Three young immigrant men in a sunny park in autumn.

Help for undocumented immigrants

Photo: Jussi Partanen / Suomen Punainen Risti

The Red Cross aims to make sure that undocumented persons also have the right to indispensable subsistence and essential services.

We help undocumented immigrants find and access official and third sector services. We provide discussion support, promote activity and help find solutions. You can contact us via email at paperittomat(at)

The Red Cross cooperates with organisations which aid undocumented persons as well as other communities and the authorities. When you need advice or guidance, you can also contact the support point Mosaiikki. Mosaiikki can help you find legal advice and provides aid with health problems at the Global Clinic.

Authorities are responsible for helping undocumented immigrants

According to Section 19 of the Constitution of Finland, “those who cannot obtain the means necessary for a life of dignity have the right to receive indispensable subsistence and care.” ​

The authorities are responsible for providing undocumented immigrants with food, accommodation and urgent social and health services, at a minimum. The public authorities must also ensure the basic right of children to go to school and provide accommodation suitable for children and families with children. Everyone residing in Finland has these rights regardless of their legal status. ​

After reception services end

Reception centres are intended for asylum seekers whose applications are still being processed and who have not yet moved to a municipality or returned to their home country. Based on legislation, reception services end when an asylum seeker does not return to their home country after receiving an enforceable decision and when the police is unable to remove them from the country.

The Red Cross informs an asylum seeker living in a reception centre it maintains about the ending of services. We tell them of the possibility of voluntary return and the support available for it, in addition to informing them what it means to stay in Finland as an undocumented immigrant and what services are available to them. ​

After the reception services end, the responsibility for helping the asylum seekers lies primarily with the municipalities. Before a person leaves a reception centre, the personnel at the centre make sure that the person leaving has a place to go. The Red Cross does not abandon anyone.

Right of the Red Cross to help immigrants
Global help for those forced to flee
The Finnish Red Cross supports immigrants
Help for immigrants