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Municipalities are compensated for costs associated with the accommodation of people who have fled Ukraine – compensation can be received until March 2023

Publication date 7.7.2022 9.19

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 31 590 applications for temporary protection have been submitted in Finland, mostly by Ukrainians. Those granted temporary protection are entitled to reception services.

People who have fled Ukraine can receive accommodation services from a municipality without a reception centre being established in the municipality. The Finnish Immigration Service compensates municipalities for accommodation costs. It has been decided that the municipal model will be applied until 4 March 2023.

A municipality can agree with a reception centre that the municipality provides beneficiaries of temporary protection with accommodation services according to the Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection. There have been negotiations about drawing up a contract with 90 municipalities so far. The majority of these contracts are now being dealt with internally by the municipalities.

Positive reception to the municipal model

The municipal model makes it possible for people who have fled Ukraine to live in locations where they have family or friends, employment or other ties.

The contracts within the model concern approximately 1,700 clients at the moment. The registration of clients within the municipal model is underway, why all clients accommodated in municipalities are not shown in the accommodation register of the model.

“The next step in the municipal model is to look into the possibility of transferring beneficiaries of temporary protection directly to the municipalities that have announced that they have plenty of facilities to be used in accordance with the municipal model as well as preparedness to coordinate accommodation,” says Senior Specialist Tiina Järvinen. 

The first such transfer was made from Joutseno Reception Centre to Ikaalinen, where 24 Ukrainians were accommodated. 

The municipality offers beneficiaries of temporary protection accommodation and guidance in everyday life. All the other reception services are offered by the reception centre where they are registered as clients.

“The municipal model has had a positive reception in different parts of Finland, and it has aroused a lot of interest. The Finnish Immigration Service regards the cooperation with the municipalities as important and the municipal model as a good way to receive people who are applying for temporary protection,” says Järvinen.

Reception centres arrange social and health services

All applicants or beneficiaries of temporary protection are registered at a reception centre even if they live in private or municipality-arranged accommodation.

People who have fled Ukraine receive healthcare services primarily from the reception centre and service providers chosen by the Finnish Immigration Service through competitive tendering. The reception centre also arranges necessary social services for them and sees to the payment of the reception allowance, for instance.

As a rule, municipal healthcare services are restricted for use by inhabitants of the municipalities, which do not include asylum seekers. Therefore, the Finnish Immigration Service procures services at health-centre level after inviting tenders for such services. The level of care is determined in the Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection.

However, for years, municipalities have provided reception centre clients with some healthcare services, such as maternity and child health clinic and oral healthcare services. Municipalities will continue to be compensated for the costs of these services without a separate agreement.

The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for directing, planning and supervising the operations of the reception system. The reception centres of the Finnish Immigration Service are located in Helsinki, Lappeenranta (Joutseno) and Oulu. The other reception centres are managed by organisations, municipalities and businesses. At the moment, there are 72 reception centres, branch units and service points for those staying in private accommodation as well as eight units for minors operating in Finland. Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there were 20 reception centres and seven units for minors in Finland.

Fact sheet: Temporary protection for those who have fled Ukraine

  • In Finland, applicants must contact the police or the border authorities to apply for temporary protection. After this, the Finnish Immigration Service grants a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection.
  • Applicants can start working as soon as the police or the border authorities have registered the application for temporary protection.
  • Temporary protection can be granted to Ukrainian nationals unable to return to Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion.
  • Protection can also be granted to nationals of countries outside the European Union and not party to the Schengen Agreement and stateless persons who have legally resided in Ukraine and fled the country due to Russia’s invasion and whose safe and permanent return to their country of origin is not possible.
  • Protection can also be granted to family members of Ukrainian nationals and of those granted international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine if the family ties were established in Ukraine before Russia’s invasion.
  • People who have fled from Ukraine will receive a Finnish personal identity code when they are granted temporary protection.

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