IMDi was established on 1 January 2006 to act as a competence centre and a driving force for integration and diversity. The directorate co-operates with immigrant organisations/groups, municipalities, government agencies and the private sector. It provides advice and implements government policy.
In order to give higher priority to and define clearer goals for efforts aimed at achieving integration and diversity, the government decided in December 2004 to establish a separate Directorate.
The establishment of the directorate was acheived through a division of the Directorate of Immigration (UDI). A large number of employees in the Department of Integration at UDI were transferred to IMDi as well as key administrative personnel. UDI and IMDi both share office buildings in regional and national units and share IT and library services. UDI is responsible for migration and immigration, including the running of reception centres for asylum seekers, while IMDi is responsible for persons who have been granted residence permits in Norway, and for other tasks in the field of integration and diversity.
Among IMDi's areas of responsibility is the achievement of employment-based integration through:
- the introduction programme
- classes in Norwegian and social studies
- interpreting services
- functioning as a competence centre
- efforts aimed at diversity and dialogue
- equality with respect to public services
IMDi's important administrative duties include:
- administering grant schemes (including integration grants)
- research and development, among other things through grants for projects
- documentation, including the National Introduction Register (NIR)
- information and guidance through web portals, publications, networks etc.
Target groups and collaborative partners
IMDi works in cooperation with others. The directorate is a network organisation whose most important target groups and collaborative partners are:
- sector authorities
- recently arrived immigrants
- established immigrant groups
- business community
- general public
- people abroad intending to settle in Norway