Information on individual cases
Information about the customers of the Finnish Immigration Service is usually confidential. Due to this obligation of secrecy, the Finnish Immigration Service cannot give information about its customers or comment on individual cases even if the person concerned has personally made the matter public.
Whenever a journalist requests information on an individual, the request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Information may only be given when it is obvious that it will not endanger the safety of the person in question or those close to him or her. For example, simply the knowledge that a person has applied for asylum in Finland may endanger his or her safety and the safety his or her relatives.
When requesting information, be prepared to tell us what it will be used for and why. Please also note that the decision on the confidentiality or publicity of the information will not be made immediately. In order to make this decision, the Finnish Immigration Service will review the grounds for the application submitted by the person whom your request concerns. We will also review other information we have about him or her, the processing stage of his or her matter, and the contents of any decision already made.
The secrecy of information is based on the Act on the Openness of Government Activities and the Act on the Register of Aliens. According to the Act on the Register of Aliens, information on matters such as refusal of entry, deportation and prohibition of entry into Finland is sensitive personal information. For additional information see Confidentiality of personal information.
Authorisation from the applicant
A customer of the Finnish Immigration Service can issue a written authorisation to a journalist or another outsider to study his or her documents. The information is only given to the person named in the authorisation, only on the issue outlined in the authorisation and only on closed matters. Furthermore, the authorisation must be recent. The authorisation does not give permission to obtain information to which the applicant him/herself does not have an access (limitations set by the Openness Act 621/1999, section 11).
If the information is used in a story or a programme, it is the journalist’s responsibility to ensure that the applicant understands that the information obtained through the authorisation will be made public in the media.
The authorisation must have the client’s personal signature. A counsel’s signature is not sufficient. Attach an Information Request Form to the authorisation. If there is a reason why the processing of the information request should be expedited, indicate this on the form. Also specify a deadline for the information requested.
The authorisation, request for information and a copy of the authorised person’s (person whose information is requested) identity card must be sent to the Finnish Immigration Service using one of the methods below:
- by e-mail as scanned attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- by fax to +358 295 411 720
- by mail to PO Box 18, 00581 Helsinki
Authorisation form – attachment to the information request form
Processing of requests
Requests for information are processed as quickly as possible, but in some cases, the process can take longer than expected. If the documents are in an administrative court, the request is transferred there.
If for example the scope of the authorisation is unclear, the Finnish Immigration Service will contact the person whose information is requested.
As soon as the information is gathered, the authorised person can make an appointment to study the information. If needed, copies of documents can be sent by mail. A fee is charged for the copies.