The City of Helsinki provides helpful integration services for newcomers
Starting a new life in a new country can be challenging. The city’s integration services can assist eligible members of the international community to settle in and connect with exciting opportunities and necessary services.
The City of Helsinki’s integration services are here to help you adjust to your new life in Finland. Our integration service specialists can help you access all the basic services that are available to you and explain how things in Finland work. These no-cost reception services are designed to help you settle into Finnish society and are tailored to the specific needs of you and your family.
The city’s integration services are available to newcomers to the country who are working, looking for work, studying or caring for a child at home. Newcomers who may be outside of the job market due to a disability or retirement are also eligible. All Helsinki residents who meet the criteria qualify for an initial assessment.
The initial assessment provided by the city is designed to connect newcomers with the assistance and information they need. Firstly, the city’s professionals carry out an assessment of the applicant’s education level, language skills and work experience. If necessary, an interpreter can be present during this initial assessment. This initial assessment is intended to help us tailor our services to your individual needs.
Secondly, if applicants already know some Finnish, the city can make arrangements for them to sit a language test. The results of the test can help direct customers to suitable language training. The assessment also helps to identify other things you may need to promote your integration process.
Personal integration plan
After this initial assessment, an assigned integration services specialist can help match integration services participants with several kinds of information, training and services. Many of the activities and services that may be recommended are cost-free.
In most cases, the specialist and the participant will next draw up a personal integration plan together. The plan will likely include classes that help participants learn about Helsinki, everyday life in Finland, and, for example, the system of state benefits. In addition, assigned specialists can help match participants with Finnish or Swedish language classes, education and training towards a profession or other activities of interest.
As a rule, newcomers must jointly draw up their personal integration plan no later than three years after they first registered their right of residence in Finland.