Welcoming Programme for New Immigrants in 2015
Welcoming programme 2015 is an action plan supporting the adaptation of new arrivals which contains a basic information training module on Estonian society, culture and state (plus on the functioning of the European Union and on the rights and obligations of the EU citizens) and complementary information modules (family, working and entrepreneurship, studying, research, international protection, children and young people).
The objective of the welcoming programme is to support the migration process of the newly arrived immigrants by acquainting them with matters related to the functioning of the state and society, organisation of daily life, working, studying and family life, and to promote acquiring basic Estonian language skills.
Welcoming programme covers all legally immigrated foreign nationals who have lived in Estonia less than five years. The reasons for immigration vary and include all the bases for granting a residence permit under the Estonian Aliens Act, the bases for staying in the country under the Citizen of the European Union Act and the bases for granting a residence permit under the Act on Granting International Protection to Aliens.
Alongside the modules, foreign nationals are provided basic language training at the level of level A1 appr. 80 hours). At the level of A1 learners can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of his or her needs. Can introduce himself or herself and others and can ask and answer questions about place of residence, familiar people and things he or she has. Can interact in a simple language provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
After graduation student are informed of the opportunities to continue with language training and in‑depth cultural orientation by participating in integration course arranged by the Ministry of Culture and using the language courses arranged by the Ministry of Education and Research. The welcoming programme is thus made up of a variety of components contributing to adaptation.
Entering a foreign national in the adaptation programme by the Police and Border Guard Board A Police and Border Guard Board official informs a foreign national about the welcoming programme when first issuing the residence permit card or when extending the residence permit as of 2015.
Participation in the welcoming programme requires holding a residence card. A residence card is a mandatory identity document of a foreign national who is residing permanently in Estonia on the basis of a valid residence permit or right of residence. In addition to regular identification of a person, a residence card can also be used for establishing one’s person in electronic environment and for giving one’s digital signature.
Registration for the Welcoming programme starts in August 2015
Ülle Rannut, PhD
Integration Research Institute
Information about Estonia