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Government proposes more stringent provisions on international protection

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 18.4.2024 13.49
Press release

The Government intends to make international protection temporary in nature. The length of international protection permits will be shortened to the minimum allowed by EU law. In addition, any particularly serious offence committed in Finland or endangerment of national security would prevent a person from being granted international protection. The Government submitted its legislative proposal to Parliament on 18 April.

The aim is to tighten asylum policy in line with the objectives of the Government Programme and within the scope permitted by the EU Qualification Directive. These amendments to the Aliens Act are scheduled to enter into force on 1 September 2024.

Under the Aliens Act, aliens may be granted international protection in Finland if they fulfil the conditions for refugee status or subsidiary protection. The purpose of the amendments is to withdraw international protection more effectively from persons who no longer need it or are deemed not to be entitled to it because of their own actions.

According to the proposal, a refugee would be granted a residence permit for three years instead of the current four years. The length of an extended permit would be shortened from the current four years to three years. The first residence permit based on subsidiary protection would be issued for one year instead of the current four years. An extended permit based on subsidiary protection, in turn, would be issued for two years instead of the current four years. 

The amendments mean that the Finnish Immigration Service would assess the need to extend the duration of international protection more frequently than before, as outlined in the Government Programme. The conditions for issuing extended permits would also be tightened and clarified. 

Loss of international protection status could become more common

The legislative proposal expands the grounds for refusing requests for the status of international protection, for terminating international protection status and for revoking it. In future, it would be possible to decide to not to grant status to persons who are considered to be a danger to society because they have committed a particularly serious offence from qualifying for the status of refugee, in other words of asylum seeker, or their status could be terminated. 

In future, refugee status and subsidiary protection status could also be terminated if a person, after being granted such status, commits or is suspected of having committed a crime against peace, war crime or crime against humanity, or an act contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN. 

In addition, subsidiary protection status could be terminated if a person commits an aggravated offence after receiving the status.  Subsidiary protection status could also be refused or terminated when there is reason to assume that the person is a danger to society. 

Refugee status and subsidiary protection status could also be refused and terminated when there are reasonable grounds to assume that the alien is a danger to Finland's national security. 

Milla Väisänen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 698, [email protected]

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