Offering transportation for Ukrainians to Finland
Several organisations and private individuals have announced that they will be offering transportation to Finland for people who have fled the Russian military attack on Ukraine.
The Finnish Immigration Service is asking all voluntary transport organisers providing transport for Ukrainian nationals from Ukraine to Finland to submit preliminary passenger information.
A directive on temporary protection has been introduced in the European Union to help those fleeing from Ukraine. On this basis, the following groups are subject to temporary protection until 4 March 2023:
• Ukrainian citizens and their family members.
• Persons who have been under international protection in Ukraine, and their family members.
• Persons who have lived permanently in Ukraine and who cannot return to their home country.
The requirement is that the person has lived in Ukraine and left Ukraine after the starting of the Russian military attack, in other words on or after 24 February 2022.
In addition to the above groups, temporary protection in Finland is given to:
• Ukrainian citizens and their family members, who fled Ukraine just before 24 February 2022 and who cannot return to Ukraine.
• Other Ukrainian citizens who are already staying in Finland or who have arrived in Finland, and their family members.
• Citizens of non-EU countries who have stayed legally in Ukraine (also other than permanent residents) and who cannot return to their home country.
Granting of temporary protection enables protection to be offered to a limited group in a fast process that is more fluent than the asylum process.
Like asylum seekers, those receiving temporary protection have a right to live at a reception centre and a right to receive services arranged by a reception centre. They can obtain, for example, health care services and necessary social services, and their necessary livelihood is ensured. If they want, they can also arrange their housing themselves. Those receiving temporary protection can work right away.
The Finnish Ministry of the Interior and the Immigration Service are preparing a procedure for granting temporary protection. The Immigration Service is drawing up guidelines for those subject to temporary protection.
Accommodation in Finland
An asylum seeker can have accommodation at a reception centre. Housing at a reception centre is arranged so that the asylum seeker can live together with his or her family members. Minors with no custodians have housing arranged at a reception centre intended for minors. There are reception centres of different sizes in different parts of Finland. An asylum seeker is assigned to a reception centre with vacancy.
Asylum seekers can also arrange their own housing. An asylum seeker can live in private accommodation with a relative or friend, for example, and still be registered at the reception centre. In this case, the asylum seeker has access to services related to the reception process, such as health care and reception allowance. Minors with no custodians always have housing arranged first at a reception centre.
The Finnish Immigration Service coordinates accommodation for asylum seekers only. Those under the EU’s temporary protection would also have access to the reception and health services, necessary social services and necessary livelihood security.
After reporting with the police, a person seeking asylum or temporary protection is directed to reception centres with vacancy. The reception centre of Kouvola is located in Tornionmäki.
Ukrainian nationals are not issued negative decisions currently.
The Finnish Immigration Service does not currently make negative decisions concerning Ukrainian nationals, where the person would have to leave Finland as a result of the decision. Positive decisions are typically given to those seeking international protection or residence permit, when the preconditions of granting the permit sought are fulfilled.
Up-to-date information on the situation in Ukraine can be found at the website of Finnish Immigration service.
Working in Finland
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland has put together information on the stay of persons coming from Ukraine, their temporary protection, working in Finland and the services available in Finland in the kotoutuminen.fi online service.