Refugee and Immigrant Services

Welcome to RVC

Rock Valley College Refugee and Immigrant Services welcomes hundreds of refugee new arrivals each year. Our team is here to help the refugee and immigrant community in the Northern Illinois area.

Resources & Services

Employment Services

A critical part of your success is finding employment. We teach employment skills, and help develop those skills so that refugees can be successful in their employment. Workshops are offered which include employment counseling, job search, application completion, and referrals to training opportunities if necessary.

Once employment is secured the program can help with new hire paperwork, benefits enrollment, interpretation for orientation, and continued mediation and assistance which is culturally sensitive.

Contact Us

  • RVC Refugee and Immigrant Services
  • (815) 921-2273
  • 303 N Main Street, Rockford, IL 61101


The Illinois Welcoming Center (IWC) offers additional resources for immigrants and refugees in Illinois. Learn more about the IWC.

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For Employers

Interested in finding out how you or your business can help hire new arrivals or individuals in need of employment? Our program can help you with your job search. For more information, please contact Amy Heilman, Program Director at (815) 921-2272.


Frequently Asked Questions

Refugees are people who have fled war, violence, conflict, or persecution and have crossed an international border to find safety in another country. They often have had to flee with little more than the clothes on their back, leaving behind homes, possessions, jobs and loved ones.

Asylees are individuals who, on their own, travel to the United States and subsequently apply for/receive a grant of asylum. Asylees do not enter the United States as refugees. They may enter as students, tourists, businessmen, or even in undocumented status.

Rock Valley College Refugee and Immigrant Services would like to schedule a meeting with new arrivals so that we can complete all the necessary paperwork and eligibility forms. New arrivals can call us to schedule an appointment or they can stop by the office.

There are some other categories of people who qualify under the Refugee Social Services Program, please call and set up an appointment for staff to determine eligibility.

If you are not eligible, you may be able to use the services of the Illinois Welcoming Center (IWC). The IWC provides services to any individuals who have a low English proficiency in any status. Learn more about the Illinois Welcoming Center.

Illinois Welcoming Center

The Illinois Welcoming Center (IWC) is a comprehensive service center for the integration of immigrants and refugees in Illinois. The Illinois Welcoming Center's innovative model eliminates systemic barriers that immigrants may have in approaching state services.

Schedule Appointment

Our team is here to help you:

  • Find services in your new community to help you fulfill your needs.
  • Help you apply for benefits from state and federal agencies.
  • Coordinate with other agencies for services that can help you and your family.

Additional Information

IWC was launched in 2007 to model a state-operated one-stop human service center designed to help immigrants navigate state services and coordinate those state services with non-profit community social service. Over the years, the Welcoming Center program has expanded to include a community-based service model.

The goal of IWC is to strengthen the overall human service delivery system for immigrants and refugees and build the capacity of immigrant and refugee communities.

The main features of Illinois Welcoming Centers include:

  1. Welcoming Centers serve as one-stop human service centers that provide comprehensive and holistic case management and service coordination to immigrants and refugees in a linguistically, culturally sensitive manner.
  2. Welcoming Centers are familiar with benefits and services provided by state and federal agencies as well as social service agencies and connect individuals to appropriate services as needed through case management or referral.
  3. Welcoming Centers lead efforts to coordinate social services in their particular geographic location by creating Community Alliances. These Community Alliances consist of meetings with local service providers to address common challenges shared in the delivery of services to immigrants and refugee and to enhance service effectiveness and improve service coordination.
  4. Welcoming Centers host a variety of community education workshops to help immigrants and refugees learn about resources and information that can advance their successful integration and build the capacity of immigrant and refugee communities.
    • Immigrant and Refugee Support
    • Naturalization and Legal Assistance
    • English Language Literacy
    • Educational training opportunities
    • Community Partner Support
    • Help with coordination of services such as, employment, unemployment, WIC, SNAP, housing, healthcare, and more.
    • Crisis Intervention and Workshops for anyone in the community based on their needs.