The employment centers will take care of the refugees from the beginning of June. This has a number of advantages for those affected. But it is questionable whether everyone benefits equally. There is a bump when it comes to issuing the necessary documents: there is a shortage of paper, printers and staff.
A few weeks ago, the federal government decided that refugees from Ukraine should receive basic security in the future. The change from the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act to the Hartz IV system has a number of advantages for those affected. However, it is likely that these will not benefit everyone in Stuttgart at the beginning of June. Many Ukrainians still lack the necessary so-called fictitious certificate, which is proof of the right to temporary residence.
Moving to job center care improves the situation for refugees: they get a little more money than they get under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, they can attend language courses, start working and have health insurance on their own. But even though the city has speeded up the pace of issuing bogus certificates in the past few days, many still lack the necessary paperwork a few days before the deadline.
Half of them are still without a certificate
Of the 6,381 refugees from Ukraine who were accommodated in Stuttgart at the start of the week (6902 have arrived so far, but 521 have already moved), 3,573 had the fictitious certificate. There is still a lot to do before the change in early June. Whether all the remaining 2,808 people will receive their diploma in time is somewhat doubtful.
The city says they are “aware of the problem” and are working “at full speed on the issuance of the bogus certificates”. The Immigration Office, which has been understaffed for a long time and its positions are not being filled, received support from traffic control and from employees of the Naturalization Department. For this reason, there is currently no “processing of naturalization applications”.
There is a shortage of staff, paper and printers
The understaffing when issuing bogus certificates is not the only problem. City spokesperson Sven Matisse explains that the Bundesdruckerei, whose official forms for certificates must be used, has “currently significant delivery problems”. The process also requires special printers and trained personnel. Only: “There is currently a shortage of forms, printers and staff,” the city spokesperson said. To make progress however, immigration authorities release what are known as newspaper stories, which are easier and faster.
The consequence of the delay will be that all refugees who do not have such a certificate on June 1 will continue to be treated in accordance with the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. If they then get their papers in June, according to the city, “these people will switch to Basic Security in the month following the issue month.”
Job seekers will have to wait
The Employment Agency in Stuttgart is showing the effects it is already having on some refugees. So far, 60 refugees have been registered there in search of work, says Katerina Knaus, an immigration official at Stuttgart. “And the number is increasing every day.” These are professionals who either have completed a degree or have professional experience. They wanted to work right away. Almost half of them are looking for short-term work because they hope to be able to return to Ukraine as soon as possible, while the other half are interested in long-term jobs because they assume that a lot has been destroyed in their homeland.
There are also jobs for some applicants, the immigration official explains, for example because they don’t need any knowledge of German, there are translators there or they speak Ukrainian as well. However, it has not yet been possible to place these refugees for “official reasons” because “the fictitious certificate is missing”. Katrina Knauss explains that you are dealing with a “special situation in Stuttgart”. In the district of Böblingen, for example, which also belongs to the district of the Stuttgart Agency, the administration has “already finished issuing the dummy certificates”, says Knaus. “People can attend German courses there or work there.”