Migri sees decrease in need for reception centre capacity

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The overall need for reception capacity has decreased, as fewer Ukrainians have arrived in the country than last year, while many have left the reception system, said the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) in a press release on Friday.

As the need for capacity decreases, several reception centres will be closed.

In recent years, the number of asylum seekers has been moderate. However, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, more than 60,000 temporary protection applicants have arrived in Finland.

To accommodate the peak in arrivals, nearly 100 new reception centres were opened around the country.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 20 reception centres and seven minors’ units were in operation in Finland.

The Migri has reception centres in Helsinki, Lappeenranta (Joutseno) and Oulu. Other reception centres are run by organisations, municipalities and private enterprises, among others.

In 2023, the number of arrivals has been significantly lower than the previous year. In addition, many Ukrainians are moving from reception centres to municipalities. When the number of customers in the reception system decreases, the capacity is adjusted accordingly, and the total number of reception centres is reduced.

“The Finnish Immigration Service has recently decided to close eight reception centres. Before the closures, the capacity exceeded the demand from the preparedness perspective. It was therefore decided to close the centres with the highest overall costs. We are expecting that with the decreasing number of customers, the reception capacity will be further adjusted closer to the level before the war in Ukraine,” said Director of the Reception Unit Elina Nurmi.

The Finnish Immigration Service’s primary aim is to avoid the relocation of customers from one locality or reception centre to another. If this is impossible, the Finnish Immigration Service aims to enable at least those customers who are working or studying for a degree to stay within the same area.

More than 45,000 people who fled Ukraine last year can apply for a municipality of residence in Finland in 2023 after staying in Finland for a continuous year. After receiving a municipality of residence, those who have fled Ukraine switch from being customers of the reception services to services users of municipalities and wellbeing services counties. Municipalities provide Ukrainians with a range of integration and employment services.

In principle, the reception system is intended only for temporary, not permanent, accommodation. Customers are encouraged to transfer to municipal service provision as soon as this become possible with the right to apply for a municipality of residence. One of the advantages of applying for a municipality of residence is that those eligible may choose their place of residence.

If the customer has previously lived in a reception centre or in accommodation arranged by a reception centre, the accommodation must be arranged and paid for by the customer in the future. Ukrainians who have received a municipality of residence have the right to apply for social assistance and a housing allowance from Kela.

The right to work will continue unchanged. A person receiving temporary protection may register with the TE Office as an unemployed job seeker. Once the municipality of residence has been confirmed, the customer can access the municipal work try-out scheme if the municipality in question participates in the scheme.

Obtaining a municipality of residence also makes it easier to arrange child care: the child has the right to a place in early childhood education, even if both parents or one of them is staying at home. A child of preschool age is obliged to participate in preschool education, and children and young people of compulsory school age are subject to compulsory schooling.

Social and health services are no longer available for municipal residents through the reception centre. They are provided by the wellbeing services county. The municipal residence status gives the right to various social services, while the provision of health services remains unchanged.

  •  Migri
  •  Refugee

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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