Filing an administrative complaint with the Finnish Immigration Service
You can file an administrative complaint with the Finnish Immigration Service if you suspect that
- a public official at the Finnish Immigration Service
- a reception centre or its employee
- a detention unit or its employee
- the assistance system for victims of human trafficking or its employee
has acted unlawfully or failed to fulfil their obligations.
If your complaint concerns senior officials at the Finnish Immigration Service or the agency as a whole, you can file a complaint with the Ministry of the Interior. If such complaints are filed with the Finnish Immigration Service, we will transfer them to the Ministry of the Interior.
How do I file a complaint?
Anyone can file an administrative complaint. It can be submitted in free form
- Please note that if your complaint concerns a matter you are not a party to, confidential information cannot be disclosed to you on the basis of the complaint you have filed.
To file a complaint, you can use a specific administrative complaint form or write a free-form complaint that includes at least the following information:
- your name and contact details
- the name of the person or authority your complaint concerns (this can be an authority, a person employed by an authority or another entity performing a public administrative duty)
- your description of what happened and when it happened
- your grounds for thinking that the official has acted unlawfully or failed to fulfil his or her obligations.
You can send the complaint letter or form either by post or by email. Alternatively, you can submit your complaint to a reception centre, detention unit or to the assistance system for victims of human trafficking. From there, your complaint will be forwarded to the Finnish Immigration Service.
A complaint can be filed orally only in exceptional circumstances, for example if you are unable to submit your complaint in written form for health reasons. In that case, you must be prepared to orally provide the same information which otherwise would have to be written in a letter.
We will request that you supplement your complaint with additional information if we deem this necessary for the processing of the matter.
Having a complaint examined is free of charge.
An administrative complaint cannot be used to appeal against a decision
An administrative complaint can never be used as a means of appealing against a decision on residence permit, asylum or citizenship. A complaint provides no grounds for the Finnish Immigration Service to change or annul a decision already made.
To appeal against a decision on residence permit, asylum or citizenship, you must appeal it to an administrative court. Instructions on how to appeal are attached to the decision.
Investigation of a complaint
Administrative complaints are investigated in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, where applicable. If necessary, a statement will be requested from the official who is the subject of the complaint. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated unless there are special grounds for conducting an investigation.
The Finnish Immigration Service will provide you with a written reply. This reply will also be delivered to the official whose actions are the subject of the complaint. It is not possible to appeal against a decision given in an administrative complaint matter.
Based on a complaint, the Finnish Immigration Service may alter its procedures or issue new guidelines or orders.
If the Finnish Immigration Service finds that the conduct of the official in question was reprehensible, the Finnish Immigration Service may issue him or her with a reprimand or warning, for example. If there is reason to suspect that a crime has been committed, the Finnish Immigration Service will transfer the task of conducting an investigation to the police.