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Finnish Immigration Service performed legality control regarding negative decisions issued on extended permits in 2022

Publication date 18.4.2023 11.16
Press release

To monitor the legality of our decisions, we inspected a sample of negative decisions issued on extended permits in 2022. We examined 176 decisions, which is approximately 13 % of all negative decisions issued on extended permits in 2022. Most of the decisions that we inspected had been duly processed in compliance with the law. However, procedural errors and quality problems were detected in 9 % of the decisions that were reviewed. We are taking these findings seriously.

Decisions that contain procedural errors will be reconsidered

We have contacted the customers whose decisions will be reconsidered. This concerns three customers.

In cases where the customer has already been granted a residence permit on some other grounds, the decision will not be corrected.

Procedural errors regarding the examination duty and the hearing of the customer’s views were found

Most of the procedural errors that were found were related to the duty to ensure that a matter is sufficiently examined or to the duty to hear the views of the customer and his or her family members. In addition to procedural errors, quality problems were detected in the decisions that were inspected. The quality problems concerned, for instance, the assessment of family unity and the best interests of the child. 

In 2022, the Finnish Immigration Service issued a total of 1,310 decisions on extended permits. All of these were not inspected because the legality control was a separate inspection conducted on a sample of decisions, with a sample size that was larger than usual. The act on students and researchers was amended on 15 April 2022, and we wanted the sample to reflect decisions issued after that date.

The Finnish Immigration Service has in place an established legality control plan, and control of legality is regularly performed. If necessary, we may also carry out additional inspections to examine individual cases. The number of decisions returned to us by administrative courts due to procedural errors or errors in the interpretation of law is regularly monitored. We also assess whether the returned decisions should lead to changes in our procedures or in the way we apply the law. 

If you think that your decision is wrong

First and foremost, you should appeal against the decision to an administrative court. The name of the court and the time limit for the appeal are stated in the appeal instructions that are attached to your decision. If your decision, or any other document related to the decision, contains a factual or typographical error, the Finnish Immigration Service can correct the error. For more information, see the page Correcting a material or typographical error.

Processing of residence permits and quality of decisions to be further improved

We will correct the erroneous decisions that were detected and improve our internal guidelines. In addition, we will take the following measures to improve our processes:

  1. Document templates, such as templates used for writing decisions or requests for additional information, will be updated and internal instructions for the staff will be clarified.
  2. Instructions for considering the best interests of the child will be updated, and further training will be provided for the staff on the assessment of the best interests of the child.
  3. We will reform our guidelines, and an external audit will be conducted to ensure the quality of the guidelines. In addition, the policies regarding the interpretations made in connection with decisions will be developed further. This work has already been ongoing for several months.
  4. Five inspections will be carried out this year, focusing on different types of residence permit decisions. The aim is to monitor the legality of our decisions and to ensure that a customer-focused approach is followed. We also aim to find ways to harmonise the way the law is applied. In addition, we aim to harmonise our practices and streamline the processing of applications and the decision-making process.