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Frequently asked questions about Russia's attack on Ukraine

We are currently receiving a large number of enquiries, including questions related to seasonal workers and family members in Ukraine and Finland. On this page, we have put together answers to frequently asked questions. The FAQ is updated as the situation develops. Page last updated on 28 November 2022.

page in Ukrainian: Поширені запитання щодо ситуації в Україні

Temporary protection

General questions about temporary protection

1. Who can be granted temporary protection?

Temporary protection can only be granted to

  • Ukrainian citizens unable to return to Ukraine due to the Russian attack
  • citizens of countries that are not part of the European Union or party to the Schengen Agreement and stateless persons who have resided in Ukraine legally and whose return to the relevant country of origin safely and permanently is not possible
  • the family members of Ukrainian citizens and of those granted international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine, if the family ties were established in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 and the family member is not a citizen of a European Union Member State,  a Nordic country, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland.
    • The family members do not need to apply at the same time. They can, for example, come to Finland later and apply for temporary protection then.
    • If the family member is a citizen of a European Union Member State, or a citizen of Liechtenstein or Switzerland, he or she can apply for EU registration.

2. What is the validity period of residence permits granted on the basis of temporary protection?

The Finnish Immigration Service issues residence permits on the basis of temporary protection for a maximum of one year at a time.
First residence permits granted to those receiving temporary protection are valid for no more than one year. In accordance with the decision of the Council of the European Union, residence permits may be granted on the basis of temporary protection until 4 March 2023. Extended permits may be granted after this date, if the Council decision remains in force.

3. How do I apply for temporary protection?

  1. Once you have arrived in Finland, visit the police or a border control authority, and tell them that you wish to apply for temporary protection. Applying is free of charge
    • It is recommended that you apply for temporary protection even if you have already submitted an application for asylum. Applications for temporary protection are processed at a considerably faster rate than asylum applications.
  2. The police or border control authority registers your application for temporary protection and makes a record of
    • your personal details and place of residence
    • details related to your arrival in Finland and the route you took to travel here
    • your family members’ details. 
    • You will also need to provide a photo, fingerprints and a signature.
  3. The police or border control authority will ask you whether you wish to apply for temporary protection only, or if you would also like to submit an application for asylum.
    • The differences between temporary protection and asylum will be explained to you, so that you can make an informed decision. You may also apply for asylum at a later date.
  4. Following registration, the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision on your application.
    • You will be heard before the decision is made only if the Finnish Immigration Service considers there to be a particular reason to do so.
  5. You will receive a copy of the decision. 
    • The Finnish Immigration Service will send you a copy of the decision by post. The decision will be sent to the reception centre in which you are staying. If you are staying in private accommodation, the decision will be sent to your address in Finland. It is therefore important that you let the reception centre at which you are registered know about any changes of address without delay.
    • If you do not receive a copy of the decision by post, you will be invited to hear it in person at the Finnish Immigration Service or the police.
    • If you are granted temporary protection, a residence permit card will be included with your copy of the decision. 
    • If you have also applied for asylum, the Finnish Immigration Service will suspend the processing of your asylum application for as long as your residence permit issued on the basis of temporary protection is valid.

4. Do I need to fill in an application form when applying for a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection?

No. Temporary protection cannot be applied for using an application form. Instead, you can apply for temporary protection by visiting the police or a border control authority in person.

5. Which documents do I need when applying for temporary protection?

Present your valid passport and all other identity documents you have with you to the police or border control authority. If you are not a Ukrainian citizen, you should also present a Ukrainian residence permit card or other document proving that you have resided in Ukraine legally.

If you come to Finland with your family and have documents proving the family ties, you should also present these. 

You may apply for temporary protection even if you do not have a valid passport. Temporary protection can be granted even if you do not have a valid travel document.

6. When will I receive a decision on my temporary protection application?

The estimated processing time for temporary protection applications is currently about two weeks. Once the decision has been made, the Finnish Immigration Service orders a residence permit card for you. It currently takes about two weeks for residence permit cards to be ready. This means that you will receive a copy of the decision and your residence permit card approximately one month from the date on which you submit your application. 

Applications are processed at an increasingly fast rate, however, and future applicants can receive a decision in less than a week. According to current information, residence permit cards will continue to require about two weeks to be available.

7. Should I apply for temporary protection or asylum?

If you are fleeing the war in Ukraine, we recommend that you apply for temporary protection, which is intended to quickly offer you protection on a temporary basis.

  • At present, the estimated processing time for a temporary protection application is one week, if no additional information is needed for the application. For asylum applications, the estimated processing time is six months. 
  • The processing of an asylum application may take even longer because the Finnish Immigration Service does not have enough information for deciding the application due to the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine. This is the reason why the European Union has activated the option to apply for temporary protection.

The possibility to apply for asylum is intended for situations where you have a fear of being personally persecuted in your home country or country of permanent residence for reasons of ethnic origin, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion and cannot avail yourself of the protection of your home country or country of permanent residence.

Further information: If you have fled the war in Ukraine, it is advisable to apply for temporary protection (pdf).

8. If have already applied for asylum. Can I apply for temporary protection?

Yes, you can. It is recommended that you apply for temporary protection even if you have already applied for asylum.

Temporary protection is a form of protection intended for people fleeing the war in Ukraine or for people who are unable to return to Ukraine because of the war. An application for temporary protection is free of charge.
The Finnish Immigration Service is able to decide applications for temporary protection considerably more quickly than asylum applications. 

  • At present, the estimated processing time for a temporary protection application is one week, if no additional information is needed for the application. For asylum applications, the estimated processing time is six months. 
  • The processing of an asylum application may take even longer because the Finnish Immigration Service does not have enough information for deciding the application due to the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine. This is the reason why the European Union has activated the option to apply for temporary protection.

The Finnish Immigration Service will suspend the processing of your asylum application for as long as your residence permit issued on the basis of temporary protection is valid. For instructions on applying, see our temporary protection page.

9. I arrived in Finland before the Russian attack on Ukraine began on 24 February. Can I apply for temporary protection?

Yes, you can, if you 

  • are a Ukrainian citizen unable to return to Ukraine due to the Russian attack, or
  • are a citizen of a country that is not part of the European Union or party to the Schengen Agreement or a stateless person, have resided in Ukraine legally, and are unable to return to your country of origin safely and permanently.

Also see the question ‘Who can be granted temporary protection?’ above.

10. Is it possible that I am refused temporary protection?

Yes. The Finnish Immigration Service may issue a negative decision on your application for temporary protection if

  • there aren't sufficient grounds for granting a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in your case
  • you are considered to present a danger to public order or security
  • you can be reasonably suspected of having committed
    • a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity
    • a serious non-political crime before entering Finland
    • an act which violates the aims and principles of the United Nations.

11. How soon after arriving in Finland should I apply for temporary protection?

There is no time limit for temporary protection applications, meaning that you can apply immediately on arrival in Finland or at a later time. However, you need to make sure that your residence in Finland is legal. You are entitled to reception services after you have applied for temporary protection.

If you are a Ukrainian citizen and hold a biometric passport, you can stay in the Schengen area visa-free for up to 90 days. If you plan to stay in Finland after this period is over, you must apply for a residence permit.

If you come from a country that is subject to a visa requirement, you must have a valid visa, a residence permit or a pending residence permit application in order for your residence in Finland to be legal.

First residence permits granted to those receiving temporary protection are valid for no more than one year. In accordance with the decision of the Council of the European Union, residence permits may be granted on the basis of temporary protection until 4 March 2023. Extended permits may be granted after this date, if the Council decision remains in force.

12. Does the Dublin Regulation apply to temporary protection?

The Dublin Regulation does not apply to temporary protection.

Family members in Ukraine

13. How can I help a Ukrainian family member to travel to Finland?

The situation in Ukraine is difficult, and we understand that many are worried about their family members. 

  • Ukrainian nationals holding biometric passports may travel in the Schengen area visa-free for up to 90 days. For more information on visas, see the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  • Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection by visiting the police or a border control authority in person. For instructions on applying, see our temporary protection page.

14. Can family members apply for family reunification?

The family member of a foreigner who has been granted temporary protection can apply for a residence permit in Finland. Family members may also be eligible for temporary protection themselves. Also see the question ‘Who can be granted temporary protection?’ above. 

Settling in Finland

15. Where can I find accommodation?

If you are applying for temporary protection or asylum, accommodation can be provided for you at a reception centre. You can live at the reception centre together with your closest family members, such as your spouse and your children who are under the age of 18. Unaccompanied minors are provided accommodation at a reception centre reserved for minors. There are a number of reception centres of different sizes across Finland. You will be directed to a reception centre with available beds. Learn more about living in a reception centre

You may also arrange accommodation yourself and stay with a friend or relative, for example. Make sure that the reception centre at which you are registered has your address information, and that the centre is notified if your address changes. 

If you choose to stay in private accommodation instead of a reception centre, you will need to cover the cost of the accommodation yourself. Reception centres cannot provide financial support towards the cost of private accommodation. If your situation changes and you need accommodation, it will be provided for you at a reception centre that has beds available. Learn more about living in private accommodation.

If you are not applying for temporary protection or asylum, you must organise accommodation in Finland yourself.

16. Can I move to a reception centre if I can't live in private accommodation any more?

Yes, you can move to a reception centre. Contact your own reception centre and tell them about your situation. You will be accommodated at a reception centre that has room.

17. Can I choose my reception centre?

No. You will be directed to a reception centre with available beds. There are a number of reception centres of different sizes across Finland. Accommodation at the reception centre is organised so that you can be together with your family members. Those not looking for accommodation as a family will be offered communal accommodation, in which there are separate rooms or apartments for men and women.

18. Can I bring a pet with me to Finland when applying for temporary protection?

You can bring your pet to Finland with you. You and your pet can stay at a reception centre if you cannot arrange your accommodation yourself (private accommodation). In Southern Finland, all clients arriving with pets will be staying at the reception centre in Riihimäki. If you have any pets with you, notify the reception centre at which you are registered of this without delay.

The reception centre will contact a vet to arrange the required vaccinations for your pet. It is very important to get all pets vaccinated. To prevent the spread of infectious animal diseases, pets need to be placed in isolation for 90 days. For more information, see the instructions of the Finnish Food Authority on pets.

19. Can I get a new pet in Finland and stay at a reception centre with it?

You may not stay at a reception centre with a pet that you have acquired in Finland. However, you can arrange your accommodation yourself. Read more about living in private accommodation.

20. I have applied for temporary protection in Finland. What reception services are available to me?

Reception centres can provide you with a range of reception services, such as healthcare and social services as well as reception allowance. Reception allowance is available to those without their own income or financial resources. Applicants for temporary protection are covered by the Reception Act, and they are entitled to the same reception services as asylum seekers.

21. I have applied for temporary protection in Finland. Which healthcare services am I entitled to

The reception centre at which you are registered organises healthcare services for you. There is a nurse or a public health nurse at every reception centre. If you need medical help, he or she will send you to a doctor.

If you are an adult waiting for a decision on your application for temporary protection, you are entitled to urgent and essential healthcare. After receiving a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection, you have the right to access the same healthcare services as those permanently resident in Finland.

Applicants under 18 years of age are entitled to healthcare services on the same grounds as children who have a municipality of residence in Finland.

22. Am I entitled to reception allowance?

If necessary, you can apply for and receive reception allowance. Your income and financial resources are taken into account when deciding whether you are eligible to receive reception allowance, and in what amount.

You can submit an application for reception allowance at your reception centre. The necessary information on your income and financial resources must be included in the application. Ask your reception centre for more information and help with filling in the application.

Reception allowance is usually loaded onto a prepaid card, but it may be paid in cash in exceptional cases. The allowance can also be paid into your personal Finnish bank account, if you have one.

23. Once I am granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection, will I be given a municipality of residence?

In most cases, no. You may, however, be given a municipality of residence if you are a family member of someone who has a municipality of residence in Finland. Here, family member means a spouse, a parent or guardian, or a child. If you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection, you are entitled to reception services.

Temporary protection, work and studies

31. Does a residence permit issued on the basis of temporary protection give me the right to work and study?

Yes. You have the right to work and study as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority. 

  • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself. 
  • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi. If you don't yet have employment and have no need for a certificate, you can simply wait for the decision on your application.

32. Am I allowed to work while waiting for a decision on my application for temporary protection?

Yes. You have the right to work as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority. 

  • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself. 
  • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi. If you don't yet have employment and have no need for a certificate, you can simply wait for the decision on your application.

33. Am I allowed to undertake an unpaid internship while waiting for a decision on my application for temporary protection?

Yes.

34. Am I allowed to work in another country after I have been granted temporary protection in Finland?

Holders of a residence permit issued on the basis of temporary protection may travel in the European Union visa-free for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. If you wish to work in another country, you should contact the authorities of that country for information on your right to work there. 

35. Can I start working as soon as I have applied for temporary protection, even if I have also applied for asylum? 

Yes, you can. You have the right to work as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority. 
Applying for asylum does not affect the right to work of an applicant for temporary protection.

Temporary protection and seasonal work

36. How can seasonal workers currently in Ukraine apply for a residence permit for seasonal work?

Applications for a residence permit for seasonal work can only be submitted outside of Finland. 

  • Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection in Finland by visiting the police or a border control authority in person. For instructions on applying, see our temporary protection page. 
  • You have the right to work and study as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority.
    • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself.
    • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi.

The Finnish Immigration Service continues to process seasonal work applications as normal. 
It is not currently possible to send residence permit cards to Ukraine. If the applicant has submitted a residence permit application in Ukraine and proved his or her identity at the Finnish mission in Kyiv, a residence permit card can be provided in Finland. Instructions on how to retrieve the card will be sent to those concerned by email. 

37. I am planning to come to Finland for seasonal work. Given the current situation in Ukraine, I would like to come now. Will I be able to travel to Finland if I am not due to start work until April?

As the Finnish mission in Kyiv is currently closed, it is not possible to apply for a residence permit for seasonal work in Ukraine. Ukrainian nationals holding biometric passports may travel in the Schengen area visa-free for up to 90 days. The visa-free period begins on the date of arrival in Finland. If you stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit. For more information on visas, see the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

  • Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection by visiting the police or a border control authority in person. For instructions on applying, see our temporary protection page. 
  • You have the right to work and study as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority.
    • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself.
    • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi.

If grounds exist for applying for a residence permit in your case, such as family ties to Finland or employment, you can apply for a residence permit on these grounds. There is a fee for submitting a residence permit application. More information on applications and requirements is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

If you intend to come to Finland to work on a short-term basis and then return to Ukraine, you can apply for a certificate for seasonal work. Read more about certificates for seasonal work.

38. Will certificates for seasonal work continue to be issued as normal?

Certificates for seasonal work will continue to be issued as normal. See our seasonal work page for up-to-date information on the processing situation of applications for seasonal work permits. The page is updated every Tuesday.

39. Can holders of a certificate for seasonal work travel to Finland before its period of validity begins?

Yes, but the visa-free period begins on the date of arrival in Finland. Those staying in Finland for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit.

40. I am currently in Finland and have a certificate for seasonal work, which is valid until April. If I apply for temporary protection now, will I still have the right to work? 

Beneficiaries of temporary protection have an unrestricted right to work, meaning that they can work in any field. If you apply for temporary protection while your seasonal work certificate is valid, your right to work becomes unrestricted as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority.

  • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself.
  • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi.

Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection by visiting the police or a border control authority in person. For instructions on applying, see our temporary protection page. 

41. I have applied for a certificate for seasonal work from May onwards, but I will be arriving in Finland in April and applying for temporary protection. Will I have the right to work? 

If the 90-day visa-free period has not expired, your right to work begins on the first day of validity of your certificate for seasonal work.

If you submit an application for temporary protection before the period of validity of your certificate for seasonal work begins, your right to work will also begin earlier. You have the right to work as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority.

  • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself.
  • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi.

42. Can I be granted a certificate for seasonal work if I have applied for temporary protection or asylum?

If you apply for asylum or temporary protection before receiving a certificate for seasonal work, the certificate for seasonal work cannot be issued.

You have the right to work as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority.

  • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself.
  • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi.

43. I am a Ukrainian national currently in Finland. Can I apply for my first residence permit for seasonal work while here?

Under the Seasonal Workers Act, first residence permits for seasonal work may not be applied for in Finland. You can, however, apply for a certificate for seasonal work, if you have not yet applied for temporary protection, asylum, or another type of residence permit. If you receive a positive decision on your request for the certificate, you can apply for a residence permit for seasonal work while the certificate is valid. Learn more about applying for a seasonal work permit.

  • Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection by visiting the police or a border control authority in person. For instructions on applying, see our temporary protection page. 
  • You have the right to work as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or a border control authority.
    • During registration, the police or border control authority will provide you with a printed certificate proving your right to work. Your right to work is unrestricted, meaning that you can find employment in any field. Keep the copy of the certificate you receive for yourself.
    • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate from the police or border control authority, we can send you the certificate by email. Send your request for the certificate to migri@migri.fi.
  • If grounds exist for applying for a residence permit in your case, such as family ties to Finland or employment, you can apply for a residence permit on these grounds. There is a fee for submitting a residence permit application. More information on applications and requirements is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.

44. We are a Ukrainian couple planning to come to Finland for seasonal work. We have certificates for seasonal work, and will be travelling with two children. Which permits can the children apply for?

If your children hold biometric passports, they can stay in Finland visa-free for a period of 90 days.

Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection by contacting the police or a border control authority in person. Read the instructions on the page Temporary protection.

45. My seasonal work permit is still valid. Can I apply for temporary protection?

You can apply for temporary protection even when your residence permit for seasonal work or your certificate for seasonal work is still valid. Read the instructions on the page Temporary protection.

46. What will happen to seasonal work applications? Can I apply for temporary protection?

The Finnish Immigration Service continues to process applications for seasonal work as usual. You can apply for temporary protection even if you have submitted a seasonal work application. Read the instructions on the page Temporary protection.

If you apply for temporary protection before receiving a decision on your seasonal work application, you will not be granted a seasonal work permit.

You have the right to work as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or border authorities.

  • When registering your application, the police or the border authorities will print you a certificate as proof of your right to work. You will have an unrestricted right to work, which means that you may work in any professional field. This means that you will also have the right to do seasonal work. It is important that you keep the certificate.
  • If you have already applied for temporary protection, but did not receive a certificate of your right to work from the police or the border control authority, we can send the certificate to you by email. Send a request for the certificate to the address migri@migri.fi.

47. What will happen to those seasonal workers who have already come to Finland long before 24 February?

Temporary protection can be granted to

  • Ukrainian citizens unable to return to Ukraine due to the Russian attack
  • citizens of countries outside the European Union, citizens of countries not party to the Schengen Agreement, and stateless persons who have resided in Ukraine legally and whose return to the relevant country of origin safely and permanently is not possible.
  • the family members of Ukrainian citizens and of those granted international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine, if the family ties were established in Ukraine before 24 February 2022.

Read the instructions on the page Temporary protection.

Temporary protection and travelling

48. May I travel when I have been granted temporary protection?

When you have been issued with a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection, you may travel in the Schengen area without a visa for up to 90 days out of any 180-day period. When you travel, you must have your valid passport and residence permit card with you. Notify your reception centre of your intention to travel. For instructions on how to submit a travel notification, see the page Temporary protection for those fleeing Ukraine. On the same page, you can also read what you should do if you intend to leave Finland permanently.

If you have also applied for asylum and you leave Finland, the Finnish Immigration Service will issue an expiry decision on your asylum application.

49. May I travel while I wait for a decision on my application for temporary protection?

It is advisable to wait for the decision on your temporary protection application in Finland. If you submitted the application in Finland, you may reside in Finland while your application is being processed even if your visa-free period of residence ends or your visa expires while you are waiting for the decision.

If you leave Finland but intend to come back soon, you need to inform your reception centre of your travel intentions. Send them the following information:

  • when you intend to leave Finland and how long you intend to stay outside Finland
  • the date on which you will return to Finland, if known.

Include in your notification:

  • your first and last name
  • your Finnish Immigration Service customer number.

Submit your notification

  • to your own reception centre. You will find the contact information of your reception centre on the page Reception centres.

Please note:

  • If you have also applied for asylum in Finland and you leave Finland, even for a short time, the Finnish Immigration Service will issue an expiry decision on your asylum application.
  • If you leave Finland and do not intend to return to Finland, you need to cancel your application for temporary protection in Finland. If you later decide to return to Finland, you can submit a new application for temporary protection, provided that you have not applied for temporary protection elsewhere. See the question ‘How do I cancel my application for temporary protection?

50. May I travel to Ukraine when I have applied for temporary protection in Finland?

You can travel to Ukraine if you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection. There are no limitations on the duration of your visit.

If you are waiting for a decision on your temporary protection application, see the question May I travel while I wait for a decision on my application for temporary protection?.

You must inform your reception centre of your trip because travelling abroad can affect the reception services you receive. For more information, see the instruction leaflet Travelling abroad and reception services during your trip (pdf).

51. Can assisted voluntary return be granted for returning to Ukraine?

At the moment, it is not possible to arrange assisted voluntary return to Ukraine because of the current circumstances of the country. We are following the development of the situation in Ukraine and will issue an announcement when assisted voluntary return to Ukraine is possible again. 

Cancelling an application

52. How do I cancel my application for temporary protection?

You must personally notify an official of the Finnish Immigration Service, the police, the border control authorities, or the director or the deputy director of a reception centre of your wish to cancel your application. The official will fill in the cancellation form together with you. 

If you cancel your application for temporary protection, we will stop processing it and make a decision on the expiry of your application. You cannot appeal the expiry decision to an Administrative Court.

53. I have a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in another EU Member State. Can I still come to Finland and apply for temporary protection?

Yes, you can. Let us say, for instance, that you have been granted temporary protection in Slovakia but would like to come to Finland to apply for temporary protection. When you come to Finland and apply for temporary protection here, tell the police or a border control authority that you have a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in Slovakia. When you are granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in Finland, the Slovakian authorities will cancel your Slovakian temporary protection permit and the rights associated with it. The reason for the cancellation is that you can only receive temporary protection in one EU Member State at a time. 

54. I have a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in Finland. Can I later apply for temporary protection in another EU Member State?

Yes, you can. If you intend to leave Finland to apply for temporary protection in some other EU Member State, cancel your application for temporary protection in Finland. You need to cancel your application because you can only receive temporary protection in one EU Member State at a time. For more information, see the question ‘How do I cancel my application for temporary protection?’. If you do not cancel your application for temporary protection in Finland, the Finnish Immigration Service will cancel it when we are told that you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in some other EU Member State.

55. I have been granted a temporary protection residence permit in Finland, and my family member has been granted the same permit in Germany. Can my family member come to live with me in Finland with the temporary protection residence permit that was granted to him or her in Germany?

Yes. When your family member is in Finland and applies for temporary protection, she should tell the police or a border control authority that she has a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in Germany. When your family member is granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection in Finland, the authorities in Germany will cancel the German temporary protection permit and the rights associated with it. The reason for the cancellation is that you can only receive temporary protection in one EU Member State at a time.  

Residence permits

56. My family have applied for residence permits in Finland. They have not yet received a decision or residence permit cards. How will they be able to travel to Finland from Ukraine?

The Finnish Immigration Service continues to process applications as usual. It is currently not possible to send residence permit cards to Ukraine. Ukrainian citizens holding biometric passports may travel within the Schengen area visa-free for up to 90 days. If the applicant has submitted a residence permit application in Ukraine and proved his or her identity at the Finnish mission in Kyiv, a residence permit card can be provided in Finland. We will send you instructions by email on how to collect your card.

57. My residence permit application is currently being processed. What can I do if I don’t have the necessary documents or if I don't have a passport?

If you have tried to obtain the required documents or a passport but have not received them, attach to your application a free-form explanation of why you are unable to submit the documents. We will take the explanation into account when making a decision on your application.

58. What can I do if I am unable to legalise the documents for my residence permit application?

If you have tried to legalise the documents but have been unable to do so due to the situation in Ukraine, attach to your application a free-form explanation of why you are unable to submit the documents. We will take the explanation into account when making a decision on your application.

59. My Ukrainian employee is waiting for a decision on his or her residence permit. Could the residence permit card be delivered to a Finnish mission in Poland, for example?

If the applicant has submitted a residence permit application in Ukraine and proved his or her identity at the Finnish mission in Kyiv, a residence permit card can be provided in Finland. We will send these customers instructions by email on how to collect their card.

60. My spouse has been granted a residence permit. He or she is still in Ukraine. Could the residence permit card be delivered to my address in Finland?

It is currently not possible to send residence permit cards to Ukraine. If the applicant has submitted a residence permit application in Ukraine and proved his or her identity at the Finnish mission in Kyiv, a residence permit card can be provided in Finland. We will send these customers instructions by email on how to collect their card.  

61. I am a Ukrainian national currently in Finland, and I have received a negative decision on my residence permit application. According to the decision, I will be removed from the country. Will I be removed from the country now that the situation in Ukraine has changed?

We have temporarily suspended issuing negative decisions that would involve removal from the country to Ukraine. In Finland, the enforcement of decisions regarding removal from the country is the responsibility of the police. The police operate in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement. The police have announced that they have suspended returns to Ukraine

  • Ukrainians can apply for temporary protection in Finland by contacting the police or a border control authority in person. Read the instructions on the page Temporary protection.

Citizenship

62. I am a Finnish citizen. How can I get Finnish citizenship for my adult child, who is a Ukrainian citizen and has never lived in Finland?

Finnish citizenship cannot be granted only on the basis of Finnish citizenship held by one of the applicant’s parents.

Citizenship can be granted to applicants who have lived and held a residence permit in Finland for a sufficient period of time. The necessary period of residence is

  • five years with a continuous residence permit or
  • four years with a continuous residence permit for those meeting the requirement regarding language skills.

For more information on the requirements for naturalisation, see our website.

Asylum seekers

63. I'm a Ukrainian asylum seeker. I have not received a decision on my application. What happens to my application now?

When we process your application, we assess whether you may be granted asylum, subsidiary protection status or some other residence permit. We will make a positive decision on your asylum application if sufficient grounds for granting the permit exist.

It is recommended that you apply for temporary protection even if you have already applied for asylum.

Temporary protection is a form of protection specifically intended for people fleeing the war in Ukraine and for people who are unable to return to Ukraine because of the war. An application for temporary protection is free of charge.

The Finnish Immigration Service is able to decide applications for temporary protection considerably more quickly than asylum applications. 

  • At present, the estimated processing time for a temporary protection application is one week, if no additional information is needed for the application. For asylum applications, the estimated processing time is six months. 
  • The processing of an asylum application may take even longer because the Finnish Immigration Service does not have enough information for deciding the application due to the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine. This is the reason why the European Union has activated the option to apply for temporary protection.

If you have also applied for temporary protection, the Finnish Immigration Service will suspend the processing of your asylum application for as long as your residence permit issued on the basis of temporary protection is valid.

We have temporarily suspended issuing negative decisions that would involve removal from the country to Ukraine. We are assessing the security situation in Ukraine. The Finnish Immigration Service always uses up-to-date country information when making decisions. 

64. I have fled from Ukraine and sought asylum in Finland. Is the Dublin Regulation applicable to my asylum application?

Yes, the Dublin regulation is applicable to your asylum application, even if you had applied for temporary protection or other residence permit at the same time. For more information about the Dublin procedure, see our website.

If you have applied for asylum or temporary protection, please note:

65. I am an asylum seeker, but not from Ukraine. How does the situation in Ukraine affect the processing time of my asylum application?

The situation in Ukraine does not affect the processing time of your asylum application. For more information about the processing times of asylum applications, see the page Waiting for the decision.

66. Are the police currently denying admittance or stay to those who have received a negative decision and sending them to Ukraine?

In Finland, the enforcement of decisions regarding removal from the country is the responsibility of the police. The police operate in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement. The police will provide more information about this.

67. I received a negative decision on my asylum application. I have been denied admittance or stay and will be sent to Ukraine. What can I do now?

In Finland, the enforcement of decisions regarding removal from the country is the responsibility of the police. The police operate in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement. The police will provide more information about this.

If you are fleeing the war in Ukraine, we recommend applying for temporary protection. The purpose of temporary protection is to provide you temporary protection quickly. Read the instructions on the page Temporary protection.

For more information, see the instructions for people fleeing Ukraine: If you have fled the war in Ukraine, it is advisable to apply fortemporary protection (PDF).

The decision you received tells you whether you can appeal against it. In most cases, it is possible to appeal against a decision on an asylum application.

If appealing against the decision is possible in your case, the decision you receive is accompanied by appeal instructions. The instructions specify the Administrative Court to which you may appeal, the appeal period, the attachments needed, and the ways you may submit your appeal to the Administrative Court. You can appeal against a decision while the appeal period is ongoing. Once the appeal period expires and the decision becomes final, you can no longer appeal against it.

Under law, you can submit a subsequent application if you have received a final decision on your previous application. If your previous decision can still be appealed, the decision is not final. You should submit a new asylum application immediately when there are grounds or need for applying again. If you wish to submit a new asylum application, contact the police or a border control authority.

68. I have lodged an appeal against the decision on my asylum application with an administrative court. I have not yet received a decision on my appeal. What happens now?

The administrative court makes a decision on your appeal. If you have any questions about the processing of your appeal, contact your legal counsel. You should direct your questions to the instance which is currently processing your appeal, such as an administrative court or the Supreme Administrative Court.

It is recommended that you apply for temporary protection even if you have already applied for asylum. Temporary protection is a form of protection specifically intended for people fleeing the war in Ukraine and for people who are unable to return to Ukraine because of the war. An application for temporary protection is free of charge. For more information, see the question ‘Should I apply for temporary protection or asylum?’.

69. The Administrative Court approved my appeal against a negative decision on my asylum application and returned the matter to the Finnish Immigration Service for renewed consideration. Can I be granted a residence permit now, given the changes in the security situation in Ukraine?

The Administrative Court may have amended the decision of the Finnish Immigration Service or ordered the Finnish Immigration Service to consider the matter again.

If the Administrative Court has decided that the permit must be granted, the Finnish Immigration Service will issue you with the permit. The Finnish Immigration Service may also request leave to appeal in respect of the Administrative Court’s decision from the Supreme Administrative Court.

If the Administrative Court has returned the matter for renewed consideration, the Finnish Immigration Service reviews your matter in order to determine whether sufficient grounds exist to grant you asylum, subsidiary protection status, or an other residence permit in Finland.

70. In light of the current situation, is it possible that the processing of my asylum application will take longer than expected?

The availability of up-to-date country information, which is necessary in the decision-making process, is affected by the changes in the security situation in Ukraine. As we do not currently have all of the necessary information regarding the different regions of Ukraine in the context of a quickly changing situation, the processing time of your application may be longer than expected.

71. I have received a notification of the termination of my reception services. Can I re-apply for asylum due to the situation in Ukraine?

If your return to your country of departure safely and permanently is not possible due to the situation in Ukraine, we recommend applying for temporary protection. For more information, see the question ‘Who can be granted temporary protection’?

Under law, you can submit a subsequent application if you have received a final decision on your asylum application. If your previous decision can still be appealed, the decision is not final. You should submit a new asylum application immediately when there are grounds or need for applying again. If you wish to submit a new asylum application, contact the police or a border control authority.

72. I want to return to Ukraine because I am worried about my family. Can I apply for assisted voluntary return from Finland to return to Ukraine?  

For the time being, assisted voluntary return to Ukraine cannot be arranged. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has, for the time being, suspended the arrangements for voluntary return to Ukraine.

Assistance and donations

73. I would like to organise a collection or donate clothing, toys or other items to those arriving from Ukraine. Who should I contact?

The primary way to offer your help is to contact reliable volunteer organisations, for example. Many organisations have organised their own collections.

However, if you want to donate items directly to a reception centre, contact your local reception centre before bringing any donations. For contact details of reception centres, see the page Reception centres

The reception centre will tell you whether any items and goods are needed at the moment. The reception centre will also give you more detailed instructions on what type of items are welcome. Please make sure that the donated items are in good condition and sorted out beforehand. Any items you donate to a reception centre are intended for all clients of the reception centre.

Transportation

74. I will be offering transportation to Finland for Ukrainians who have fled the Russian military attack. Who should I contact?

We are asking all voluntary transport organisers providing transport for Ukrainian nationals from Ukraine to Finland to submit preliminary passenger information to the Finnish Immigration Service. As of 3 March 2022, we have introduced a form on which we are asking transport organisers to provide preliminary information about all transportation arriving from Ukraine to Finland

Be prepared to provide the following information:

How many Ukrainians are arriving by your transportation? Report the number of passengers only. Do not provide any personal details on this form.

  • What is the final destination of the passenger in Finland?
  • Will the persons stay in Finland visa-free or will they apply for asylum?
  • If the persons are applying for asylum, will they be staying at a reception centre or in private accommodation?

If you are unable to send the information through the link provided, you may alternatively call +358 (0)295 463 300. The phone line is open on weekdays, Mon–Fri at 9–16 and at the weekend 5–6 March 2022 at 10–15.

The phone number may be used for reporting transportation information only. We are unable to provide any other advice or information through this number.

Notifying the Finnish Immigration Service in advance of any transportation is essential so that the authorities are able to make necessary preparations for accommodation and other support. The Finnish Immigration Service coordinates accommodation for asylum seekers only.

Please read the more precise instructions in our press release: Migri asks for advance information about transport of Ukrainians to Finland

Offering accommodation

75. I own a property or housing facilities I'd like to offer to Ukrainians in Finland. How should I proceed?

At the moment, the Finnish Immigration Service is not looking to receive new offers for accommodation facilities.

We have been contacted by many people with offers for accommodation facilities. In March 2022, we asked the Finnish Red Cross to help us sort out these offers and other offers for help.

During the past six months, the Finnish Red Cross has been contacted nearly 3,600 times in connection with offers for help. However, the number of people contacting us has decreased steadily in the past few months, and for that reason, the national-level coordination assignment of the Finnish Red Cross was ended on 31 August 2022.

One way to help is to contact reliable volunteer organisations. 

76. I can accommodate Ukrainians in my own home or apartment. What things should I know?

People applying for asylum or temporary protection are always able to stay at a reception centre. However, people applying for asylum or temporary protection can also organise accommodation by themselves. This is called private accommodation. Usually this means staying with one’s relatives, spouse or friends. Private accommodation can mean living in a rented or sublet apartment. Asylum seekers can also live in a private person’s home  (home accommodation), which is free of charge. The accommodation facility must be appropriate for living purposes, and it must have an official address. An asylum seeker living in private accommodation will be registered at the nearest reception centre. The reception centre where the persons arranging their accommodation themselves are registered at provides them reception services, with the exception of accommodation and possible meals. Living in or arranging private accommodation is not financially supported.

Read more on the page Living in private accommodation

A person who is under the age of 18 and who has arrived in Finland alone to apply for asylum or temporary protection will be accommodated at a reception centre for children, which is also called a unit for minors. A child who has come to Finland to apply for asylum with his or her relatives can also stay with them at a reception centre. An unaccompanied minor applying for asylum in Finland can be transferred to private accommodation, if it is evaluated to be in the best interest of the child. The person providing accommodation must be able to secure the daily maintenance, upbringing and other care of the child, taking into account the child’s age and stage of development.

After a statement on private accommodation has been made, the director of the reception centre makes a decision in the matter. The wish to transfer a child to private accommodation can be expressed by a person offering private accommodation, a child wishing to move to private accommodation, or the child’s representative. The representative assigned to a child cannot be the person offering the child private accommodation. Living in or arranging private accommodation is not financially supported.

For more information, see Accommodation of an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker.

77. A relative of mine is under 18 years old and coming to Finland without her parents to apply for asylum or temporary protection. Does she have to live in a reception centre or can we take her in to live with us?

Children who are in Finland without their parent or guardian and apply for asylum or temporary protection live in units for minors, which are reception centres reserved for children. Children who arrive in Finland with their relatives may live in a reception centre together with the relatives who also apply for asylum or temporary protection. A child who applies for asylum or temporary protection in Finland without his or her parent or guardian can be moved to private accommodation if this is deemed to be in the best interests of the child.  The person with whom the child will live must be able to secure the care and upbringing necessary for the child, taking into account the child’s age and level of development. 

First, a statement on private accommodation is prepared. After that, the director of the reception centre will make a decision on moving the child to private accommodation. A wish to transfer a child to private accommodation can be expressed to the unit for minors by the child herself, by a representative of the child, or by the person offering the child private accommodation. The representative assigned to the child cannot be the same person as the person who offers the child private accommodation. Financial support is not available for living in private accommodation or for arranging private accommodation.

For further information, see Accommodation of an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker.

Services provided by other authorities

Entry and customs clearance

The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for controlling the borders of Finland and provides information about border traffic.

The Finnish Food Authority monitors the safety and quality of food, the health and well-being of animals, and products used in agricultural and forestry production.

The Finnish Customs controls goods traffic and collects customs duties and other taxes and charges levied on import goods.

Working, studying and living in Finland

TE-services give advice on how to look for work and offer people services to help find employment.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland is responsible for matters related to enterprises, working life, consumers as well as labour migration and integration.

The Finnish Tax Administration is responsible for taxation and tax collection in Finland.

The occupational safety and health authorities (Regional State Administrative Agencies) supervise Finnish workplaces and issue advice related to employment relationships, occupational safety, work discrimination, and inappropriate treatment at work.

Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, provides social security coverage for people living in Finland through the different stages of their lives.

The Finnish National Agency for Education and the Study In Finland service provide information about studying in Finland.

The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for matters related to, for example, science, education, and early childhood education.

Helping Ukrainians

The Ministry of Interior is responsible for Finland’s internal security and migration, and provides information about the situation in Ukraine. 

The Finnish Red Cross (FRC) helps people in times of crises in Finland and abroad.

The Assistance system for victims o human trafficking helps people to recognise human trafficking and offers help for victims of human trafficking.

Health and welfare

The Finnish institute for health and welfare (THL) provides reliable information on health and welfare.

THL’s data bank is a collection of health care instructions and materials in Ukrainian.

Other information

The Ministry of Interior is responsible for Finland’s internal security and migration.

The Finnish Government holds the supreme executive power in Finland. The Government actively informs people on the effects of the crisis in Ukraine.