Frequently asked questions: Automation
What is an automated decision?
An automated decision means that our system automatically makes a positive decision on your application if your application meets certain requirements. Our system makes an automated decision only where this is possible under law. Automation is based on the rules formulated by the Finnish Immigration Service. These rules are based on law. The system uses these rules to check whether your application meets the requirements laid down in law.
See all the requirements for an automated decision on the page Implementation decisions.
How does automation work?
We take advantage of automation in decision-making and in the processing of applications. For example, applications are automatically directed to different processing paths, which makes the processing more efficient and improves customer service. In addition to automation, the processing of applications and decision-making involve steps taken by authorities.
Automation is based on the rules formulated by the Finnish Immigration Service. These rules are based on law. The system uses these rules to check whether your application meets the requirements laid down in law. Automated decision-making does not use artificial intelligence.
You have mentioned earlier that you are using automation. How does the now implemented automated processing differ from the automation used earlier?
So-called assistive automation has been in use at the Finnish Immigration Service for several years. Assistive automation means that a set of automated rules has been established to help officials verify that an application meets the necessary requirements applicable to the permit in question. A requirement may be automatically marked as met if there is no need for our specialist to assess it. If discretion must be exercised, the requirement is directed to our specialist for examination. Once all the requirements for the application have been met, a draft decision is automatically generated. The draft decision is then validated by our specialist.
Even though this type of assistive automation has been in use for several years, introducing fully automated decisions has not previously been possible due to a lack of general legislation on the matter. Now that the current legislation allows automated decisions, the Finnish Immigration Service will gradually start identifying standard cases in different permit processes in which automated decisions could be issued. Standard cases are applications that in the authority’s estimation must always be decided on in the same way.
Who can get an automated decision?
We started using automated decision-making in October 2023. At the moment, you may be granted an automated decision on the following applications in specific cases:
- the first residence permit for studies.
Why can’t all students get automated decisions?
We introduce automated decisions in stages. We first start using automated decision-making in the case of degree students at universities and exchange students in all educational institutions, because their applications rarely require individual assessment.
We aim to expand the use of automated decision-making to other standard cases among students’ applications.
University students account for approximately 25 % of all students annually coming to Finland. When some of the students receive an automated decision, our specialists can focus their time on the processing of other applications. This way, automated decisions will shorten the processing times of applications from other students as well.
Can a member of my family receive an automated decision?
Under law, family members cannot receive an automated decision. Therefore, automated decisions are not given to the applicants who apply for a permit at the same time as their family members.
However, we take account of the family members who are applying for a permit at the same time as the main applicant and try to issue decisions for them at the same time.