Vienna, 4 April 2014 Press release

Integration Minister Kurz and Carinthian Governor Kaiser announce the establishment of an integration centre for migrants in Klagenfurt

Government programme implemented: A central point of contact for migrants to open in Carinthia this coming summer

Vienna, 4 April 2014 – Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz and the Governor of Carinthia, Peter Kaiser, agreed on 4 April 2014 to open an Integration Centre of the Austrian Integration Fund (Österreichischer Integrationsfonds, ÖIF) in Klagenfurt this summer. The Integration Centre will offer German language courses and integration projects and serve as a valuable information provider. Newly arrived immigrants will receive all the consulting they need at the centre's Welcome Desk. Besides the Integration Centre in Klagenfurt, the ÖIF will also offer mobile integration counselling in Carinthian regions.

Establishing a welcoming culture in Carinthia

Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz called the establishment of the Integration Centre a "milestone for integration in Carinthia". He added: "With the new Integration Centre in Carinthia and mobile consulting services in various communities of this province, Carinthia will have supra-regional mechanisms available for a well-structured integration process based on clearly defined rights and obligations. At the Integration Centre, immigrants will learn about common values and receive comprehensive information and support right from the beginning of their stay in Austria."

Important step for successful development of Carinthia

Governor Peter Kaiser said: "11.3 percent of the people living in Carinthia come from other countries. Their successful integration is an essential task needed to bring Carinthia forward. We welcome the new Integration Centre in Klagenfurt. It is a major step towards more efficient integration of immigrants in Carinthia to enable them to tap their potential."

By establishing the Integration Centre an item from the current government programme will be put into practice: the Austrian-wide expansion of welcome points for migrants in the form of ÖIF Welcome Desks.

Priorities: Language, labour market and advice

The Welcome Desk informs immigrants about their options, rights and duties and provides information on central questions of daily life in Austria, such as: "Where can I learn German?" "What suitable courses are offered in the region?" "What do I need to do to register my child in a school" or "What fundamental values are important for life in Austria?"

Last year, Welcome Desks were opened at the ÖIF Integration Centres in Vienna, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol and Styria. An Integration Centre in Klagenfurt and mobile consulting units in the Province of Carinthia are now being added. It was also announced that regional projects in the field of language learning (study meetings, conversation workshops) and addressing the labour market (mentoring for migrants) will be fostered. The migrant service at the ÖIF Welcome Desk is part of the strategy entitled "Integration right from the start" aiming at end-to-end integration support from the first contact at the Austrian embassy abroad to the award of the Austrian citizenship.

MFA - Integration
Amra Ducic
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