Measures promoting the integration of immigrants
Municipalities and the Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) carry the main responsibility for measures promoting integration referred to the Integration Act.
However NGOs, including immigrants’ organisations, play an important role in complementing the services offered by the authorities and as partners in the planning and delivery of services supporting integration.
In the early stage of immigration, the focus is on offering basic information about the Finnish society and the possibilities of accessing support for integration. The authorities have the duty to provide advice about the services for which they are responsible and, if necessary, refer immigrants to other authorities’ services and to individual initial assessment services referred to in the Integration Act.
Guiding and advising immigrants and informing them of the services also require new work forms and efficient cooperation between the authorities. Accessible basic services, a high level of staff competence and identification of immigrants’ service needs are required in order to achieve a good standard in integration work. Rather than targeting the services to certain groups (for example refugees or returnees), it is essential to direct the services at all immigrants.