BAföG social assistance in Germany for Ukrainians: rules of receipt and who can count
Ukrainian students and schoolchildren in Germany can count on Bafög state aid from the country's government. Find out more about how to get support and how much you can expect
Since last year, the German government has opened access to the BAföG state scholarship for Ukrainian refugees, which is mainly received by Germans. However, given the situation in Ukraine, the rules were slightly changed. Who can count on help and what are the rules for receiving it, read below.
What is a BAföG scholarship?
The BAföG support program is intended mainly for German citizens - for students from poor families and those undergoing vocational training. All students who are unable to finance their studies on their own or with the help of their parents, partner/spouse can apply for such a subsidy.
The BAföG scholarship consists of two parts: a grant (i.e. an amount that does not need to be repaid) and an interest-free loan. This means that after graduation, you only have to pay back part of the financial support you received.
Who can count on help?
Anyone who has received a residence permit in Germany or a preliminary temporary permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung) can apply for it. Such assistance is intended for students and schoolchildren whose parents cannot financially support them during their studies.
According to the rules, the scholarship can be awarded to persons who are in Germany with legal rights and are officially registered in the country. However, if you came to the country on a student visa, you will not be able to get help.
People who are starting to learn a new specialty or studying at a university and have already turned 45 will not be able to get help either.
However, if you were unable to start or complete your university studies due to an unforeseen situation in your Homeland, or if you obtained a certificate of complete school education (Abitur) in Germany and immediately started your university studies, then even after the age of 45 you can receive financial support under the BaföG program.
To receive the funds, your own income and/or your parents' income does not exceed a specific amount, which varies up to 2145 euros per month.
Pay attention! Students are not entitled to assistance from the Jobcenter. If you hide from the department that you have started studying at the university and continue to receive aid, as soon as the institution finds out about it, you must return all the money received.
How can Ukrainians apply for BAföG financial assistance?
In order to receive BAföG financial aid, you need to fill out a number of forms and submit them together with your application to BAföG - the department of the city where you want to study. His address can be found at studentenwerke.de.
In addition, a number of documents must be attached to the application, such as bank statements and a certificate of enrollment at a university.
The application can also be submitted online. You can find more information on the bafög.de website.
Note that the application can be submitted only after admission to the university.
What assistance is available under the BAföG program?
The amount of assistance that the state will give you depends on your income and available resources. According to the data for the end of 2022, the maximum you can get is 934 euros per month.
It should be borne in mind that the processing of the application may take some time, so payments are often received several months after the start of studies. In this regard, the first payment amount will be higher than the following ones, as it will include the missed months of study.
What amount and in what terms must be returned?
The amount received under the program usually needs to be returned 5 years after graduation. Shortly before the program expires, you will receive a refund notification (Rückzahlungsbescheid) from the Federal Administrative Office (Bundesverwaltungsamt) by mail.
Normally, the amount refunded does not exceed €10,010. The monthly contribution is, as a rule, 130 euros. However, you do not need to make this payment every month, but a total of 390 euros for three months. The loan repayment period is 20 years.
You can also pay the entire amount at once. In this case, you will receive a discount.
We will remind you! Ukrainians planning to receive temporary protection in Germany should note that not all federal states of the country continue to support refugees. Read in our material which regions of the country are ready to accept Ukrainians.
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