Valentina and Anastasia Korotkova have been waiting for feedback from the Immigration Office in Rostock since the beginning of March. The two sisters fled from the Ukrainian city of Odessa with their children Kirillo and Tatiana, a cat and two hamsters, and temporarily stayed with their friends in Rostock. Already reported and registered, now they want to move to an apartment and earn their own money. “We want to learn German, work and live a normal life,” says Valentina and Anastasia Korotkova. But as long as they don’t have the certificate of their imagination, a kind of initial stage of the residence permit, they are practically suspended in the air.
The potential employer cannot hire them
The manager of the B&B Hotel in Holzhalbinsel in Rostock, Alexander Falke, would like to hire the two women as cleaners. “It’s annoying: We want to help, but we can’t help but wait,” Valcke says. Everything stands and falls with the imaginary martyrdom. “I can give them a job, register them with the health insurance company, and they can look for an apartment,” Falk continued. Until then, Valentina and Anastasia Korotkova will receive their money from the Social Welfare Office – all 364 euros per month plus money for accommodation, furniture or hot water. “But they prefer to earn their own money and shape their lives with dignity, and they do it independently,” Valcke says.
The Immigration Office in Rostock is working at full capacity
The hotel manager helps the two Ukrainians communicate with the authorities as best they can. “We also understand that everyone at City Hall really works to the max,” Falk confirms. But the last piece of information about the imaginary testimony was: We have to wait for a letter from the office.” That was about two months ago. “Such a process can take months,” a spokesman for the city administration of Rostock, Ulrich Konze, confirms upon request. “But we are already using all possibilities and avenues to speed up the process as much as possible.”
Protection from suspicious actions
One of the reasons it takes so long to process applications is that the Immigration Office wants to ensure that refugees get serious jobs. “They should first arrive in peace and be able to learn German,” says Koons. This is more important than immediately starting a job that may not match your qualifications. According to Koons, 2,200 Ukrainian refugees are currently receiving social benefits in the city of Rostock. Among them, 1,700 are fully registered and 1,300 already have a fancy certificate with which they can go to work. Valentina and Anastasia Korotkova hope they can also start soon.
Long waiting times nationwide
The honorary mayor of Burnett (Rostock County), Birgit Karszeka, suspects that “the long waiting times may be a federal problem”. She is currently caring for 15 Ukrainian refugees who have recently arrived in her community. They also haven’t yet received a fancy degree. “Recruitments will start already in June,” Karschka says. However, she is satisfied in principle with communication with the province and the immigration authorities. This is also now open on Saturdays to reduce processing backlog. According to Karschka, at least 1,800 refugees have arrived in the Rostock region. Expect at least half an hour to process each recording. In her opinion, the main problem is that the technology for faster processing is missing. “So it would only be desirable if the federal government made adjustments.”
17 refugee homes in Moisal near Burnet
Until all the necessary documents are provided, the Ukrainians in Burnett take the time to learn German and find their way around the region. This is possible with the help of committed volunteers from nearby villages. They initially prepared 17 vacant apartments in Moisal near Burnett so that the refugees could live in them. The area pays the rent. Several times a week an interpreter and three volunteers come to teach German and show Ukrainians about the area. “Then they drive to the Poso entrance sign, drive around town and learn: where is the nearest doctor, hospital, town hall, or bus station — important things they need to live independently,” says Karschka. So that they can make good use of the time until their June date and, above all, get some rest.