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Selection of quota refugees


The Parliament of Finland decides how many quota refugees are admitted to Finland yearly.


The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs prepare a proposal for the Government on the nationalities of the quota refugees and the regions from where they are selected. The Ministerial Working Group on Internal Security and Strengthening the Rule of Law decides on the regional allocation of the refugee quota.


The UN refugee agency UNHCR determines which refugees need help the most. The agency only proposes a small percentage of these refugees for resettlement as quota refugees in different countries. The UNHCR sends the documents of the quota refugees proposed to Finland to the Finnish Immigration Service.


The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for the selection of quota refugees. In addition, representatives of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres), wellbeing services counties and/or municipalities as well as the Finnish Security Intelligence Service take part in the selection of quota refugees.


As a rule, the authorities travel to the country where the refugees proposed by the UNHCR are staying and interview the refugees. Emergency cases are always selected on the basis of UNHCR documents but without interviews, because they are in urgent need of help.


On the basis of documents and interviews, the Finnish Immigration Service decides which refugees are admitted to Finland under the refugee quota and grants them refugee status and a residence permit.


The Finnish Immigration Service resettles the refugees in municipalities in cooperation with the ELY Centres.


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) makes the travel arrangements for the admitted quota refugees at the request of the Finnish Immigration Service. The Finnish Red Cross agrees on the practical arrival arrangements with the municipalities and receives the quota refugees when they arrive at the airport.


The municipalities receive the quota refugees, and their life in Finland can begin.