The information on this page was collected from public resources and does not constitute legal advice.

General information on border crossing?

Applying for temporary protection

1. Once you have arrived in Finland, visit the police or a border control authority and inform them of your intention to apply for temporary protection. Applying is free of charge.

2. The police or border control authority registers your application for temporary protection and makes a record of:

  • your personal details and place of residence
  • details related to your arrival in Finland and the route you took to travel here
  • your family membersโ€™ details.
  • You will also need to provide a photo, fingerprints and a signature.

3. The police or border control authority will ask you whether you wish to apply for temporary protection only, or if you would also like to submit an application for asylum.

The differences between temporary protection and asylum will be explained to you, so that you can make an informed decision. You may also apply for asylum at a later date (see section Can I apply for asylum while under temporary protection?).

4. Following registration, the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision on your application. You will be heard before the decision is made only if the Finnish Immigration Service considers there to be a particular reason to do so.

5. You will be served with the decision.

  • The Finnish Immigration Service will send you the decision by post. The decision will be sent to the reception centre at which you are staying. If you live in private accommodation, the decision will be sent to the address which you have given as your Finnish address. For this reason, it is important that you notify your reception centre in Finland of any address changes in Finland without delay.
  • In cases when you are not served with the decision by post, you will be informed of the decision at the Finnish Immigration Service or at the police.

Please check the Finnish Immigration Service website mceclip0.png for more details on the application process.

Migration support (hotline) for refugees in Finland mceclip0.png.

Hotline number of the Migration Service of Finland +358 295 790 605 from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 12.00 pm and from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm

Consultation support is also provided by the Finnish Refugee Council by phone +358 44 724 9882, Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00.

Chatbot to help Ukrainians around the world from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

The chatbot can simultaneously serve several users and provide advice on the most common questions, namely:

  • rules of entry to a foreign country;
  • registration of temporary protection;
  • social security;
  • return to Ukraine;
  • consular services.

You can get help through the chatbot at the link mceclip0.png.

In addition to the chatbot, citizens can also contact the call center at +38 (044) 224-57-20.

What documents do I need to enter?

You can enter Finland with any of the following documents:

  • A biometric passport.
  • Ukrainian ID. According to the DPSU, currently only citizens of Ukraine evacuating from occupied territories or territories where hostilities are taking place can leave Ukraine with an internal passport, the list of which is approved in accordance with the Order of the Ministry on Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of December 22, 2022 No. 309 mceclip0.png.
  • Citizens from other territories must have a biometric passport to travel abroad.
  • Children under the age of 16 traveling with their parents must have a birth certificate. Children have the right to cross the border with one parent (without the official permission of the other parent). If the child is traveling with acquaintances or relatives, she/he needs to have a travel permit from one of the parents, certified by a notary.

In order to prove family/marital status, birth certificates and a marriage certificate are required.

The telephone number of the DPSU hotline ("Trust" Service) is 1598. You can use it for questions of a consultative nature within the competence of the State Border Service of Ukraine.

For more information about the documents with which you can cross the border, and about the categories of citizens who are allowed to travel outside Ukraine, see here mceclip0.png.

What happens after a border crossing?

When you arrive in Finland, if you have nowhere to stay, you need to go to the police station and apply for asylum or temporary protection or asylum, then the police will give you directions to a reception center where you will be given accommodation on the same day.

There is no time limit for temporary protection applications, meaning that you can apply immediately after crossing the border with Finland or at a later time. However, you need to make sure that your residence in Finland is legal. You are entitled to reception services after you have applied for temporary protection.

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. If you plan to stay in Finland after this period is over, you must apply for a residence permit.

How can I get from the border to the capital (a certain town)?

Finland's state-owned rail operator VR has announced mceclip0.png that all Ukrainian citizens can travel free of charge on long-distance and commuter trains by presenting their passport to the train's conductor. The offer is valid until the end of October 2022. VR will review the possible continuation of the policy. You can find routes and timetables here mceclip0.png.

Ukrainians can also travel free of charge by public transport in many cities of Finland by presenting a Ukrainian passport or a residence permit as a ticket. Please note that HSL will discontinue the right to free travel for Ukrainians in Helsinki from 1 Novermber 2022.

How can I travel to another (specific) country?

You can also travel by airplane, bus, car or train to different countries.

How long can I stay?

The Finnish Immigration Service issues residence permits on the basis of temporary protection for a maximum of one year at a time. The European Council has recently announced mceclip0.png that temporary protection for Ukrainians will be extended until March 2024. The Ministry of the Interior in Finland announced mceclip0.png on 12 September 2022 that it is drafting a law under which residence permits that have been granted on the basis of temporary protection could be extended so that they would automatically be valid at least until 4 March 2024.

The EU migration calculator mceclip0.png helps to calculate the number of days of stay in EU countries for those who do not apply for temporary protection.

Where can an unaccompanied minor get help?

It is recommended to contact the Finnish Immigration Service. A person who is under the age of 18 and who has arrived in Finland alone will be accommodated in a group home or a supported housing unit.

Please check the document of the Finnish Immigration Service Children who have fled Ukraine: You can get help in Finland mceclip0.png.

Are there any Covid-related requirements and if yes, what are they?

There are no Covid-related requirements.

Where do I register for temporary protection?

When crossing the border, it is advisable to immediately contact the border service to apply for Temporary Protection or Asylum. Border guards will help you with everything. If you are already in the country, you need to contact the police.

  1. Take pictures. It is advisable to do this before visiting the police station, as not all stations will be able to take your picture.
  2. Come to the police station indicated here mceclip0.png.
  3. Fill out the application form for Temporary Protection or Asylum. You will also be fingerprinted and your passport will be taken for scanning.
  4. The police must issue a document confirming that you have applied for Temporary Protection or Asylum. You need this document in order to get accommodation from the reception center (reception center).
  5. You will be directed to the reception center, where you will be registered, provided with housing, as well as social, medical and financial assistance.

Detailed instructions mceclip0.png on how to apply for registration online.

How to extend the status of temporary protection?

Ukrainian immigrants in Finland who plan to stay here for an indefinite period can apply for the residence permit in this country.

What does permanent registration provide?

  • you get the same rights, services and obligations as those who permanently reside in Finland;
  • permanent registration does not affect your citizenship or rights in Ukraine, nor is it an obstacle if you later wish to return to Ukraine.

You can apply to the Agency for Digital Information and Population Registration if you meet the following conditions:

  • you lived in Finland for a year;
  • you have a residence permit based on temporary protection, valid for at least one year;
  • you have a Finnish personal identification number.

Explanation of the second point: for example, you applied for a permit on the basis of temporary protection on May 5, 2022. You can apply for a permanent residence permit in the municipality of residence no earlier than May 5, 2023.

If you do not have a personal identification number, you can apply for one at your immigration reception center. From there, the application will be sent to the Digital Information Agency. Or you can visit the Agency yourself.

Applications for permanent residency can be submitted on the website mceclip0.png from March 1, 2023.

If you are working or studying, you can also apply for permanent residence if you have:

  • a residence permit based on temporary protection, valid for at least one year and a permanent place of work lasting at least 2 years or a place of study;
  • family member who has a permanent residence permit in the municipality of residence in Finland.
What are my rights while I wait to get temporary protection?

The estimated processing time for an application for temporary protection is approximately 2 weeks. After a decision has been issued, the Finnish Immigration Service will order a residence permit card for you. At present, it takes approximately 2 weeks to obtain a residence permit card. This means that you will be served with the decision and receive a residence permit card within approximately one month from the date on which you submitted your application.

You are not entitled to social security, work or study while waiting for the decision from the Finnish Immigration Service. The current processing time of the applications is 2 weeks. You are entitled to reside in Finland (e.g. in a reception center or with friends or family) while waiting for the decision.

What documents will I receive once I get temporary protection?

If you are granted temporary protection, you will receive:

  • a residence permit card. The residence permit card will be posted to you as soon as it is ready.
  • a personal identity code. Your personal identity code will be indicated on the residence permit card.
May I temporarily return to Ukraine? What will happen to my protection status?

You can travel to Ukraine if you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection. There are no limitations on the duration of your visit.

If you are waiting for a decision on your temporary protection application, see here mceclip0.png.

Please note that travelling abroad may affect your right to receive reception allowance. If you apply for reception allowance and intend to travel outside Finland, inform your reception centre of your trip.

What should be done before coming to Ukraine?

Relinquish temporary protection status:

Regardless of the country of residence, temporary protection must be waived. Your status will be revoked by the state body or institution where you issued the documents. However, citizens of Ukraine can re-obtain this status if they decide to return abroad.

Make sure your documents are valid:

Citizens who left Ukraine with a valid foreign passport will not face any difficulties. The expired document can be extended in diplomatic institutions for another five years - this decision was made by the Cabinet of Ministers, because it is not possible to issue biometrics abroad. You can also add a child's data to an adult's passport.

Ukrainians who have only an internal passport or who left Ukraine without documents should also contact the embassy or consulate. Employees of the institution will issue a special document - an identity card for returning to Ukraine (it is not necessary to pay the consular fee during martial law).

Cancel receiving cash assistance abroad:

When returning home, refugees cannot receive state benefits. If you do not notify the relevant institution about your departure from the country, it will be considered an offence. In such a case, a Ukrainian may be fined or even banned from entering the country.

By the way, it is not necessary to declare cash payments received abroad in Ukraine.

Can I move around the country and the European Union freely while under temporary protection?

Yes, you can move around the country freely. If you have been granted a residence permit based on the temporary protection in Finland, you can only travel in the Schengen countries without a visa. If you travel to any other countries outside the Schengen countries, you may need a visa. Check if you need a visa with an embassy or a consulate of the country in question.

If you are going leave Finland but intend to come back soon, you need to inform your reception centre of your travel intentions. Send them the following information:

  • when you intend to leave Finland and how long you intend to stay outside Finland
  • the date on which you will return to Finland, if known.

Include in your statement:

  • your first and last name
  • your Finnish Immigration Service customer number.

Send the statement to your own reception centre. You will find the contact information of reception centres on the page Reception centres mceclip0.png.

Please note that if you have also applied for asylum and you leave Finland, even for a short time, the Finnish Immigration Service will issue an expiry decision on your asylum application.

You must also notify Migri in advance. Write to them at via and indicate:

  • Your full name.
  • Migri customer number (customer number).
  • That you will return to Finland and do not want your application to be rejected/cancelled.
Can I apply for asylum while under temporary protection? What is the difference?

You can apply but the Finnish Immigration Service will suspend the processing of your asylum application for as long as the residence permit you have been issued on the basis of temporary protection is valid. Note, additionally, that this is a more difficult process that would prevent you from returning to Ukraine while you are considered a refugee.

You can apply for asylum at any border crossing with the authorities. Asylum can be granted if you have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in your home county or your country of permanent residence because of your origin, religion, nationality, membership in a certain social group or political opinions. Another requirement is that you cannot rely on the protection of the authorities of your home country or country of permanent residence because of the persecution you fear.

For more information about applying for asylum, see here mceclip0.png.

How and where can I apply for the residency?

Citizenship may be granted by application (this process is called โ€˜naturalisationโ€™). This requires a sufficient period of residence in Finland as well as showing language skills, financial means and fulfilling several other conditions.

How long does one need to wait to get the residency?

Citizenship can be granted to applicants who have lived and held a residence permit in Finland for a sufficient period of time. The necessary period of residence is

  • five years with a continuous residence permit or
  • four years with a continuous residence permit for those meeting the requirement regarding language skills.

For more information on the requirements for naturalisation, see here mceclip0.png.

How can a Ukrainian refugee register a newborn in this country?

You can register the birth of a child only at the consulate. There, the determination of his origin and the assignment of his surname, first name, and patronymic are carried out.

The application for registration must be submitted immediately, but no later than one month after the birth of the child, and in the case of a stillborn child - no later than three days.

The registration process takes place at the place of birth or at the place of residence of the child's parents or one of them (with a written application). At the same time, in case of illness, death of the parents or for other reasons it is impossible to register the birth - the application can be submitted by relatives or other persons authorized by the representative of the health care institution in which the child was born or is currently.

What is required for registration?

  • a document from a medical institution about the birth of a child, passports certifying the identity of the parents;
  • application (written or addressed orally) to enter information about the father.

Registration is free, and based on its results, parents are issued a birth certificate.

How to return to the homeland with a child born in the Finland?

In order for Ukrainians to return home with a child born in the Finland, they must have with them:

  • a document certifying his identity;
  • a child's birth certificate issued by a consular institution.

Is the status of a citizen of Ukraine preserved during the birth of a child in the Finland?

A newborn Ukrainian in the Finland retains the status of a citizen of Ukraine. Data on citizenship and nationality in the act record of birth and certificate are not filled in, which is why a corresponding entry is made in the column "For marks".

In addition, a person whose parents or one of his parents were citizens of Ukraine at the time of his birth is a citizen of Ukraine. The place of birth of the baby does not affect the possibility of him acquiring Ukrainian citizenship.

What if I don't have the international passport?

You do not need a biometric passport to enter if you are applying for temporary protection. You can apply for temporary protection immediately when crossing the border by informing the border control authorities.

How to issue a foreign passport while abroad?

In order to issue a foreign passport, you need to contact the Ukrainian Embassy mceclip0.png.

A foreign passport is issued to a person who has reached the age of 16 on the basis of an application-questionnaire submitted by him personally. At the same time, the issuance of a foreign passport to a person who has been recognized by the court as having limited legal capacity or incapacity is carried out on the basis of an application-questionnaire of the guardian or other legal representative.

The following are attached to the application:

  • previous passport to be exchanged (if the passport is not issued for the first time);
  • internal passport in the form of a booklet (if available);
  • or ID card (if available);
  • a document confirming permanent residence or temporary stay abroad (if available);
  • certificate of registration of the place of residence in Ukraine / certificate of registration of the place of residence of a temporarily displaced person (if available);
  • a certificate of assignment of the registration number of the taxpayer's registration card (RNOKPP; if available).

In case of loss or theft of the previous passport, a document (report, certificate, etc.) issued by the competent authority of the state in which the passport was lost or stolen is attached to the application, confirming the fact of the owner's application regarding its loss or theft. Such a document is submitted without legalization and translation into Ukrainian.

In the case of issuing a passport in connection with a change in personal data (surname and/or first name), a document confirming such a change (marriage certificate, divorce certificate, court decision, etc.) is attached to the application. When issuing a foreign passport with a new surname and/or first name, the "domestic" passport (ID card) must be reissued.

In the event that the applicant has not previously been issued with an identity document, confirming Ukrainian citizenship and/or granting the right to leave Ukraine and enter Ukraine, a certificate of registration of the person as a citizen of Ukraine is provided (with the exception of cases when the person's parents at the time of his were citizens of Ukraine at birth).

Where to apply in case of death of a Ukrainian abroad? How to repatriate the deceased to their homeland?

There are several steps involved in the process of body repatriation from abroad to Ukraine:

1. Notify the authorities.

The first step of body repatriation from abroad to Ukraine is to contact the local authorities in Finland, so you can register the death. Ukrainian embassy mceclip0.png should also be able to help you in the process of registering the death abroad.

2. Arrange the correct documents.

Youโ€™ll need to have all the right paperwork before you can repatriate your loved one home from abroad to Ukraine. If you are repatriating a body to Ukraine for burial or cremation, the documents you will need include:

  • Death Certificate.
  • Certificate or Affidavit from the local health authorities stating that the cause of death of the individual to be shipped to Ukraine was not a communicable disease or infections.
  • A Document about the absence of any excessive objects inside the casket or urn with the ashes.
  • The Certificate of Cremation issued be the Funeral home or Cremation office.

All the mentioned documents should be authenticated, legalized and translated into Ukrainian by the certified translator. The originals of abovementioned documents and notarized translations, must accompany the casket containing the deceased, or urn with ashes, to Ukraine.

The passport of the deceased person should be sent to the Embassy of Ukraine along with a notarized and authenticated copy of the Certificate of Death, and a translation from Finnish to Ukrainian. The Embassy is to make correspondent procedures with the passport and can forward it back if it is required to accompany the casket containing the deceased, or urn with ashes, to Ukraine.

The Embassy is to be informed of the date, time, and the place of delivery of the casket containing the deceased, or urn with ashes, to Ukraine. Only the next of kin relatives of the deceased, or persons correspondingly authorized by them, can receive the casket or urn.

3. Transport the deceased to Ukraine.

The casket containing the body, or urn with ashes, must be sealed by the Funeral Home. There are no strict requirements with respect to the urn with ashes; however, the body should be transported in a metal casket, made of zinc-plated steel or tinplate not more than 0,4 thick.

For the air cargo transportation, it is necessary to specify a cemetery in Ukraine as well as Ukrainian Funeral Home which will take care of the casket, or the urn with ashes, in Ukraine. Both are a subject of private choice by the relatives or friends of the deceased person. Source mceclip0.png.

Where can I take a photo for my documents?

If you have a Ukrainian passport, you can take photos for free in Verkkokauppa mceclip0.png and Gigantti stores. Kuvatehdas mceclip0.png gives a 50% discount (โ‚ฌ10). Please note that the photos themselves may not be given to you, instead they will send an SMS with the number of the photo. You can specify this number at the police when filling out the form.

Where can I translate my documents?

You can translate your documents at any translation agency in your city. Search for ยซasiakirjojen kรครคntรคminenยป on Google.

How do I get Mobile phone/internet services?

&The major mobile operators in Finland are Elisa Saunalahti, DNA, and Telia. Telia offers mceclip0.png free pre-paid SIM cards for refugees, as well as free calls to Ukraine.

Do you have a legal question that you canโ€™t find an answer for in our FAQs?

Please write to us so we can provide you with legal support. Our pro-bono legal partners will try to respond to your legal request to the best of their ability and knowledge. Please note that due to a high volume of requests, you will receive an answer in a few days after submitting the request at the earliest. Thank you for your patience.