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The Finnish Immigration service introduces automatic post-decision monitoring of student residence permits

Publication date 28.9.2023 9.12

The automatic post-decision monitoring of student residence permits starts on 28 September 2023. The purpose of the post-decision monitoring is to check that students still meet the requirements for the residence permit granted to them.

Student residence permits whose validity started on 1 June 2022 or later and that were granted for studies that lead to a degree will be subject to the post-decision monitoring.  The Finnish Immigration Service checks that the studies have been started, that they have progressed, that the student’s right to study is still valid, and that other requirements for a student’s residence permit are met.

“The post-decision monitoring is our statutory obligation but it also benefits Finnish society and our customers from the perspective of internal security. It enables us to detect labour abuse and human trafficking, for example,” says Pauliina Helminen, Director of Permit and Nationality Unit.

Automatic post-decision monitoring enables effective control processes

A legislative amendment made in 2022 enabled granting residence permits for students for the entire duration of their studies. Before the amendment, the requirements for the student residence permit were checked when a student applied for an extended residence permit. Today, students are usually granted a residence permit for the entire duration of their studies, i.e. for a period of several years, and they may not need to ever apply for an extended permit.

The automatic post-decision monitoring is based on automatic register checks. The Finnish Immigration Service can run register checks on different national registers, such Kela’s register, the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Koski register, and the Population Information System registers. Based on the results of the register checks, the Finnish Immigration Service assesses whether the requirements for a residence permit are still met.

Some of the processes of the post-decision monitoring have been automated, but the decision to withdraw a residence permit will be made by a Finnish Immigration Service official in the future as well.

“Automation enables periodic monitoring with a better coverage, and ensures our officials can focus on the tasks that demand their full expertise,” says Anna Cheung, Chief Digital Officer.

Withdrawals of residence permits are always based on case-specific deliberation

If the results of automated post-decision monitoring register checks call for a closer review of whether the requirements for a residence permit are still met, the case is referred to a Finnish Immigration Service official.

The customer’s situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If there are grounds for considering the withdrawal of the residence permit, the customer will be heard before the decision is made.

If a customer’s residence permit is withdrawn, the customer has 30 days from the date they receive the decision to request a review of the decision. Usually, the customer’s right to work remains, and they can reside in Finland until their request for review is processed.

The Finnish Immigration Service has carried out post-decision monitoring since 2017. The targets for post-decision monitoring are chosen by the agency annually.

Further information for the media

  • Automation: Chief Digital Officer Anna Cheung, firstname.lastname@migri.fi, tel. +358 (0)295 433 037
  • Withdrawal of residence permits: Director of Permit and Nationality Unit Pauliina Helminen, firstname.lastname@migri.fi, tel. +358 (0)295 433 037