More than half of the asylum seekers do not get permits to stay in Finland
Most applicants fail because they receive a negative decision or because their applications are dismissed or expired.
The percentage of positive decisions on asylum applications increased between 2017 and 2018. However, the number of asylum seekers who get a permit to stay in the country is still not a majority. More than half of the applicants did not get it because received a negative decision or their applications were simply dismissed or expired.
According to the figures included in the Report for Finland on International Migration 2017-2018 published by the Finnish Ministry of Interior, positive asylum decisions (3,784) accounted for 40,2% of all decisions in 2017. In this same year asylum was granted to 2,528 persons. The rest (of those who received a positive decision) were granted protection based on either humanitarian protection or subsidiary protection. In addition, 552 asylum seekers were issued a residence permit on grounds other than international protection. On the other hand, 3,996 received a negative decision, 1,064 were dismissed and 574 expired.
During 2018 (only the numbers until 31 August are included), 45 % of the decisions have been positive. Although the figures for 2018 are provisional in the absence of knowing the result of the full year, the trend points towards a new increase. In any case, the percentage of positive decisions exceeds by large those of 2016, when only 27,5% of the decisions made were positive.
The report of the Ministry of Interior stresses that the Finnish Immigration Service follows the security situation in the main countries of origin of asylum seekers on a regular basis. Nevertheless, "when considering the issue of residence permits, the individual grounds for granting asylum or subsidiary protection are always assessed for each applicant", says the study.
In 2017, most (4,337) of the decisions were given for Iraqis’ applications of which 33% were positive and 53% negative. Other applications were expired or dismissed. Afghans were the second largest group with 1,590 decisions given, of which 41% were positive and 49% negative. Almost all the asylum applications of Syrians (95%) were given positive decisions
By the end of August 2018, most decisions were made on Iraqis’ applications: 42% of them were positive. During the reporting period, percentage of the positive decisions on Iragis’ asylum applications rose significantly from 2016 when only 18% of Iraqi asylum seekers received positive decision.
Eritrea was a new country among the five largest countries of origin who received the most decisions on asylum applications. 99% of Eritreans received a positive decision on their asylum application.
More positive decisions for children and old aged
In 2017, asylum seekers who were at the age of 14-17 received the most positive decisions with relation to the number of applications (69 %). The second most positive decisions (56%) were given to asylum seekers who were at the age of 0-13. There were more positive than negative decisions also in the age group older than 65 years. The percentage of positive decisions was significantly lower among asylum seekers between the ages of 18-34 and 35-64.
The largest age groups who received positive decisions on their asylum applications have remained the same between January and August in 2018.
Congolese and Syrian quota refugees received
The report published by the Ministry of Interior also points out that for over 30 years, Finland has received quota refugees in partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Under the refugee quota, Finland accepts persons whom the UNHCR has designated as refugees or other foreign nationals who are in need of international protection.
To receive quota refugees is a voluntary assignment that is principally offered to any country. In Finland, Parliament decides annually, when the state budget is approved, the number of quota refugees Finland is committed to receive the next year.
In December 2017, the Ministry of the Interior announced that Finland would receive 750 quota refugees in 2018. The quota of 2018 will consisted of 530 Syrian refugees from Turkey and 120 Congolese refugees from Zambia. In addition, 100 places were reserved for cases falling within UNHCR’s emergency and urgent cases category, irrespective of their region or nationality.
The report says that Finland also fulfilled its EU commitments on resettlement. Finland decided to take 1035 Syrians from Turkey as part of the 1:1 scheme between EU and Turkey on the basis of the EU-Turkey declaration. By the end of its implementation in early January 2018, Finland had received a total of 986 Syrians from Turkey under this scheme.