The accusation: Ukrainian children starve without registration

Ukrainian Olga Kozka suspected bad things: she fled to Bavaria even before the outbreak of the war. She has acquaintances in Ottobrunn in the district of Munich. Her son stayed home while fighting against Putin’s forces. Olga Kozka can be seen how much she suffers – from homesickness and fear for her son. She is pale, looks tired, her eyes look tired. She worked in Ukraine as a German language teacher. You like the German language. Now you want to get a foothold in Bavaria. I have already tried to register at the immigration office, but so far to no avail. Kozka says she waited three hours for an appointment. “There are already 300 people waiting in line… and these papers. It was really a mess.”

Refugee registration: There is a shortage of staff and technology

Apparently, the authorities are not ready for this attack. There is a shortage of adequate personnel and technology. At the Zirndorf docking center in the Central Franconia region, the police are now helping with the registration process. Often there are no so-called PIK devices required for detailed recording.

According to the instructions of the Ministry of the Interior, all refugees in Bavaria must be registered in this system. Biometric data such as fingerprints and photos are recorded. But this takes time – up to 45 minutes if the system is working properly.

Municipalities and cities often register Ukrainians using simple forms

But many regions in Bavaria do not have PIK stations, including the Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen region. Regions on the Bavarian border, such as Berchtesgadener Land, have such systems because they often have to register with their own immigration authorities, explains Josef Niedermayer, district manager of Bad Tölz Wolfratshausen. “But the regional office in central Bavaria has little to do with the border crossings and of course it has nothing of the kind.” It is assumed that not even half of the district offices in Bavaria have these PIK stations.

Registration is better in rural areas than in urban areas

Like the district of Bad Tölz Wolfratshausen, other regions have switched to registration in simple forms due to the lack of PIK stations. According to the Deggendorf District Office, there are no delays in the individual authorities of the municipalities of Lower Bavaria. Registration here – without a PIK – takes ten minutes max. In the docking center of the Deggendorf region there are PIK stations, but they are not enough. According to the district office, this results in waiting periods of up to 14 days.

To obtain an official residence permit, registration in the PIK system is required

Whether registration is with or without the PIK system: According to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, all registered refugees from Ukraine first obtain permission to work, housing and money from the state. That’s why you’ll get a so-called fictional certificate during the simple registration process. However, the actual PIK registration must be compensated, according to the Home Office. This registration is required before an official residence permit can be issued. The residence permit is usually valid for two years.

No registration, no money

Refugee registration in large cities such as Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg is slow, although simple registration is sometimes used here as well. But the rush is much greater than in rural areas.

No registration means no money. This is a big problem for some Ukrainian families, according to Elizabeth Stein. Language courses for Ukrainians are organized at Volkshochschule Süd Ost in the Munich region. She and her colleagues have tested that people are starving because they can’t register, they don’t have money, because they have no one to give them anything to eat, and the food banks are all overcrowded. “There are starving people, and there are also starving children here in our communities.”

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