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Integration into Finland

In Finland, there are different services to help you settle, find work and learn the language. Such services include, for example, the initial assessment (alkukartoitus), integration plan (kotoutumissuunnitelma) and integration training (kotoutumiskoulutus). If your family members move to Finland with you, they may also be entitled to these services.

Services that facilitate integration

Basic information about Finland

All immigrants are entitled to receive basic information about Finland. Upon receiving a residence permit or registering your right to reside in the country, you are provided with written information concerning

  • Finnish society and working life,
  • your rights and obligations, and
  • services that can assist your integration.

Information services for immigrants

Employment and Economic Development Offices (Työ- ja elinkeinotoimisto) and municipalities have immigrant advisors. They can help you to integrate into Finnish society. These advisors can provide information on the following, for example:

  • integration and related services
  • working life
  • education and studying.

Initial assessment

In the initial assessment, an authority establishes with you the services you need to support your integration. In the initial assessment, the authority collects information on your education, work experience and language skills, for example. The Employment and Economic Development Office or municipality carries out the initial assessment. The assessment can also be conducted in another location, such as an educational institute. This depends on how the initial assessment has been organised in your municipality of residence.

You can request the initial assessment from the Employment and Economic Development Office or your municipality of residence, for example. Immigrant advisors can provide more information on the initial assessment and how it is organised in your municipality of residence.

Integration plan

If you require support for integration, the authority will prepare an integration plan with you after the initial assessment. In any case, the integration plan will be prepared if you

  • are an unemployed job seeker, or
  • receive income support, or
  • are under 18 years old and do not have a guardian in Finland.

An integration plan is a plan detailing measures that will aid your integration. The integration plan can include Finnish language studies, other education or practical training, for example. You can prepare the integration plan at the TE Office or in your municipality of residence.

The integration plan must be made no later than three years after you receive your first residence permit or your right of residence has been registered. The duration of the plan depends on how long you require support for integration. Normally, the maximum duration for an integration plan is three years. In some special cases, the plan can be extended to five years.

Once your integration plan has been prepared, it is important that you adhere to it.

Your TE office or municipality will guide you to integration training, if necessary. The training usually includes Finnish or Swedish language studies as well as an introduction to Finnish society, culture and working life. In addition, the training may include other education or practical training.

The TE office, Kela or municipality will determine your right to receive unemployment benefit or income support for the time of your integration plan.

If you have a job, your employer can sometimes help you in the integration process. For example, the employer can find a Finnish language course for you. For more information, ask your employer.

Integration training

When the integration plan is complete, you can receive integration training. Integration training is organised by different educational institutes. The Employment and Economic Development Office or municipality will direct you to integration training. Integration training usually includes Finnish or Swedish language studies. In the training, you will also get to know Finnish society, culture and working life.

Finnish and Swedish studies

The InfoFinland page Finnish and Swedish contains information on the possibilities for studying Finnish or Swedish.

Other information websites

Local information