Since 1 June 2022, refugees from Ukraine who need help are eligible for social assistance under Germany’s Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch), Book II. This means there are fewer requirements regarding your place of residence, and your local job centre or social benefits office (Sozialamt) may help you pay for your housing and heating, for example. This is why you, unlike people who have applied for asylum, are responsible for your own accommodation.
One year after Russia's war on Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens are still seeking protection and refuge in Germany. In order to facilitate the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine and at the same time relieve the burden on the host communities, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs (BMI) has decided to enter into a partnership with the Berlin-based company Wunderflats and the non-profit social enterprise ProjectTogether Landlords will be able to provide private housing for refugees from Ukraine quickly and unbureaucratically on a digital platform. The new platform will enable refugees to find free housing independently and in line with their individual needs. Wunderflats provides security for both landlords and tenants. Further information for landlords and refugees can be found here.
The border authorities will direct you to government emergency shelters as soon as you arrive in Germany. There you will be given a place to sleep, food and other assistance until you have found somewhere else to stay. Reception centres are located all over Germany.
The German association of youth hostels, DJH offers accommodation for refugees in more than 400 youth hostels across Germany.
The association cooperates with relevant authorities across Germany to jointly decide on the possibility of providing accommodation and care for refugee children, young people and families in the youth hostels.
If you are looking for short-term housing, you should seek help from official agencies and aid organisations. If you do not feel safe where you are staying, you should leave and find somewhere else to stay.
To protect yourself against human trafficking, never hand over your passport as security for your accommodation, and keep your children with you at all times.
If you notice anything suspicious, or if you are threatened, please call the police on 110.
More information from the Federal Police (in Ukrainian, English, Russian and German)
Yes, as soon as you have a residence permit in Germany, you can rent your own flat. To do so, you, and in certain cases your family members, must register, for example
- at an emergency shelter,
- at an arrival centre,
- or at a foreigners authority.
Some of the federal states offer information on their official websites to help refugees from Ukraine find long-term housing:
In addition, people who have housing to provide can list it on the Wunderflats website. As soon as you have found a suitable listing, you can send a booking request via the website.
Wunderflats (website in Ukrainian, English and German)
You can turn to local organisations such as neighbourhood centres or clubs. You can get their addresses from a migration advisory office. You can also ask acquaintances whether they know someone who has housing for rent or is looking for a tenant.
Be careful when looking for housing, because unscrupulous people may try to take advantage of your situation. Watch out for the following warning signs:
- The rent is too low (hidden defects)
- You are asked to transfer money online in advance
- You are asked to pay the deposit in cash when viewing the flat
Never pay any money before you have signed a rental agreement.
If you are staying with friends or relatives after arriving in Germany, you do not have to register your address for the first three months. However, we recommend registering your address in the first three months if you want to place your child in a school or kindergarten or if you need other benefits or services from the local government.
After three months, you and your children are required to register your address with the local residents’ registration office. Children and young people up to age 16 must be registered by the parent(s) they live with. Newborn babies must be registered only if they do not live with their parent(s).
Please remember to de-register with the residents’ registration office if you move to another country or return to Ukraine.
- If you know where you will be staying for the long term, you will need the following documents to register your address at the residents’ registration office (Bürgerbüro): biometric passport or other identity documents, such as a government-issued ID card, for all family members
- residence permit, provisional residence document, certificate indicating the reception facility responsible for you (Anlaufbescheinigung) or arrival certificate (Ankunftsnachweis)
- Confirmation from your landlord or host that you have moved in (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) You can find the necessary forms on the website of your town or city or your local residents’ registration office.
- Birth certificate for children, marriage certificate for married couples
If you don’t have these documents with your information written in the Latin (not Cyrillic) alphabet, please register first with your reception centre or foreigners authority.
Your information will be stored in the population register. You will receive a document confirming that you have registered your residence. Please keep this document in a safe place. You will need to show it to other government authorities as proof of your residence. In particular, you will need to show it to the foreigners authority or reception centre.
The confirmation of residence from your landlord or the person who is hosting you in their home must contain the following information:
- the name and address of the person providing the home and the name of the owner, if this is a different person;
- the date you moved in;
- the address of the home where you are living; and
- the names of the people required to register.
You can find forms for the confirmation of residence on the website of your local government or at the residents’ registration office.
The person providing the home (Wohnungsgeber) is generally your landlord or someone authorised by them, such as a property manager. If you are staying with friends or relatives, they would be the persons providing the home.
If you move out of one home and into a different one, you are required to register your new address with the residents’ registration office at your new location within two weeks of moving.
You only need to de-register your address with the residents’ registration office if you move to another country or return to Ukraine. To de-register, go to the residents’ registration office no more than one week before you move or two weeks after you move, or write or send an email to the registration office informing them that you are leaving Germany.
If you know that you will be living in a flat on a long-term basis, you will need the following documents to register your residence at the Citizens’ Registration Office:
- passport or Ukrainian ID card
- Arrival certificate, fictional certificate, registration certificate
- Tenancy agreement
- Confirmation of moving in from the landlord
- If applicable, birth certificate for children, marriage certificate for married couples