Skip to Content

Frequently asked questions about the situation in Afghanistan

We are currently receiving a large number of questions related to the situation in Afghanistan. On this page, we have put together answers to frequently asked questions. The page will be updated as the situation develops.

Language versions:

I am a Finnish citizen or hold a residence permit in Finland. I am currently in Afghanistan. How can I get to Finland?

Please contact the 24/7 service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

How can I help a family member get to Finland?

The situation in Afghanistan is difficult, and we understand that many are worried about their family members. Unfortunately, as a public authority we are not currently able to take exceptional measures to deviate from statutory permit processes. Therefore, the following continue to apply:

Is family reunification possible for family members currently in Afghanistan?

Yes. The Finnish Immigration Service makes decisions regarding family reunification on a continuous basis as it receives all of the necessary information related to applications.

Unfortunately, the current security situation in Afghanistan and the coronavirus pandemic have made it more difficult to visit Finnish missions abroad. For more information on the operations of Finnish missions, see the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website.

Where can I prove my identity for my residence permit application? Who can I contact about proving my identity? 

When applying for your first residence permit, you must prove your identity at a Finnish mission abroad or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in Finland. If you are not in Finland, you must apply for your first residence permit or prove your identity in a country in which you reside legally.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is responsible for the operations of Finnish missions. For more information on Finnish missions, see the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website.

How do I book an appointment at a Finnish mission?

The operations of Finnish missions are the responsibility of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. For more information on the missions and booking an appointment, see the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website.

I have applied for my first residence permit outside of Finland, and am unable to visit the embassy in New Delhi. Can I visit another Finnish mission?

You must apply for your first residence permit or prove your identity in a country in which you reside legally. The Finnish Immigration Service cannot influence the decision as to which mission an applicant for a residence permit must visit, as this determination is made by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. For more information, visit the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finnish missions.

Can I submit a residence permit application on behalf of a relative? Is it possible to submit a residence permit application by email? 

Residence permit applications must be submitted personally. Therefore, it is not possible to apply for a residence permit on behalf of a spouse, relative, or other person. 

It is unfortunately not possible to submit a residence permit application by email.

I do not have a valid passport. Can I still submit a residence permit application?

You may be granted a residence permit only if you are able to travel to Finland and stay in the country legally. This means that you need a passport or other travel document with which you can travel to Finland and which is valid for the entire duration of the residence permit. 

Travel documents include passports, alien's passports, and refugee travel documents.

I'm under 18 years old and I have come to Finland alone. My parent or guardian lives abroad and has applied for a residence permit in Finland on the basis of family ties. Does my parent or guardian need to meet the income requirement?

Your parent or guardian does not need to meet the income requirement, if:

  • you have been granted asylum or refugee status as a quota refugee on 1 July 2016 or later, and 
  • your family member is applying for a residence permit within three months after you received a decision on your application. The three months are counted from the date you were informed of the decision.
  • For more information, see the page Residence permit application for a guardian whose child lives in Finland as a refugee

Your parent or guardian is required to have sufficient financial resources from other sources than benefits paid by the society, if: 

In addition, your parent or guardian must have sufficient financial resources, if:

An exemption may be made from the income requirement if there are exceptionally serious grounds for such an exemption or if it is in the best interest of the child. If you think that your parent or guardian should not be required to have sufficient financial resources, you can attach to the application a free-form written statement of the reasons why an exemption should be made.

I'm under 18 years old and I have come to Finland alone. My sister lives abroad and has applied for a residence permit in Finland on the basis of family ties. Does she need to meet the income requirement?

A sister or brother who resides abroad is not required to have sufficient financial resources if the following conditions are met:

Asylum seekers

I am an Afghan asylum seeker. I have not received a decision on my application. What happens to my application now?

When processing your application, we assess whether you may be granted asylum, subsidiary protection status, or an other residence permit. We will make a positive decision on your asylum application if sufficient grounds for granting the permit exist.

We have temporarily suspended issuing negative decisions that would involve removal from the country to Afghanistan. We are assessing the security situation in Afghanistan. The Finnish Immigration Service always uses up-to-date country information when making decisions. 

The availability of this information, which is necessary in the decision-making process, is affected by the changes in the security situation in Afghanistan. As we do not currently have all of the necessary information regarding the different regions of Afghanistan in the context of a quickly changing situation, the processing time of your application may be longer than expected.

We will let our customers know when the new assessment of the security situation is completed.

I’m an asylum seeker but not from Afghanistan. How does the situation in Afghanistan affect the processing time of my asylum application? 

The situation in Afghanistan does not affect the processing time of your asylum application. For more information about the processing times of asylum applications, see Waiting for the decision - Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi)

I’m an asylum seeker from Afghanistan. Will new asylum seekers get their decision faster than those who have been waiting for a decision longer? 

We aim to issue decisions first for those asylum seekers who have been waiting the longest. For more information about processing times of asylum applications, see Waiting for the decision - Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi).

Is the police currently denying admittance or stay to those who have received a negative decision and sending them to Afghanistan?

Finland is not currently returning anyone to Afghanistan.

I received a negative decision on my asylum application. I have been denied admittance or stay and will be sent to Afghanistan. What can I do now?

Finland is not currently returning anyone to Afghanistan.

The decision you received tells you whether you can appeal against it. In most cases, it is possible to appeal against a decision on an asylum application. 

If appealing against the decision is possible in your case, the decision you receive is accompanied by appeal instructions. The instructions specify the Administrative Court to which you may appeal, the appeal period, the attachments needed, and the ways you may submit your appeal to the Administrative Court. You can appeal against a decision while the appeal period is ongoing. Once the appeal period expires and the decision becomes final, you can no longer appeal against it.

If you have received a final decision on your application, you may submit a subsequent application. If your previous decision can still be appealed, the decision is not final. Subsequent applications must be submitted as soon as there are grounds or need for applying again. Subsequent applications are submitted to the police or the border control authorities. 

I have lodged an appeal against the decision on my asylum application with the Administrative Court. I have not yet received a decision on my appeal. What happens now?

The Administrative Court makes a decision on your appeal. If you have any questions about the processing of your appeal, contact your legal counsel. Please direct your questions to the instance which is currently processing your appeal, such as an administrative court or the Supreme Administrative Court.

The Administrative Court approved my appeal against a negative decision on my asylum application and returned the matter to the Finnish Immigration Service for renewed consideration. Can I be granted a residence permit now, given the changes in the security situation in Afghanistan?

The Administrative Court may have amended the decision of the Finnish Immigration Service or ordered the Finnish Immigration Service to consider the matter again. 

If the Administrative Court has decided that the permit must be granted, the Finnish Immigration Service will issue you with the permit. The Finnish Immigration Service may also request leave to appeal in respect of the Administrative Court’s decision from the Supreme Administrative Court. 

If the Administrative Court has returned the matter for renewed consideration, the Finnish Immigration Service reviews the matter in order to determine whether sufficient grounds exist to grant you asylum, subsidiary protection status, or an other residence permit in Finland.     

In light of the current situation, is it possible that the processing of my asylum application will take longer than expected?

The availability of up-to-date country information, which is necessary in the decision-making process, is affected by the changes in the security situation in Afghanistan. As we do not currently have all of the necessary information regarding the different regions of Afghanistan in the context of a quickly changing situation, the processing time of your application may be longer than expected.

I have received a notification of the termination of my reception services. Will my reception services continue due to the situation in Afghanistan? 

Please contact your reception centre. Your reception centre can then contact the police department that issued the notification. The police department can cancel the notification. After that, your reception services will continue. Alternatively, the director of the reception centre can decide that you can be provided with reception services for a reasonable period for a special personal reason. At the moment, Finland does not return anyone to Afghanistan. For the time being, assisted voluntary return to Afghanistan cannot be arranged.  

I have received a notification of the termination of my reception services. Can I re-apply for asylum due to the situation in Afghanistan? 

Under law, you can submit a subsequent application if you have received a final decision on your previous application. If your previous decision can still be appealed, the decision is not final. You should submit a new asylum application immediately when there are grounds or need for applying again. If you wish to submit a new asylum application, contact the police or the border control authorities.  

I’m worried about my family and I want to return to Afghanistan. Can I apply for assisted voluntary return from Finland to return to Afghanistan? 

For the time being, assisted voluntary return to Afghanistan cannot be arranged. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has, for the time being, suspended the arrangements for voluntary return to Afghanistan.