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The number of Ingrian Finnish returnees approximately 30,000 – well over 300 applications still expected to arrive

Publication date 13.5.2016 11.21
News item

The remigration of Ingrian Finns that started in the beginning of the 1990s is ending. The last date to apply for a residence permit on the basis of remigration is 1 July 2016.

The Finnish Immigration Service estimates that a further 300−400 persons will apply for a residence permit on the basis of remigration at the last minute. The estimate is based on the number of people considering remigration that have taken part in language examinations.

During the last more than 20 years, about 30 000 Ingrian Finns have moved to Finland. In the years 2011−2015, the Finnish Immigration Service granted around 1,500 residence permits in total to returnees. Between January and April 2016, the number of granted permits was 83.

Ingrian Finns can get a residence permit in Finland on the basis of remigration if they themselves, one of their parents or at least two of their grandparents are or have previously been Finnish by nationality. The applicant also has had to register for the remigration queue in Russia before 1 July 2011.

Requirements for granting a residence permit on the basis of remigration also include adequate language skills and that the applicant has accommodation in Finland. An applicant is considered to have adequate language skills when he or she has passed a language examination arranged by the Finnish Immigration Service or the Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency test at level A2.

Last language examinations arranged in Russia in May

A total of 217 persons have registered for the last ever language examinations for Ingrian Finnish returnees arranged in May. Ninety-two persons participated in the two-day long language examination arranged this week in St. Petersburg and 125 persons have registered for an equivalent language examination in Petrozavodsk next week.

A total of 1,600 persons participated in the language examinations arranged for returnees between 2003 and 2007. Of these, about 80 per cent passed the exam. Moreover, approximately 4,000 persons have participated in the around 85 language examinations arranged between 2008 and 2016 by the Finnish Immigration Service. A one-year long remigration training has also been arranged for those taking part in the examinations, with a focus on language training.

What’s next?

Starting from 1 July, Ingrian Finns will be granted a residence permit on the same grounds as other applicants. Their family members may be granted a residence permit only if they have sufficient means of support in Finland.

Ingrian evacuees during World War II and Ingrian Finns who served in the Finnish army between 1939 and 1945 may still apply for a residence permit on the basis of remigration. The language skills requirement does not apply to them.

Similarly, remigration does not end for former Finnish citizens or descendants of Finnish citizens by birth.

Further information for the media

Marianne Laine, Head of Remigration Team

tel. +358 295 430 431,

Press release