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Temporary protection in Finland

Persons fleeing the war in Ukraine can apply for a residence permit in Finland based on temporary protection. This page gives information on how to apply for the permit and what rights it covers.

If you have fled Ukraine due to the war or cannot return there due to the war, you can apply for temporary protection in Finland. You can be granted a residence permit quickly based on temporary protection.

On the basis of temporary protection, a residence permit can be granted to

  • citizens of Ukraine who are unable to return to Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion,
  • non-EU citizens who have legally resided in Ukraine and are unable to return safely to their country of origin, and
  • family members of the aforementioned if the family tie was formed in Ukraine before 24 February 2022.

You can apply for temporary protection in Finland from the police or border authorities. Tell the police or border authorities that you want to apply for temporary protection. The application is free of charge.

After you have applied for temporary protection, you can live in a reception centre and use the services provided by the centre. You have the right to use the reception services even after your residence permit has been granted on the basis of temporary protection.

The Finnish Immigration Service will send you the residence permit decision by post to the reception centre or to the address you indicated in your application. If you are granted a residence permit, you will also get a residence permit card. You will receive a decision on your application approximately two weeks after submitting the application.

The web pages of the Finnish Immigration Service provide more information on applying for temporary protection.

Link redirects to another websiteFinnish Immigration Service

Temporary protection

Validity of residence permits

Residence permits issued based on temporary protection are valid until 4 March 2024. If you already have a residence permit based on temporary protection that expires before 4 March 2024, it will automatically be extended to 4 March 2024. You do not need to apply for an extension of your residence permit.

Work and studies in Finland

You have the right to work and study in Finland immediately after you have applied for temporary protection. Once you receive a residence permit, you are also entitled to receive services intended for unemployed jobseekers from the TE Office.

Finnish personal identity code

You will receive a Finnish personal identity code when you get your temporary protection residence permit. If you have a residence permit but no personal identity code, you can apply for a personal identity code through your reception centre or visit a service location of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV). If you have a job, you can get a personal identity code from some tax offices at the same time that you apply for a tax card.

Right to Finnish social security

You can become entitled to Kela benefits if you work in Finland or have been living in Finland for at least a year. Before that, you are entitled to the services of your reception centre. You can receive a reception allowance if your or your family members’ income and assets are not enough to cover necessary expenses, such as food and clothes.

There is more information on social security in Finland on the InfoFinland page Finnish social security

Municipality of residence in Finland

You can apply for a municipality of residence if you have had a residence permit in Finland for a year. You can get a municipality of residence earlier if, for example, you work or study in Finland and your employment contract or study programme lasts for at least two years. You can also get a municipality of residence earlier if you have a family member who has a municipality of residence in Finland and you can prove your family ties with, for example, your original marriage certificate or birth certificate.

Once you have a municipality of residence, you have the same rights, services and obligations as permanent residents of Finland. This is useful if you plan to stay in Finland for the time being. Read more about what a municipality of residence means on the InfoFinland pageMunicipality of residence in Finland.

As of 1 March 2023, you can apply for a municipality of residence online on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. You can only apply online if you have had a residence permit in Finland for at least a year.