Temporary protection in Finland: registration of Tilapäinen suojelu, social support and education
Finland automatically extended temporary protection for Ukrainians for another year, i.e. until March 2024. According to the new resolution of the Government of the country, those Ukrainians who have already received a residence permit in the country should not apply for its extension, the procedure will be completed automatically.
Since the start of the full-scale invasion, the Finns have sheltered 41,000 Ukrainians, however, the number of refugees may increase to 48,000 by the end of the year. About where to apply for temporary protection in Finland and what rights it gives to Ukrainians in the future.
Rules of entry
You can cross the border with Finland if you have a foreign biometric passport, but if you don't have it, you can provide any other identity document. At the Finnish border, they only ask for Ukrainian documents and let everyone through, regardless of gender. However, if you plan to arrive in the country by plane, note that most airlines do not allow passengers to board without a biometric passport.
Vaccination or Covid test are not required to cross the border.
Finland allows pets to accompany refugees, even if the official conditions for the entry of a pet (prior application and permit) are not met. In this case, the animal must be placed in isolation. The reception center Riihimäen vastaanottokeskus accepts Ukrainians with animals.
You can stay in the country under visa-free conditions for up to 90 days, or obtain temporary protection status. It is also possible to apply for refugee status. About the features of applying for asylum in the EU, see the link.
You have the right to use your own car for six months without any registration with the border service or the tax office. This period can be extended for one more year by submitting a relevant application to the tax office in advance. However, a mandatory condition for using a car is the presence of valid insurance (green card). You can purchase a "Green Card" insurance policy by following the link.
You can drive in Finland with a Ukrainian driver's license, and you do not need to present a translation of the license or an international driver's license.
Where to apply for protection?
Temporary protection status can be issued immediately upon crossing the border. For this, it is necessary to contact the border service. If you are already in the country, you need to visit the police station. You must have photos with you. As part of the procedure, you will fill out a certain application, you will also be fingerprinted and your passport will be taken for scanning.
The police must issue a document confirming that you have applied for Temporary Protection. You need this document in order to get housing from the refugee reception center (reception center, taksupaskekuskus).
Temporary protection (Tilapäinen suojelu) speeds up the procedure for obtaining a residence permit until March 2025. Requests for Temporary Protection are considered for about three weeks.
After receiving the status of temporary protection, you need to go to the refugee reception center (reception center, taksipskekeskus) - this is the place where you will be registered, where you can live, and where you will be provided with the necessary assistance.
All arriving refugees must register at the reception center, even if you do not need any assistance from the state.
Finland provides Ukrainians with social housing. You can live in refugee reception centers located throughout Finland. The conditions are different, in some you will have your own or shared kitchen, and in others you will be fed. The place where you can be accommodated depends on your age, gender, family size and personal circumstances.
Finnish volunteers also take in refugees from Ukraine. Home stay is always free and voluntary for both parties. However, it is still recommended to conclude a written agreement on living conditions (housework, distribution of expenses, house rules, etc.). You can search for housing in the relevant communities on Facebook.
Also, a large selection of places to stay is collected on the Host4Ukraine platform.
You can rent housing independently on the sites: Vuokraovi and Oikotie. After you have found a home that suits you, you need to sign a rental agreement (vuokrasopimus), get insurance (kotivaukutus) for the period of your stay and sign utility contracts.
Where to look for work?
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.