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Guidance and integration for immigrants
You can get information about all the city’s services from the City of Vaasa’s public services points. Services are available at the Welcome Office, Citizen Services (Kansalaisinfo) and Vähäkyrö’s citizen services point.
You can get information about immigration, Finnish society, public services, language course, recruitment and more from Welcome Office. You can ask for more information about the services that can help you settle and integrate in Vaasa from the advisors at Welcome Office. There are, for example, third sector services (organisations and associations) that help residents find their place in the community and integrate in Vaasa.
The service is accessible and free for everyone, regardless of their background or reason for entry. You can get advice without an appointment and it is available in several languages. You can check the schedule on the Welcome Office website.
Advice and guidance is available in for example the following areas:
- Working life and recruitment
- Language courses
- Government services and society
- Documents and filling in forms
Read more: Integration into Finland
You can pay invoices from the City of Vaasa (for example, parking ticket fines and adult education centre fees) at Citizen Services (Kansalaisinfo). You can use cash and payment cards. You can also buy, for example, a bus pass for city transport at the service point.
If you have refugee status in Finland, you will receive guidance, advice and support from Integration Services during the early stages of immigration. This is available for about three years.
Initial assessment and integration plan
The initial assessment and integration plan can be made with you either in your municipality of residence or at the TE- services office (TE-toimisto), depending on your situation and the reason for living in Finland.
Read more: Integration into Finland
When you have come to Finland, for example as a family member, and you do not have a job, you can register as a jobseeker at theTE- services office (TE-toimisto). TE-services will assess your skills and create an integration or employment plan with you, in order to improve your chances of finding employment in Finland. Usually this means that you can get into integration or work training programmes to learn Finnish or Swedish.
If you have refugee status in Finland, you will receive guidance, counselling, and support from Integration Services during the early stages of immigration, for about three years.
Integration services include an initial assessment and an integration plan for customers outside the labour force, as well as individual guidance and advice, and the services of an interpreter on call. Integration Services organises a wide range of group activities for its customers, such as teaching Finnish and offering information about the Finnish society in the customer’s own language in order to help them with integration. Childcare is available in the groups.
Integration Services (Kotouttamispalvelut)
Korsholmanpuistikko 44, 5th floor
Do you need an interpreter?
If you do not speak Finnish or Swedish, you can use the services of an interpreter when dealing with the authorities.
In some cases, you can get an interpreter through the authority you are dealing with. You can ask the authority in advance about the possibility of interpretation. The authority will arrange for an interpreter, if necessary. In which case, the interpretation is free of charge for you.
You can use the services of an interpreter whenever you want, if you can pay for it and arrange for the services yourself.
In Vaasa, you can inquire about interpretation or translation services through MicoBotnia.
Read more: Do you need an interpreter?
Help in problem situations
In an emergency, call the emergency number 112. There is only one emergency number in Finland. Call 112 when you need urgent help from the police, ambulance or the fire brigade. Only call 112 when you know there is a risk to life, health, property or the environment.
Emergency social services provide help in child protection and family crisis situations. The Ostrobothnia Emergency Social Service can be reached by phone at any time of day, every day of the week. You can reach them on this number: 06 218 9555.
Emergency Response Centre AgencyWhen to Call 112?Link redirects to another website
The Wellbeing Services County of OstrobothniaFirst Aid and EmergenciesLink redirects to another website
The Wellbeing Services County of OstrobothniaSocial Stand-by ServiceLink redirects to another website
The Wellbeing Services County of OstrobothniaA child welfare notification Link redirects to another website
Discrimination and racism
If you suspect that you have been discriminated against when applying for a job or at work, you should first attempt to resolve the matter at the workplace. Discuss the issue with the worker’s or union representative. If the issue cannot be resolved, contact the occupational health and safety section of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland (Länsi- ja Sisä-Suomen aluehallintovirasto).
You can also contact the Ombudsman for Equality for help, if you have been discriminated against.
If you have been the victim of a racist crime, you can report the crime online or at the police station.
Regional State Administrative AgencyOccupational Safety and Health HelplineLink redirects to another website
Non-Discrimination OmbudsmanHelp from the Non-Discrimination OmbudsmanLink redirects to another website
If you need urgent police assistance in an emergency, call the emergency number 112. Do not call the emergency number if it is not an emergency.
You can report a crime to the police online. More information is available on the police website. You can also fill out the form and submit it at the police station.
Vaasa Central Police Station
If you are a victim or witness to a crime, you can get support from Victim Support Finland.
If you need urgent police assistance in an emergency, call the emergency number 112.
If a member of your family uses violence towards you, or threatens you with violence, you can go to a shelter (turvakoti). You can call the shelter and go there any time of the day. The phone number is 06 3129666.
Pohjanmaan turvakoti Vaasassa
Puh 06 312 9666 (24h)
If you have financial and debt problems, you can contact the financial and debt counselling services. They provide information and advice free of charge.
You can contact the social services information number 06 218 9555. You may be entitled to claim income support. Income support is intended as a last resort when there is little or no other income or resources. You can apply for basic income support from Kela.
Financial and Debt CounsellingFinancial and Debt CounsellingLink redirects to another website
The Wellbeing Services County of OstrobothniaSocial AssistanceLink redirects to another website
Do you need a lawyer?
It is possible to get help from the Legal Aid Office, if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer yourself.
You can also look for information on private lawyers on the Finnish Bar Association’s website, for example.