Changes to fees charged by police and Finnish Immigration Service
The Ministry of the Interior has issued decrees on the fees charged for services provided by the police and the Finnish Immigration Service. Firearm-related fees charged by the police and security clearance fees charged by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service will increase. The fee for electronic applications for employees’ and entrepreneurs’ residence permits will decrease, while the fee for applications in paper format will increase. In addition to these, the assistance paid for voluntary return will increase starting at the beginning of next year.
Increases to fees for firearm permits and for security clearance carried out by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service
The price of a firearm permit will increase from EUR 86 to EUR 90 and that of a firearms handling permit from EUR 35 to EUR 37. The cost for inspecting a deactivated firearm will increase from EUR 26 to EUR 50. The reason for these increases is the rise in general costs. Moderate increases are also planned for certain charges related to security stewards, officers, inspectors and guards.
The price of a comprehensive security clearance will increase from EUR 350 to EUR 450. Moderate increases will also be made to the other security clearances carried out by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service.
Finnish Immigration Service permit fees promote the use of electronic services
The prices of residence permit applications for employees and entrepreneurs will see changes, with the price of electronic applications decreasing by EUR 50 to EUR 400 and that of paper applications increasing by EUR 80 to EUR 600. It is now possible to calculate the difference in the cost of processing electronic and paper applications more precisely, and this will now also be visible in the application fees.
Moderate changes will also be made to the application fees for permanent residence permits, residence permits for start-up entrepreneurs and permit extensions for adults. The processing fees for applications for Finnish citizenship are expected to change by EUR 30–80. The reason for the changes is to bring the fees better in line with the costs of processing the applications.
Increase in assistance for voluntary return
The maximum amount of assistance for voluntary return will be increased. This assistance can be granted in the form of in-kind assistance or cash. Moving forward, a maximum of EUR 5,000 in in-kind assistance can be paid to adults returning to their home countries voluntarily. The amount of in-kind assistance depends on the country of return. People who return voluntary to Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, for instance, can receive in-kind assistance totalling EUR 5,000. The amount of assistance paid in cash will remain unchanged. The maximum amount payable in cash is EUR 1,500.
In-kind assistance may consist of various goods or services, such as helping the person to find work. The goal of the increase in in-kind assistance is to promote voluntary return and ease the process of reintegration, as well as to encourage voluntary returnees to choose in-kind assistance rather than just financial support.
The in-kind assistance, which combines commodities and cash support, offers returnees better opportunities for reintegration in their home countries. Returnees receiving in-kind assistance pay several visits to the office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) or some other relevant service provider in their home countries and, at the same time, receive the necessary advice and support for their return to and settlement in their home countries.
Voluntary return assistance may be given, for instance, to third country citizens who have sought international protection and who leave Finland voluntarily and permanently after cancelling their application for international protection or after their application has been rejected.
The decrees will enter into force on 1 January 2019.
Johanna Hakala, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 452, [email protected] (Decree on fees charged for services provided by the police and the Finnish Security Intelligence Service)
Sanna Montin, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 314, [email protected] (Decree on fees charged for services provided by the Finnish Immigration Service)
Jorma Kantola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 215, [email protected] (assistance for voluntary return)