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Temporary protection for those fleeing Ukraine

The purpose of temporary protection is to provide swift help to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

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 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 and the family member is not a citizen of a European Union Member State, a Nordic country, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland.
    • 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.

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.

The Ministry of the Interior in Finland announced on 12 September 2022 that it is drafting a law under which residence permits that have been granted on the basis of temporary protection could be extended so that they would automatically be valid at least until 4 March 2024. For more information, see our customer bulletin: Have you been granted temporary protection? Extension of your permit is being planned 

Applying for temporary protection

  1. Once you have arrived in Finland, visit the police or a border control authority and inform them of your intention 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 be served with the decision.
    • The Finnish Immigration Service will send you the decision by post. The decision will be sent to the reception centre at which you are staying. If you live in private accommodation, the decision will be sent to the address which you have given as your Finnish address. For this reason, it is important that you notify your reception centre in Finland of any address changes in Finland without delay.
    • In cases when you are not served with the decision by post, you will be informed of the decision at the Finnish Immigration Service or at the police.
    • If you are granted temporary protection,
      • you will receive a residence permit card. The residence permit card will be posted to you as soon as it is ready.
      • a personal identity code will be issued to you. Your personal identity code will be indicated on the residence permit card.
        • If you cannot be registered in the Population Information System when you get a positive decision on your application, you will need to visit a service point of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency or contact your reception centre. (Read more on the page Personal identity code.) After doing so, you will not receive a new residence permit card automatically but you can, if you so wish, apply for a new residence permit card that contains your personal identity code. The new card is subject to a fee. For instructions on how to apply for a new residence permit card, see the page Renewal of residence permit card.
      • 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.

When will I get a decision on temporary protection?

For the time being, the estimated processing time for an application for temporary protection is one week, if no additional information is needed for the application. After a decision has been issued, the Finnish Immigration Service will send you the decision by post. According to an estimate by the Finnish Immigration Service, the postal delivery will take approximately one week. This means that you will receive the decision within approximately 2 weeks from the date on which you submitted your application

After a decision has been issued, the Finnish Immigration Service will order a residence permit card for you. At present, it takes approximately 2 weeks to obtain a residence permit card. 

When is temporary protection not granted?

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.

If you leave Finland or wish to cancel your application for temporary protection or your temporary protection residence permit

If you have applied for temporary protection or have already been granted temporary protection in Finland, and are leaving Finland only for a short time

If you are going 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 statement:

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

Send the statement  

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

Please note:

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

If you have applied for temporary protection and will leave Finland permanently

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.

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.

How to cancel an application for temporary protection:

  • To cancel your application, tell an official of the Finnish Immigration Service, or the police or border control authority, or the director or deputy director of your reception centre in person that you wish to cancel your application for temporary protection. The official will fill in a cancellation form together with you.

If you cancel your application for temporary protection, the processing of the application will stop, and the Finnish Immigration Service will issue a decision on the expiry of your application. You cannot appeal the expiry decision to an administrative court.

If you wish to cancel your temporary protection residence permit

If you have a residence permit in Finland on the basis of temporary protection and you wish to cancel it, this is what you should do:

  • 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 temporary protection residence permit. The official will fill in the cancellation form together with you.

When filling in the cancellation form, return your residence permit card to the official who receives the notification. 

If you are no longer in Finland 

If you are no longer in Finland and wish to cancel your temporary protection residence permit, see the instructions for submitting the notification on the page Cancellation of a permit.

When you cancel your temporary protection residence permit, the Finnish Immigration Service will make a decision on the cancellation of your temporary protection residence permit. 

Temporary protection residence permit granted by another EU country

Can I apply for temporary protection in Finland if I already have a temporary protection residence permit which has been granted by another EU country?

You can apply, but you cannot be granted temporary protection in more than one EU country at a time. If you are granted a residence permit in Finland on the basis of temporary protection, your temporary protection residence permit in another EU country will be cancelled.

Can I work in Finland with a temporary protection residence permit which has been granted by another EU country?

No, you cannot. A temporary protection residence permit issued by another EU country does not entitle you to work in Finland. If you apply for temporary protection in Finland, you have the right to work as soon as you register your application for temporary protection with the police or border control authorities. 

Can I get reception allowance in Finland if I have a temporary protection residence permit granted by another EU country?

No, you cannot. You can apply for reception allowance in Finland only if you also apply for temporary protection in Finland. Please note that you cannot be granted temporary protection in more than one EU country at a time. If you are granted a residence permit in Finland on the basis of temporary protection, your temporary protection residence permit in another EU country will be cancelled.

Can decisions regarding temporary protection be appealed?

If you are granted temporary protection, you may not appeal against the positive decision if

  • you have applied for asylum, and 
  • the processing of your asylum application is ongoing.

If you are not granted temporary protection, you may appeal against the decision to an administrative court. Instructions for lodging an appeal are attached to the decision.

You have the right to work and study once you have submitted a temporary protection application for registration

Right to work

You will 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. The certificate is called certificate of a pending application. 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 of a pending application 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.

The decision on temporary protection will state that you have an unrestricted right to work. You will also receive a residence permit card stating that you have an unrestricted right to work. The Finnish Immigration Service aims to issue the decision quickly and without undue delay.

Employment services and looking for work

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, you can register as a jobseeker at an Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) and access services that promote your employment. For more information on the right to work and on the employment services available, see the instructions issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.  The instructions contain a reminder that the same terms of employment and pay terms apply to everyone in Finland, and that charging a jobseeker a fee for offering a job or for arranging employment is prohibited. The instructions contain a list of who you can turn to for help if you get treated inappropriately. 

Studies

Finland supports students and researchers who have fled the war in Ukraine. On the website Study in Finland, maintained by the Finnish National Agency for Education, you will find information on the study and research opportunities for those whose studies or academic work in Ukraine were disrupted by the war.

  • Finnish higher education institutions offer study opportunities, which can help you complete your degree to your home university. 
  • If you are a researcher, you can be offered support measures to help you continue your research work at a Finnish higher education institution.

Read more on the website Study in Finland

What happens if you are granted temporary protection but have also applied for asylum?

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

When will the Finnish Immigration Service resume the processing of your asylum application?

When your residence permit issued on the basis of temporary protection expires, you will receive a letter from the Finnish Immigration Service asking if you wish for the processing of your asylum application to resume. 

  • If you want the Finnish Immigration Service to resume the processing of your asylum application, inform the agency of this by the specified deadline. The Finnish Immigration Service will then process your application in accordance with the normal asylum examination process. Learn more about applying for asylum
  • If you don't want the processing of your asylum application to resume or if you don't reply to the letter by the set deadline, the Finnish Immigration Service will issue a decision on the expiry of your asylum application. You cannot appeal against the expiry decision. This will be stated in the decision.
  • A decision on the expiry of your asylum application will also be made if you cancel your asylum application or leave Finland.

Other situations in which your asylum application will be processed

  • Your asylum application will be processed while you are receiving temporary protection if reasonable grounds for it emerge.
  • The Finnish Immigration Service will also process your asylum application if a procedure for removing you from the country is initiated.

If you have already applied for asylum,

you should also submit an application for temporary protection. Applications for temporary protection are processed at a considerably faster rate than asylum applications. 

You must apply for temporary protection separately by visiting the police or a border control authority. For more detailed instructions, see the section on applying for temporary protection

If you are granted temporary protection, the processing of your asylum application is suspended. 

What kind of support is available to you in Finland? 

You can organise accommodation yourself or stay at a reception centre. Reception centres can provide you with a range of reception services, including healthcare and social services as well as reception allowance. Reception allowance is available to those without their own income or financial resources. Reception centres can also offer you information, guidance and advice to help you with everyday life.

Reception services are available to you when you 

  • apply for temporary protection
  • are granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection.

You can receive reception services until

  • you leave Finland
  • you are granted another type of residence permit
  • your residence permit issued on the basis of temporary protection expires and you can return to your country of origin safely. 

For more information, see our page on daily life in a reception centre.

If you give birth to a child in Finland after having applied for or been granted temporary protection

If you have applied for temporary protection in Finland and have a child while your application for temporary protection is being processed or after receiving a decision on your application, you should immediately notify the Finnish Immigration Service of the birth of the child. An employee at your reception centre can assist you with the notification.

It is important that you notify the Finnish Immigration Service of the birth of the child, so that an application for temporary protection for your child can be lodged and your child can be registered as a client of the reception centre. The Finnish Immigration Service will not be informed of the birth of your child in any other way.

If you live at a reception centre

1. Fill in the notification of the birth of a child together with a reception centre employee, such as a nurse or a social worker.
2. The reception centre employee will send the notification and a copy of the child’s birth certificate to the Finnish Immigration Service. 

  • Keep the original birth certificate.

If you live in private accommodation

Even when you live in private accommodation, you can notify the Finnish Immigration Service of the birth of the child through your reception centre. 

  • You can visit the reception centre or contact them by phone. You will find the contact information of your reception centre on our website at migri.fi/reception-centers

If you wish, you can notify the Finnish Immigration Service of the birth of your child by yourself. Follow these instructions:

1. Fill in the form Notification to the Finnish Immigration Service of the birth of a child (pdf).

2. Send the form and a copy of the child’s birth certificate (a photo or a scan copy) to the Finnish Immigration Service as an encrypted email message to the address migri@migri.fi. You can send encrypted email using the service securemail.migri.fi.

  • Keep the original birth certificate.

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