This is how the Aliens Act will change on 1 June 2019

28.5.2019 9.29
Press release

Some of the provisions of the Aliens Act will change on 1 June 2019. These law changes concern subsequent applications by asylum seekers, taking temporary possession of asylum seekers’ travel documents, family reunification and labour market testing.

In addition, the provisions on asylum seekers’ right to work will made more precise. We will inform our clients of the changes to the right to work separately. All the amendments to the Aliens Act will enter into force on 1 June 2019.

Asylum seekers must have a reason why they did not express their new asylum grounds in their earlier asylum application

An asylum seeker who submits a subsequent application, meaning a new asylum application after a previous one, can present new grounds for asylum. Because of the law changes, there must now be a reason why an asylum seeker who submits a new application did not present these new grounds earlier. The reason must be one that the asylum seeker personally has not been able to affect.

The authorities may take temporary possession of an asylum seeker’s travel document

The new law changes include more precise provisions on taking temporary possession of an asylum seeker’s travel document. In future, the authorities in Finland may take temporary possession of an asylum seeker’s passport or other travel document and keep it until the applicant is granted a residence permit or leaves the country.

The Finnish Immigration Service will ensure that all asylum seekers will be able to prove their identity even if their travel document is in the possession of the authorities.

An asylum seeker who turns 18 during the asylum process will be regarded as minor in family reunification

An asylum seeker who has not yet turned 18 when he or she arrives in Finland but turns 18 during the application process will be regarded as minor when family reunification applications are decided. The Court of Justice of the European Union has already established this practice earlier, and the Finnish Immigration Service has already been implementing it. Now, the practice becomes law.

Applications for family reunification must be submitted within three months from the date on which the asylum seeker received a decision on international protection.

Labour market testing will not be done for all foreign nationals changing careers

If a foreign employee who has worked in Finland with a residence permit for an employed person for at least one year wishes to change occupation, the Employment and Economic Development Office will no longer perform labour market testing. Labour market testing means that the Employment and Economic Development Office establishes whether any suitable labour force is already available for the applicant’s job in the labour market in Finland.

Applications for a residence permit for an employed person are processed in two stages. First, the Employment and Economic Development Office performs labour market testing and makes a partial decision. After this, the Finnish Immigration Service processes the application and makes a decision.