/ FAQs for displaced persons

Before starting a job in Germany, a couple of formalities have to be observed.

Entry / Right of residence / Asylum

The prerequisite for visa-free entry for Ukrainians into the EU is, in principle, the provision of a biometric passport, however this requirement is currently being waived in most instances of border crossing, so that entry is possible for all displaced persons. According to our information, Ukrainian men of military age are currently not permitted to leave the country. There may be long wait times at border crossings into neighbour states. You can find more information here: https://handbookgermany.de/de/ukraine-info/de.html

Currently, even Ukrainian displaced persons who do not have a valid passport can enter Germany. An identity check will, however, eventually be necessary for longer-term protection status. Please enquire about the issuance of replacement papers with the relevant foreign national authority. You can find information on the relevant foreign national authorities here: https://bamfnavi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/

Ukrainian nationals and nationals from other certain third countries will, according to a EU resolution,
be granted a temporary protection status. Ukrainian citizens are, in such cases, initially permitted to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days. For a longer-term stay in Germany, you must register with the relevant foreign national authority after your arrival in Germany, and before the expiry of the 90 day period. The aim is for the residency permit to include access to employment, including self-employment.

Further provisions are to follow, and will be updated on an ongoing basis. You can find your relevant foreign national authority here: https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/

No. A residency permit is a prerequisite for employment.

It is currently possible to apply for a long-term residency permit in Germany, if certain conditions for issuance are met. This can be for the purpose of

  • an education
  • an apprenticeship
  • a job as a skilled worker with a recognised professional qualification.

Currently, a visa is not required as a condition for issuance. If it is not possible to leave Germany after this 90 day period, you must contact the relevant foreign national authority in a timely manner, before the expiry of the 90 days. Temporary protection is granted by the foreign nationals authority in the form of a humanitarian residence permit, in accordance with section 24 of the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG) (cf. 1.10)

You can find your relevant foreign national authority here: https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/

Finding housing and accommodation

Insofar that you are free to choose your place of residence, various platforms like, e.g., https://elinor.network/gastfreundschaft-ukraine/https://www.host4ukraine.com/ or https://warmes-bett.de/ offer private lodgings. Many people in Germany and Europe are currently offering free accommodation to people from Ukraine. Moreover, you can find accommodation in reception facilities or emergency shelters of the individual federal states.
Please ask your local foreign nationals authority (https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Behoerden/) or the police for an address. You do not need to apply for asylum in order to be accommodated. If you have been granted a residence permit in accordance with section 24 of the Residence Act and require accommodation, the local benefits authority will arrange accommodation for you.

Health and Corona measures

For some work categories in Germany, a vaccination or proof of recovery is compulsory as of 15 March 2022. This is especially true for healthcare professions such as nurses, doctors and geriatric nurses, who work with high-risk groups. Please inform yourself in this area at your local health authority.

You can find more information here:
https://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2021/kw49-de-infektionsschutzgesetz-impfpraevention-870424

You can get vaccinated against Corona free of charge in vaccination centres, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals or pharmacies.

You can find more information on Corona at:
https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/en/information-about-the-covid-19-vaccination/
You can find the current Corona regulations for individual federal states here: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/coronabundeslaender-1745198.

In Germany, health insurance is mandatory. If you are in need of assistance, you are entitled to benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz, AsylbLG) (s. 1.14). As long as a person in need of assistance who has come to Germany as a displaced person is not employed and thus does not pay contributions to the statutory health insurance system, benefits for medical care, such as medication, are paid for under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act for the first 18 months of their stay in Germany. (s. 3.1.).
https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/themen/internationalegesundheitspolitik/migration-und-integration/fluechtlinge-undgesundheit.html

As soon as a person undertakes employment in Germany which is subject to social insurance contributions, this person is also subject to health and social insurance contributions. The situation is different for displaced persons. From the moment of arrival in Germany, everyone is entitled to medical first aid in cases of illness. However, the extent of medical care depends on the duration, residence status, and length of residence in Germany.

https://handbookgermany.de/en/live/health-insurance.html
https://handbookgermany.de/en/live/healthcareforrefugees.html

Everyday living in Germany

The Youth Welfare Office will provide you with a list of all the nurseries in your area as well as a form for registration. You can also register your child in a private nursery. To do this, please get in touch with the nursery of your choice directly. As the costs for attending a nursery vary, it’s best to inform yourself directly from the nursery or your local authority. You can find an overview of youth welfare offices in Germany here:
https://www.jugendaemter.com/jugendaemter-in-deutschland/

In Germany, vaccination against measles is compulsory when admitting children to a nursery. Vaccinations are administered by paediatric doctors and general practitioners.

An alternative to a nursery is, e.g., care through a qualified childminder. You can search for appropriate care for your area on daycare exchanges, e.g., https://www.betreut.de/.

Knowledge of German normally makes it easier to get a job, however is not always a requirement. The possibilities for free language support through integration and language courses are currently being legally clarified. You will find the relevant information here, as soon as this has been completed. Aside from this, there are numerous independent providers of fee-based language courses, e.g., The Goethe Institute.

Refugees from Ukraine are not yet entitled to participate in integration courses; a change is currently being discussed (status as of 2022). All information on language and integration courses is compiled online by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge).
(https://www.bamf.de/DE/Themen/Integration/ZugewanderteTeilnehmende/Integrationskurse/integrationskurse-node.html).
As soon as it is clarified whether the courses will be open to people from Ukraine, you can apply directly online for admission to an integration course and for exemption from costs. Integration courses can be found throughout Germany via the “BAMF-NAvI” portal:
https://bamf-navi.bamf.de/de/Themen/Integrationskurse/.

Education and work in Germany

The EU Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers provides advice on training in Germany.
In German, English, Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian:
https://www.eu-gleichbehandlungsstelle.de/eugs-en/eucitizens/information-center/vocational-training

You are not allowed to work until the foreign nationals authority has issued you with a residence permit – provided that this also shows that you are permitted to work here. With the temporary protection status for displaced persons from Ukraine (Section 24 of the Residence Act) you will in all likelihood be allowed to work here.
The exact implementation is still being clarified (status as of 07 March 2022).
If you fulfil all the requirements for this, you can then also apply for a residence permit for the purposes of employment at the local foreign nationals authority. You can find more information at: https://handbookgermany.de/de/ukraine-info/de.html
Please note: Exempt from the requirements for working are individuals in management positions in companies, scientists, researchers, charity workers, journalists and professional athletes.

In principle, with access to the labour market, it is possible to work in Germany in your learned profession. However, some professions are regulated in Germany. This means that your qualification must be officially recognised before you can practice your profession here. Whether you have to go through such a recognition procedure, what documents you need for this and what other options are open to you in several languages at: https://www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/html/de/index.php.
You can also get advice and support free of charge from an advice centre in the “Integration through Qualification” funding programme. https://www.netzwerk-iq.de/

If you have educational or professional qualifications from an overseas institution, you can have these accredited in Germany. In the course of the recognition process, your qualification will be compared to a similar German qualification. If your qualification is recognised as having the same worth, you will obtain a corresponding administrative notice. This will give you better opportunities in the jobs market. Everyone with a qualification from overseas has the right to a recognition process. Neither your residence status nor your citizenship play a role in this. There is a multilingual internet portal, where you can enter your professional qualification and have all steps involved in the process in Germany as well as all the required supporting documents explained to you: www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de

Working in Germany - Questions on working in Germany

You can enter into a variety of employment avenues.
– Full-time (standard working hours)
– Part-time
– Temporary
– Traineeship
– Apprenticeship
The Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz, ArbZG) came into force on the 1st July 1994. It applies to workers of all statuses, trainees, and apprentices.
You can find more information here: https://handbookgermany.de/en/work/minijob.html

Anyone who takes on full-time employment in Germany should expect to work between 37.5 to 40 (maximum) hours a week. Working time generally describes the duration of time at work – but without breaks. The exact working hours are specified in the employment contract. From shift work to rest breaks, the Working Hours Act regulates the framework conditions for employees. It stipulates that the daily working hours may not be exceeded, with an upper limit of eight hours. This also applies to those who work from home (home office).

The so-called Part-Time Employment Act (Teilzeit- und Befristungsgesetz, TzBfG) defines the requirements for contractually fewer working hours, e.g., a 20-hour working week.

Child labour is forbidden in Germany.
Children and youths older than 13 years old are permitted to carry out light labour, however must not exceed a daily period of two hours, e.g., newspaper delivery. The work must be approved by a parent.
From the age of 15, a working week of 40 hours is permitted – or eight working hours a day. Here is it irrelevant whether the person is attending school, carrying out an apprenticeship, or a traineeship.

In accordance with the Working Time Act for employers, Sundays and public holidays must be kept free. There are, however, industries which are exceptions to this provision. These include, but are not limited to medical professions, gastronomy, recreational facilities and energy and water supply. Employers must compensate for the day worked within eight weeks, by means of a rest day in lieu of the day worked. Should an employee work on a Sunday, the lack of a day off should be made up for within two weeks. This provision should be incorporated into the contract of employment.

To receive your salary, you normally are required to have a bank account. Upon filing an application form (which can be found online) and showing proof of identity, that can be easily done by all banks in Germany.

In accordance with the German Federal Holiday Act (Bundesurlaubsgesetz, BUrlG), all employers and employees with a 5-day working week are entitled to a minimum of 20 days per calendar year. However, collective agreements usually provide for higher holiday entitlements of 25-30 days, depending on the company, position, and age.

Yes, you can terminate your employment within your contractually defined terms of notice. These vary depending on the job and position. The terms of notice is normally a period of 4 weeks from a month’s end.

The statutory terms of notice are defined in § 622 of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB). It serves to protect the contractual partner and often refers to a specific end date, the termination date. Only at this point does the termination of the employment relationship actually occur.
If the parties have agreed on a probationary period, either party may terminate the employment relationship with two weeks’ notice.

(Source: Federal Ministry for Migration, Refugees and Integration, 12 March 2022)