Krystyna Szwankowska-Antol

Assistance for Migrants in Austria

Assistance for Migrants in Austria. As Austria is a country with many migrants, both from EU and non-EU countries, entire infrastructure of assistance to migrants has developed. Among these, there are also two very interesting and useful websites, making the life of a migrant much easier.

The first one belongs to the Consulting Centre for Migrants – Beratungszentrum für Migranten und Migrantinnen, a government sponsored institution intended for migrants seeking advice and assistance in Vienna.  In their daily open offices one can receive not only a face-to-face treatment, sometimes so needed in a migrant situation, but also a lot of instructions in regard to all aspects of life the migrant in Vienna would need information about, be it employment, the documents needed for registering, education or any other topic.

There is a special department only for women migrants and also a special service to assist the migrants in properly establishing and defining his or her qualification needed to get a job. Of course, in case they are not in charge of certain issues, they direct the migrant to the proper institution. They offer advice in no less than eleven languages, which of course includes English as well.

The website is naturally in German, the language a migrant should eventually master, though some very useful information is also offered in other languages, English among them. In addition to information in regard to tax concessions for families, how to obtain Austrian citizenship, settlement of family members of people with Austrian citizenship, an explanation is offered also about employment of foreigners in Austria as well as what a person needs for a long-term residence after the first four months.

This is the stage at which the other website we have chosen to present is relevant. The website is operated by the Integration and Diversity Department of the Municipality of Vienna and is intended for all new inhabitants of the city who after four months received “confirmation of registration” (Anmeldenbescheinigung) if they are EU citizens or Aufenhaltskarte – residence card if they are third-country nationals. With the service they call start coaching (they operate in twenty languages), employees of the municipal department assist the migrant in finding his/her way around the city.

And one of the most important information in that regard is about learning the German language, which is what a visitor at the start-coaching appointment receives in a Vienna education booklet. This is a booklet in which all the language courses, information events, as well as further education and training programmes are listed. Furthermore, you also get special vouchers or discount for German Integration Courses as well as information on other topics. Though, this service is not only for the purposes of learning language.

One can get there also recommendations for counselling centres to find a job or getting education qualifications recognised, as well as information on various other issues, such as registering a child for school for instance. It is not just that people at both places are kind and courteous, it the information one receives there that makes the migrant in Vienna feel definitely more welcome.

Related articles