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Living in a reception centre

If you have applied for asylum or temporary protection in Finland, you will be offered accommodation at a reception centre. The place where you will stay will depend on your age, gender and other circumstances. You can live at the reception centre together with your closest family members, such as your spouse or your children who are under the age of 18. Persons under the age of 18 who arrive in Finland without a parent or guardian will stay at a unit for minors.

You may not be able to always stay in the same reception centre. You and your family may be transferred to another reception centre if this is necessary because of your personal situation, reception centre operations or the processing of your asylum application.

The first place where asylum seekers and those who apply for temporary protection usually stay is called a transit centre. Transit centres are meant for short-term accommodation. You will be transferred from the transit centre to another reception centre where you can stay for a longer period.

There are many reception centres of different types and sizes in different parts of Finland. It is not possible to choose the reception centre where you will be staying.

Different kinds of reception centres:

  • reception centres with catering, where the reception centre offers meals to everyone who lives there;
  • reception centres with individual or shared kitchens where the residents cook their own meals

Reception centres are maintained by many operators: the Finnish Immigration Service, Finnish municipalities, organisations and companies. All reception centres offer the same reception services to the people who live there, and all reception centres operate according to the same principles.

The Finnish Immigration Service directs, plans and supervises the practical operations of all reception centres.

The reception of asylum seekers is steered by the Finnish Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection (