Newly arrived immigrants have the opportunity to participate in the welcoming programme

7. augustil 2015

From the 1st of August, the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board will enrol foreign nationals into the comprehensive Welcoming programme, which aims to support the migration and adaptation process of new arrivals. The programme consists of training modules covering different topics and basic level (A1) language training, which will be launched in autumn this year.

According to Janek Mägi, Head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Interior the programme covers several important topics relevant to all foreign nationals settling in Estonia. "For instance, in the basic module, the functioning of the Estonian state and society, a person's rights and obligations, questions related to residence permits and right of residence, as well as specifics of Estonian culture etc. Other modules also cover employment and entrepreneurship, studying and research and family-related topics," says Mägi.

Janek Mägi adds that welcoming programme trainings are short and flexible and consist of interactive exercises as well as opportunities for self-study. "We started planning the programme already in 2012. The process involved consultation and cooperation with a variety partners like representatives of employers, universities and other organizations that have daily contact with foreign nationals. Therefore, expectations for the programme are high. Our partners in providing the trainings all have prior experience with new arrivals and the competence necessary to ensure the success of the programme," says Mägi.

The welcoming programme trainings are aimed at all foreign nationals who have legally resided in Estonia for less than five years, including citizens of the European Union.

Mart Ambur, a member of the board of Kühne + Nagel AS, considers the welcoming programme for newly arrived immigrants a thankworthy initiative. "Our company has hired several dozen employees from abroad and until now we had to develop and provide the adaptation programme for them ourselves. This, however, means dealing with the smallest of things and thus requires a substantial amount of time. The new programme will certainly help companies save resources and will facilitate faster adaptation of new arrivals. I also hope that the welcoming programme will help to retain foreign talent in Estonia," says Ambur.