Although age (at migration) is an important factor to influence the socio-cultural integration process of refugees, we know fairly little about exactly how ageing does so. We consider intergroup contact and identification as member of the host city as socio-cultural integration and take the case of recent refugees in the Netherlands to propose and test two mechanisms; language comprehension and health. Using data from 764 recent refugees from the Bridge survey we employ structural equation modelling to test these mechanisms simultaneously for the two measures of socio-cultural integration. Language comprehension mediates the relationship between age and intergroup contact, while health mediates between age and identification. We conclude that a more careful consideration of age in integration literature is necessary, as up till now it has too often been used as a proxy for an array of (social) phenomena. The findings add to better understanding older refugees’ challenges in socio-cultural integration.