Free Advice for Migrants and Foreign Citizens
The Free Movement (Vapaa Liikkuvuus -verkosto) offers counseling to migrants and their supporters. In counseling, we discuss, for example, the asylum process and the threat of deportation as well as the process of applying for a residence permit based on work, studies or family ties. Counseling is offered by activists who are familiar with the migration administrative process.
If you want to discuss your situation in detail, you should bring along all the documents related to your case. Discussions during counseling are confidential – no information is shared with third parties. Counseling sessions take place mainly in English and Finnish. For counseling in your own or other languages, please bring an interpreter with you or tell us beforehand that you need one.
Counselling of Free Movement Helsinki is available through booking at Pengerkatu 6 once a week. You can reserve a time slot via email (vapaaliikkuvuus(at)gmail.com) or Facebook.
The Tampere group provides counseling in the City of Tampere. You can reach us through Facebook – Vapaa Liikkuvuus Tampere, by email – counselingtampere(at)riseup.net.
We will get back to you as soon as possible. Face-to-face meetings can be arranged, if necessary.
Why do we offer counseling?
Do you know how to get a work permit in Finland? Have you received a negative asylum decision and are afraid of deportation? Are you unsure about how to apply for a student permit extension? Do you want to know how family ties are defined by law in The Finnish Aliens Act? Do you find it difficult to fill out the Immigration Office’s forms?
The legislation, permit procedures and bureaucracy connected with immigration may sometimes feel too complicated. Immigration officials’ decisions may also cause anxiety and confusion.
It is easier to solve problems together with others! The best form of anti-racism is to build common networks, struggles and action with immigrants. Racism must be opposed in all its forms, also when it is hidden in the Aliens Act.
Who are we?
We are a network of migration activists that have been active since 2006.
We have organised resistance against deportations, campaigned for asylum seekers’ right to stay, and defended Roma migrants’ right to accommodation in Helsinki.
We also provide and share information on migration controls and their consequences, as well as struggles against controls in Finland and around the world.
What kind of counseling do we give?
We provide counseling on questions related to residence permits and the Aliens Act. When necessary, we can consult a lawyer or direct you to legal counseling. Friends, relatives and supporters of migrants are also welcome to ask about or discuss matters related to migration.
Counseling is provided as voluntary work and is free of charge. We are a fully independent organisation and we have no ties to immigration authorities.
All discussions are confidential. We do not share any information concerning discussions with outsiders unless it is explicitly agreed with those who receive counseling.
The primary languages of communication are English and Finnish. You can also bring along your own interpreter.
How to apply for financial support from the Free Movement Association
The Free Movement Association assists migrants living in precarious situations, asylum seekers, and undocumented migrants. The financial aid is intended primarily for those who reside in Finland but do not have a permanent right of residence (for example, do not have citizenship, permanent residence permit or access to the Finnish social security system).
Financial support is mainly provided for the regularisation of residence in Finland, like residence permit or other administrative fees and legal aid. You can also apply for compensation of expenses or part of expenses related to family reunification. Migrants in a precarious position may also apply for assistance for essential travel- and food expenses or medical expenses, in case they are not entitled to financial support from other sources. Also, migrants who have been deported from Finland have the right to apply for assistance.
We provide financial assistance to support migrants’ freedom of movement and the realisation of fundamental rights, regardless of status or background. Financial aid can also be applied for political activities aimed at promoting these values.
All financial assistance that we provide comes from the donations made to the association. Sometimes we receive more donations and sometimes less. For this reason, we have to evaluate each request individually and the assistance usually covers only part of the amount requested. An individual may apply for assistance more than once.
You can ask for financial assistance, by briefly explaining the need for the aid, with a written application, or call us. Requests for assistance can be submitted to vapaaliikkuvuus(at)gmail.com. The Board of the Association aims to process requests for assistance as soon as possible. We can make the bank transfer only after we have received the documentation (e..g., receipts, invoices, etc.) of expenses.