Legal services

If you want a lawyer from the Refugee Advice Centre, please contact us either by email at pan(at)pakolaisneuvonta.fi or by phone +358 9 2313 9300. Please attach any possible decisions from the Immigration Service or an Administrative Court to your appointment request or have them at hand when calling.

Asylum in Finland

All of the lawyers at the Refugee Advice Centre have specialised in asylum and immigration law.

Decisions made by the Immigration Service can be appealed to the Administrative Courts. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after receiving a decision from the Immigration Service. An asylum seeker has the right to choose their own lawyer at this point.

Before an asylum seeker has received a decision from the Immigration Service, he/she will receive advice and legal assistance primarily from the public legal aid offices. A lawyer from the Refugee Advice Centre can offer legal assistance to asylum seekers who have yet to receive their decisions from the Immigration Service, if a legal aid office has given the asylum seeker a legal aid referral or if the asylum seeker is ready to pay for the cost of the lawyer him/herself.

If you want a lawyer from the Refugee Advice Centre, please contact us via your reception centre. You can also contact us directly by calling us or sending us an email.

If you do not have sufficient funds or income, we can apply for legal aid from the state. In these cases, the state will cover the cost of the lawyer either partially or in full. In other cases, you can receive advice and assistance from our lawyers by paying for the service yourself. Our fee is 150€/hour.

More information about international protection (in Finnish)

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Family Reunification

Family members of Finnish citizens or people with residence permits in Finland can apply for their own residence permits. An applicant’s spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 18, or members of the so called “nuclear family”, are considered as family members. In exceptional situations, other relatives can also apply for and receive a residence permit.

The Refugee Advice Centre’s lawyers work on cases involving family reunification. If you receive a negative residence permit decision, you have the right to appeal it to the Administrative Court.

Our lawyers’ hourly fee is 150€, in addition to any possible translation or interpretation fees. If you do not have sufficient funds or income, we can apply for legal aid from the state for appeal cases. In these cases, the state will cover the cost of the lawyer either partially or in full.

Our lawyers can also offer legal advice and assistance during the application phase. In most cases, it is not possible to apply for legal aid during the application phase.

More information on residence permits on basis of family ties (in Finnish)

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Other residence permits

Studying, working or being an entrepreneur in Finland can also be grounds for a residence permit. If you have received a temporary residence permit, you must apply for an extended permit before your current permit expires.

The Refugee Advice Centre’s lawyers work on different kinds of residence permit cases during the application and appeal phases and when applying for an extended residence permit.

Our lawyers’ hourly fee is 150€, in addition to any possible translation or interpretation fees. If you do not have sufficient funds or income, we can apply for legal aid from the state for appeal cases. In these cases, the state will cover the cost of the lawyer either partially or in full. In most cases, it is not possible to apply for legal aid during the application phase.

More information on different residence permit types (in Finnish)
More information on extended residence permits (in Finnish)

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Finnish Citizenship

You can apply for Finnish citizenship once you have lived in Finland for 4 years (if you have received international protection in Finland) or 5 years continuously and you fulfil all the other requirements for Finnish citizenship. These include things such as sufficient language skills and fulfilling the integrity requirement.

The Refugee Advice Centre’s lawyers provide legal advice and assistance in matters related to applying for citizenship. If you receive a negative decision to your application, you have the right to appeal.

Our lawyers’ hourly fee is 150€. If you do not have sufficient funds or income, we can apply for legal aid from the state. In these cases, the state will cover the cost of the lawyer either partially or in full. In most cases, it is not possible to apply for legal aid during the application phase.

More information on Finnish Citizenship (in Finnish)

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Victims of human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking are in a particularly vulnerable position and claryfying their situation is a complex task. The Refugee Advice Centre’s lawyers are specialists in investigating the situations of potential human trafficking victims and assist them in all of the processes related to their situation involving the Finnish authorities.

If you suspect that you or a friend has been a victim of human trafficking, you can ask for an appointment with a lawyer at the Refugee Advice Centre. The first appointment is free of charge. A victim of human trafficking can also receive free legal aid.

More information on human trafficking

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Our Lawyers

Hanna Laari

Executive Lawyer, LL.M
Licensed Legal Counsel

Marjaana Laine

Leading Legal Counsel, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Heli Aali

Senior Lawyer, LL.M, Trained on the Bench – on leave of absence
Licensed Legal Counsel

Maria Essen

Lawyer, LL.M., M.Soc.Sc.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Elina Järvenpää

Lawyer, LL.M., Trained on the Bench
Undocumented Migrants

Johanna Järviaho

Senior Lawyer, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Mia Leisti

Lawyer, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Maarit Levoniemi

Lawyer, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Anna Smallenburg

Senior Lawyer, LL.M. – on leave of absence
Licensed Legal Counsel

Liisa Välimäki

Senior Lawyer, LL.M. – on leave of absence
Licensed Legal Counsel