Backlogs in the processing of residence permit applications based on family ties
There are currently backlogs in the processing of residence permit applications based on family ties. At the moment, there are approximately 10,800 applications waiting for a decision. We apologise for the delays.
Most applications are processed within three months
The backlogs do not concern the majority of the applications submitted on the basis of family ties. Of all the applications submitted in 2022 on the basis of family ties, more than 55% were processed within three months and 75% within six months of submitting the application.
Most applicants have received a positive decision. In 2022, a total of 17,476 decisions were made on applications for a first residence permit on the basis of family ties, and 11,589 decisions were made on applications for an extended permit. Positive decisions accounted for around 93% of the decisions on first permits and for around 96% of the decisions on extended permits.
If you have not yet received a decision on your application, there is no need to worry. We will contact you if additional information is needed for your application.
When processing applications, we always pay attention to the best interest of the child and the protection of family life. The average processing time is shorter for applications of minors.
Take this into account when you apply for a residence permit on the basis of family ties:
1. Fill in the application carefully.
- If you fill in the application thoroughly and attach all the required documents, we will be able to process it faster.
- The backlogs especially concern applications that require additional information in order to be processed. Check that you have sent all the requested attachments. Make sure that you have also delivered legalised documentation on family ties and documents on your financial resources as instructed.
2. Legalise the documents before you submit the application.
- You must have legalised documentation on family ties, such as a marriage certificate or your child’s birth certificate. Bring the original documents with you when you visit a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) or a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service to prove your identity.
3. If there are any changes in your family ties, notify the Finnish Immigration Service of the changes.
- Changes in family ties include, for example, divorce, marriage, the birth of a child and changes in the custody of a child. For instructions on notifying changes in family ties, see the page Changes in your family ties.
4. Remember to renew your passport if it expires soon.
- You must have a valid passport to be granted a residence permit. If your passport expires soon, renew your passport in time.
- An expiring passport cannot be used as grounds to expedite the processing of a residence permit application.
Why are there backlogs?
In recent years, the number of applications based on family ties has increased significantly.
In 2020, we received less than 8,400 applications for a first residence permit on the basis of family ties. In 2021, the total number of such applications was more than 13,700. In 2022, we received less than 19,000 applications for a first residence permit on the basis of family ties and more than 13,000 applications for an extended permit.
We are trying to clear the backlogs by every means possible. We have recruited more staff and we are developing the processing of applications.