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Quota refugees

A quota refugee is a person

  • who has had to leave his or her home country or country of permanent residence; and
  • who cannot stay in the country to which he or she has fled; and
  • whom the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has determined to be a refugee.

In Finland, when the Parliament approves the Budget for each year, it also decides how many quota refugees Finland commits to receiving. During the years 2001–2019, the number of refugees within the refugee quota was 750 per year. In 2020, the number was 850. In 2021, the number was 1,050 and in 2022, the number was 1,500. In 2023, it will be 1,050.

Persons who have been determined as refugees by UNHCR and whom UNHCR has suggested for resettlement in Finland can be admitted to Finland as quota refugees. UNHCR determines which refugees need help the most and proposes these persons to be resettled in Finland as part of the refugee quota. Finland does not ask UNHCR to propose predefined persons, such as your parents or siblings, as quota refugees.

UNHCR decides which persons need help the most and whom it will suggest to be resettled in Finland. As for relatives residing abroad, your relatives must visit a UNHCR office and apply for international protection. In the UNHCR interviews, your relatives should mention that they have relatives in Finland and tell about their wish to move to Finland.

Emergency or urgent cases

In recent years, a part of the refugee quota has been reserved for refugees who the UNHCR has estimated to be in need of urgent resettlement. Finland selects these emergency cases on the basis of UNHCR documents, without interviews.

UNHCR is proposing also unallocated cases without a requirement of urgency, in addition to emergency cases. In 2023, 130 unallocated places will be reserved in the quota for refugees whose nationality or region is not outlined beforehand.  However, the main part (at least 80%) of the cases that UNHCR proposes to Finland must consist of emergency cases.

Arrival in Finland

Quota refugees do not live in reception centres. Instead, they move directly to Finnish municipalities. A quota refugee may only arrive in Finland after a municipality has agreed to take him or her and offer him or her an apartment.

The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) are in charge of directing quota refugees to the municipalities.

Each ELY Centre negotiates with the municipalities in its area and agrees on the number of refugees to be resettled into each municipality. The state pays compensation to the municipalities for receiving quota refugees and organising integration services.

If you have been admitted to Finland under the refugee quota (resettlement program), you can find more information on the website:

Videos for the refugees moving to Finland in the resettlement program

English: Videos for the refugees moving to Finland in the resettlement program (

Arabic: مقاطع فيديو للاجئين الذين سينتقلون للعيش في فنلندا ضمن برنامج إعادة التوطين (

Congolese Swahili: Video kwa ajili ya wakimbizi waliochaguliwa kwenda kuishi huko Finland (

Kurdish Kurmanji: Vîdyoyên ji bo penaberên ku di bernameya niştacîhbûnê de diçin Fînlandyayê (

Tigrinya: ቪድዮታት ንብፕሮግራም ዳግመምቁቋም ናብ ፊንላንድ ንዝግዕዙ ስደተኛታት (

Information videos about Finland for quota refugees 

The Finnish Immigration Service has published seven videos about Finland on the agency's YouTube channel. The videos are intended for quota refugees who have been selected for relocation to Finland. The videos are available in five languages: Arabic, English, Kurmanji, Tigrinya, and Congo Swahili.

The videos cover the following themes:

  1. Basic facts about Finland
  2. Life in Finland
  3. Childcare, education and basic rights for children in Finland
  4. Education opportunities and a meaningful life for youth
  5. Education and working life of adults
  6. Social security and health care services in Finland
  7. Compilation of videos 1–6