Information for exile artists

Information for exile artists

Basic information for people coming to Germany

Basic information about migrating to Germany can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: The information is provided in multiple languages and covers the following areas in concise texts, supplemented by contacts and links:

Entry rules 
Subsequent entry of families and spouses 
Working in Germany 
University studies and vocational training 
Asylum and refugee protection 
The reception procedure for Syria 
Ethnic German resettlers 
Jewish immigrants 

Information that is relevant in relation to permanent residence in Germany can be found under the heading Welcome to Germany and covers the following topics:

Residence in Germany 
Learning German 
Local integration projects 
Information and advice 
Work and career 
Living in Germany 
Children and the family 
Health and preventive healthcare 

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Information portals, online language learning opportunities, and information centers

Many of the topics mentioned above are covered in the free Ankommen (“Arrival”) app offered by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The app is intended to promote quick and comprehensive orientation for people who are new to Germany and provides information for asylum seekers and a multimedia language course, among other features.

Information on learning German is also offered by the Goethe Institute at The website offers a variety of free language learning opportunities, including apps for self-learning courses, and information about life in Germany in 16 different languages.

Another aid worth mentioning is – a multilingual collection of vocabulary and phrases to assist refugees in orienting themselves after their arrival in Germany. The online book contains vocabulary in 28 languages spoken in various refugee countries of origin as well as a number of EU countries. Content can be accessed under a Creative Commons license and may be used free of charge for relief projects. 

Also: the Visual Dictionary by ARD.

The website provides an extensive information portal featuring relevant links to various topics and maintains an interactive map of Germany with information about the refugee assistance currently available and the refugee integration infrastructure (in German only).

At and the corresponding blog, migrants can find contacts and advice in different languages and from their own community, especially concerning visa issues and applications for asylum.

In addition, the ARD offers a comprehensive guide for refugees with information about life in Germany in different languages and including current news in English and Arabic.

Comprehensive information and guidance can also be found on the websites of the Refugee Councils of the individual German Federal States: (in German only) or Many of them provide well researched background information and the latest legislative information.

PRO ASYL provides as well an extensive overview with practical links and information, including the link to the European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA), a European-wide list of refugee organisations.

The Refugees Welcome platform at acts as a broker for rooms for refugees in shared apartments all over Germany.

The Place4Refugees project at assists in finding accommodation for refugees (in hostels and private houses) in Berlin on short notice using forms that are filled in by those seeking or offering accommodation (in German only). 

jup! berlin, an information and interactive portal for adolescents in Berlin now also offers an overview of multi-lingual information services for refugees: Guide for Refugees | Wegweiser für Flüchtlinge | معلومات للاجئين الجدد في ألمانيا

Initiatives such as My Right Is Your Right, a Berlin-based network of people engaged in the cultural sector, refugees, theaters, churches, and trade union associations, and the nationwide Refugee Radio Network (RRN) give refugees and other migrants a voice.

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Portals for refugee artists and creatives

Beyond the portals mentioned above, there are also a number of websites and portals that are explicitly geared towards artists and creatives. 

One example is the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), an independent network of cities and regions, which offer endangered authors and other artists and creatives protection with the goal of promoting freedom of expression, democratic values, and international solidarity. 

The initiative Syrisches Haus provides possibilities for exchange and networking between Syrian migrants and refugees, including artists and creatives. 

Another example is the regional specialist platform Willkommenskultur‐ It lists numerous offerings for refugees in Hamburg, including offerings aimed at refugee artists and creatives: Angebote für geflüchtete Künstler. The information is in German; an English summery of the website can be found here.

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Art studies for refugees in Germany

Several universities in Germany now offer advice and study programs for refugees: 

  • The University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Hildesheim, Holzminden, Göttingen) supports refugees who have questions regarding taking up or continuing a degree program. More information here.

  • The Berlin Weissensee School of Art is establishing what it has dubbed a *foundation class for refugees, which will start in the summer semester of 2016. More information here.

  • Refugees may also study at the Berlin University of the Arts. For more information, visit: In addition, the Support Refugees initiative supports projects that promote artistic collaboration with refugees.

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Information about working as an artist or creative in Germany

The qualification offer Artists Training: Refugee Class for Professionals of the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) provides information and contacts within various modules on the following five sectors: music, cultural journalism, fine arts, performing arts and film.

As a portal for internationally mobile artists and creatives, the website also offers information for people engaged in the arts and cultural sector who come to Germany after fleeing their own countries:

What are the conditions for artistic and creative work in Germany? Which legal and administrative requirements must be taken into consideration?

Answers to these questions can be found in the Visa and Residence, Status of the artist and Contracts, TaxesSocial SecurityInsurances, and Copyright sections.

The Cultural Landscape Germany section also offers an introduction to the history, development, and current state of the visual arts and performing arts sectors, as well as lists of educational institutions, relevant locations and institutions, etc.

What funding opportunities are available for projects by artists or creatives coming to Germany? 

The extensive Funding database and the Residencies section list numerous German and international funding and residency programs, which promote the international mobility of people engaged in the arts and cultural sector.

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