Study: introduction of additional requirements would be of little consequence for family reunification of beneficiaries of international protection
The potential introduction of additional requirements for family reunification, in addition to the already introduced requirement of sufficient means of subsistence, would have only minor impacts. A study reviewing the family reunification criteria examined the consequences of the potential implementation of the additional requirements laid down in the EU Family Reunification Directive in Finland. These additional requirements concern integration, accommodation, period of stay, minimum age, and sickness insurance.
With regard to these additional requirements, the study focused on examining their consequences especially for beneficiaries of international protection and their family members. The study reviewed also the application of the requirement of sufficient means of subsistence in marriages between Finnish citizens and third country nationals.
Behind the study lies a legislative amendment that entered into force last summer. The amendment extended the scope of application of the requirement of sufficient means of subsistence to cover, with certain exceptions, the family members of beneficiaries of international protection also in cases where the family has been established before the sponsor’s entry in Finland. Already before the amendment, the requirement of sufficient means of subsistence applied to families that had been established after the sponsor’s entry in Finland.
As a consequence of the amendment, the group that would be affected by the possible introduction of the additional requirements would be rather small. The Finnish Immigration Service estimates that the number of residence permit applications lodged by family members of beneficiaries of international protection will be 3,000 in 2016. The researchers estimate that 821 of these applications will be accepted. Of these, the additional requirements could be applied to 65 persons.
The report examines the possibilities to implement each of the additional requirements separately. It seems that the impacts of the additional requirements would remain minor, as the strict interpretation of the requirement of sufficient means of subsistence narrows down the target group substantially.
The report is part of the implementation of the 2016 Government plan for analysis, assessment and research.
The report includes a visual tool for the assessment of the different immigrant groups’ possibilities to meet the requirement of sufficient means of subsistence. The tool is available at lucify.com/reunification.
Further information about the Government’s analysis, assessment and research is available at tietokayttoon.fi.
Arttu Vainio, CEO, Oxford Research Oy, +358 40 734 2555, Arttu.Vainio (at) oxfordresearch.fi
Anna Rotkirch, Research Professor, Family Federation of Finland, Population Research Institute, +358 40 776 3086, Anna.Rotkirch (at) vaestoliitto.fi
Anneli Miettinen, Researcher, Family Federation of Finland, Population Research Institute, +358 50 328 9311, Anneli.Miettinen (at) vaestoliitto.fi