A new consulting office for immigrants, New in Iceland (Ráðgjafarstofa innflytjenda), opened at Laugavegur 116 earlier this month, mbl.is reports.
At the office, immigrants can get assistance regarding their rights and duties while living in Iceland. Counselors offer information and advice, and the office cooperates with key institutions and organizations.
Information is provided regarding the labor market, healthcare system, education, social insurance, legal registration, the housing market, domestic violence, social assistance, taxation, financial issues, family-related issues, and more.
Service is provided in English, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Lithuanian, Russian and Icelandic.
Immigrants have a choice of visiting the office at Laugavegur 116, talking to a consultant over the phone by calling (+ 354) 456 – 7555, by sending an email to info (at) newiniceland.is, or by chatting online.
The office is open weekdays 10 am-3 pm, and 10 am-6 pm on Wednesdays. To begin with, it will have five employees.
The office is a pilot project of the Icelandic Ministry of Social Affairs. In 2018, Kolbeinn Óttarsson Proppé, MP for the Left-Green Movement, presented a parliamentary bill, suggesting the foundation of such service. The bill was passed in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, in 2019. Subsequently, the Ministry of Social Affairs was asked to prepare the office’s foundation.
Similar offices for immigrants exist in many countries, including Denmark, Portugal and Canada.
“I’m convinced we will discover that this is the right way to provide immigrants with information,” Kolbeinn tells mbl.is . “This will prove to be the right ideology for this issue, and it’s my prediction that municipalities and individual institutions will take part in this project and the cost involved.” He believes that eventually, more branches will open, for example in Reykjanesbær, Southwest Iceland.
For more information, visit the website newiniceland.is.