Whether you are returning for just 3 weeks, 6 months or permanently, you need to be clear in advance about the length of your stay in Ukraine, as different rules and regulations apply depending on this.
If you already have a residence title and a corresponding certificate according to Section 24 of the Residence Act, you can travel to Ukraine and return to Germany at any time.
Travels to Ukraine according to the German policy on returns can be classified
into three broad groups, or categories, depending on their duration: 1) short-term trip for up to 3 weeks (21 calendar days) per year; 2) long-term trip for up to 6 months; and 3) return to
The duration of a journey has a direct influence on your residence status in Germany and also on whether you can claim basic security benefits according to the Second Book of the Social Code (Bürgergeld).
If you already have a residence permit for temporary protection in Germany, it expires :
- if you are not leaving Germany for a temporarily valid reason or
- if you are not in Germany for more than six months.
The immigration authorities can extend the six-month period before it expires, not afterwards, if you can prove that the longer absence is only temporary.
To find out what else you need to bear in mind for short-term or long-term travel to Ukraine, see “Travelling to Ukraine”.
If you move from Germany to another country or if you return to Ukraine permanently, please inform the foreigners authority responsible for your case. In addition, it is necessary to deregister at the registration authority. Please go to the registration authority at the earliest one week before and at the latest 2 weeks after moving to deregister. It is also possible to deregister in writing or by e-mail.
If you receive basic security benefits according to Book II or Book XII of the Social Code, or receive benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, you must also inform the job centre (in case of Book II of the Social Code), the welfare office (in case of Book XII of the Social Code) or the institution providing asylum seeker benefits of your departure. Also inform them when you are leaving the country. With the departure your right to receive the basic income (Bürgergeld) and other basic security benefits in Germany expires.
Furthermore, you have to cancel all existing contracts, such as a rental contract, contracts with internet or mobile phone providers, labour contracts and the like. It is recommended to reserve sufficient time before the departure to finalize those procedures.
If you have worked for an employer in Germany and were legally insured in Germany, you will automatically be deregistered by your employer from the relevant insurance schemes (social security, pension, health, nursing care, accident and unemployment insurance) after you have given notice. There is also no need to deregister separately with the tax office (Steuerbehörde), as this too is done automatically by your employer. Attention: If you have taken out additional private insurance such as liability or home contents insurance, you must cancel these yourself.
Considering the context volatility, it is also advised to consult the Job Center about the opportunities to return to Germany or other European countries later on in case military activities in Ukraine might escalate.
Even after deregistration in Germany, a person can still consider returning to european country and re-applying for temporary protection if the situation in Ukraine worsens.
According to the European Union Temporary Protection Directive, when a person returns to their home country on a voluntary basis, they cease to be entitled to temporary protection; but if afterwards the person decides to come back to the EU, protection may be reconsidered.
What does it mean for Ukrainians? Germany (or any other EU state where you’ve been granted temporary protection status) is not obliged to take you back; but it shall, based on the circumstances prevailing in Ukraine, give favorable consideration to requests for coming back to its territory and applying for temporary protection.
It is recommended to communicate clearly with border guards that you are seeking temporary protection due to the military situation in Ukraine and that you’ve had temporary protection status in the EU before. Please also note that the decision in this case will be taken by border guards.
Nationals of countries other than Ukraine who fled Ukraine after 24 February 2022 because of the war there, who are officially registered in Germany and who can return safely and permanently to their country of origin or would like to migrate onward to a different country willing to admit them can get help from the following programmes:
The joint federal and state programme REAG/GARP provides financial and organisational assistance to people who are willing to return to their country of origin or to move to another country that is willing to admit them . Possible assistance may include payment for the cost of travel and transport, money for the journey, additional medical expenses and one-time start-up aid, depending on nationality.
Depending on the country of destination, people willing to leave Germany voluntarily may also apply for assistance from the federal programme StarthilfePlus. They may receive additional start-up aid or reintegration support for housing in their country of destination. The same conditions for eligibility apply as for REAG/GARP.
c) Funding under JRS (Joint Reintegration Services)
In addition, short-term support is available from the European reintegration programme JRS (Joint Reintegration Services). The JRS programme, funded by Frontex, helps returnees to access individual reintegration support measures through a network of local service partners in currently 34 countries of origin. JRS distinguishes between short-term and long-term support (Post Arrival Package/Post Return Package). Short-term support includes airport pick-up and onward transport to the destination. Long-term support includes support with housing, vocational qualification measures, help in finding a job, support in setting up a business as well as assistance in social and medical matters.
The BAMF is responsible for coordinating this support at national level.
The use of JRS support results in adjustments in the destination Länder where StarthilfePlus benefits are already being granted.