#Finland –” Quota refugees ” #FinnishImmigrationService

The Refugee Crisis in Finland, Explained


Some die trying to cross the sea. Other refugees try to flee the terror and horror counting on humanitarian aid provided by European countries. However, that, how many asylum seekers each country accepts varies greatly, as the debate is a melting pot of politics, tolerance and the attitudes of citizens.

 After weeks-long debate on how many refugees Finland should accept, the Finnish Immigration Service has provided a number: 15,000. The estimate is 10,000 higher than the previous estimates conducted last year, and is based on the amount of applications received this summer. The number is roughly 11 per cent of the total amount of about 137,000 refugees having fled to Europe during the first half of 2015 – an increase of about 83 per cent compared with the previous year.

Refugees who have left their home country or country of permanent residence for another country, where they may not settle down permanently, however, can be chosen for resettling in a third country under the so-called refugee quota. Under the refugee quota, Finland accepts persons whom the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has designated as refugees or other foreigners who are in need of international protection for resettlement.

According to UNHCR, the voluntary and safe return migration and settlement of refugees in areas close to their home country are among the best options for solving the refugee issue. However, this is not always possible. At present, there are some 25 countries that receive quota refugees.

In Finland, Parliament decides annually in connection with the approval of the state budget how many quota refugees Finland will undertake to accept. Since 2001, the number of quota refugees accepted by Finland has been 750 per year. The Parliament can make a decision on an additional quota. The refugee quota was increased, for instance, in 2014 and 2015 due to the severe situation in Syria, and 1,050 quota refugees were admitted.

Selection of quota refugees

1. The Parliament of Finland decides how many quota refugees are admitted to Finland yearly. 2. The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs prepare a proposal for the Government on the nationalities of the quota refugees and the regions from where they are selected. The Minister of the Interior makes the final decision after discussions with the ministerial group.
3. The UN refugee agency UNHCR determines which refugees need help the most. Only a small percentage of these refugees are proposed to be resettled as quota refugees in different countries. UNHCR sends the documents of the quota refugees proposed to Finland to the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). 4. The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for the selection of quota refugees. Representatives from the municipalities and/or from the centres for economic development, transport and the environment (ELY) as well as the Finnish Security Intelligence Service take part in the selection of quota refugees.
5. The authorities travel to the country where the refugees proposed by UNHCR are staying. The authorities interview the refugees. Some selections are made without interviews on the basis of UNHCR’s documents.* 6. The Finnish Immigration Service decides on the basis of interviews and documents which refugees are admitted to Finland under the refugee quota. The Finnish Immigration Service grants them refugee status and a residence permit.
7. The Finnish Immigration Service places the refugees in municipalities in cooperation with the ELY Centres. 8. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) makes the travel arrangements for the admitted quota refugees at the request of the Finnish Immigration Service.
9. The municipalities receive the quota refugees and their life in Finland can begin.

*Finland admits, for example, emergency cases on the basis of UNHCR’s documents (100 persons) every year.


tatistics on asylum and refugees

Asylum decisions by country of citizenship, top five in 2014

Statistics on asylum and refugees

More statistics available on the Finnish page.

Quota refugees


Asylum applicants

Total figures by nationality

9/2015pdf, 177,9 kB 2014pdf, 168,3 kB 2013pdf, 140,1 kB
2012pdf, 140 kB
2011pdf, 153 kB
2010pdf, 151,2 kB
2009pdf, 145,3 kB
2008pdf, 144,2 kB
2007pdf, 133,6 kB
2006pdf, 85,7 kB
2003-2005pdf, 25 kB
1997-2003pdf, 72,1 kB

Minor unaccompanied asylum applicants by nationality

9/2015pdf, 158,5 kB 2014pdf, 142,7 kB
2013pdf, 115,9 kB
2012pdf, 114 kB
2011pdf, 113,6 kB
2010pdf, 129 kB
2009pdf, 123,5 kB
2008pdf, 124 kB

Decisions on asylum

Total figures by nationality

9/2015pdf, 190,6 kB
2014pdf, 172,6 kB
2013pdf, 141,5 kB
2012pdf, 142,9 kB
2011pdf, 141,9 kB
2010pdf, 131,9 kB
2009pdf, 134,2 kB
2008pdf, 131,1 kB
2007pdf, 142,7 kB
2006pdf, 107,4 kB
2005pdf, 18,5 kB
2004pdf, 71,8 kB
2003pdf, 63,7 kB
2002pdf, 67 kB
2001pdf, 10,3 kB
2000pdf, 12,8 kB

Summary of applicants and decisions on asylum 1990-1999

Minor unaccompanied asylum applicants by nationality

9/2015pdf, 156,9 kB
2014pdf, 143,5 kB 2013pdf, 112 kB
2012pdf, 111,9 kB
2011pdf, 112,2 kB 2010pdf, 129 kB
2009pdf, 107,4 kB 2008pdf, 106,8 kB
2007pdf, 88,1 kB

Note! The asylum figures in the annual statistics differ from those published by Eurostat because Eurostat compiles the number of asylum seekers by the month during the statistical year. Monthly data are updated afterwards, however. Such changes are shown in the annual statistics on this web page.

Processing times


Analyses of statistics and statistical reports on asylum

Analyses of statistics and statistical reports on asylum have been written only in Finnish. They are available on the Finnish page.

International statistics

UN Refugee Agency UNHCR

Statistical Office of the European Commission Eurostat


About jonwadier

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