The Lifeport Welcome Center (LWC) is staffed by Radboud University employees. In October, they will be joined at the Huize Heyendael location by employees from the municipality of Nijmegen, and from 1 January 2023 onwards, by colleagues from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND). From then onwards, the municipality of Nijmegen and IND will join forces to offer a one-stop shop of governmental services related to registration and residence.
Expanding services over time
The Lifeport Welcome Center is a single central point where international knowledge workers, students, their employers and family members can go for government services (offered by the municipality and IND), private services (such as a welcome programme and “family support” programme), and social activities. They will receive a welcome package, and information on matters such as health insurance, banking, and filing income tax returns in the Netherlands.
In time, these services can be expanded to include support in finding housing, and various training courses. The Lifeport Welcome Center will initially run for a period of two years, following which an evaluation will take place.
Wijnand Hemelaar, Director of Lifeport Welcome Center and coordinator of the Radboud University Global Staff Services: “This is a new initiative in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region. We expect it to make an important contribution towards attracting and retaining international talent in the region.”
Lifeport Welcome Center is an initiative of the Economic Board, the province of Gelderland, and the municipality of Nijmegen, based on the regional desire to attract and retain more international talent for the region. The project is financed by Radboud University, the Province of Gelderland, the HAN University of Applied Sciences, the Economic Board, and a number of private parties that offer services at a fee (banks, insurers, brokers, etc.). Companies and institutions in the region can also make use of the Welcome Center's services at a fee. Daniël Wigboldus, President of the Executive Board of Radboud University and member of the Economic Board: “At the Radboud campus, we find it important to join forces with the municipality of Nijmegen, the province, IND, the HAN University of Applied Sciences, and all other Lifeport partners to attract the necessary international talent to the region and keep them here.”
In addition to the Lifeport Welcome Center @Radboud University, other locations for welcoming international talent may be opened in the Nijmegen-Arnhem-Wageningen region in future. The Lifeport Welcome Center is also working in close collaboration with the Welcome Center Food Valley in Wageningen to share knowledge and develop joint programmes, thus serving the entire region.