The Finnish Refugee Advice Centre

The Finnish Refugee Advice Centre is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1988 by other Finnish NGOs. The Refugee Advice Centre provides legal aid and advice to asylum seekers, refugees and other foreigners in Finland.

Legal Services

The Finnish Refugee Advice Centre offers legal services and legal advice. If you need a lawyer, call us or contact us via email!

Lawyer from the Refugee Advice Centre

If you want a lawyer from the Refugee Advice Centre, please contact us:

Please attach any possible decisions from the Immigration Service or an Administrative Court to your appointment request or have them at hand when calling.

Please ONLY submit any documents via encrypted email: https://turvaposti.pakolaisneuvonta.fi

Our fees

Our lawyers charge an hourly fee of 150 euros (+ possible VAT 24%). In addition, any possible interpretation fees and a possible court fee (a one-time fee: Supreme Administrative Court of Finland 510 euros, regional Administrative Courts 260 euros).
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. You may contact us in advance and ask for an estimation of the amount of hours needed for your case.

Legal Advice

If you have any questions about international protection, residence permits, family reunification or other issues concerning foreign nationals, you may contact our legal advice (free of charge):

  • by phone on weekdays from 10 am to 12 am: +358 9 2313 9325
  • by email: neuvonta(at)pakolaisneuvonta.fi
  • Advice is generally available in Finnish and English

Legal advice to undocumented migrants

If you need legal advice on issues related to undocumented migrants in Finland, you may contact our specialized lawyers (free of charge):

  • by phone on Mondays from 2 pm to 4 pm: +358 45 2377 104
  • by email: paperittomat(at)pakolaisneuvonta.fi

Free legal advice is funded by the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA).

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

Our Lawyers

Hanna Laari

Executive Lawyer, LL.M
Licensed Legal Counsel

Marjaana Laine

Leading Legal Counsel, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Elle Friberg

Lawyer, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Michelle Gripenberg

Lawyer, LL.M.
Undocumented Migrants

Henrietta Heinonen

Lawyer, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Katariina Kinnunen

Lawyer, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Salla Koskela

Lawyer, LL.M.

Mia Leisti

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

Elena Murto

Lawyer, LL.M.
Licensed Legal Counsel

Siiri Sinnemäki

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

Sonja Sjöman

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

Anna Smallenburg

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

Ilkka Tuomainen

Lawyer, LL.M.
Undocumented Migrants

Nelly Vikkula

Lawyer, LL.M. 
Licensed Legal Counsel