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What to do when you are in Finland and cannot return to Ukraine

Read these instructions, if you have come to Finland from Ukraine or already live in Finland, and you cannot return to Ukraine. 

If you are a Ukrainian citizen and hold a biometric passport, you can stay in the Schengen area visa-free for up to 90 days. After that you will need a residence permit. Those fleeing the Russian military attack in Ukraine can apply for temporary protection in Finland. Read more about applying for temporary protection

See the instructions below, when

You live in Finland and have a valid residence permit

If you live in Finland and have a valid residence permit in Finland, you can continue living here as usual. 

Apply for an extended permit before your current residence permit expires. Then your application will be pending, which means that your stay in Finland is legal and your right to work will remain in accordance with your old permit. If you submit your application for an extended permit too late, you may still stay in Finland legally until you receive a decision to your application. Read more about applying for an extended permit.

If you no longer meet the requirements you met when your previous residence permit was granted to you, you can apply for temporary protection. Temporary protection can 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. 

Read the instructions on how to apply for temporary protection.

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. 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 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.

Your current residence permit is about to expire

If you still meet the same requirements you met when your previous residence permit was granted to you, apply for an extended permit. If you, for example, have the same job or the same family ties that served as the grounds for your previous residence permit, we recommend that you apply for an extended permit. Read more about applying for an extended permit.

Apply for an extended permit before your residence permit expires. Then your application will be pending, which means that your stay in Finland is legal and your right to work will remain. If you submit your application for an extended permit too late, you may still stay in Finland legally until you receive a decision on your application.

If you submit your application for an extended permit too late, after your previous permit has expired, your right to work according to the permit has also expired. Read more about the right to work while an application for an extended permit is being processed.

If you no longer meet the requirements you met when your previous residence permit was granted to you, you can apply for temporary protection. Temporary protection can 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. 

Read the instructions on how to apply for temporary protection.

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. 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 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.

You have submitted a residence permit application in Ukraine or in Finland

If you applied for a residence permit while you were in Ukraine or after you came to Finland, you can wait for the decision in Finland even if your visa-free residence period expires. 

The Finnish Immigration Service is processing the applications of Ukrainians as usual. Read more about processing times.

You did not have time to prove your identity in Ukraine

If you submitted a residence permit application in Ukraine but did not have time to prove your identity in Kyiv before travelling to Finland, you can prove your identity at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. Book an appointment for your visit or go to the service point and queue with a waiting number. Read more about visiting a service point.

You have submitted a residence permit application in Ukraine and receive a positive decision

If you submitted your application in Enter Finland,

  • you can read the decision in Enter Finland after the decision has been made.
    • You will receive your residence permit card at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. We will send you instructions by email on how to collect your card.

If you submitted a paper application at a mission in Ukraine, 

  • you will be informed of the decision and receive a residence permit card at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.
    • We will send you instructions by email on how to collect your decision and your card.

You have submitted a residence permit application in Finland and receive a positive decision

Read more about the service of the decision.

You have applied for a residence permit and receive a negative decision

If the decision on your residence permit application is negative but you cannot return to Ukraine, you can apply for temporary protection

We have temporarily suspended issuing negative decisions that would involve removal from the country to Ukraine. In Finland, the enforcement of decisions regarding removal from the country is the responsibility of the police. The police operate in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement. The police have announced that they have suspended returns to Ukraine.

You have a valid certificate for seasonal work

If you came to Finland without a visa, you may stay in Finland for as long as you have visa-free residence time left, that is, up to 90 days

As a holder of a certificate for seasonal work, your right to work is valid 

  • for as long as you have visa-free residence time left, or
  • until your certificate for seasonal work expires. 

Your certificate for seasonal work is about to expire

If your certificate for seasonal work or your visa-free residence time is about to expire but you cannot return to Ukraine, you can apply for temporary protection. 

  • Temporary protection involves an unrestricted right to work, meaning that you can find employment in any field of your choice. If you apply for temporary protection while your certificate for seasonal work is valid, your right to work will become unrestricted immediately after you submit your application for temporary protection to the police or a border control authority.
    • The police or the border control authority will print out a certificate which you can use to prove your right to work. Read more about who can be granted temporary protection.
    • If you have already applied for temporary protection but have not received a certificate 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.

Read more about applying for temporary protection.

You want to do seasonal work in Finland but have not applied for a residence permit for seasonal work

Applications for a residence permit for seasonal work can only be submitted abroad. While in Finland, you can apply for a certificate for seasonal work if you have not already applied for temporary protection, asylum or other residence permit. If you receive a positive decision on your application for a certificate for seasonal work, you can apply for a residence permit for seasonal work before the certificate expires. Read more about how to apply for a residence permit for seasonal work

You can apply for temporary protection. Read the instructions on the page Temporary protection.

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. 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 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.