 2022.
- You are recognized in Ukraine as a refugee or a person enjoying international or equivalent national protection in Ukraine.
- You are a Ukrainian citizen and have already legally resided in Germany on February 24th, 2022.
I entered Germany: what now?
- The best thing to do is to apply for a residence permit as soon as possible at the relevant immigration authority office (for the question how to apply: see next question).
- However, until (initially) May 23rd, 2022, you are liberated from the requirement of a residence permit, i.e. you do not have to apply for a residence permit immediately
- except: you want to work.
When, how and where do I get a residence permit?
It is best to apply informally in writing, stating
- your personal data (preferably a copy of the passport data page) and
- the reason for your stay (war situation in Ukraine and other reasons, if any) and
- the date of first entry into the EU.
For the question which immigration authority is competent: see next question.
Which immigration authority is responsible for me/us?
- The immigration authority in the city where you have your habitual residence - i.e. where you would stay and/or live for at least a few weeks or months - is responsible.
- If you are only staying temporarily, but will be moving on in a few days or weeks: please submit your application to the authorities of the place you are moving to.
- You can find the responsible immigration authority here: https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/
What is the best residence permit to apply for?
This varies from case to case.
- At the current time, we recommend that you apply for a residence permit according to Section 24 of the Residence Act (“AufenthG“) if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a Ukrainian citizen and had your residence in Ukraine before February 24th, 2022.
- You are stateless or a national of a third country other than Ukraine and have enjoyed international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before February 24th, 2022.
- You are family members of the first two groups of persons mentioned above (i.e. spouses, unmarried partners, minor unmarried children and close relatives under further conditions), even if they are not Ukrainian citizens.
- You are a stateless person or a citizen of a third country other than Ukraine and can prove that you have resided legally in Ukraine before February 24th ,2022 on the basis of a valid permanent residence permit issued under Ukrainian law, and are unable to return safely and permanently to your country or region of origin.
- However, you can also apply for another residence permit. This applies especially to cases in which the criteria above are not fulfilled.
How long am I allowed to stay in Germany with the residence permit for temporary protection?
- At least one year.
However, an extension up to three years is possible.
Should I apply for asylum?
- No, not at the moment!
- You receive the necessary protection (and, if necessary, social benefits) in other procedures faster and less complicated.
If you do want or need to apply for asylum, you can still do so at a later date.
Can I work in Germany?
- In principle yes, but only after you have received a residence permit.
- The residence permit for temporary protection entitles you to take up self-employment or (dependent) employment.
- However, the immigration authority must first explicitly allow you to take up employment when the residence permit is issued. Permission to take up employment will be entered in the residence permit when the residence permit is issued, even if no concrete employment relationship is in prospect yet.
No further work permit from another authority is required.
Can I already work in Germany if I have applied for a residence permit but have not yet received it?
- No, generally not.
- Exception: The immigration authority can issue a confirmation that you have applied for the residence permit and additionally allow you to start working immediately in this so called "fiction certificate". In that case you do not have to wait until you have received the residence permit.