Introduction programme for new immigrants
The purpose of the introduction programme for new immigrants is to increase the likelihood that groups of newly arrived immigrants will rapidly find work or enrol in education or training. Employment and participation in education and training are crucial for achieving social integration and financial independence.
Norwegian language courses – rights and obligations
Many newly arrived immigrants who become resident in a Norwegian municipality will have a need to obtain basic qualifications. Such people are both entitled and obliged to participate in the introduction programme. These rights and obligations also apply to participation in 600 hours of Norwegian language training, which includes the study of Norwegian society. Responsibility for the running of the introduction programmes and Norwegian language courses lies with the municipalities.
Immigrants who participate in the introduction programme are entitled to receive an introduction benefit.
A municipally funded scheme
Immigrants who are entitled to training and benefts under the Introduction Act will be registered in the National Introduction Register (NIR). Municipalities use the information in this register to apply for funding for the running of Norwegian language courses. The level of funding is calculated on the basis of the number of eligible immigrants who are resident in the municipality. Municipalities also receive a funding bonus if immigrants on their courses do well in Norwegian language tests. Municipalities where refugee reception centres are located also receive funding in order to provide language courses for adult refugees.
The role of the County Governor
The County Governor is responsible for approving municipalities' NIR-based applications and for distributing the funding.
The Introduction Act contains several provisions concerning individual rights and obligations. Appeals about decisions made on the basis of these provisions should be addressed to the County Governor.
Since 1 September 2012, the County Governor has been responsible for supervising the municipalities' activities and ensuring their compliance with the Introduction Act.