Finland’s Interior Ministry says it’s revisiting legislation relating to asylum applications. The ministry said Tuesday that reforms in the pipeline mean it will give up the practice of granting residence permits on compassionate grounds to applicants who don’t meet the criteria for international protection.
The Interior Ministry said that it will review its procedures for granting residence permits to asylum seekers in a bid to bring national legislation in line with European Union regulations.
The review project will get started immediately so that it can be circulated for comments in November, the ministry said.
Current immigration legislation allows for the authorities to grant asylum or issue a residence permit on the basis of subsidiary protection or humanitarian protection where applicants meet the requirements for international protection.
Permits on compassionate grounds inconsistent with EU practice
The ministry noted however, that in cases where applicants don’t meet the criteria for international protection, Finnish authorities may also grant a residence permit on compassionate grounds. However it pointed out that the practice of granting residence permits to asylum applicants on compassionate grounds approach is not consistent with EU regulations.
«In practice, this could mean that residence permits would no longer be issued on the basis of humanitarian protection,» the ministry said in a release.
The Interior Ministry said that the number of individuals who had received humanitarian protection in Finland was very small, accounting for roughly one percent of all favourable asylum decisions between 2013 and 2014.
The ministry said it would also be looking to tighten the criteria for family re-unification cases to comply with the EU’s family reunification directive.
A government proposal on the legislative changes will be submitted to Parliament early next year.