The Ministry of the Interior and the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) expect the number of family reunification applications to spike in the latter half of the year.
Migri is desperate to clear out its backlog of asylum applications, which built up as a result of the influx of asylum seekers into Finland in the latter half of last year, before the reunification applications begin piling up.
“It is our long-term estimate that there will be three per [every successful asylum applicant],” Jorma Vuorio, the director general at Migri, reveals in an interview with Uusi Suomi.
A typical example is that of a successful asylum applicant initiating the reunification process to seek permission for the remaining three members of his or her family to enter Finland. Vuorio points out, however, that granting a single residence permit may prompt as many as twenty family reunification applications.
“Starting from next autumn, we expect to receive 30,000 family reunification applications, if not more, over a period of one year or shorter,” he tells.
The Ministry of the Interior has announced that it is drafting amendments to the Aliens Act on grounds of an EU directive to introduce stricter conditions for family reunifications. “In the future, Finnish citizens and the beneficiaries of international protection will both be required to have a secure income before their family reunification applications can be approved,” the ministry states in a press release.
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“The Aliens Act will be amended to include secure income as a condition for residence permits whenever the reunification sponsor has been granted a residence permit on grounds of so-called subsidiary protection.”
Asylum seekers can be granted a residence permit on grounds of subsidiary protection even if they do not satisfy the conditions for granting asylum: if, for example, they are at risk of death sentence, execution, torture or other treatment or punishment that is inhumane and in violation of human dignity.
“On the other hand, if the sponsor has been granted refugee status, the income requirements will not be applied if his or her family members apply for residence permits within three months of granting the refugee status. The three-month time limit is derived directly from the EU directive [...]. [Its] objective is to take into consideration the living conditions of the families of people who have granted refugee status.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Panu Pohjola – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi