Information for people arriving from Ukraine

Information for people arriving from Ukraine

Information for people arriving from Ukraine

This page has information on the city of Joensuu’s services. Joensuu’s area includes: Eno, Joensuu, Kiihtelysvaara, Pyhäselkä and Tuupovaara. More information on the services of other municipalities in Northern Karelia can be found on their own websites.

Entry into the country

If you have fled Ukraine due to Russia’s attack, you can stay in Finland at the moment visa-free, apply for asylum or apply for temporary protection. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) can help you with matters related to entering the country. You have a right:

  • To stay in Finland for 3 months visa-free if you have a biometric passport. In that case, you do not need to register anywhere. Be aware, however, that you do not have a right to the reception center’s or the municipality’s services without a residence permit. You may receive emergency accommodations and urgent healthcare if needed.
  • To seek asylum in Finland. You can personally submit an asylum application to the police or border control authority. You cannot submit an asylum application to the Finnish Immigration Service’s office or reception center.
  • To apply for a residence permit on other grounds, such as family ties in Finland or a workplace.
  • To apply for temporary protection.

Additional information on the Finnish Immigration Service’s webpages:
Temporary protection
Frequently asked questions about Russia's attack on Ukraine and its effects on Russian citizens

Applying for asylum or temporary protection in Joensuu

You need to register with the police or the border authority if you are applying for asylum or temporary protection. The Eastern Finland Police Department is asking you or a person assisting you to call the service number 0295 455 380 on a weekday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. or send an email to before submitting the application to the police station. The service is available in Finnish and English.

The police will record your information after the phone call or email and forward your application to the nearest police station that processes these applications. Contacting the police department in advance speeds up the application process. 

You can also visit the police station in person. The address of the Joensuu police station is Pykäläkuja 1, 80110 Joensuu, open on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.


Emergency accommodation

Siun sote’s social services’ information and service guidance tel. 013 330 2810

  • Monday–Thursday at 1–3 p.m.
  • Friday at 1–2 p.m.

At other times the Social emergency services provide help in social welfare crisis situations mainly in the evenings and weekends in the area of Northern Karelia, tel. 013 330 9002.

Reception centre

If you have applied for asylum or temporary protection, accommodation will be organised for you through the reception centre. Joensuu does not have large reception centres, so accommodation is organised in rental apartments instead. 

Please note that in order to receive an apartment through the reception centre, you must first apply for international protection (asylum or temporary protection) to the police. 

Private accommodation

You may also stay with acquaintances or relatives, or organise your own accommodation. However, you must apply for international protection (asylum or temporary protection) in order to access the reception centre’s services. 

You can inquire Joensuun Kodit Oy about the city’s rental apartments: Instructions on Applying (


Siun sote is responsible for Joensuu’s municipal social and healthcare services. 

You have a right to urgent care in public healthcare and to necessary social welfare services. If you are a customer of the reception centre, you will receive social and health services through the reception centre. 

Additional information:
Instructions when arriving from Ukraine (

In the case of serious, life-threatening illnesses and accidents, always call the general emergency number 112. 

Calling the emergency number does not cost anything. You can also download the 112 application for smartphones (Android, iOS,) through which you can make the emergency call. In this case, the caller’s location information is sent to the emergency center automatically. You may never end an emergency call before you get permission from the emergency center. You may not call the emergency number in nonurgent circumstances. More information on The Emergency Response Centre Agency's website

Joensuu’s reception centre

Finland’s Red Cross has opened a reception centre service point in Joensuu city centre. If you have applied for asylum or temporary protection, accommodation in a rental apartment and reception services will be organised for you. 

Through the reception centre, you will receive a reception allowance, social and health services, interpretation services, and guidance and advice. 

The reception centre’s services are intended for those applying for asylum or temporary protection. Before you visit the centre, you must register at the police station. 

Joensuu’s reception services
Torikatu 17, Joensuu 

Service number 040 182 2286
Open Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

We provide services in Finnish, English and Russian/Ukrainian 

We ask that customers please book a time in advance using the service number in order to avoid crowding!

Economic security

Kela (Kansaneläkelaitos) is responsible for granting basic social assistance in Finland.

You can find more information on Kela’s webpages:
How the war in Ukraine affects the benefits available from Kela (


As an asylum seeker, you may work three or six months after you have applied for asylum. If you are staying in Finland visa-free, you may work in certain tasks.If you have received a residence permit on the grounds of temporary protection, you have an immediate right to work.

More information: Instructions on arriving in Finland from Ukraine (

Register as a jobseeker by personally visiting TE Services (Public employment and business services): 

TE Services office Joensuu
Torikatu 36 A 4 krs., Joensuu
Open Mon–Fri 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Employment service point Luotsi
Kauppakeskus Centrum
Kauppakatu 29, Joensuu
Open Mon–Fri 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Telephone/WhatsApp: 050 470 6553

Additional information:
Luotsi in English (
Seasonal work helpline (


There are two universities in Joensuu: the University of Eastern Finland and Karelia University of Applied Sciences. Vocational education and training is organised by the vocational institution Riveria

Free-of-charge advice on education in Joensuu is available from the SIMHE service or Luotsi, for example.

Studying opportunities offered to Ukrainians by the educational institutions: 
Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Day care: Early childhood education and care

You may apply for a place for your child in open early education if you do not work or study. Open early education provides activities for 2–5-year-old children two, three or five times a week depending on the group, and each session lasts three hours. The time needed to arrange a place in open early education is two weeks in this case.

If you work or study, you may apply for an urgent place in full-time day care for your child. The time needed to arrange an urgent day care place is two weeks. The time needed to arrange a day care place in nonurgent cases is four months.

You may apply for a day care place through the form on the webpages: Day care

School: Preparatory instruction and basic education 

You can register your child to a school immediately after arriving in the country if you have applied for asylum or temporary protection. The City of Joensuu arranges education for children and young people aged 6–17. In addition to basic education, our schools provide preparatory education for children and young people who have recently moved to Finland. Participating in this education does not require a residence permit.

Applications for a school place in preparatory instruction and basic education in Finnish, English and Russian:

Please send the completed application to the education services’ e-mail address:

Additional information in Finnish and English:
Maria Pikkarainen
service manager, teaching of language and culture groups
+358 50 356 5464

Additional information:
Pre-school education
Basic education

International House Joensuu – Joensuu’s Immigration Services

International House Joensuu offers guidance related to residence permits (first residence permits, extended residence permits, permanent residence permits,) on the part of family reunification and applying for citizenship as well as in EU registration. 

If you are a resident of the municipality, meaning that you have a residence permit due to asylum or another reason (employment, family reason,) you may also receive guidance in official matters, such as registering into the municipality and, for example, opening a bank account or finding a house.


Additional information on the services:
International House Joensuu

Local buses

Buses from several different operators are in use in the Joensuu region. 

The Joensuu region public transport (JOJO) buses travel around the Joensuu inner city area, as well as to Hammaslahti, Liperi and Kontiolahti. Starting from 1 September 2022, you can use the JOJO buses for free if you get a travel card from Joensuu’s reception centre. You can get the travel card if you have applied for international protection and you are not yet entitled to the first reception allowance. The travel card is a one-off benefit and valid for one month, at most. The travel cards will be available until 4 March 2023, at the latest.

From 1 September 2022 onwards, you can no longer travel for free with a Ukrainian passport, a Ukrainian national identity card, or with a certificate of temporary seizure of your passport issued by the police, the border inspection authority or the Finnish Immigration Service. 

JOJO buses can be identified by their line number (1–215). 

The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) buses travel from Joensuu to Ilomantsi, Tohmajärvi, Kitee, Savonlinna, Rääkkylä, Outokumpu, Polvijärvi, Lieksa, Juuka and Nurmes. From 1 September 2022 onwards, you can no longer travel for free with a Ukrainian passport, a Ukrainian national identity card, or with a certificate of temporary seizure of your passport issued by the police, the border inspection authority or the Finnish Immigration Service. The travel card given by the reception centre is accepted Joensuu, Kontiolahti and Liperi, if you live in these municipalities.

Additional information:
Further information on local buses
Bus schedules can be found in Route Search 

In addition, there are several intercity buses which travel between Joensuu and different cities. Further information on the Matkahuolto website

Information on Joensuu and services

Our town — a guide for new residents who have moved to Finland from abroad / Joensuu

Crisis Help and Mental Support

Crisis Help and Mental Support

Ukraina - Impartial and trustworthy news on Finnish media

Impartial and trustworthy news on Finnish media

You can find impartial and trustworthy news and coverage on the war in Ukraine and its effects in Russian and other languages on Finnish media.

News in English:

News in Russian: 

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