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Let's show the world what St. Louis is made of.

Right now, the International Institute is welcoming one of the largest influxes of refugees and immigrants in our 104-year history—with individuals and families arriving from war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Ukraine, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Many have waited months, and even years, to get here. Most are arriving with few belongings and are in great need of housing, clothing, food, health care, transportation, and other essentials for starting a new life in St. Louis.

This is an opportunity to welcome a new generation of St. Louisans to help grow and revitalize our city, ignite our economy, and strengthen our region for generations to come. In addition to those currently arriving, roughly 160,000 Latinos have been approved to enter the U.S. legally and are looking for a city to call home.

The world needs hope and positivity more than ever. This holiday season, let’s come together to show what makes St. Louis—and St. Louisans—special. Let’s show the world what St. Louis is made of.

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St. Louis immigrant and refugee message to St. Louis

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Message to St. Louis from area leaders, IISTL staff and board members

Join Us in Welcoming a Better Future for Immigrants, Refugees, and Our City.

The recent upheavals in Afghanistan and Ukraine have greatly increased the number of refugees who need a welcoming home and the opportunity to create a new start.

At the same time, our city and region need greater numbers of immigrants and refugees to grow our population, ignite our economy, and remain competitive with other regions in the years ahead.

Join the mission of the International Institute of St. Louis in welcoming the world to St Louis to create greater prosperity for all.

St. Louis.

Changing lives and creating new beginnings

From Afghanistan, Ukrainian and other refugees to immigrants from around the world, the International Institute works to provide new beginnings and opportunities for immigrants and refugees to thrive.

Many of those we serve arrive in St. Louis after leaving all they knew behind, enduring overwhelming challenges for the opportunity of a better life.

Your donation helps provide citizenship and language classes, job training and placement, small business development and micro-loans, and other resources to enable immigrants and refugee families to achieve success.

Small business development and micro-loans
Resources for immigrants and refugee families to thrive

Igniting our economy and elevating St. Louis on the national and global stage

What was true 100 years ago is as true today: Legal immigration is a significant driver of growth and prosperity for U.S. cities.

The most successful metro areas in the U.S. have a significant percentage of foreign-born residents. However, according to the George W. Bush Institute, the St. Louis metro area ranked 48th in percentage growth of foreign-born population from 2010 to 2020.

Welcoming greater numbers of immigrants and refugees is vital for St. Louis’ future.

Immigration provides an enormous opportunity for our region to:

Revitalize our city
Strengthen our workforce and supply chain to ignite our region's economy
Elevate St. Louis' standing on the national and world stage

The value of immigrants and refugees for St. Louis

  • Immigrants and refugees are driven to succeed. The employment rate of Afghan refugees is nearly 100% just months after arrival.
  • 28.2% have a graduate degree compared to 13.9% of U.S.-born residents
  • 31.2% more likely to become entrepreneurs compared to U.S.-born residents
  • $5.8 billion in household income, accounting for $500.7 million in state and local taxes paid and $4.2 billion in total spending power

Join us in welcoming immigrants 
and refugees to St. Louis to create greater prosperity for all.

About the International Institute of St. Louis

We welcome the world to create greater prosperity for all.

For more than a century, the International Institute of St. Louis has been the bridge connecting St. Louis to the world, welcoming generations of new St. Louisans from hundreds of countries across the globe.

We provide opportunities for immigrants and refugees to thrive to create greater prosperity in our region for all

Download our latest annual report to learn more