Long waiting times for refugees: Migration authorities extend their times for Ukrainians – Westerwald newspaper

Refugees from Ukraine arrive at a train station in Przemysl, Poland. Those traveling to Westerwald have to wait a long time for an appointment to register, because the process is complicated. However, with a fictional certificate, Ukrainians can apply for social benefits and look for work in advance.

Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva / dpa

As the county administration said in a press release, Westerwald County Immigration Office is working extensively to register more than 1,600 Ukrainian refugees who have entered the country using the so-called PIK procedure. At the same time, many employees are doing important work in connection with the Ukraine war.

This includes, for example, the collection of personal data for registration and transmission of data to various authorities. But also processing applications for other necessary official documents such as residence permit is part of it. At the same time, the authority tries to provide continuous telephone service and thus also answers many inquiries.

1 What does registration at the PIK station include? The name PIK-Station refers to the customization infrastructure component. The PIK station technology includes a camera, document verification device, fingerprint scanner, printer, and software for registration and identity verification. All federal immigration authorities use this technology. Due to the sharp increase in the arrival of asylum seekers in Germany, particularly in 2015, the digitization of the asylum procedure in the sense of better data exchange has been promoted in close cooperation between the federal, state and local governments.

The authorities aim for the early and comprehensive registration of foreigners entering Germany, especially those seeking protection. Within the scope of the identification service, in particular through the registration of biometric data, a person with the same or similar personal data should be prevented from registering in Germany and, for example, receiving social benefits twice.

In addition, criminals or people with an extremist background must also be identified at an early stage.

For registration with the district administration, the personal details given on the registration form were sent to the Central Register of Aliens of the Federal Office of the Department in advance. During the interview, fingerprints are taken of the existing data record and a biometric image is taken. This data has been integrated into the data system of the Federal Republic of Germany and compared with national and international databases.

2 What happens after registration? The so-called mass flow directive came into effect by decree at the beginning of March. This means that the same non-bureaucratic procedure for issuing a humanitarian residence permit to refugees from Ukraine applies in all EU member states. In this way, those seeking protection can obtain a residence permit without having to go through the asylum procedure. As a result, the homeless from Ukraine can access jobs, education, social services and medical care.

When applying for a residence permit – just as when registering – a personal visit is also required to register the biometric data. So that Ukrainian refugees do not have to visit the district center several times, biometric data for issuing a residence permit is simultaneously recorded as part of this registration. In this context, you must also read fingerprints and scan photographs. The residence permit is requested by credit card and, if necessary, a travel document from the Bundesdruckerei.

It currently takes about four to eight weeks to prepare a residence permit. Applicants will receive confirmation of the residence permit issued until the residence permit is finally issued, so that they can identify themselves accordingly. Issuance of a residence permit gives refugees access to the labor market and the integration course, among other things.

So that those refugees who did not have an appointment to register and therefore apply for a residence permit do not suffer from any drawbacks, the so-called bogus certificates will be issued in the next few days. This means that accommodation is generally considered permitted until the residence permit is issued. With the imaginary degree, you can then start working or attend an integration course. For this purpose, an application can be submitted to the responsible social service provider in the future. The fictional testimonials will soon be sent to the responsible municipal departments and those affected can obtain them after notification.

A fingerprint scanner is also used for registration.

A fingerprint scanner is also used for registration.

Photo: Management of the Westerwaldkreis . Press District Office

3 How long does registration take? The registration process is very time consuming due to the registration of biometric data and comparing the data with international databases and it usually takes about 30 minutes. However, there are still difficulties with using the PIK terminal.

A particularly large number of problems arise from the fact that data synchronization lines are overloaded due to simultaneous access from all immigration authorities of the federal government, which leads to network failure. Due to complaints from the immigration authorities, the lines have become more stable. However, it happens again and again that it is not possible to establish a connection to the databases and it is not possible to register.

These shortcomings put those directly affected and immigration officials alike to a severe test of patience. Colleagues at the Immigration Office try every day to summon as many refugees as possible for registration. However, they often fail in a non-functioning PIK terminal, which has only a limited impact on their functionality.

4 Why is it not registered in several PIK stations? In the wake of the wave of refugees, the immigration authorities had to set up a PIK station to register people who had entered the country illegally. Due to the small number of people required to be registered, one PIK station has been quite sufficient since then.

More PIK stations cannot be justified, not least because of the higher purchase and maintenance costs, so that most of the country’s immigration authorities have a matching logging device. Another PIK station ordered immediately at the beginning of the Ukraine war. However, due to delivery problems at the Bundesdruckerei, it is not clear when this can be provided.

5 How will the Immigration Office react so that more people can be registered? On the other hand, there are extended working hours: to improve the situation, the immigration authorities have extended working hours during the week and now they work not only continuously on weekdays but also on weekends.

There is also the option to schedule an appointment online. Usually, people can book an appointment online on the district’s homepage to apply for a residence permit, among other things. Due to the large influx of Ukrainian refugees and the large workload, the needs of other clients from other countries could no longer be adequately met, so a division was set up in Ukraine.

This Ukrainian department was separated from the day-to-day work of the immigration authorities and reinforced with additional temporary staff. Contrary to the usual procedure, the dates of registration have previously been set by the immigration authorities after receiving the application. The numerous calls make it clear that some refugees would like to be able to book appointments for registration, residence permit, etc., independently. So it will be possible in the future to book appointments for registration on two days a week. This time window will initially open on a monthly basis just so you can evaluate the action.

At the same time, on other days – as before – after the date of application, people are called and prioritized, for example in the case of a job offer. Upon delivery of the residence permit, future persons will be informed that the residence permit is ready for collection and will be asked to make an appointment online. red / mag

The best way to ask questions is via email

According to Westerwald County Department reports, phone availability for the Immigration Office cannot be expanded at this time. Otherwise, the registration of refugees cannot be carried out with the necessary strictness. Therefore, the Immigration Office recommends sending any questions via e-mail to the Ukraine Post Box (ukraine@westerwaldkreis.de) if possible. If telephone availability is limited, questions from other foreign nationals can be sent to the general mailbox (ausländerbehoerde@westerwaldkreis.de). Despite the war in Ukraine, the immigration authorities are trying to address their concerns as quickly as possible. Registration, issuance of residence permits and delivery of documents for Ukrainian refugees will take place immediately at the back entrance of Peter Paul Weinert Sall’s county house in Montabor. red

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