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Work and study activities

Reception centres organise many kinds of study and work activities. They are obligatory. If you refuse to attend, your financial support may be reduced.

The work and study activities do not mean a paid job outside the reception centre. If you want to have a paid job, read more about an asylum seeker’s right to work.

Most often, the study activities are studies in the Finnish or Swedish language. The work activities are organised by the reception centre, and the work is done at the reception centre. The work consists of everyday tasks such as maintaining the yard or cleaning.

Before your work and study activities begin, the reception centre will make a personal work and study activity plan with you. You need to sign the plan.

Basic course on the Finnish society

Every asylum seeker must take a basic course on the Finnish society, as a part of his or her work and study activities. The course will give you a basic knowledge on the Finnish society and the ways it operates.

More information about the course

Right to basic and pre-primary education

The Finnish law grants the children who live in reception centres the right to participate in basic education. The municipality in which the reception centre is located organises basic education for all children who live in that municipality and who are of compulsory school age. The municipality also organises pre-primary education for children who will reach the compulsory school age in the coming year.

Asylum seekers’ right to study

The Aliens Act does not restrict asylum seekers’ right to study. If you are an asylum seeker, you can apply for and accept a study place if this is not against the rules and regulations of the educational institution in question.

However, receiving a study place does not automatically mean that you will be allowed to stay in Finland. When we process your asylum application, we examine your right to receive international protection.

If you want to apply for a residence permit for studies after 1 September 2018, you must first cancel your asylum application

If you consider it possible, you may cancel your asylum application and instead apply for a residence permit on one of the following grounds:

  • studies
  • research
  • internship
  • voluntary work.

If you cancel your asylum application, we will stop processing it and make a decision on the expiry of your application.

You can get a residence permit without cancelling your asylum application, if you have applied for a residence permit before 1 September 2018

You can get a residence permit for studies without cancelling your asylum application, if you have applied for a residence permit for studies before 1 September 2018 and if you either have a pending asylum matter in which a final decision has not yet been made or if you already have been granted international protection. In this case, your application for a residence permit for studies will be decided in accordance with the provisions that were in force before the amendments of 1 September 2018.