Quota refugees

A quota refugee is a person

  • who has had to leave his or her home country or country of permanent residence; and
  • who cannot stay in the country to which he or she has fled; and
  • whom the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has defined as a refugee.

In Finland, when the Parliament approves the Budget for each year, it also decides how many quota refugees Finland commits to receiving. Starting from 2001, Finland has received 750 quota refugees per year. The Parliament may decide on an additional quota. For example in 2014 and 2015, the quota was increased because of the difficult situation in Syria, and 1,050 quota refugees were admitted.

According to the UNHCR, the primary solution for refugees is a safe, voluntary return and resettlement near their home country. This is not always possible, however. About 35 countries are currently admitting quota refugees.

Emergency or urgent cases

In recent years, Finland has reserved 100 places in the quota for urgent cases and persons who need urgent resettlement according to the UNHCR. Finland selects these urgent cases on the basis of UNHCR documents.