Landungsbrücken

Refugee Aid Refugees from Ukraine

As the current situation in Ukraine forces people out of their homes and their home country, Hamburg stands prepared and ready to help.

The Ukrainian national flag in blue and yellow flying from the Hamburg Rathaus city hall

Support for Refugees from Ukraine

This page is a brief overview to cover only the basic questions persons seeking refuge from the war in Ukraine who do not speak German may have. Please also see the official FAQs by the Senate in German, also available in Ukrainian and Russian translation.

Hamburg helps Ukrainian refugees

Normally, Ukrainian nationals and third-country citizens whose place of residence is in Ukraine must apply for a visa before entering Germany for a long-term stay. 

However, under the current circumstances, these persons may, on an exceptional basis, also apply for a German visa at our missions in the neighbouring countries of Ukraine. 

The same option is also available to Ukrainian nationals who do not hold a biometric passport.

Ukrainian nationals with a biometric passport may enter Germany for temporary stays of up to 90 days without a visa, provided they do not take up employment. Persons who cannot return to their home country after a period of 90 days should report in good time to their local Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners Registration Office).

Online events in English

On 24 May and 14 June 2022, there are two online events covering some of the basic information for Ukrainian people who arrive and start over in Hamburg. Click here for the official invitation letter and instructions on how to take part.

For more information in German, Ukrainian or Russian, please visit the Hamburg Welcome Center.

First steps

Registration, either at the Zentrale Erstaufnahme (ZEA, 'Initial Reception Centre') or at the Amt für Migration, is necessary for anyone who want to take up work in Germany. It also helpful for other official procedures, such as applying for health insurance, opening a bank account or finding a child care or school placement for children.

Important note: Due to the ongoing situation, there are long waiting lines at the ZEA. Persons seeking refuge from the war in Ukraine who already have a private place to stay, for example with friends or members of family, do not have to register at ZEA. Instead, they should make an appointment with the Amt für Migration for registration and a medical check-up.

Amt für Migration
Hammer Straße 32-34
22041 Hamburg-Wandsbek
Show directions

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All other persons who do not have a place to stay arriving in Hamburg from countries at war should report to the Zentrale Erstaufnahme (ZEA, ‘Initial Reception Centre’) in Hamburg-Rahlstedt for temporary shelter, basic care, registration and a medical check-up.

Zentrale Erstaufnahme (ZEA)
Bargkoppelweg 66a
22145 Hamburg-Rahlstedt
Show directions

Open all day and night

For more information, see our pages for persons seeking refuge.

Frequently asked questions

Chapter overview

Can the duration of short stays and visas be extended for Ukrainian nationals?

The Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community has provided the following information to Germany’s federal states:

  • Due to the current situation in Ukraine, Ukrainian nationals who are currently in Germany for a short stay are not required to go through the visa procedure in order to receive a temporary residence permit if they did not enter on such a visa.
  • Ukrainian nationals who have entered Germany for a short stay without a visa can apply for a temporary residence permit for an additional 90 days once the 90 days of the short stay have elapsed.

To apply for a temporary residence permit, please contact the Foreigners Registration Office responsible for the area in which you are staying.

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Chapter overview

Can Ukrainian nationals apply for asylum?

The European Union is currently looking to introduce a simplified procedure for Ukrainian nationals to continue their stay in member states. This would mean that Ukrainian nationals would not have to apply for asylum. More information on this matter is expected to follow over the coming days. The basic right to apply for asylum remains unaffected by this.

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Chapter overview

Are there entry restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic? What documentation is required?

The recommendations of the European Council regarding the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU (Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912) allow travel for persons in need of international protection or protection for other humanitarian reasons. The provisions of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations (Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung, CoronaEinreiseV) must be adhered to regardless of this.

Ukraine is currently not classified as a high-risk area. This means that persons entering from Ukraine only need to test negative in order to enter. No quarantine is needed.

Testing for COVID-19 is available and free for everyone in Hamburg. Proof of identification is necessary, but a Ukrainian passport is sufficient.

Vaccinations against COVID-19 with vaccines that are that are approved in the EU are also available and free for all. See our overview of places for vaccinations. Proof of identification, for example a passport, is required, and persons without a valid Impfpass (proof of vaccination) can also get vaccinated.

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Chapter overview

Is it possible to enter Germany without a biometric passport?

There is currently no air travel from Ukraine. This means that Ukrainian nationals cannot travel directly to the Federal Republic of Germany at present. The arrangements for entering the Schengen area via an EU member state bordering Ukraine are within the jurisdiction of the member state concerned. 

Under EU law, Ukrainian nationals have been able to travel to EU countries on a biometric passport for short stays since 2017. Ukrainian nationals who do not have a biometric passport require a visa for entry. However, a member state may grant entry into its territory for humanitarian reasons. 

In Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, small teams from Germany’s diplomatic representations in Warsaw, Kraków, Chișinău, Bratislava, Bucharest and Budapest are ready to travel to certain border crossing points if necessary, mainly to provide consular support to German nationals leaving Ukraine, but also to provide information on applying for visas and to answer questions on COVID-related travel restrictions.

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Can I send my children to a German school? Do they have to go?

Children in Germany are required to go to school between ages 6 to 18; this also applies to children of families seeking refuge.

Parents should report to the School Information Centre (Schulinformationszentrum, SIZ), for information on the school system and for placings of the children at a nearby school.

You can find more information on Hamburg's schools in Ukrainian language here.

For more information on the German schooling system, see these leaflets in various languages.

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Will there be evacuation flights? For German AND Ukrainian nationals?

The airspace over Ukraine is currently closed.

The German authorities do not currently plan to evacuate German or Ukrainian nationals.

We urge German nationals who are currently in Ukraine to leave the country immediately via a safe route or, if this is not possible, to stay in a protected location. The Federal Foreign Office has set up a crisis hotline: +49 30 5000 3000. More information is available on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

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Chapter overview

What is the Federal Government doing to help German nationals?

German embassy staff are located near Ukraine’s borders in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova to support German nationals. 

The Federal Foreign Office has set up a crisis hotline for German nationals who are still in Ukraine: +49 30 5000 3000. More information is available on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Chapter overview

I am a Hamburg resident. What can I do to help?

Thank you very much for your support! Please understand that there is need for only certain types of help. Many professional aid associations coordinate support activities in Hamburg. Please do not travel to dangerous areas in order to pick up refugees. Also, please do not donate large amounts of unwanted items. This might overwhelm the aid associations and keep them from providing help in other areas.

If you want to get active providing help for refugees in Hamburg, please visit the Fördern&Wohnen social housing agency, or the freiwillig.hamburg agency for voluntary work and refugee support. Also, the ASB Hamburg (German only) is always looking for helping hands and motivated supporters.

If you want to donate clothes or foodstuff or other things that refugees who have newly arrived in Hamburg may need, please check back at Hanseatic Help aid association. Here you will find an overview of items that are currently needed and how and where to drop off your donations.

Refugess from Ukraine