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The odd car-load of asylum seekers from, for example, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon crossed the border from Russia into Finland via the border-crossing point in Salla, Lapland, on 22 January, 2016.Iraqi asylum seekers have continued to withdraw their applications due to the hostile environment and climate in Finland, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) reports.

“Many have also been disappointed with the painstaking nature of the [asylum] process. There have been a lot of withdrawals between late last autumn and this winter,” Juha Similä, a head of section at the asylum unit of Migri, said in a press conference on Friday.

The Finnish Immigration Service also reported that it granted a little over 20,000 residence permits in 2015, with Russians, Chinese and Indian representing the largest nationality groups among the successful applicants.

Asylum seekers as a whole were the fourth largest group of successful applicants. The largest nationality groups among successful asylum seekers were Iraqis, with 652, Somalis, with 486, and Afghans, with 121 successful applicants.

Related posts:

- Over 70% of Finns are concerned about influx of asylum seekers (22 January, 2016)

- Stubb: EU is facing two simultaneous threats (22 January, 2016)

- Soini: Finland yet to discuss plans to overhaul Dublin Regulation (21 January, 2016)

- Niinistö concerned about reports from eastern border (21 January, 2016)

Finland also welcomed a total of 1,034 quota refugees from Lebanon, Egypt, Malawi, Zambia and Iran in 2015.

The applications of 41 per cent, or 1,307, asylum seekers were turned down last year, according to Migri. “41 per cent of the decisions were negative. The number does not include people who withdrew their applications and decisions to leave an application unprocessed, such as decisions [made under the Dublin Regulation], and transfer it out of Finland,” Similä told.

A total of 7,466 asylum decisions were made in Finland in 2015, including 1,094 decisions to leave an application unprocessed under, for example, the Dublin Regulation.

Migri also confirmed that more asylum seekers than ever before, a total of 32,476, entered Finland in 2015. The largest nationality group among the asylum seekers were Iraqis, with 20,485 applicants, followed by Afghans (5,214), Somalis (1,981) and Syrians (877).

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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