- Legal options for staying in Finland
- What’s the difference between temporary protection and asylum?
- Who can get a residence permit based on Temporary Protection?
- How to apply for Temporary protection or Asylum?
- Leaving Finland
- Does temporary protection work only in one EU country?
- Moving to another EU country
The Immigration Service of Finland currently does not issue negative decisions to Ukrainian citizens that would lead to expulsion from the country and will not deny entry to Ukrainian citizens.
You can contact Finnish Immigration Service in matters related to temporary protection and the right to work based on the temporary protection residence permit. The service provides advice in Ukrainian, English, Finnish, and Swedish: 📞 +358 295 790 605 (Monday to Friday at 8:30 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 15:30)
Legal options for staying in Finland
- Visa-free: entitles you to stay up to 90 days in the EU. You need to have a Ukrainian biometric passport. In this case, you cannot count on any assistance from Finland, such as financial or housing.
- Temporary protection (tilapäinen suojelu): speeds up obtaining a residence permit for one year (until 04.03.2023). Temporary protection applications are processed much faster (about three weeks) than for refugee status (up to one year).
- Asylum: you can obtain asylum after applying and receiving a positive decision. It may take six or more months to get a decision. The process includes an interview in which you need to explain why you are seeking asylum and why you are afraid to return home. Asylum is designed for long-term protection and is provided for four years. It can last as long as the threat in your home country lasts, even a lifetime.
- Residence permit on other grounds: for example, based on family ties or employment contract.
You can apply for both temporary protection and asylum. If you receive temporary protection, your asylum application will be suspended as long as your residence permit is valid under temporary protection.
What’s the difference between temporary protection and asylum?
short-term (till 04.03.2023) with the possibility of extension for up to 3 years
long-term residence permit
the application is processed in 2-3 weeks
the application is processed in 1 year
you can start working immediately after sending the application
you can start working 3 months after applying if you have an international passport or 6 months if you do not have an international passport
full access to work, education, health care, and a few social services (excluding unemployment benefits and housing support)*
full access to work, education, health care, and social services (including unemployment benefits and housing support)
you can live at a reception center before and after your application is processed
you can live at the reception center only while your application is being processed
*Although temporary protection does not directly give you access to social services from Kela, it allows you to find a job in Finland. And if you find a long-term job with a minimum income of 741.75 euros/month, you will be able to get benefits from Kela.
Whether you apply for asylum or temporary protection depends on your situation and needs. Please think carefully about which one to choose. If you need advice, you can ask, for example, Pakolaisneuvonta.
Also, keep in mind that once you have obtained a residence permit based on temporary protection and found a job, you can immediately apply for a work-based residence permit. This way, you can live and work in Finland without restrictions.
Who can get a residence permit based on Temporary Protection?
Temporary protection can only be granted for:
- Ukrainian citizens who cannot return to Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.
- Citizens and stateless persons of the European Union and non-Schengen countries who have resided in Ukraine legally and whose return to their country of origin is impossible or dangerous.
- Family members of Ukrainians and persons having international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine, if family relations were established in Ukraine before February 24, 2022.
How to apply for Temporary protection or Asylum?
When crossing the border, approach the border control to apply for Temporary Protection or Asylum. Border guards will help you with everything.
If you are already in the country, you need to contact the police:
- Take photos. It is advisable to do this before visiting the police station, as not all police departments will be able to take pictures of you.
- Come to the police station listed here 👮♂️.
- Fill out the application form for Temporary Protection or Asylum. Police will take your fingerprints and scan your passport.
- The police must issue a document confirming that you have applied for Temporary Protection or Asylum. You need this document to get services from the reception center (vastaanottokeskus).
- Police will direct you to a reception center (vastaanottokeskus). The reception center registers refugees and provides housing, social, medical, and financial assistance.
If you plan to leave Finland for a short period and do not want your application for Temporary Protection to be canceled, you must notify Migri in advance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org through securemail.migri.fi and specify:
- Your full name
- Migri customer number
- That you will return to Finland and do not want your application to be rejected/canceled.
Unfortunately, your application for Asylum will be canceled if you leave Finland while your application is being considered.
Does temporary protection work only in one EU country?
Yes. Once you receive Temporary Protection from a specific EU country, the rights obtained under the Temporary Protection are valid only in the EU country that granted you the residence permit.
Moving to another EU country
You may also decide that you want to benefit from your rights in a different EU country from the one where you are currently residing. If you change your residence and move to another EU country, the residence permit in the first EU country will expire and your rights there will come to an end. The new host EU country should give you temporary protection and issue a new residence permit. It is important that you inform the authorities of the first EU country that you intend to move to another Member State.
- Asylum in Finland
- Migri's Ukraine FAQ
- Refugee Advice Center (NGO)
- The Finnish Foreign Ministry
- European Commission: Information for people fleeing the war in Ukraine
- DVV: Instructions for Ukrainians
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: Welcome to Finland
- Migri: Finnish society