Under the Integration Act, the first integration plan must be drawn up no later than three years from the date when the immigrant received the first residence permit or their right of residence was registered.
If this deadline has passed, an employment plan in accordance with the Act on Public Employment and Business Service shall be drawn up for the immigrant, if necessary.
If the person has not been able to travel to Finland for reasons unrelated to themselves within three years from the date the residence permit was granted, an integration plan can be drawn up for the person instead of the employment plan, if considered necessary based on an overall assessment.
The preparation of the integration plan shall be initiated no later than two weeks from the completion of the initial assessment. For example, this means making an appointment for drawing up the actual plan, not necessarily the situation in which the actual plan is drawn up.
Under the Integration Act, the immigrant must be directed to seek education or training corresponding their individual need or other measure or service promoting integration and employment within one month from the completion of the integration plan.
Duration of the integration plan
Immigrants arriving in Finland have different life situations and their needs, competence, educational levels and family circumstances vary considerably. The duration and content of the integration plan are determined individually on the basis of the immigrant’s goals, work and education history, and the measures planned and offered to them. Neither the content nor the duration of the integration plan can always be the same.
The first integration plan is drawn up for a maximum of one year. This is to ensure that the plan meets the immigrant's service needs and the possibly changing circumstances or goals.
As a rule, the duration of the integration plan is a maximum of three years from the date the first plan was signed. The plan period is not counted as elapsing if it has not been possible to implement the plan temporarily because of an injury, illness or maternity, paternity or parental leave or for some other similar reason. However, the possible extension does not apply to time entitling to childcare leave.
The disability and illness must be such that it actually interferes with participation in the measures agreed upon in the plan and a medical certificate for it must be presented.
Need for special measures
If the immigrant needs special measures to integrate, the duration of the integration plan may be extended by a maximum of two years. In that case, the duration of the integration plan can be no more than five years.
An immigrant in need of special measures is a person who needs intensified measures in addition to other measures promoting integration, in particular because their functional capacity has been lowered by an illness, disability or other reason, or because of their age, family situation, illiteracy or other similar reason. Persons such as the elderly, single parents, persons with a traumatic background, and children and young people in need of child welfare measures.