Service queue at the Finnish Immigration Service Migri's Malmi office in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA


The Finnish Immigration Service has revamped its organisational structure effective June 1, 2024. This reform aims to bolster the agency’s ability to adapt to a changing security environment and meet the objectives outlined in the current Government Programme.

The updated structure emphasizes process management, promoting efficient and seamless immigration procedures.

This shift supports the Government Programme's goal of controlled immigration by enabling a process-based approach to handling various permit categories. The agency’s focus is on ensuring swift and uninterrupted application processing while mitigating any potential abuse of the permit system.

Additionally, the new organisation enhances the agency's preparedness and contingency planning capabilities, crucial for responding to security changes and identifying operational risks.

“The reform clarifies roles and responsibilities, which is essential. We are now moving to process-based management to meet the targets that have been established for us. The reform has focused on ensuring that all employees can succeed in their position,” says Director General Ilkka Haahtela.

New Department and Leadership Appointments

The restructured organisation comprises four main departments: Permit and Citizenship Department, Department for International Protection, Reception Services Department, and the newly established Control and Monitoring Department. This new department is tasked with post-decision monitoring of residence permits and managing permit withdrawal processes. Moreover, security matters and contingency planning have been consolidated into the newly formed Security Unit.

The agency has appointed directors for the new departments:

  • Permit and Citizenship Department: Pauliina Helminen continues as Director, previously leading the Permit and Nationality Unit.
  • Department for International Protection: Antti Lehtinen continues as Director, previously leading the Asylum Unit.
  • Reception Services Department: Elina Nurmi continues as Director, previously leading the Reception Unit.
  • Control and Monitoring Department: Tirsa Forssell has been appointed Director, transitioning from her role as Head of Legal Services.

Other key appointments include Johanna Waal as Director of the Legal and Specialist Services Unit, joining from her previous role as Tax Director at the Finnish Tax Administration. Jouni Pousi has been named Director of the Security Unit, moving from his position as Head of Preparedness at the Finnish Immigration Service. His past roles include positions at the National Emergency Supply Agency and the Secretariat of the Security Committee.

This comprehensive reform underscores the Finnish Immigration Service’s commitment to improving operational efficiency and maintaining robust security measures in response to evolving challenges.