Ministry of the Interior to prepare a new Decree on Assistance for Voluntary Return
The Ministry of the Interior has set up a project to update the Decree on Assistance for Voluntary Return. The new Decree will enter into force on 1 January 2024.
The Decree to be updated during the project will replace the previous Decree issued in 2021, which will expire at the end of this year.
The updating of the Decree is part of the set of measures related to voluntary return and departure outlined in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Orpo's Government. The aim is to stagger the assistance for voluntary return so that it encourages those who have been refused asylum to leave the country as quickly as possible and refrain from requesting a review of their asylum decision.
Voluntary return is the primary means of removing a person from the country
If a foreign national does not have a permit entitling them to reside in Finland, the person is removed from the country. Assisted voluntary return is the primary mechanism for removal from the country.
The assistance for voluntary return is governed by the provisions of the Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection and on the Identification of and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings. Under certain conditions, Finland may assist the voluntary return of asylum seekers, among others, to their home countries.
Assistance may be given if an asylum seeker has received a negative decision or has voluntarily withdrawn their application for international protection. In addition, assistance may be given to victims of human trafficking who are not resident in Finland and to people who have been issued with a temporary residence permit because they are prevented from leaving the country.
Assistance for voluntary return may be financial assistance granted to cover the costs of the return journey and reintegration into the home country or in-kind assistance. In-kind assistance means various items or services helping the person to access education or training or to start a small business, for example.
Senior Specialist Niina Lääperi, tel. 050 520 2814, [email protected]