TWO SENIOR ADVISORS at the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) have received a written reprimand regarding their handling of the case of Anudari Boldbaatar, a Mongolian nurse who applied for a residence permit to look for work after completing her qualifications in Finland.
Helsingin Sanomat wrote about the case, which was later described as “Kafkaesque” by Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen (NCP), on 10 December 2022.
Migri subsequently launched an internal inquiry into the case, finding significant errors in deciding on the application and classifying the justifications, Ilkka Haahtela, the director general at Migri, said to Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday.
“The errors in the overall consideration were so significant that two written reprimands were ultimately issued. This was a major mistake for the agency, but only part of it was caused by employees,” he commented.
Boldbaatar's permit application was rejected two years earlier effectively due to the advisors' inability to analyse the account statement she had attached to the application as proof of income. Not only was she denied the permit and issued a deportation order, the officials also submitted a request for inquiry with the police, accusing her of falsifying the account statement.
The agency additionally classified the key justification for the negative decision.
The applicant appealed against the decision to the Helsinki Administrative Court. No charges were ultimately brought against her after the prosecution determined that there were no probable reasons to corroborate her culpability.
The court overturned the permit decision in November 2022, reprimanding the agency for making it based exclusively on a criminal suspicion. Migri then admitted that its decision to classify the justification of the decision infringed on the legal protection of the applicant.
Boldbaatar left Finland after the two-year battle to overturn the decision.
Haahtela on Thursday told Helsingin Sanomat that Migri issued new instructions as the application was being considered that urged officials to pay particular attention to documents and their technical review. Trainings related to the instructions encouraged employees to pay particular attention to miscalculations.
“The error was that there wasn’t much overall consideration. And that the issue wasn’t discussed with the customer,” he said.
Migri recently decided to initiate a separate legality control into the negative decisions issued last year on permit extension applications based on work, studies or family life. In April, it reported that it had made procedural errors and failed to meet all its legal obligations in nine per cent of the decisions inspected.
Most of the procedural errors related to the duty to sufficiently examine each case or the duty to hear the views of the applicant and their family members.
“In practice, this may mean, for instance, that a customer had not been given an opportunity to express their view on a possible removal from the country or that the family member residing in Finland had not been heard when a matter regarding his or her spouse was decided,” commented Haahtela.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT