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Living in a reception centre

If you have applied for asylum in Finland, you will be accommodated at a reception centre. The place where you will stay will depend on your age, gender and other circumstances. Additionally, we organise accommodation in a way that makes it possible for family members to live together in the same place if they want to. Persons under the age of 18 who arrive in Finland without a guardian are accommodated at a group home or a supported housing unit.

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 usually stay is called a transit centre. The transit centres are located near the service points of the Finnish Immigration Service that hold asylum interviews. These centres are primarily meant for new asylum seekers who have just arrived in Finland. After an asylum seeker has had an asylum interview, he or she will be transferred to another reception centre to wait for a decision.

There are many reception centres of different types and sizes in different parts of Finland.

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 asylum seekers 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.