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Finland: Number of Asylum Applications Remained Low & Number of Subsequent Applications Dropped in 2021

As the Baltic and Central European countries grapple with a migration crisis, Finland is seeing a drop in asylum applications.

The latest press release from the Finnish Immigration Service revealed that the number of asylum applications fell by 20 percent in 2021 – which is a total of 2,545 asylum applications submitted, reports.

The main nationalities that applied for this year were Iraqis, Afghans and Somalis. A total of 1,383 new asylum applications were submitted this year, 108 more than in 2020.

According to the Finnish Immigration Service, the most noticeable decrease in asylum applications is the decrease in the number of subsequent applications, which is an additional application made by asylum seekers after receiving the final decision, which decreased from 1,934 in 2020 to 1,162 – a 39 percent decrease.

Currently, few asylum seekers arrive in Finland, although there are still reasons for refugees to leave their country. Director-General Jari Kahkkonen noted that only a small percentage of the world’s refugees are able to move away from areas close to conflict zones.

The share of Finnish refugees in 2021 was 1,050 people, which is about 40 people less than in 2020. In addition, a total of 891 asylum seekers arrived in Finland last year. Refugees usually move to the country in the year in which they are chosen or the year after.

However, the situation in Belarus did not really affect the number of asylum applications, as was expected, but about 40 asylum applications indicated the use of Belarus as a route.

Last year’s events in Afghanistan encouraged the Finnish government to provide residence permits to 236 Afghan nationals on special humanitarian grounds. These people are also not included in the asylum statistics.

>> Finland grants residence permits to 220 Afghans working for Finnish authorities, NATO and the European Union due to the situation in Afghanistan

Moreover, a total of 88 Afghans who arrived on the evacuation flight applied for asylum in the country, the majority of whom were family members of people granted consular protection. However, the unstable situation in Afghanistan did not affect the Finnish immigration statistics in other aspects. In all, Afghans submitted 403 asylum applications in 2021.

Last year, the government offered to accommodate 175 vulnerable asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region which was completed in 2021.

On the other hand, the Finnish Immigration Service revealed that the number of applications for first residence permits increased in 2021, reaching an all-time record of 36,206 applications. The main purpose of these applications was related to work, and the top nationalities with permits were citizens of Estonia, Germany and Latvia.

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