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Row of residential buildings in Stockholm

Stockholm opens first Welcome House for newcomers

Stockholm opens first Welcome House for newcomers

The facility will serve as a one-stop-shop for everything that new migrants may need

The City of Stockholm announced on the last day of August that it is opening a Welcome House – a receiving centre, which will serve to orient and help all foreign newcomers to integrate seamlessly into the life of the Swedish capital. This is the first such centre and its launch was partially influenced by the influx of new refugees from Afghanistan, whose numbers swelled after the recent NATO pullout.

What can newcomers expect to find there?

At the Welcome house, located at Medborgarplatsen, new arrivals will receive help with address registration, and registration at the Swedish Public Employment Service. They will be initially offered housing and community guidance. They will also get study and career orientation, skills-enhancing initiatives in the use of digital tools, the opportunity to participate in association activities and support when applying for internships and jobs.

Welcome House is a way in for all new arrivals in Stockholm to find the government in one place together with labour market matching, study and career guidance, civil society and companies. For the first time, all new arrivals are welcomed to a place so that they can have a faster integration into society. It will make it much easier for everyone who has received a residence permit and will now become Stockholmers, not least those who have come here from Afghanistan in the past week,” explained Karin Ernlund, Labour Market and Integration Citizens' Councilor.

The Swedish Migration Agency now refers all new arrivals, including those who have arranged their own accommodation during the asylum period, directly to the Welcome House. This gives the city the opportunity to offer initial support to all newcomers, including the self-employed and migrants’ relatives. The latter is a group that previously risked falling through the cracks of society.

There will also be opportunities to participate in mentoring programs and get in touch with civil society. ‘Swedish with baby’ and ‘Hello stranger’ are the first to offer activities within the centre.

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