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2018-09-13

The Job of integration officer: A story with a Happy ending

Guest post:

Since the first of April works Alev Gürbalkan as an integration officer at the Asklepios hospital in Hamburg-Harburg. The graduate of Economics and labour lawyer, is the contact person for the foreign workers in the hospital. Their tasks also include the Checking of applications. A case like that it describes in a guest post.

I receive job applications through multiple channels – online, over the division lines, on WhatsApp, etc., Each candidate has his own history. It’s about destinies, hopes, to new stages of life. These people are ready to leave for a new, better future for their families, friends and home country behind. I’m going to give a little personal insight into my work.

I received the Department an application, I should check. The young applicant, 26 years old, came from Georgia, had completed in their home country to study medicine and then worked as a Physician. Your resume stated that she lives already for about eight months in Germany and as an Au-pair works. They now had the desire to start with us as a health and nurse training. When I had this application on my table, I found it very interesting and I had a lot of questions. Why would like to make the applicant’s training and not as an Intern work? An adaptation is possible? How are your language skills? What is the residency status of you and you will get an extension?

A trained Physician in the care?

These are all questions that could only be through a personal interview to be clarified. The first contact with the candidate I had on the phone. So I was able to make me a quick picture of your actual level of language. She was very nervous and at the same time pleasantly surprised by my call. We were able to agree on the whole good, and I’ve been invited to a personal interview in my office. Not to be late, she appeared much too early for the appointment. Out of courtesy and because she didn’t want to bother me, you don’t want to knock on my door. I’ve seen you on the way to the copier at random, and in my office asked. She was very upset and apologized many times for her early appearance. Since English is not your native language, there was a great danger that it is full of tension, less able to articulate. I tried to calm you down and you once again confirmed that we have interest in her and she needed not be afraid of the conversation.

Language barriers during the interview

We wanted to learn for the first time. She has calmed down slightly and began to tell why they live in Germany and would like to work. You had in your home country no perspective as a Doctor, the pay was very low. In Germany, you will feel in the jargon as a Doctor, is unsafe and would like to start the training as a nurse and also in the intensive station work. The work processes, the work culture and the technical language are very different. Wanted to learn in a training. You showed yourself as a very respectful and humble Person, however, was at the same time tough and determined. I found you are also very brave, because she was alone without her family and friends, a new life. You impressed me very much and their Situation has touched me.

There is a work permit?

Thus, a setting could be made, had to be cleared for your Status with the authority. Your residence permit would soon expire, and it was still uncertain whether she could make a training or adaptation period. So your Status could be resolved, had to be submitted to the authority for health and consumer protection (BGV), an application for the recognition of your qualification. For BGV, I have a good contact and was able, therefore, to obtain quickly an appointment. As it turned out, however, that the authority had with degrees from Georgia is still not a Routine and this was a special case.

Help with the authorities

The documents the applicant had to pass on the authority to audit internally. This is a time Problem, because the candidate can be given by us, not a contract, before not sure whether you cannot make a training or recognition. The applicant, however, can attain only with this employment contract, a residence title. Talking about she was on the verge of tears and felt helpless. I explained to the young woman on the applicable provisions and rights in Germany and set out what authorities have to queue gears now. I assured her that she is not alone, and I would support you in the clarification of the authority for foreigners, as well as the BGV.

I made sure that in-house procedures prior to the deadline have been done and the authorities to review this case quickly. After all official matters were in due time completed, could begin the candidate and their training and their residence permit extended. When I told the applicant that, she embraced me spontaneously and crying from happiness.

Photo: Unsplash / Matt Hoffman

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