The Finnish Immigration Service has launched a review of its guidelines on asylum seekers from Iraq and Somalia. The service says it wants to bring its guidance in line with other EU countries—and expects that will mean tightening the rules in Finland.
The Finnish immigration authorities are updating their guidance on asylum applications from Somalis and Iraqis, and suspending decisions on applications made by people from those two countries. At present many asylum seekers from Baghdad and the central regions of Iraq are granted protection in Finland, in contrast to some EU countries.
«According to the present guidelines set out by the Finnish Immigration Service, asylum seekers from the central parts of Iraq as well as from southern and central Somalia have been granted residence permits on the basis of international protection solely due to the security situation in their home region,» reads the statement.
«Now it has already emerged that asylum seekers who come from, for example, Baghdad and surrounding regions and from Mogadishu are not granted protection automatically in other EU countries.»
The authorities are also checking whether it is now possible to deport people whose applications are rejected.
The review is expected to take two weeks, and immigration officials’ guidance will be changed if necessary, but the Immigration Service said in a statement that it expects Finland’s current guidelines to be made stricter.
Up to 29 September, 17,430 asylum seekers had arrived in Finland this year. Sixty-nine percent of those had come from Iraq and ten percent from Somalia.