Dresden Welcome Center - when does Berlin follow?

Today I have been invited to the Dresden Welcome Center. We met at Bürgeramt in the middle of Dresden, together with other businesses who support expats and arriving foreigners to Dresden.

 

This initiative is unique in consolidating lines of services and processes in order to speed up administration for foreign professionals as well as making their life easier by offering one point of support.

 

Planning for the center has started 2011, the final stages of development have been decided in February 2012. Another 16 months later, it will open its door on July 4th 2013 for the first time, to which the Minister for Internal Affairs Saxony as well as the mayor of Dresden will be present.

The mission of the Center is to show the international spirit of Dresden and establish a welcoming atmosphere. The main topics that will be served upon are:

  • pre- and post arrival information
  • consolidation of administrative processes like registration and legal questions
  • funnel into more institutions
  • support and consulting for Dresden businesses in acquisition of qualified foreign employees

 

In 2012, 6600 foreigners registered in the city of Dresden. 700 of those are highly qualified and will be mainly treated at the Welcome Center:

  • Qualified employees and scientists (§ 18 IV, § 18b, § 18c,19a AufenthG
  • Highly qualified employees ( § 19 AufenthG)
  • Research (§ 20 AufenthG)
  • Freelance Businesses (§ 21 AufenthG)
  • PhD Candidates (§ 16 I AufenthG)
  • Artists and athletes 
  • Doctors
  • and family of all of the above mentioned

 

The portfolio of services includes:

  • VISA registration
  • city registration
  • issueing passports substitute documents
  • accreditation of foreign documents
  • providing a first welcome package of information, e.g. free public transportation ticket
  • address change of car registration (Fahrzeugschein)
  • consolidated access to kindergarten availabilities
  • consulting in integration and intercultural questions

 

The services will be provided by six employees overall on three days open for public. The other days will be filled with back office administration, working on your applications and for individual appointments.

 

All necessary documents etc will soon be found on 

http://www.dresden.de/http://www.zuwanderung.sachsen.de and http://welcome.dresden.de/

 

Additional to the services of the Welcome Center, service personal has already reached out to services in relocation, intercultural training and local businesses in order to connect foreigners further. The solutions of G1OBALS.org will be a nice complementary service to help out here. 

 

Overall, a great move in a city so much smaller than Berlin (300.000 vs. 4.000.000 inhabitants) and therefore with less potential of served customers (6.600 vs. 50.000).

 

Quite impressive, taking into consideration that Berlin has not yet actively worked or communicated on any activity in a similar direction.

 

I am open to support any effort, beyond G1OBALS.org, towards pointing Berlin into the same direction.

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