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The Helsinki reception centre will become part of the Finnish Immigration Service as from 25 October 2021. The reception centre is currently operated by the City of Helsinki.

The Helsinki reception centre is one of the most important units in the reception system, operating as a so-called transit centre.

Transit centres are reception centres located near an office of the Finnish Immigration Service where asylum interviews are held. These centres are primarily meant for new asylum seekers who have just arrived in Finland.

'The Helsinki reception centre has a proud tradition, and its location, mission and the number of clients it serves make it a critically important part of Finland's reception system', said Director Mikael Laurinkari from the Finnish Immigration Service.

The Helsinki reception centre comprises a 150-bed institutional transit unit and a service point, which is currently providing statutory services to approximately 800 asylum seekers staying in private accommodation. These include social and healthcare services and reception allowances.
Reception centre staff to become Finnish Immigration Service employees

The change will be implemented as an assignment of business, meaning that the permanent staff of the reception centre, currently employed by the City of Helsinki, will transfer to the Finnish Immigration Service. The Finnish Immigration Service is also in the process of recruiting additional personnel. The reception centre will employ a total of approximately 40 staff.

The operations of the Helsinki reception centre will be led by Mikael Laurinkari, who also serves as the Director of the Helsinki detention unit. These operations are set to form a single organisational entity.

'With the transfer of highly competent personnel with a proven record in their field from the City of Helsinki, we will have a strong foundation on which to continue the operations of the reception centre and develop it as part of the central state administration', said Laurinkari.

The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for directing, planning and supervising the operations of reception centres and detention units. The state-owned reception centres are located in Lappeenranta (Joutseno) and Oulu, with detention units in Lappeenranta and Helsinki. The rest of the reception centres are maintained by other operators, such as municipalities and organisations. The total number of reception centres in Finland currently stands at 30, with approximately 5,160 clients registered in the reception system.

The transfer of the operations of the Helsinki Reception Centre is not related to the situation in Afghanistan.

Source: The Finnish Immigration Service