Information for people arriving from Ukraine
Entering the country
The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) provides assistance in matters related to immigration.
If you are fleeing the Russian attack on Ukraine, you can stay in Finland visa-free for three months or apply for temporary protection or asylum.
Read the guidelines and customer instructions on the Finnish Immigration Service’s website at https://migri.fi/en/ukraine. Instructions are available in Finnish, Ukrainian, English and Russian.
If you are applying for temporary protection or asylum, you can stay at a reception centre. You can also arrange your own accommodation. More information on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service:
Living in a reception centre (in English)
Living in private accommodation (in English)
Customer instructions (In Finnish, Ukrainian, English, Russian)
You can enquire about the rental apartments of the City of Lappeenranta from Lappeenrannan Asuntopalvelu Oy, whose website has information in Finnish and English.
Social, health care and immigration services
The right to health and social services is determined by the status based on which the person is staying in Finland. The status can be temporary protection or an asylum seeker, a person who entered Finland with a biometric passport (as a tourist) or who resides here on the basis of work/studies.
The person’s reception centre organises health and social services in the case of:
- Temporary protection
- An asylum seeker
The wellbeing services county of South Karelia organises health and social services in the case of:
- A person who entered Finland as a tourist: The person is only entitled to urgent and necessary services and usually must pay the costs of the services himself/herself
The person’s occupational health care, student health care or the wellbeing services county of South Karelia organises health services in the case of:
- An employee
- A degree student
Read more on the website of the wellbeing services county of South Karelia.
In the case of a life-threatening medical emergency, such as a serious accident or seizure, always call the general emergency number 112. Calling the emergency number does not cost anything. There are instructions for calling the emergency number in different languages on the Emergency Response Centre’s website.
Momentti, the multilingual guidance and counselling centre, also advises and guides refugees from Ukraine in Finnish, Ukrainian, Russian and English.
In Finland, the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) is responsible for granting basic income support, and its website provides information on Kela benefits and basic social assistance:
How the war in Ukraine affects the benefits available from Kela (kela.fi)
Effects of the war in Ukraine on basic social assistance (kela.fi)
In English: How the war in Ukraine affects the benefits available from Kela (kela.fi)
In English: Social security rights of persons arriving in Finland in the wake of the situation in Ukraine (kela.fi)
In Ukrainian: Права на соціальне забезпечення осіб, які прибувають до Фінляндії у зв'язку з поточною ситуацією в Україні
In Russian: Права на социальное обеспечение лиц, прибывающих в Финляндию в связи с текущей ситуацией в Украине
As an asylum seeker, you can take up gainful employment three or six months after applying for asylum. If you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection, you immediately have the right to work. If you are staying in Finland visa-free, you can work in certain roles.
More information on work is available on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service (in Finnish and Ukrainian).
Early childhood education
Parents of children under school age have a statutory right to choose between the following options for arranging child care:
- caring for children at home;
- early childhood education organised by the municipality; or
- early childhood education with private child care allowance or service voucher.
The service counsellor for early childhood education provides parents with information on all early childhood education services organised by the City of Lappeenranta and offers more detailed advice on applying for early childhood education services.
The service counsellor’s languages of service are Finnish and English. The service counsellor can be contacted either by phone or email:
tel. +358 40 621 2488, palveluohjausvaka(at)edu.lappeenranta.fi
Basic education and preparatory education
Enrolment of Ukrainian children in school/preparatory education
- School enrolment takes place at the Customer Service Centre Winkki at the City Hall (Villimiehenkatu 1, 1st floor by the main doors)
- The enrolment is generally done by the child’s guardian.
- Passport or other proof of identity is required for enrolment, if available. If not available, a certificate of application for temporary protection is required so that the name of the child and the guardian can be recorded in the same way as in the application.
- At Winkki, you will complete a form asking for basic information about the child and guardians for school. The form has been translated into English, Ukrainian and Russian. Winkki employees speak Finnish and English.
- The information will be sent to the child’s future school. The principal or a teacher will contact the guardian or contact person about starting school once the preparations have been made.
- Preparatory education for basic education is arranged at Joutseno School (grades 1–9) as well as at the Skinnarila branch (grades 1–6) and the upper comprehensive branch (grades 7–9) of Sammonlahti School. The child is referred to the school closest to his or her place of residence.
- Free school transport is provided if the distance to school is over 5 kilometres (bus pass or school taxi). The school will give instructions on transports if needed.
- Compulsory education only applies to children who have an official municipality of residence in Finland. People who have been granted a residence permit on the basis of temporary protection do not have a municipality of residence, so they are not subject to compulsory education. Therefore, families can decide for themselves whether or not to send children to school. The situation changes if the person is assigned a municipality of residence at some point.
Holders of a Ukrainian passport travel free of charge on Lappeenranta public transport until further notice
The City of Lappeenranta wants to express its support for the Ukrainians who have been forced to leave their homes because of the war.
For the time being, Ukrainian citizens can use a valid Ukrainian passport or other suitable document for travel on public transport in Lappeenranta, no other ticket is required.
The right to travel applies to local public transport lines 1–47, to service lines P1 and P3 and to commuter lines 110–610.
Ukrainians also have the right to travel for free on lines 100 and 101 between Lappeenranta and Imatra.
Terhi Koski, Public Transport Manager
tel. +358 40 651 5599, terhi.koski(at)lappeenranta.fi
Finland is complying with the European Commission’s request and allows the pets of refugees to enter the country with their owner even if the pet does not meet the entry conditions. However, pet owners must register with their pet at Finnish Customs when crossing the border.
After that, pet owners must contact a local veterinarian within three days. Contact a veterinarian even if you have not been able to register your pet at the border station. A veterinary check related to a pet’s entry conditions is free of charge for Ukrainian pet owners.
Before taking your pet to a veterinary clinic, schedule an appointment with the clinic.
Veterinary appointments can be made, for example, at a municipal veterinary clinic. The contact information and telephone numbers of municipal veterinarians in the Lappeenranta region are provided on the website of the City of Lappeenranta (in English).
Read more about the instructions for importing pets on the Finnish Food Authority’s website (in Finnish, English, Ukrainian and Russian). The instructions contain information on the entry requirements for pets.