Introduction Pneumonia of unknown cause was detected on 30 December 2019 in China. It was categorized as an outbreak and named as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. The pandemic affects all people, but patient groups such as hemodialysis (HD) patients have been particularly affected. We do not know if refugees suffered more during the outbreak. In this study, we compared depressive symptom frequency between Syrian refugee HD patients and Turkish ones. Methods The study had a single-center, cross-sectional design. Demographic and clinical data were collected retrospectively from patients' files containing details about past medical history, demographic variables and laboratory values. Validated Turkish and Arabic forms of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were used to assess depressive symptoms. BDI scores were compared according to nationality, demographic features and clinical data. A BDI score more than 14 was accepted as suspicion of depression. Results 119 patients were enrolled in the study. After the exclusion of 22 patients, 75 Turkish and 22 Syrian patients were included for further analysis. The median BDI (interquartile range) score for Turkish and Syrian patients were 12 (7-23) and 19.5 (12.7-25.2), respectively (p = 0.03). Suspicion of depression was present at 42.7% of Turkish, and 72.7% of Syrian HD patients (p = 0.013). Regarding all patients, phosphorus level, Kt/V, and nationality were significantly different between patients with and without suspicion of depression (p = 0.023, 0.039, 0.013, respectively). Conclusion Syrian patients had higher BDI scores and more depressive symptoms than Turkish patients. Additional national measures for better integration and more mental support to Syrian HD patients are needed.