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Government’s changes to the Integration Act reform to increase immigrants’ own responsibility

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 13.6.2024 12.15
Press release

The comprehensive reform of the Integration Act will enter into force at the beginning of 2025 when the main responsibility for integration will be transferred from the state to municipalities. The Government’s amendments to the reform will strengthen general government finances and increase immigrants’ own responsibility for integration. The amendments will mainly enter into force on 1 January 2025.

The President of the Republic approved amendments to the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration (the Integration Act) and related acts on 13 June 2024.

“Immigrants must take greater responsibility for their integration. The Government aims to introduce obligations in the integration system and to strengthen general government finances,” says Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen

The Government will shorten the payment period for imputed reimbursement. The central government pays municipalities and wellbeing services counties an imputed reimbursement for organising services promoting the integration of persons with refugee background. Reimbursements are paid for costs for assessing the need for services, drawing up integration plans and interpreting, for example. Shortening the payment period aims to reduce the number of municipal tasks related to the promotion of integration and to increase immigrants’ self-initiative.

The current four-year imputed reimbursement period for quota refugees will be shortened to three years, while the reimbursement period for other people with refugee background will be cut from three to two years. This group also includes beneficiaries of temporary protection who have a municipality of residence.

The age limit for receiving after-care in adulthood of those who have arrived in Finland as unaccompanied minors will be lowered to 23 from the current 25. The new age limit will correspond with the lower age limit for after-care in child welfare, the act on which entered into force on 1 January 2024.

Fee may be charged for unused interpretation

If an immigrant fails to notify the integration services of the municipality or the employment authority that he or she is unable to attend a scheduled meeting with them, the immigrant may be charged a fee for unused interpretation in future. The fee will be equal to the fee for unused appointments in healthcare and social welfare services.

The amendments will mainly enter into force on 1 January 2025, when the responsibility for integration services will be transferred to the municipalities entirely. However, the lower age limit for receiving after-care in adulthood will already take effect on 1 July 2024.

Timo Kerttula, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Interior, [email protected] (requests for interviews with the Minister of the Interior) 
Nea Brandt, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 239