Information Centre Has Helped over 2.5 Thousands Foreigners

Since 18 May 2016 the Information Centre for Immigrants (ICI) has been operating all over Latvia as a one-stop agency. During 20 months its advisers have provided information and support to 2514 foreign citizens, who arrived from 81 countries outside the European Union, and specialists working with this target group.

By 20 December 2017 ICI has provided support to 2514 persons – 1451 in Riga, 462 in Liepaja, 199 in Jelgava, 223 in Daugavpils, 179 in Cesis. In total, 3655 consultations have been provided regarding various legal and social issues. Most frequently, customers have chosen to receive consultations in person – in 2106 cases, 1021 consultations were provided by phone, 332 – using Skype, and 196 times by e-mail. The opportunity of repeated consultations was often used.

Foreign citizens were mostly interested in migration, employment, business opportunities and family matters in Latvia, as well as possibilities to learn Latvian. Customers have used consultations of an ICI psychologist 121 times.

In total, free consultations were provided to people from 81 countries. TOP 20 countries: Russia, Syria, Ukraine, India, China, Turkey, Belarus, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iraq, Georgia, Afghanistan, Egypt, United States, Azerbaijan, Eritrea, Armenia, Vietnam, Sri-Lanka.

Qualitative communication with the ICI’s customers was ensured with the help of 33 translators / language specialists with the following language skills: Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Arabic, French, Tajik, Kurdish, Punjabi, Chinese, Turkish, Uzbek, Hindi, Spanish, Tamil, Bengali, Vietnamese, and Armenian.

Interpreter services were provided not only for customer communication with the ICI’s consultants, but also for professionals working with foreigners, for example, various state administration institutions, social services, crisis centres, education and healthcare institutions of several local governments, banks and employers. In total, the interpreting service has been provided 1845 times to 618 clients.

Professional support for working with third-country nationals has been provided to 422 specialists of various areas (social workers, managers of companies and NGOs, librarians, employees of orphan’s courts and education institutions).

In order to strengthen the civil society and develop favourable and open environment for societies and foundations in working with immigrants, NGOs Dialogue platform is being created and developed by ICI experts, currently involving 25 non-governmental organizations, which are active in the area of integration. Special Informative Days have also been organized in Liepaja, Riga and Daugavpils, where foreigners were provided with an opportunity to learn about the informative and practical resources available to them.

More than 130 volunteers have made significant contributions to organizing the ICI’s activities. They have implemented 48 informative and integration events in different regions of Latvia, including cultural nights of different nations, which have become popular in many places in Latvia.

LNT informative stories and newspaper articles were prepared to raise public awareness on the topic of migration; educational seminars and webinars as well as three international conferences on migration issues were organised.

Those who want to live, study, work or start their own business in Latvia, might find it useful to visit valuable and practical resource – website www.integration.lv. It provides foreigners and professionals with answers to various practical questions and up-to-date information on Latvian language courses and integration courses, as well as on events organized by various organizations from all over Latvia.

The ICI started to operate as a one-stop agency on 18 May 2016. Until 31 December 2017 its operations have been ensured by NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The ICI was created and developed within co-financing of the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/12/2016/1/1.

*persons who are not citizens of European Union member states, countries of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation.

Information prepared by
Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa)
Communications and Social Media Expert
tel. (+371) 29145314
e-mail: rasa.salina@patverums-dm.lv