A Digital Survival Guide For The Modern Refugee

A compendium of helpful apps for migrants on the move.

As our profile of a sea-bound refugee who sent digital SOS messages proves, smartphones have become critical for those fleeing Syria and other countries in search of peace. Below, The Huffington Post compiled a list of apps and other services that can help migrants on the move.


The free service for making calls, sending text and sharing photos allows users to make voice calls to anywhere in the world, provided the receiver is also on WhatsApp. Download here for iPhone or Android.

Coverage needs: Wi-Fi or data. 

Facebook Messenger

This free service enables messaging and calls between Facebook users. Download here for iPhone, here for Android.

Coverage needs: Wi-Fi or data.

Using a phone's GPS signal, this app allows users to find their coordinates, zoom in and out of maps, and see intricate routes anywhere in the world -- including at sea -- wirelessly. Download here for iPhone or Android.

Coverage needs: none.


Many critical forms for immigration are available via Dropbox, a service that allows documents to be stored and shared using third-party digital space instead of a phone's data plan. Download here for iPhone, here for Android. 

Coverage needs: Wi-Fi or data. 



Developed and maintained by volunteers in Hungary, this free app provides up-to-date information on border closures and transport routes within the country, as well as information on asylum procedures. Download here for Android. Not available on iPhone.

Coverage needs: Wi-Fi or data. 

Welcome App Dresden


Designed for asylum seekers in Germany, this app provides information they can use upon arrival or after several months in the country, including important addresses and contact numbers. Download here for Android,  here for iTunes.

Coverage needs: Wi-Fi or data.

Routard Guide for Refugees


This free downloadable guide is illustrated so non-French speakers in France can simply point to an illustration of the desired thing or location -- a hospital, a taxi -- and get help. Download a PDF version here

Mine Map


While officials say Croatia's notorious mines are labeled on the ground, various Facebook groups for refugees have cited this zoom-able live map as a good resource for migrants on foot in the region. Access it online here

Croatia Forms on Dropbox 


A project of a Facebook group geared toward migrants in Croatia, the various folders shared in this public Dropbox account contain documents helpful for asylum seekers and other newcomers to the country. Access it here.

Refugees Welcome


This website links homeless migrants and refugees in Norway with locals open to hosting them in their homes. Sign up here