The Immigration Advice Centre officially opened today at Laugavegur 116.
At the centre, immigrants can get advice on their rights and their obligations as new residents in Iceland.
Immigrants are invited to talk to counsellors at the centre itself, on the phone or through a webchat at newiniceland.is. The online chat is available in seven different languages; Icelandic, English, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Lithuanian and Arabic.
A fleeting thought turned into a reality.
The idea of the centre came from Kolbeinn Óttarsson Proppé, Member of Parliament for the Left Green Party, who had the idea whilst in Copenhagen.
In an interview with mbl.is, Kolbeinn said “I was sitting in a café in Copenhagen in the spring of 2018 and I was wondering what I would actually do if I had just moved there. Where would I look, where could I find information on what I needed to know? I realized that I did not know anything.”
When returning to Iceland, Kolbeinn looked to experts for advice and looked at how other countries tackled the issue.
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Inspired by a foreign model.
Consulting firms like the one that has been set up in Iceland exist in other countries across the world including Denmark, Portugal and Canada. In these countries they are referred to as a first stop shop.
In the interview with mbl.is, Kolbeinn said, “This is a pilot project and initially five people work there. Funds were raised for this project through the ministry, as special contributions for the epidemic, but there was a real need to improve the provision of information to those who speak little or no Icelandic.”
Kolbeinn is convinced that this project will be successful in providing useful information to immigrants who need it most.
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