Asylum seeker

Who is an asylum seeker?

An asylum seeker is a person who seeks protection and right of residence in a different country. International protection can be given to a person who has a justified reason to fear persecution (due to origin, religion, nationality, membership in a specific group or political opinion) or who would otherwise be in real danger in their home country or country of permanent residence.

This means that an asylum seeker is not a refugee. If an asylum seeker is granted refugee status or a residence permit based on protection or on other grounds, they can stay in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
The brochure Information for Asylum SeekersFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | French | Somali | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish

An asylum seeker's right of residence

You can stay in Finland if you are granted asylum or a residence permit on other grounds. If the conditions in your home country are such that you do not need asylum and there are no other grounds for granting a residence permit, your application will be rejected, and you will be expelled from Finland.

If your asylum application or residence permit application is rejected, you can appeal the decision. Read more on the InfoFinland page Asylum in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Seeking asylum in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

Social security

Asylum seekers are not entitled to social security in Finland. This means that they cannot obtain social security benefits from Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland).

The reception centre pays asylum seekers a reception allowance. The allowance is paid until the asylum application has been processed. The reception allowance is a small amount of money intended for necessary expenses.

Asylum seekers who are granted a residence permit and who live permanently in Finland are entitled to social security in Finland. Persons who have been granted a residence permit can apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system from Kela.

Family reunification

Asylum seekers are not entitled to family reunification arrangements. Your family members cannot receive a residence permit for Finland based on a family tie. If you receive a residence permit for Finland, your family members can apply for a permit on the basis of a family tie. Read more on the InfoFinland page Moving to Finland as a family member.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Applying for a residence permit on the basis of family tiesFinnish | Swedish | English


Asylum seekers cannot normally use public health services, such as health centres, directly. Instead, the reception centre arranges health services for them. The reception centre's public health nurse refers the asylum seeker to medical care. More information is available at your reception centre.

If you are granted a residence permit and have a municipality of residence in Finland, you are entitled to use the public health services of your municipality, similarly to all citizens of your municipality.

Health care for undocumented migrants

If you are in Finland without a residence permit, you can get medical assistance and advice from the Global Clinic. You can go to the Global Clinic even if you do not need urgent medical care. Global Clinic operates in the following cities:

  • Helsinki
  • Turku
  • Tampere
  • Oulu
  • Joensuu
  • Lahti

You can call or send an e-mail to the Clinic. A nurse or a doctor will answer the call. You will find the contact information on the Global Clinic website.

The services of the Global Clinic are free of charge. The Global Clinic will not report its customers to the police or other authorities. The location and opening hours of the clinic are not listed publicly.

linkkiGlobal Clinic:
Contact informationFinnish | English | Russian | French | Arabic | Romanian | Bulgarian