Author: Liba Meller (Liepaja correspondent of Latvijas radio 4)
Information Centre for Newcomers operates in Liepaja for two and a half years. TOP 5 countries, nationals of which have asked for advice this year, are Pakistan, Russia, India, Sri Lanka and the USA. There are many young people among the newcomers, who are drawn to Liepaja by Liepaja University and who also do not rule out that they could stay permanently in Latvia after receiving a diploma, reports LR4.
Young people from Pakistan, India and other countries are studying presently at Liepaja University. Saif Ur Rehman from Pakistan and Muhammad Fahim Shehzad tell about the reasons for their respective decisions to study at Liepaja University.
- I found out that living in Liepaja is cheaper than in Riga and other large cities. If you live in the capital, it gets rather complicated. It is much easier, cheaper and more convenient for us students here in Liepaja. I work at Pakistani kebab delivery service. There I can earn some money to pay for my living here and cover my basic needs, - explains Saif Ur Rehman.
- I chose Latvia, because it is a good country with a good level of life. And education level is good too. Living here costs much less than in other European countries, - adds Muhammad Fahim Shehzad.
One of the young men studies culturology, the other – information technologies. In which country do they see a future for themselves?
- I most probably will return home after completing my studies. Or go to other countries. If there will be good work or business prospects, it is possible, I will stay here. However, for now this matter is not very urgent, - believes Saif.
- While I was still in Pakistan, I was planning to finish my studies and return there. But, when I arrived here and had settled, I decided that I want to complete my studies and open my own business here, - shares his plans Muhammad.
The Information Centre for Newcomers operates as a one-stop agency in Riga and four regional centres of Latvia – in Daugavpils, Jelgava, Cēsis and Liepāja –, providing wide-ranging support services free of charge to foreign citizens and service providers and specialists of various industries who work with this target group
Since the establishment of ICI on 18 May 2016, the Centre has consulted more than 3,000 immigrants from countries outside the European Union.
The activity of the Information Centre for Newcomers within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund is ensured and developed by the NGO “Shelter “Safe House””. The centre is co-funded by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/12/2017/2/01.
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