Become Certified

Certified Welcoming is a formal designation for cities and counties that have created policies and programs reflecting their values and commitment to immigrant inclusion. The designation is reserved for those places that meet the rigorous requirements set out in the Welcoming Standard.

The Vision

Strong 21st Century communities are ones that connect and include people of all backgrounds. By doing so, communities - and those who live there - will meet their highest civic and economic potential. As places look to harness the vibrancy that comes from diverse talent and a more global workforce, welcoming and inclusive communities will set themselves apart.

Smart local government leaders across the country are already working to gain this competitive edge. Certified Welcoming provides an exciting new avenue for measuring, promoting, guiding, and validating these efforts.

Distinguish Your Community

Communities that meet the Welcoming Standard earn the title of Certified Welcoming and will build competitive advantage. They also will have opportunities to share their welcoming practices on regional, national, and global stages.

The Welcoming Standard

Through the Welcoming Standard, we have captured the core of what it means to be welcoming. Developed in collaboration with diverse experts including Welcoming Cities and Counties, and with input from the public at large, the Standard provides a comprehensive roadmap for immigrant inclusion.

The Welcoming Standard addresses a range of essential components, from language access to hiring practices and more. Beyond traditional immigrant integration strategies, the Welcoming Standard also includes practices for fostering greater unity between immigrants and U.S. born residents. The Welcoming Standard is organized according to our framework categories:

  • Government Leadership
  • Civic Engagement
  • Equitable Access
  • Education
  • Connected Communities
  • Economic Development
  • Safe Communities

Scholarship Opportunity

Welcoming America is offering a full scholarship to the Certified Welcoming program for three local governments (city or county only). Selected applicants will receive a waiver for Certified Welcoming fees, a total value of $12,000.

Scholarship recipients will receive:

  • Technical assistance upon completion of the self-assessment
  • Opportunities to connect with other local governments who are in the process of becoming or have become Certified Welcoming
  • A comprehensive analysis and detailed report demonstrating your local government and community's strengths and opportunities for improvement
  • Coaching on developing and implementing audit action plans
  • Once certified, governments will receive branded marketing materials and communications support for making an announcement

Applications must be submitted by 9 a.m. ET on January 24, 2022.