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Residence requirements applicable to asylum seekers to be included in the Aliens Act

Ministry of the Interior 19.1.2017 13.34
Press release

Two new interim measures will be included in the Aliens Act - residence requirements applicable to children and to asylum seekers. The Government proposed today that a bill be approved, with the intention that the President will approve it on 27 January.

The purpose of interim measures under the Aliens Act is to make it easier to determine facts relating to a person’s entry into, residence in and removal from the country.

Residence requirements applicable to children as an alternative to holding in detention a child whose asylum application has been rejected

The first new interim measure concerns underage asylum seekers without a guardian who are about to be removed from the country. Residence requirements applicable to children is a milder alternative to holding them in detention, and reduces the need for detention. This new interim measure is an improvement for children compared to the current situation.

Residence requirements can only be imposed on children if the conditions for placing the child in question in detention are satisfied. A further condition will be that the child in question is unaccompanied by a guardian and at least 15 years old, and that the asylum application has been unsuccessful and the child has been ordered to be removed from the country.

A child can be ordered to reside in a specific children’s reception centre, to remain within its vicinity, and to report there daily. Residence requirements applicable to children may last up to one week. This can be extended by no more than another week if it is necessary to ensure the child’s removal from the country.

Residence requirements applicable to asylum seekers ensure fluency of asylum seeker process

Residence requirements applicable to asylum seekers means in practice that a foreign national seeking international protection can be ordered to live in and report to a specific reception centre. A similar system is in place in many EU countries.

Asylum seekers must report at the reception centre daily, but their movements are not otherwise restricted. Such residence requirement may be imposed by the police, the Finnish Immigration Service or the Finnish Border Guard on a case-by-case consideration.

The objective with the residence requirement is to ensure that the asylum process is fluent. This will make asylum seekers better available to process their application, such as having an asylum interview. The residence requirement would also make it easier to remove from the country any asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected.

The amendments have been planned to enter into force on 1 February.

Further information

Senior Officer Mirkka Mykkänen, tel. +358 295 488 618, firstname.lastname@intermin.fi