In the first week, more than a million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more are on the move both inside and outside the country. They are in need of protection and support.
If you are a Ukrainian citizen arriving in Finland due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, you can currently stay in the country visa-free or submit an application for asylum.
- If you hold a biometric passport, you can stay in Finland for a period of three months visa-free. For more information on relevant documents and visas, see the Ministry for Foreign Affairs websiteLink to an external website, Opens in a new tab.
- You can apply for asylum in Finland by visiting the police or a border control authority in person. Asylum applications cannot be submitted at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service or a reception centre. For more information on applying for asylum and the processing of asylum applications, see migri.fi/asylum-in-finland.
- If other grounds exist for applying for a residence permit in your case, such as family ties to Finland or employment, you can also apply for a residence permit on these grounds. There is a fee for submitting a residence permit application. More information on applications and requirements is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
The member states of the EU have decided that all EU countries, including Finland, must offer temporary protection to Ukrainians. The decision is expected to enter into force on 4 March, or in the following few days. For more information, see the press release published by the Ministry of the InteriorLink to an external website, Opens in a new tab (available in Finnish). Under the temporary protection mechanism, residence permits could be granted more quickly than is allowed by the normal asylum procedure.
We will make further instructions available in the next few days. You can stay up to date by following our customer bulletins.
Should you apply for asylum or wait for the EU’s decision regarding temporary protection?
The EU is likely to make its decision on the Temporary Protection Directive quickly, after which temporary protection could be granted in Finland.
You have the right to apply for asylum before then. As an asylum seeker, you can be provided accommodation at a reception centre as well as reception services.
Even if you apply for asylum now, you can still apply for temporary protection later.
Where can I find accommodation in Finland?
If you are applying for asylum, you can be provided accommodation at a reception centre. Accommodation at the reception centre will be organised so that you can be together with your family members. Unaccompanied minors are provided accommodation at a reception centre reserved for minors. There are a number of reception centres of different sizes across Finland. You will be directed to a reception centre with available beds. Staying at a reception centre.
As an asylum seeker, you may also arrange accommodation yourself. You can stay in private accommodation (with a relative or friend, for example) and still be registered at a reception centre. This allows you to receive the services related to the reception process, such as healthcare and reception allowance. Unaccompanied minors are always provided accommodation at a reception centre first. Staying in private accommodation.
If you are not an asylum seeker, you must organise accommodation in Finland yourself.
The Finnish Immigration Service is only responsible for coordinating the provision of accommodation to asylum seekers. Those granted protection under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive would also be entitled to reception and healthcare services as well as necessary social services and means of subsistence.
Can I work in Finland?
If you are an asylum seeker, you are allowed to find paid employment once three or six months have passed since you applied for asylum in Finland.
If you are staying in Finland visa-free, you can work subject to certain conditions.
If you have a job in Finland, you can also apply for a residence permit on the grounds of employment. You can submit your residence permit application online using the Enter Finland platform or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. More information on applications and requirements is available on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
Negative decisions leading to removal from the country to Ukraine are currently suspended
The Finnish Immigration Service is not currently making decisions on applications by Ukrainian nationals that would entail removal from the country. Positive decisions on applications for international protection and residence permits continue to be issued as normal to applicants meeting the relevant conditions.
Up-to-date information on the Finnish Immigration Service website
For up-to-date information on the impact of the situation in Ukraine, see the Finnish Immigration Service website at migri.fi.
We have also put together a list of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the situation in Ukraine.
The FAQ is updated as the situation develops.