Changes to the integration services reform in 2025 – Government proposal circulated for comments
The Government aims to strengthen general government finances, increase immigrants’ own responsibility for integration and improve the position of immigrant mothers. The Government’s proposed amendments to the Integration Act, which will enter into force in 2025, have now been circulated for comments until 23 October 2023.
Integration services will be reformed at the beginning of 2025 when municipalities will become primarily responsible for integration. The Government wants to propose changes to the reform, which would, for example, reduce the number of municipalities’ tasks in promoting integration, especially as concerns the reception of refugees. Immigrants’ own responsibility and initiative in managing practical matters would be strengthened.
The age limit for receiving after-care in adulthood of those who have arrived in Finland as unaccompanied minors would be lowered to 23 from the current 25. In that way, it would correspond with the Government’s proposal to lower the age limit for after care in child welfare, which the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will prepare.
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 could be charged a fee for unused interpretation in future. The fee would be equal to the fee for unused appointments in healthcare and social welfare services.
Reimbursement periods of municipalities to be shortened
The central government pays municipalities and wellbeing services counties a so-called 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 an integration plan and interpreting, for instance.
The current four-year imputed reimbursement period for quota refugees would be shortened to three years, while the reimbursement period for other people with refugee background would be reduced from the current three years to two. This group also includes beneficiaries of temporary protection who have a municipality of residence.
Investments in the employment of immigrant mothers
An increase of EUR 5 million is proposed for improving the position of immigrant mothers. Improving the integration and employment of immigrant mothers will promote social inclusion and support the integration of children.
Comments accepted until 23 October
The Government’s proposal will be circulated for comments from 19 September to 23 October 2023. Comments can be submitted at lausuntopalvelu.fi or by email to kirjaamo.tem(at)gov.fi.
Piia Manninen, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 295
Mira Sinkkonen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 293