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10 Nov. 2022

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Temporary protection in Finland: registration of Tilapäinen suojelu, social support and education

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Temporary protection in Finland: registration of Tilapäinen suojelu, social support and education

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
BUY


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.


Auto


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.


Dwelling


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.


Medical services


Ukrainians who have obtained the status of temporary protection have the right to medical assistance. Each refugee reception center has a medical worker who, if necessary, organizes receiving medical assistance. To learn more, contact the center where you were registered.

Most often, you can get help from a doctor only in the municipality where you live. Ukrainians have the right to the same services and at the same prices as local residents. Also, everyone who officially works in Finland has the right to receive services in the institutions of the state health care system.

We draw your attention, if you are planning a trip abroad, you should take care of the insurance policy, because it is the guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine. In order not to have trouble abroad and to be calm for yourself and your loved ones, Visit Ukraine recommends taking out medical insurance in advance.

If someone is in danger, call 112.

Financial assistance


You can request financial assistance when filling out an application for Temporary Protection.

In Finland, monetary assistance is provided for reception, but it is given only to those with a small income. The amount is calculated individually and depends on your income and the income of your family. It is necessary to submit an application for cash assistance from reception to the refugee center where you are registered.

Ukrainians who have not yet registered at the reception center or have not yet received the necessary financial assistance due to the overcrowding of the centers can apply for short-term assistance from Kela (a state institution that provides basic economic security for everyone living in Finland). This could be a voucher for groceries at the supermarket or necessary prescription medicine. You can apply at the Kela office or fill out the "toimeentulotukia" form on the website. The voucher is valid for one week.

Free travel


Ukrainians are entitled to free travel on Finnish railways (VR). Always have a Ukrainian passport with you, the country also accepts an electronic passport in the "Diia" application.

Until the end of the year, travel on buses in Riikhimyak is free.

Since November, public transport in the capital region (HSL) has become paid for Ukrainians: buses, trams, metro, purple electric trains.

Where to look for work?


If you have applied for temporary protection status, you can work immediately after submitting the documents.

You can look for a job, for example, with the help of the charity organization Startup Refugees, all services and vacancies are free. You can also contact the national Finnish employment agency TE-toimisto. On the organization's website, you can find open vacancies, make a search, selection and employment plan together with a TE-toimisto employee, and you can also get comprehensive information about training/internship and social support during the period of unemployment.

The sites DuunitoriStaffPoint or Monster will also come in handy.

Without knowledge of the Finnish language, jobs are available mainly in agriculture, cleaning or construction.

Education


School education in Finland is free. Books and other materials used in education are also free. Children also receive free hot meals in school.

Preschool education is paid according to family income. It can be free if you are in a difficult financial situation.

You can enroll in an educational institution in the municipality of the region where you live. You can also get consultation or advice about education at your refugee reception center.

More detailed information about temporary protection in Finland and many useful contacts are collected on the Ukrainian support portal.