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New reception centres in Espoo and Seinäjoki, new service points for people in private accommodation

Publication date 16.3.2022 18.25 | Published in English on 5.4.2022 at 9.22

The Finnish Immigration Service will establish new reception centres in Espoo and Seinäjoki. In addition, new service points will be opened in Espoo, Seinäjoki and Kemi for people in private accommodation.

Luona Oy will open the reception centre and the service point in Nihtisilta, Espoo, today. The Finnish Immigration Service is preparing to establish a new reception centre in Seinäjoki with the Finnish Red Cross. The Finnish Red Cross also operates the Seinäjoki and Kemi service points. 

The service points in Espoo, Kemi and Seinäjoki will be opened in the next few days. In addition, the Finnish Immigration Service is examining the possibility of setting up a new service point for those in private accommodation in the capital region. The Finnish Immigration Service is preparing to set up the new locations due to the increased need to provide accommodation for people fleeing Ukraine.

The Finnish Immigration Service agrees on the schedule of opening new reception centres on a case-by-case basis according to the current accommodation need. These are the first new reception centres to be established in Finland after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The number of accommodation places vacant in the existing reception centres has been increased by some 2,000 places. Before the Espoo reception centre was opened, there were 27 reception centres around Finland, of which 7 are for minors.

‘The Finnish Immigration Service has continued to increase the number of accommodation places in existing reception centres. Reception centres also provide emergency accommodation, which is intended for short-term stays for people who will eventually move to more long-term accommodation. We have also surveyed accommodation facilities with municipalities and parishes,’ says Pekka Nuutinen, Director of the Reception Unit.

The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for the coordination, planning and supervision of the reception system. The Finnish Immigration Service has reception centres in Helsinki, Lappeenranta (Joutseno) and Oulu. In addition, reception centres are maintained by non-governmental organisations, municipalities and companies.

Most Ukrainian refugees stay in private accommodation

Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, 5,787 citizens of Ukraine have sought international protection in Finland. On Tuesday 15 March, 1,203 Ukrainians applied for international protection in Finland. Currently, nearly all Ukrainians arriving in Finland apply for temporary protection.

Like asylum seekers, persons under temporary protection can live at a reception centre, and they are eligible for the different reception centre services. Reception centre customers can also find a place to stay themselves if they wish, in which case the term ‘private accommodation’ is used. 

Usually, staying in private accommodation means staying with family, a spouse or friends. Private accommodation can be arranged by leasing or subletting the accommodation, or the person can stay in ‘home accommodation’, in which case no compensation is collected for the accommodation. No financial support is available for arranging or staying in private accommodation.

‘Most people fleeing Ukraine are staying in private accommodation in Finland, and the services they are entitled to will be provided by reception centres,’ says Nuutinen.

People in private accommodation and seeking asylum or temporary protection will be registered with their nearest reception centre. This means that those arranging accommodation themselves have access to the other reception centre services – excluding the accommodation service and the possible meals provided under it – from the reception centre they are registered with. These services include social and healthcare services and the reception allowance.

The service points for private accommodation are intended only for Finnish Immigration Service customers who have applied for asylum or temporary protection and who are registered with the service point. The Finnish Red Cross has a national information point (page only in Finnish) that coordinates offers for help and also answers questions related to volunteering to help by providing accommodation to Ukrainians.

New reception centres 

  • Espoo reception centre, Luona Oy, 500 places. Opens on 16 March 2022 with 120 places, the rest will be added soon.
  • Espoo reception centre’s service point for private accommodation, Luona Oy. Opening soon.
  • Seinäjoki reception centre, the Finnish Red Cross, 200 places. Opens by separate agreement.
  • Seinäjoki reception centre’s service point for private accommodation, the Finnish Red Cross. Opens by 17 March 2022.
  • Rovaniemi reception centre’s Kemi service point for private accommodation, the Finnish Red Cross. Opens by 22 March 2022. 

Further information

Further information for the media: 

Interview requests: Press and Communications Services of the Finnish Immigration Service, tel. +358 (0)295 433 037 Email: media@migri.fi