Foreigners in Warsaw

Carried out in the framework of the project ADMin4ALL, this brief study looks into the main migration dynamics in the Polish capital, Warsaw, with intent to support the municipal administration with the development of informed and effective local integration measures.

As the research highlights, statistical data show that the number of foreigners living in Warsaw is growing dynamically. The data made available by the Warsaw City Hall in March 2019 indicated almost 38 thousand foreigners registered as residents of Warsaw, which means an increase by 24 per cent compared with the data from September 2018. This poses new challenges for the city as regards integration, understood as a bilateral process of mutual adaptation of both immigrants and the society in the economic, social, cultural, and political aspects.

The results indicate that the success of integration depends both on the good will and engagement of the foreigners adapting to their new environment, as much as on the readiness of the society to accept the newcomers and their families.

In general, the integration of foreigners in Warsaw is positive and encourages the promotion of further measures to improve the process, such as further dissemination of information about the municipal Multicultural Centres, also among the local residents, the organization of tolerance lessons in schools, and offering Polish language courses to foreigners. In particular – as the study points out – language skills are key to successful integration, as they correlate with more qualified jobs, better interaction with the locals, and even a higher sense of safety.

This research was conducted as part of the project “ADMin4ALL – Supporting Social Inclusion of Vulnerable Migrants in Europe”. The project, which is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and funded by the European Commission, aims to enhance the capacity of local governments to develop sustainable strategies and inclusive services for the successful social and economic integration of migrants.