Ukrainians in Munich: Not everyone is allowed to stay

Thousands of Munich residents have been supporting people from Ukraine who fled to the city from Russia’s war of aggression for more than three months. Most of them have found temporary accommodation with relatives, acquaintances or previously unknown people. But the first aid in an emergency has now become everyday life. Many children of refugee mothers now attend schools or have found shelter in day-care centers. However, the bureaucracy often begins with everyday life in the new home – and this is still difficult to understand for both the hosts and the refugees. The authorities, especially the social department and the district administration department (KVR), have reached their limits in terms of personnel in recent months.

According to the KVR, more than 1,000 refugees from Ukraine have registered in Munich since mid-May alone. Since the beginning of March, when the first people arrived from the war zones by trains, buses or cars, 8,500 refugees have been issued with a residence permit, which is necessary, among other things, for taking up work. It is mainly women and children as well as the elderly and the sick who are fleeing, while most men of military age have to stay in the country.

Refugees from Ukraine can still register in Munich – however, according to KVR spokesman Johannes Mayer, this only applies to those who have found an apartment or a room in the city. However, according to the district administration department, anyone who needs public aid such as state accommodation has been “distributed to all federal states” since the beginning of May – similar to asylum seekers – because Bavaria has already clearly fulfilled its admission quota.

Those who cannot travel, are ill or have found a job are allowed to stay

There are only exceptions if those affected have first-degree relatives in Munich. According to the KVR, even those who are not able to travel or need urgent medical treatment in the city will not be relocated to other municipalities. Anyone who already has a job and even an apartment with their own rental contract or has secure long-term accommodation does not have to move either. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) is actually responsible for the distribution, but the foreigners authority in the district administration department has had to take over the task since May 1st. This usually happens at the arrivals center.

It is also often complicated for Ukrainian refugees who can stay in the city: they first have to go to the district administration department and then to a social center or job center. The refugees then either receive SGB II benefits in the job center, i.e. basic security for job seekers, or social welfare benefits (SGB XII) in the social community centre.

Refugees from other countries, who do not have freedom of movement like people from Ukraine and have been living in the city for years, are nevertheless often surprised at how relatively smoothly the integration of people from Ukraine often takes place. For asylum seekers, which Ukrainians generally do not fall under, registration is with the government of Upper Bavaria or the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. These people often wait years for a work permit. And many of them fear that they will be deported back to their former home countries.

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