Solidarity with Ukraine at the Humboldt Museum in Berlin/Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Germany releases Regulation on Residence Permit for Refugees from Ukraine

Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior has published an edict on the temporary exemption of persons from Ukraine from the requirement of a residence permit due to the war in the country.

The edict, dated 7 March 2022 and called Ukraine-Aufenthalts-Übergangsverordnung (Ukraine Transitional Residence Ordinance or UkraineAufenthÜV), allows Ukrainians and third country nationals resident in the country to enter and stay in Germany temporarily without residence permit.

The edict therefore allows non-Ukrainian nationals, including Africans, living in Ukraine to temporarily reside in Germany.

According to the ministry, the edict, which entered into force on 8 March 2022, will elapse on 23 May 2022. Within this period, the refugees are expected to submit application to the competent authorities for the granting of a residence title in accordance with Section 24 of the Residence Act.

Under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive, which entered into effect on 4 March, refugees will have the right to live and work in the European Union for at least one year, a period that can be extended for additional two years. The regulation, which applies to Ukrainians and third country nationals permanently living in the country, provides a framework for the protection of people displaced by the war.

The Directive is however not clear on the situation of third country nationals who are short-term residents in Ukraine, such as foreign students. The Directive only required that they are provided temporary protection to enable them return to their home countries.

READ ALSO EU agrees on protection scheme for refugees from Ukraine

The German government has announced that it was examining the case of the foreign students in Ukraine and would come out with a policy. Migration experts say Germany would have before the expiration of the UkraineAufenthÜV spelt out how it would treat the students in its Interpretation of the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive.

Hundreds of Africans, mostly students, have arrived in Germany since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. Altogether more than 1.5 million people have fled into neighbouring, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, which has warned that 4 million could leave the country in the coming weeks and months.

Femi Awoniyi

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