Certified Welcoming | Welcoming America

Certified Welcoming

Create a more vibrant community

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

Explore the Welcoming Standard

Certification process

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!

Take the pre-assessment now

1. Submit

2. Complete

3. Complete

4. Receive

Apply to be Certified

Who can apply

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.


Application fee: $100 (nonrefundable and applied to certification fee)

Certification fee: $12,000 $6,000 - Discounted for 2018!

Certification Scholarship

To support certification in communities where the fee may be a barrier to accessing the full benefits of becoming Certified Welcoming, Welcoming America has created a scholarship program for local governments. The scholarship is currently closed. Please check back for additional information or contact us at [email protected] to learn more. 

Certification timeline

Certificates are valid for three years. To maintain certification, local governments will need to show continued leadership on immigrant inclusion, momentum to meet Standard implementation, and complete an audit before the certificate expires.

Certified Welcoming Application Request

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Build your capacity to be Certified Welcoming

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