Government proposes changes to the new Integration Act

Publication date 4.4.2024 14.39 | Published in English on 12.4.2024 at 9.55
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The new Integration Act will enter into force on 1 January 2025, when the main responsibility for integration will be transferred to municipalities. On 4 April 2024, the Government submitted to Parliament a proposal based on the Government Programme for amendments to the new Integration Act and related acts (reform of the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration, KOTO24). According to the proposed amendment, the imputed reimbursement period for municipalities and wellbeing services counties would 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. The Government proposes that the imputed reimbursement period be shortened. Reimbursements are paid for costs for assessing the need for services, drawing up integration plans and interpreting, for example. The purpose of the amendments is, among other things, to increase the self-initiative of immigrants.

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 cut 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 would be lowered to 23 from the current 25. In that way, the age limit would correspond with the age limit for after-care in child welfare, the act on which entered in force on 1 January 2024.

Fee could be charged for unused interpretation services

In future, if an immigrant does not attend a scheduled appointment with the integration services of a municipality or an employment authority and does not notify them of this in advance, the immigrant could be charged a fee for unused interpretation services. The fee would be equal to the fee for unused appointments in healthcare and social welfare services.

An increase of EUR 5 million is proposed for improving the position of immigrant mothers. The Government’s objective is to improve the social inclusion of immigrant mothers and support the integration of children. 

The proposed amendments would 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 would enter into force already on 1 July 2024.

More information:

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on 3 April 2024: Government proposes amendments to the comprehensive reform of the Integration Act 
Decision materials 
Reform of the Integration Act (KOTO24)

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