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Government proposal submitted to Parliament to prevent evasion of provisions on entry

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 18.4.2024 14.06
Press release

The Government proposes legislative amendments to prevent the evasion of provisions on entry more effectively than at present. The amendments would prohibit asylum applicants from switching to a work-based or education-based application procedure in order to apply for a residence permit. The amendments would also tighten the identity verification procedure. The Government submitted the proposal to Parliament on 18 April. The proposed acts would enter into force on 1 July 2024.

The Government proposes to reform the regulation that prevents the evasion of provisions on entry to Finland. The existing provision, which is subject to interpretation, would be replaced by new, more specific regulation. The Aliens Act will specify each situation in which a residence permit must be refused, including provision of false information, irregular stay, working illegally in Finland and marriage of convenience.

“The aim of these amendments is to emphasise compliance with the rules of society and to root out reprehensible conduct in order to make it more difficult to enter Finnish society by wrong means,” says Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.

Preventing asylum applicants from switching application procedures

The amendments would put a stop to the practice of switching from an asylum procedure to a work-related immigration procedure in order to apply for a residence permit. Applicants for international protection or applicants who have been refused asylum could no longer apply for and obtain a residence permit on the basis of employment, self-employment or studies.

The amendments seek to prevent cases where an applicant applies for asylum with the sole aim of finding employment or studying in Finland. The reform would support the Government

Programme’s objective of promoting rapid departures of rejected asylum applicants.
Switching application procedures would be prohibited both during the asylum procedure and after the decision if the asylum seeker is still staying in Finland. During this period, the residence permit application would be dismissed as inadmissible.

Stricter obligation for asylum seekers to prove their identity

The Government proposes to clarify the regulation on the identification of persons and the verification of their identity.

An explicit provision would be added to the legislation stating that the identity of the applicant for a residence permit must be verified with a national travel document, with certain exceptions. The proposal would place more responsibility on both authorities and residence permit applicants for the verification of identity.

Making biometric data available to the Schengen Information System

The proposal would make it possible to add biometric data to alerts on return and on refusal of entry or stay stored in the Schengen Information System. This would improve the ability of the authorities to verify the identity of the person subject to the alert or to identify the person. Alerts help the authorities ensure that the obligation to return has been complied with, support the enforcement of return decisions and prevent persons from returning to the Schengen area if they are subject to an entry ban.

Jorma Kantola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 215, [email protected] (evasion of provisions on entry, switching application procedures)
Tuuli Tuunanen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 658, [email protected] (identity verification)
Anu Polojärvi, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 237, [email protected] (biometric data) 

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