Frequently asked questions about the maximum processing times of asylum applications

What does the maximum processing time mean?

Under a new law, asylum applications submitted on or after 20 July 2018 must be decided within six months.

Which applications does the change in legislation concern?

The new maximum processing time applies to applications submitted on or after 20 July 2018. The time limit for processing this type of applications is counted from the date on which the application was submitted to the police or the border control authorities.

Which applications are not affected by the change?

The new provisions do not apply to applications submitted before 20 July 2018 or to matters returned to the agency by the Administrative Courts.

What will happen to applications submitted before 20 July 2018 or to matters returned to the agency by the Administrative Courts?

The maximum processing time of six months does not apply to applications submitted before 20 July 2018. The Finnish Immigration Service continues to process asylum applications submitted before 20 July 2018 simultaneously with the more recent applications.

Can the processing of an application submitted on or after 20 July 2018 take longer than six months?

Under the law, the processing time may be longer than six months in the following cases:

A decision must be made within 15 months if:

  1. the case involves complicated issues related to factual or legal circumstances;
  2. it is very difficult in practice to finish the procedure within a period of six months because a large number of third-country nationals or stateless persons are applying for international protection at the same time;
  3. the delay is clearly due to the fact that the applicant has failed to contribute to the investigation of his or her application.

A decision must be made within 18 months if a longer time is needed to ensure a proper and reasoned investigation of the application for international protection.

If a decision cannot be made within the periods specified above because the situation in the country of origin is unstable, it must nevertheless be made within 21 months.

What should I do if the processing of my application has taken longer than six months even though I have submitted it on or after 20 July 2018?

Clients do not need to contact the Finnish Immigration Service. If the processing of an application takes longer than expected, the Finnish Immigration Service will notify the client of this in writing and will also send a new estimate of the processing time.

What if the estimated processing time of an application submitted before 20 July 2018 has been exceeded?

Clients are given an estimate of the processing time in the asylum interview. If the estimate given in your asylum interview has been exceeded, you can check the expected processing time of your application using the Processing Time Checker on our website. The Processing Time Checker can be found on the front page of the website of the Finnish Immigration Service at www.migri.fi.

Also an asylum seeker’s legal counsel or an employee at the reception centre can contact the Finnish Immigration Service if necessary.

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