Third country students from Ukraine: there are almost no opportunities in Germany

Without paragraph 24, it will not be easy to continue studying in Germany

Anyone who has fled Ukraine but does not have a Ukrainian passport, a Ukrainian life partner or a permanent residence permit in Ukraine does not have protection in Germany under Article 24 of the Residence Act. “With regard to students from third countries, protection under Section 24 of the Residence Act in particular requires that they cannot return safely and permanently to their country or region of origin. The circumstances of the specific individual case are always decisive,” a spokeswoman said. The Bavarian Ministry of the Interior. “Students from third countries who have fled Ukraine can stay in Germany without a visa until August 31, 2022, during which time they can apply for a residence permit for study purposes directly at German immigration authorities without having to compensate for visa procedures.”

From August 31, third-country nationals will need a regular residence permit. Even by the end of this transitional regulation, they did not have a work permit and – as the BR inquiry makes clear – were excluded from programs at some universities that were intended to facilitate integration into universities, such as free language courses.

Anyone who studies, trains for a profession, has completed a voluntary social year, or works as a professional receives a residence permit. But many have already given up on the plan to continue studying quickly. In Germany, applying as an international student means having a closed account with more than 10,000 euros, a scholarship or a guarantor. Since many have already put their entire savings into the visa to Ukraine, this money is now missing. There is not enough time to organize a scholarship or guarantee.

The Munich Refugee Council has been advising since April

It is difficult to determine the size of the group of people, because the data is not recorded separately anywhere. The Munich Refugee Council has been advising third-country nationals of Ukraine in a purposeful consultation since mid-April. “Since then, we have conducted a total of about 170 in-person consultations and many more via email. The countries of origin are Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana, as well as Sudan, Algeria, Cameroon, Turkmenistan, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Russia,” says Rebecca Killian Mason. Popular Topics: Information Technology, Medicine or Dentistry.

“We were able to help a dozen people obtain residency because they have a legal right in Article 24 of the Residence Act, but in many cases this was not directly recognized by the immigration authorities. In most cases, it was a partner of Ukrainian citizens who had not yet gone to Germany ” , says Killian Mason.

University places in Germany are rare

For others, the record is much worse. “We only have one case that we know got a place at the university and there is a good chance of residency because there is a private guarantor,” says the advisor. Even in the survey campaign, there was not a single response that someone had earned a place at the university.

“Three people who have already completed their studies or training have found work contracts in this field. Two of them are still waiting for a residence permit. The other person left Germany because the authorities sent him from A to B, instead of processing,” says Killian Mason.

And as a way out, many still have to start a voluntary social year. But here, accommodation must usually be provided so that livelihoods can be considered secure and a residence permit can be issued. Only those who have a good financial background can obtain a visa to search for a place in the university. For this it must be proven that one’s living needs can be covered out of one’s pocket without having to rely on working in Germany.

Lack of opportunities for good information

Many of those seeking advice have already invested a lot of time and effort into something that does not help them in obtaining a residence permit. “When I registered in Germany, a woman at the immigration office asked me to bring a B2 certificate,” Assurance says. When he was able to submit the certificate, he discovered that he needed vocational training to be able to stay in Germany in September. A 19-year-old Moroccan who was studying dentistry in Ukraine has also been busy learning German for a long time. During the counseling, learn that the best way not to give up on this dream is to do a voluntary social year.

Rebecca Kilian-Mason also asserts that there is a lack of information and general confusion: “Many people thought they could obtain residency through a German course, and many also thought they had a chance of §24. This was the case. It is not clear that the distinction between Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians are very sharp. Also, many did not know that a qualified job was the only thing that could practically save them.” “We have a lot of people who have already found jobs in gastronomy or gardening, but that doesn’t count as qualifying work that you need to get a residency permit.” Many also found out too late about the counseling opportunities offered by the Munich Refugee Council.

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