When a foreign national either has or has had a residence permit and the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision on his or her removal from the country, the person is deported. The majority of deportations are due to residence in the country without a permit. A person may also be deported if he or she has committed a crime in Finland.
When a foreign national does not have a residence permit and the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision on his or her removal from the country, the person is refused entry. For example, an asylum seeker who is removed from the country is not deported but refused entry.
Under the Aliens Act, a foreign national may be deported if:
he or she resides in Finland without the required residence permit;
he or she is found guilty of an offence carrying a maximum sentence of imprisonment for a year or more;
he or she is found guilty of repeated offences;
he or she has, through his or her behaviour, shown that he or she presents a danger to other people’s safety; or
there are reasonable grounds to suspect that he or she may engage in activities that endanger Finland’s national security.
A decision on deportation can be made on the basis of committed crimes if the person is found guilty of serious or repeated offences.
In practice, offences carrying a sentence of imprisonment for a year or more are considered serious offences.
There are no statistics on criminal offences that have led to deportation.
The Finnish Immigration Service receives a deportation proposal from the police. On the basis of the proposal and other information, the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision in the matter. The decision is based on an overall consideration, where the Finnish Immigration Service weighs the grounds for deportation but also other circumstances that speak against it, such as the person’s ties to Finland.
The Finnish Immigration Service can also decide on deportation at its own initiative. This is often the case when the Finnish Immigration Service rejects an application for an extended permit or withdraws a residence permit.
A decision on deportation is enforced if the person has not left the country voluntarily. If a decision on deportation is made on the basis of crimes, the decision can be enforced by the police 30 days after the date when the decision was served. In other cases, the decision is enforced after the decision has become final. In practice, the police are responsible for carrying out removals from the country.
If a person is deported due to residing in Finland without a permit, a time limit between 7 and 30 days can be set, within which he or she must leave the country. No time limit is set when the deportation decision is made on other grounds.
An entry ban may be valid for a fixed term or until further notice. Entry bans are usually valid for 1 to 5 years. An entry ban may be valid until further notice if the person has been sentenced to punishment for a serious or professional offence and he or she is a danger to public order or security. As a rule, entry bans are valid in the entire Schengen area.
Deportation decisions are based on an overall consideration. Among other things, account is taken of whether the person has family members in Finland. Particular attention is paid to the best interest of the child. In addition, at least the following is taken into account:
the duration and purpose of the person’s residence in Finland;
the nature of the residence permit issued to him or her;
the person’s ties to Finland;
the person’s family-related, cultural and social ties to his or her home country;
documents concerning the person’s health;
the seriousness of the act and the detriment, damage or danger caused to public or private security if the decision on deportation or the entry ban is made on the basis of criminal activity.
A person who has been granted refugee status may not be deported to his or her home country if he or she still needs international protection.
According to the principle of non-refoulement, no one may be returned to an area where he or she could be subject to the death penalty, torture, persecution or other treatment violating human dignity. Finland is also bound by international agreements in this respect.