Become Certified Welcoming

The certification process formally evaluates and assesses your community’s efforts to provide an inclusive place for all. Candidates submit an application; complete a self-assessment; and receive an evaluative site visit and a detailed final report that identifies local strengths and provides a roadmap for areas of growth.

Wondering if your city or county is ready to become Certified Welcoming? Take our quick pre-assessment test to find out where your community stands!

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 Network members, 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 seven framework categories:

Government Leadership

Civic Leadership

Equitable Access

Connected Communities

Education

Economic Development

Safe Communitites

Process & Timeline

The Certified Welcoming program is accepting city and county government applicants. Partners, such as nonprofits, can contribute to the process at any stage, including completing the application, contributing to the self-assessment, and being consultants during the site visit.

From start to finish, the certification process typically takes about six months; more advanced communities may take less time and it should not take more than one year.

Certificates are valid for three years. To maintain certification, local governments must continue to meet the core criteria listed in the Welcoming Standard, address any observations made in their Final Audit Report, and complete a recertification audit before the certificate expires.

  • Complete intake form, sign contract
  • Complete self-assessment
  • Complete 2-3 day in-person audit
  • Receive Final Report
  • Create Audit Action Plan
  • Receive Certificate

Certification Costs

Certified Welcoming currently offers a discounted rate of $6,000!

Are you a Welcoming America Member? Up to $1,500 (Core) of your membership fees can be applied toward certification.

Scholarships

To support certification in communities where the fee may be a barrier to accessing the full benefits of becoming Certified Welcoming, Welcoming America created a scholarship program for local governments. For additional information about applying for a scholarship, please contact certified@welcomingamerica.org.

Strong communities intentionally connect and include people of all backgrounds. As places look to harness the wealth and vibrancy that comes from diverse talents and a global workforce, truly welcoming places can set themselves apart.