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Transfers of asylum seekers from the Mediterranean have been completed

Publication date 27.12.2023 10.37

On 15 December 2022, the former Government decided that Finland would take up to 175 asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region to ease the pressure on the reception systems in the EU Member States in the Mediterranean. The last asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region have now been relocated to Finland.

Since May 2023, 175 asylum seekers have been relocated to Finland. In total, 55 of them were relocated from Cyprus, and 30 asylum seekers were relocated from Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain. Approximately 85% of them had arrived in Finland by the end of August, and the transfers were completed on 14 December 2023. 

Emphasis on vulnerable persons

According to the Government’s decision, it had to be likely that the relocated asylum seekers are in need of international protection. Priority was given to vulnerable persons, such as unaccompanied minors, single-parent families and persons with illnesses or disabilities. 

While 30% of the asylum seekers relocated to Finland are Afghan citizens, 22% hold Syrian citizenship and 15% hold Somalian citizenship. The rest of them represent ten different nationalities.

The share of men among the relocated persons is 59% and the share of women is 41%. One per cent of the relocated asylum seekers are 66 years old or older, while 30% are aged 0–13, 6% are aged 14–17, 51% are aged 18–35 and 12% are aged 35–65. 

Approximately half of the asylum seekers have arrived as a family, and half of them have arrived alone. 

Asylum applications are processed individually

Like all asylum applications, the applications submitted by the relocated asylum seekers will be processed individually by the Finnish Immigration Service.

“More than 4,000 first asylum applications have been submitted in Finland this year, and less than five per cent of the applications have been submitted by the asylum seekers relocated from the Mediterranean region. Their applications have not been given priority unless the applicant is, for example, a minor or ill,” says Mikko Montin, Head of Section at the Asylum Unit.

So far, the Finnish Immigration Service has made a few decisions on the asylum applications submitted by the relocated asylum seekers. Most of the decisions have been positive, and some decisions have been negative.

Media enquiries

Mikko Montin, Head of Section, tel. 0295 433 037, email: 

Press release