War in Ukraine: I want to take in refugees – what do I have to consider?


Many Germans offer their help to people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Bravo! But there are important questions for hosts: Do I have to insure refugees who I take in at home? Do I have to look after them and register them with the authorities? How do traumatized Ukrainians get help? BILD spoke to experts and answers the most important host questions!

▶︎ I would like to travel privately to a reception center in Poland and take refugees with me – what is important?

At this point in time, you should not move towards the crisis area on your own. The situation on the ground is too confusing for that. That’s what the big aid organizations are asking for. It is better to contact the local authorities or the branches, such as the German Red Cross. These bundle offers of help and bring people together. Caritas recommends the “Accommodation Ukraine” platform.

▶︎ I would like to pick up refugees at the train station in Germany and put them up with me – do I just go to the platform?

In Berlin, for example, you won’t get to the platform at all! But you can contact local helpers (wearing yellow vests) and tell them how many people you want to take in and for how long. The helpers then mediate refugees for you.

▶︎ As a host, do I have to register refugees with the authorities?

Not a must, but useful. This is the only way for refugees to receive basic benefits (singles 367 euros/month, children up to 325 euros/month). Ukrainian citizens may enter Germany without a visa. You can live wherever you want.

▶︎ Do I have to ask my landlord for permission?

People who offer refugees a room in a rented apartment are allowed to do so – even without the landlord’s permission. However, it has to be a “visit”, according to lawyer Beate Heilmann, chairwoman of the working group on tenancy law and real estate in the German Lawyers’ Association (DAV): “So rather short-term, a few days, maybe two weeks – there must be a clear time limit .”

▶︎ Should I provide the refugees with a mobile phone and SIM card?

Not mandatory, but a good host gesture.

▶︎ Do I have to feed refugees?

If the refugees are registered: no, as they have their own money (see above). But a dinner invitation would be a great move.

▶︎ How do I organize psychological support for my guests?

A good thought, as refugees are often traumatized. You will receive free psychological support. Information is available at https://www.baff-zentren.org/hilfe-vor-ort/psychosoziale-netze/

▶︎ Where can refugees go to the doctor?

At the request of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, more than 500 practices in Berlin offered free medical and psychological treatment to people who had fled the Ukraine. Information at: www.kvberlin.de/fuer-patienten/ukraine

KV Bayern also reports: Treatment is possible in every Bavarian contract doctor’s office: https://dienste.kvb.de/arztsuche/app/erweiterteSuche.htm

▶︎ As a host, do I need a translator?

That would certainly be an advantage. In a pinch, use the Google translation application “Translate”. However, this is only partially reliable with regard to the Ukrainian language. Option: dodge in Russian!

▶︎ Can I specify in advance how long refugees will stay with me?

It is better! Please note that there may be difficulties with subsequent accommodation. Make a written agreement with your guests. This helps to avoid misunderstandings.



Fast and unbureaucratic! Volunteers with yellow vests support volunteers at Berlin Central StationPhoto: Dagmar Sill/laif

▶︎ Do I have to insure “my” refugees?

Best yes! Refugees who live in your rented apartment or house need their OWN private liability insurance if something breaks. As a good host, you insure your guests (policy costs around 50 euros/year) and pay the annual fee right away.

▶︎ Can I easily accommodate refugees in my gazebo?

The available premises must meet the basic tenancy requirements, even in the case of temporary leasing. Long-term accommodation, for example in a gazebo, is not permitted. This would also violate the statutes of the respective allotment garden, says lawyer Arndt Kempgens (53) when asked by BILD.

▶︎ How are my guests insured if I lend them my private car?

Insurance protection in the motor vehicle insurance exists for the respective scope of insurance for all authorized drivers. It can also be refugees. It makes sense to inform the vehicle insurer if the group of drivers changes.

▶︎ Where can I get more information?

The Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration provides detailed information at: https://koelner-fluechtlingsrat.de/download/2022/1444/220307_IntB_FAQ-Ukraine.pdf

How do YOU ​​help Ukrainian refugees? Write to us at [email protected] Very important. MAKE SURE you include your full name and phone number. Thanks!

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