Skip to Content

Forecasts about the number of applications

On this page you will find the following forecasts:

The Finnish Immigration Service’s foresight network consists of experts who meet three times a year to make quantitative and qualitative forecasts about migration to Finland and about asylum seekers arriving in Finland. The forecasts have been made in cooperation with different authorities and interest groups. The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for coordinating the work of the foresight network. The network’s operations are directed by an inter-administrative steering group consisting of different authorities.

The foresight network has prepared forecasts about the number of applicants for international protection in 2023 and 2024. Forecasts about the number of residence permit applications submitted on the basis of work and studies will be published in the spring of 2023.

The forecasts are updated three times a year and published on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service. This page was last updated on 30 January 2023.

Number of applications for temporary protection remains high

The war in Ukraine affects Finland also in the future. According to the forecasts by the foresight network, 

  • between 30,000 and 40,000 people will apply for temporary protection in Finland in 2023 
  • between 10,000 and 15,000 people will apply for temporary protection in Finland in 2024.

The number of applicants arriving from Ukraine depends, among other things, on 

  • the duration and extent of the war
  • the development of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine
  • the strain on the reception capacity especially in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries and in the Baltic countries
  • the number of Ukrainians who move between EU countries.

As it is difficult to predict how the war in Ukraine and the refugee situation resulting from the war develops, there are considerable uncertainties regarding the estimated numbers of applications in 2023 and 2024.

Number of asylum applications is expected to increase moderately

The number of asylum applications was high in the European Union in 2022. The large number of applications is linked with the political and economic situation in countries of origin and transit, prolonged conflicts and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, among other things. In addition, smuggling routes have become more active, which has increased illegal entry into the EU.

A total of 3,100 first asylum applications submitted in Finland in 2022

After 2015–2016, the number of applicants for international protection has been stable in Finland, except for 2019–2021 when the number of applicants was notably lower because of the travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2022, the number of applications was back at the same level as it was before the pandemic. Last year, 3,100 first asylum applications were submitted in Finland, excluding applications from Ukrainian citizens.

The main reason behind the total increase in the number of asylum seekers in Finland is Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which has led to an increased number of Russian asylum seekers in Finland.

Russian citizens submitted 1,100 first asylum applications in 2022

The number of asylum seekers from Russia has been relatively low since entry and visa restrictions were imposed at the end of September. 

However, the number of applications is considerably higher than in recent years. The majority of the applications were submitted after mobilisation was declared in Russia on 21 September 2022.

According to the forecasts by the foresight network, Russian citizens will submit 1,000–1,500 first asylum applications per year also in 2023 and 2024.

The number of asylum seekers depends, among other things, on

  • entry and visa restrictions imposed by Finland
  • whether Russian citizens who already have entered the country with a visa will apply for asylum
  • the internal situation in Russia
  • the actions of the Russian border authorities. 

Approximately 4,000 asylum applications are expected per year

According to the forecasts by the foresight network, the number of first asylum applications will increase in 2023 and 2024 and be approximately 4,000 per year.

The reasons behind the expected increase include prolonged conflicts in countries of origin most relevant to Finland and the strained refugee situation within transit countries such as Türkiye, Lebanon and Libya. The control of the internal and external borders of Europe and the geographical distance between Finland and the key entry routes limits the increase, which is expected to remain moderate in the next few years.

However, there may be sudden and unexpected changes in the number of applications for international protection.