Living in Finland


Suomessa ilman oleskelulupaa

In Finland without a residence permit

If you need a visa or residence permit but do not have one, you are in Finland illegally. However, asylum seekers have the right to stay in Finland without a visa or residence permit for the duration of the processing of their asylum application.

Even if you have arrived in Finland legally, your stay may become illegal if, for example, you remain in the country even though you have not received a residence permit or the validity of your visa or residence permit has expired.

If you are in the country illegally, you are not entitled to work or study at education institutes. You are not entitled to social security, public health care or insurance. In addition, you cannot obtain a Finnish personal identification number, which makes handling matters more difficult. The personal identification number is required in state offices, banks and hospitals.

Information about how to obtain a residence permit for Finland is available on the Infopankki page Moving to Finland.

Help and advice

The Refugee Advice Centre provides free legal advice to undocumented immigrants. Advice is available at the number 045 237 7104 (Mondays 3 pm–4 pm). The advice is provided by a lawyer. You can also contact the centre by e-mail: paperittomat(at) More information is available on the website of the Refugee Advice Centre.

If you are in Finland without a residence permit, you can get medical assistance and advice from the Global Clinic. Global Clinic operates in the following cities:

  • Helsinki
  • Turku
  • Oulu
  • Joensuu
  • Tampere

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.

linkkiThe Finnish Refugee Advice Centre:
Legal adviceFinnish | English | French | Arabic

linkkiGlobal Clinic:
Contact informationFinnish | English

linkkiGlobal Clinic:
Health services for undocumented migrantsFinnish | English | French | Romanian