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Asylum in Finland

Effect of crime on the asylum process

If you commit a crime while your asylum application is being processed, the crime investigation is kept separate from the processing of your application. The police will investigate the crime, while the Finnish Immigration Service will handle your asylum application. If an asylum seeker has committed a crime, the asylum application will be processed in an accelerated procedure.

The Finnish Immigration Service issues decisions on refusal of entry or deportation to persons who are guilty of crimes, if this legally possible.


Non-refoulement means that no one, even if he or she has committed an aggravated crime, can be sent to a country where he or she faces a risk of being subjected to the death penalty, torture, persecution or other inhuman or degrading treatment.

Non-refoulement is based on the Finnish constitution, Aliens Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. The Finnish Immigration Service always respects the principle of non-refoulement.

If an asylum seeker has committed crimes and there are no grounds for granting him or her asylum (that is, refugee status) and he or she is able to return safely to his or her home country, he or she may receive a negative decision that includes a decision on refusal of entry.

Asylum seekers convicted in Finland may serve their sentences in Finland

If an asylum seeker is convicted of a crime, it is possible that he or she may have to serve a sentence in Finland.

A person with a refugee status usually has the right to reunify his or her family, but if he or she is in prison, his or her family members cannot get residence permits.

After the sentence is served, the person may be deported if the circumstances that affected the granting of his or her refugee status have changed in a way that he or she no longer has grounds for asylum in Finland.