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 audit and a detailed final report that identifies local strengths and provides a roadmap for areas of growth.

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 and Community Leadership

Civic Leadership

Equitable Access

Connected Communities


Economic Development

Safe Communitites

Process & Timeline

Local governments are required to be the lead applicant for Certified Welcoming. 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 six months to one year.

Certificates are valid for four years. To maintain certification, local governments must continue to meet the indicators in the Welcoming Standard, address any observations in their Certification Report, and update their self-assessment before their certificate expires.

  • Complete intake form, sign contract
  • Complete self-assessment
  • Complete 2-3 day audit
  • Receive final report
  • Address any non-compliances
  • Receive Certificate

Certification Costs

Core and Premium Welcoming Network Members receive a free one-star assessment.

2-5 star assessments are available at a discounted rate of $9,000 for members.


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

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.