The Ministry of the Interior directs preparations for large-scale influxes of migrants

The Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior directs and coordinates preparations for large-scale influxes of migrants and adapting to the situation in question.

A large-scale influx of migrants is a situation in which old and new reception centres for asylum seekers, including additional accommodation, are reaching maximum capacity and there is a constant influx of new migrants, with more arriving than leaving the country. According to the Security Strategy for Society, preparedness plans should cover the accommodation and reception of 100,000 migrants.

A situation involving a large-scale influx of migrants may arise gradually or abruptly, as a result of the massive displacement of people from a country towards Finland. In autumn 2015, the number of migrants arriving in Finland rose rapidly and became an emergency qualifying as a large-scale influx of migrants due to the global refugee crisis. A registration centre was set up in Tornio to register the migrants, from where they were sent to reception centres for asylum seekers throughout Finland.

The authorities and organisations work together

The Ministry of the Interior steers the Finnish Immigration Service and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in preparing for large-scale influxes of migrants and introducing the related preparedness plans.

Operating under the guidance of the Finnish Immigration Service, the asylum seeker reception system handles the reception of asylum seekers in normal times, or during disturbances occurring in normal times. The Finnish Immigration Service processes and decides on the rights of residence of those arriving during large-scale influxes of migrants.

Other key national authorities are the Finnish Border Guard and the police, who register arriving migrants. The Finnish Red Cross and other organisations and municipalities also play an important role in maintaining reception centres.