Finnish migration policy is based on Government objectives, EU legislation and international agreements

Finnish migration policy and the relevant legislative drafting are based on Government objectives, the common migration and asylum policy of the EU and international agreements. Key treaties include the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations Convention against Torture, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Geneva Refugee Convention.

Migration policy promotes immigration that Finland needs in order to offset its ageing population, for example. Labour migration is supported by a functioning and efficient permit system that takes account of the needs of employers and companies.

While ensuring better labour mobility, the aim is to keep immigration into Finland under control. Controlled immigration takes account of the need to safeguard the legal status of foreign nationals, Finland's international obligations, the capacity of society to take immigrants, and security considerations.

Finland participates actively in the development of the EU's migration and asylum policy

The world is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), tens of millions of people have been forced to flee their homes because of war, conflict or persecution. Under international agreements, Finland and other EU countries are obliged to receive asylum seekers in need of international protection.

Following the refugee crisis, the number of asylum seekers arriving in Europe and Finland has multiplied. As a country upholding the rule of law, Finland took in over 32,000 asylum seekers in 2015. This number is ten times higher than in previous years.

As the numbers of asylum seekers grow, it has become evident that existing EU regulations cannot cope with the pressure created by large numbers of people. Finland is supporting EU efforts to better manage migration and is participating actively in developing common EU migration and asylum policies. Finland is in favour of expanding the reception of quota refugees to additional Member States, as a way of promoting legal migration.