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Are you an asylum seeker from Afghanistan in Finland? Read below for current information about the processing of your application

Publication date 20.3.2023 13.05
Press release

The Finnish Immigration Service has updated its guidelines on the processing of asylum applications from Afghans.

The changes concern especially you if you are

  • an Afghan woman or girl who is in Finland, or you are
  • a Hazara or a Shia Muslim from the provinces of Nangarhar or Kunar or from the cities of Kabul, Mazar-i Sharif or Kunduz.

We grant asylum (refugee status) in Finland to all Afghan women and girls as well as Hazaras and Shia Muslims who come from the provinces of Nangarhar or Kunar or from the cities of Kabul, Mazar-i Sharif or Kunduz.

This is what you should do if you are a Hazara or a Shia Muslim from the above-mentioned regions or a women or girl 

1. A decision has not yet been made on your asylum application

  • Wait for the decision. We will make a decision on your application as soon as possible in accordance with the updated guidelines.
  • If you are still waiting for your asylum interview, the decision will be made immediately after the interview.

2. You have appealed against a decision and the matter is to be decided by an appellate court (an administrative court or the Supreme Administrative Court)

  • You can wait for the decision of the appellate court. We have informed the appellate courts of the changed guidelines so that they can take them into account in their decisions. Matters that are returned back to the Finnish Immigration Service by the appellate courts will be decided quickly.

3. A decision has already been made on your asylum application and you have been granted some other residence permit instead of asylum

  • You can submit a subsequent application to the police or the border authorities. We will consider the grounds you have given and decide whether to arrange a new asylum interview or whether your matter can be decided without an asylum interview. We can make a decision without an interview if we consider that you can be granted asylum on the basis of facts that have emerged earlier. We will always ask for your consent to decide the matter without an interview. We will make these decisions quickly.
  • The instructions mentioned above also apply to a situation where you have received a negative decision on your asylum application that has become final. The decision has become final in the following situations:
    • You have been served with a decision and you have not appealed against it to an administrative court within 30 days of service of the decision. 
    • You have been served with a decision issued by an administrative court and you have not appealed against it to the Supreme Administrative Court within 30 days.
    • You have received a decision issued by the Supreme Administrative Court on your application for leave to appeal and on your appeal.

Other Afghan asylum seekers in Finland

We will process all applications from Afghans individually. We will make a decision on your application in accordance with the latest guidelines. When processing your asylum application, we assess whether you can be granted 

  • asylum
  • subsidiary protection status or 
  • some other residence permit. 

If you cannot be granted asylum or subsidiary protection status, we will assess whether there are grounds to grant you a residence permit in Finland on a discretionary basis on humanitarian grounds. The permit can be granted if, for example, you have a serious illness for which you cannot receive treatment in Afghanistan.

We do not currently issue negative decisions leading to a removal from the country to Afghan asylum seekers. At the moment, Finland is returning Afghans to Afghanistan only in exceptional cases.

You need to be within the Finnish territory when you apply for asylum in Finland

You cannot apply for asylum for example by sending a letter or an email to the Finnish Immigration Service. It is not possible to apply for asylum at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) located outside Finland.

There is no application form that you can fill in to apply for asylum in advance. Asylum applications can only be lodged with the police or border control authorities in Finland in person.

If you belong to one of the groups mentioned in this bulletin and you have been granted a residence permit on some other grounds in Finland, you can apply for asylum if you wish to do so.

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