Immigrants' social security,
welfare and health

Maahanmuuttajan sosiaaliturva - kuvituskuvaThe MSAH is responsible for matters concerning the welfare and health of immigrants living in Finland. The Ministry deals with the basic security of immigrants, essential social and health services in terms of integration and other forms of support.

The MSAH strategy for social and health policy and the government programme stress

  • the inclusion of the special needs of immigrants in the development of social and health care services
  • social and health care as a means of supporting the integration of immigrants and their families into Finnish society, in order to improve their chances of employment and studying.

Different authorities dealing with immigrant matters

The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the administration of immigration, immigration policy and related legislation and processes in Finland.

The Finnish Immigration Service deals with matters relating to individual immigration cases, residence, deportation, refugees and citizenship. The Immigration Service also provides information to the authorities and to international organisations, and maintains a register of foreigners in Finland.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for the implementation of integration measures, and the National Integration Programme

The immigration units of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) and municipalities also share responsibility for the integration of immigrants. In some municipalities there is an office that manages immigrant matters centrally.

Services and support

Immigrants' entitlement to social and health care services depends on the type of residence permit they hold. If an immigrant has a permanent place of residence, he/she is entitled to services regardless of nationality.

Essential means of subsistence is guaranteed to all immigrants who need it. Emergency medical treatment is given to patients irrespective of place of residence.

Individuals seeking international protection and victims of human trafficking who do not have a municipal residence as intended by the Municipality of Residence Act are also entitled to health care and medical treatment.

The MSAH works to prevent human trafficking and assist victims.

MSAH guidelines and recommendations

The MSAH has published guidelines and recommendations concerning income support for foreigners, social security regulations concerning immigrants, and issues of immigrant women and violence. Available only in Finnish.

Information and research

The National Institute for Welfare and Health (THL) researches and monitors issues relating to the welfare and health of immigrants.

Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is responsible for improving the situation, equality and legal protection of ethnic minorities and foreigners. The Ombudsman also acts as a national rapporteur on human trafficking.