Since Finland is officially a bilingual country, you can also use Swedish in integration in Finland. The Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration (Integration Act) allows immigrants to choose Swedish or Finnish as their first language of integration. Integration training can be provided in Finnish or Swedish.
According to the Language Act, the authorities must protect the linguistic cultural tradition of the nation and promote the use of both national languages. Immigrants must be informed of the possibility of choosing a Swedish integration path right at the beginning of integration, so that those moving to a bilingual municipality can choose which language to learn first. The choice of language matters, as children's schooling and adults’ work and studies begin at this stage.
According to the Government Resolution on the National Language Strategy (2012), when immigrants settling in Finland are provided with services under the Integration Act, they must be systematically informed about Finland's bilingualism, Finnish and Swedish language course offerings, and the importance of bilingualism in the labour market. The Resolution recommends that the provision of integration training for adult immigrants, especially in bilingual localities, take into account the needs for learning both Finnish and Swedish in order to enable working life-oriented language skills.
The first language of integration may be Swedish
Five per cent of the Finnish population speaks Swedish as their mother tongue. In bilingual municipalities, immigrants can choose Swedish as their first language of integration. As Swedish has a special status as a second national language, there are opportunities for studying and working in Swedish in Finland.
When applying for Finnish citizenship, immigrants can obtain the National Certificate of Language Proficiency in Swedish. When choosing the language of integration, it is important to take into account the customer’s overall situation. It is often important for immigrants to also learn Finnish, as the labour market in Finland usually requires it. Swedish-speaking integration programmes sometimes also include Finnish language studies.