Refugees from Ukraine are currently registered in places where physical education was previously conducted. About 1,500 refugees have arrived at the gymnasium at the Albert Schweitzer School in Willingen since the outbreak of the war of aggression.
A central point of contact has been established across all the authorities in order to be able to process everything required to accept people in an uncomplicated manner and in one place within an hour.
It mainly reaches women who have children, as well as some elderly people. Most come with assistants who have looked after them or are at least available as translators. The main languages used are Ukrainian, Russian and English. And if all else fails, the translation app on your cell phone will help you.
People access the Internet with the provision of a WLAN. This is especially important as it allows them to keep in touch with their families in Ukraine via messaging services such as WhatsApp. Especially with their husbands and fathers who are now fighting there on the home front.
While many fleeing children play in a corner of the gymnasium and students from Albert Schweizer school often stop to keep the little ones busy, mothers are usually interested in signing up.
Station 1: Get the data
The first point of contact is the staff of the Social Welfare Office. All relevant data is recorded here and the basis for receiving asylum seeker benefits is created. This was initially €370 per person. In the first step, this money is paid in cash at the district office, and later transferred to a bank account once refugees open a basic account with a bank.
All those who have already found housing will receive compensation for rent, provided that this amount reaches a reasonable amount. It also gives people instant access to the healthcare system. Those who do not yet have housing are first accommodated in refugee housing in the area and receive further care there.
It is also registered who wants and can work. This information is then sent directly to the employment agency so that you can put these people on the job market as quickly as possible.
Stage Two: Residence Permit
The residence permit application is accepted at the next stop. In addition to the fingerprint, a passport photo is also taken there so that the fake certificate can be issued immediately. This document serves as a temporary official form of identification until the final identification card, including biometric data, is subsequently delivered from the Federal Printing Office.
Station 3: Residence Registration
The last step is to go to the registry office, where the temporary place of residence is registered. If refugees bring other documents, such as marriage or birth certificates, they are linked to personal data.
If you stop at the gym, you will notice that everything is going very quietly, almost relaxed. This is despite the fact that sometimes up to ten people sit around each desk. Fortunately there are few waiting times, the entire registration process takes about an hour – per person.
More work could come to the assistants soon: “But starting next week we expect more refugees, because people will also be assigned to us via government reception centers,” says Jan Hauser, head of the Social Welfare Office. In order to cope with all this, his employees, like those of other authorities, have to work a lot of extra work.
“We are glad that we bought all of our vaccination bases furniture last year, because we can now use it again here. We were able to get everything up and running in a few days,” says Arnold Schumacher, Head of the District Regulatory Office.
However, Hauser and Schumacher now see the next big challenge for the municipalities. Because now it’s about getting as many kids there as possible into day care centers and schools. A working group was formed to find quick solutions.