Ukraine refugees: Busy time at Vienna’s Austria Center

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129,000 Ukrainian refugees had reached Austria by Tuesday – around 85 percent are traveling to other countries, the Interior Ministry said in a background interview. Nevertheless, a lot is going on in Vienna’s Austria Center.

After the federal states, the Vienna police have also started the registration process. On Tuesday, about 4,000 people were registered. While the counseling center in Vienna’s Austria Center is busy, a registration center is being set up at the Messe Wien.

Only months ago, people waited in queues for their Corona vaccination. Now primarily, women and their children are waiting to be registered as displaced persons. Thirty-four such registration centers have been set up in Austria. This coordinated process has been made possible by a recently issued decree allowing protection beneficiaries to stay in Austria for one year and work here.

Most Ukraine refugees continue their journey.

The cooperation between federal and provincial agencies and NGOs such as Caritas and Diakonie is a regulated reception of the displaced persons – this term has been agreed upon – possible, emphasize the representatives of the agencies involved. The Federal Agency for Care and Support Services (BBU) is responsible for refugee care and whose establishment had once led to loud protests by aid organizations. Given Russia’s war against Ukraine, cooperation is now smooth. Twenty-three care facilities for asylum seekers are available on the part of the federal government for displaced persons.

The responsible persons emphasize that the established centers are intended to provide a “first opportunity for refugees to arrive” and “come to rest. “Nevertheless, like asylum seekers from other countries, there is no getting around the registration process: fingerprints are taken, the biometric passport is read, personal data is recorded. According to Director General Gerhard Pürstl, the big difference for the Vienna police compared to the wave of refugees in 2015 is that the situation is very calm, and they are essentially limited to assisting.

In the coming days, a registration center is to be set up on the grounds of the Vienna Trade Fair, but without Caritas and Diakonie on site, whose task elsewhere is to “organize this process as well as possible” emphasize representatives of the aid organizations. For example, they are preparing applications for admission to essential services. Such a formal act also has a psychological component. It is about “being seen” and the message “You are safe here. “

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