Finnish Immigration Service to reduce reception centre capacity

30.3.2021 13.00

The Finnish Immigration Service terminates its contracts with the reception centres in Halikko and Imatra and reduces the number of beds in seven other reception centres. The accommodation capacity for asylum seekers will decrease by 700 beds in total in Finland.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we aim to reduce capacity at this point instead of closing down several centres. In this way, we will be better prepared to react when the number of asylum seekers possibly grows at some point,” says Senior Adviser Mikko Välisalo. 

The reception centres that will be closed down are not the only reception centres in their region. The number of beds will be reduced in reception centres that currently have 200 beds. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds, so that the capacity will be 150 beds as of 1 July 2021. 

The Helsinki Reception Centre is the only transit centre where beds will be reduced. A transit centre is a reception centre which is located near an office of the Finnish Immigration Service where asylum interviews are held. These centres are primarily meant for new asylum seekers who have just arrived in Finland. The capacity of the Helsinki Reception Centre is reduced also because of the repair work that will begin on the property.

Low number of new asylum seekers

The number of new asylum seekers was low in 2020, during which 1,275 new asylum applications were submitted. The number of new asylum seekers has been low even this year. Between January and February 2021, the number of first asylum applications was 96. 

Approximately 5,800 asylum seekers are currently registered in the reception system, and approximately 2,800 of them live in reception centres. The number of available beds is currently around 1,600, of which approximately 600 to 700 are extra beds. During the coronavirus pandemic, the need for beds has decreased by 150 beds per month.

The Finnish Immigration Service aims for a reception centre capacity that corresponds to the existing need with a yearly occupancy rate of 75 per cent. 

Reception centres to be closed down: 

  • Imatra Reception Centre, Finnish Red Cross, 200 beds. The unit will be closed down by 30 September 2021.
  • Halikko Reception Centre, Finnish Red Cross, 150 beds. The unit will be closed down by 30 September 2021.

Reductions in capacity:

  • Helsinki Reception Centre, City of Helsinki. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds. The new capacity will be 150 as of 1 July 2021. 
  • Kotka Reception Centre, City of Kotka. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds. The new capacity will be 150 as of 1 July 2021.
  • Tampere Reception Centre, City of Tampere. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds. The new capacity will be 150 as of 1 July 2021.
  • Vaasa Reception Centre, City of Vaasa. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds. The new capacity will be 150 as of 1 July 2021.
  • Kristinestad Reception Centre, Finnish Red Cross. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds. The new capacity will be 150 as of 1 July 2021.
  • Pori Reception Centre, Finnish Red Cross. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds. The new capacity will be 150 as of 1 July 2021.
  • Rovaniemi Reception Centre, Finnish Red Cross. The capacity will be reduced by 50 beds. The new capacity will be 150 as of 1 July 2021.

Media inquiries

Mikko Välisalo, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 295 433 037, email: [email protected]
 

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