SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Amazon is launching an employment support program to help refugees in the United States.
It’s called the “Welcome Door” program and will offer “resources, support, and reimbursement for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) fees to employees.”
Funding will also be made available to employees for free college tuition and English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.
“At Amazon, we have a variety of jobs and welcome all kinds of people, and we’re proud to offer enhanced support for refugees around the world,” said Ofori Agboka, Amazon’s vice president of People eXperience and Tech for Operations. “Being displaced from your homeland and having to start again somewhere new is challenging and emotional. It is an honor and a privilege to help to make that transition easier and help people start again. Across our entire business and at all levels, we’re working with refugees to secure jobs and get the support they need.”
According to Amazon, the Welcome Door program includes:
- Reimbursement for EAD renewal fees, which on average cost roughly $500 every other year.
- A new Citizenship Assistance Portal that will fully support U.S. citizenship applications for all eligible employees.
- Ongoing communications that will highlight policy changes that may impact an employee’s immigration status.
- Free legal resources to help navigate immigration-related questions and the ability to connect with immigration experts.
- Access to skills training benefits including free college tuition and English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency through Amazon’s Career Choice program.
- Customized mentorship
The company says the program will be instituted in the U.S. starting next month with similar worldwide benefits for its employees by the end of the year.
“With millions of people fleeing war and conflict in countries like Afghanistan and Ukraine, a good job is one of the most impactful ways for refugees to build a new life,” said Veronica Rossini, acting executive director at the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “I hope the Welcome Door program inspires many more businesses to ensure these incredibly talented, resourceful, and dedicated people have the tools and support they need to thrive in their careers.”