Subsequent applications by asylum seekers

Subsequent applications refer to applications for international protection filed by asylum seekers after receiving the final decision from the Finnish Immigration Service or an administrative court concerning their previous application. A final decision means a decision that can no longer be appealed.

An application submitted after a previous application has been ruled inadmissible or has been withdrawn by the applicant may also be considered a subsequent application.

There can be various reasons for submitting subsequent applications. Some subsequent applications contain new and valid grounds that need to be examined in order to assess the need for protection. Some applicants submit a subsequent application to delay their removal from the country. Subsequent applications are often also made because the applicants' own assessment of their situation or safety differs from that of the Finnish Immigration Service and the administrative courts.

Subsequent applications are always subject to preliminary examination

The Finnish Immigration Service conducts a preliminary examination of each subsequent application. This examination determines whether the application is admissible.

For a subsequent application to be admissible, new elements or findings that significantly add to the likelihood of the applicant qualifying for international protection must have arisen or been presented in the application. 

Under the amended act, another condition is that the applicant was, through no fault of his or her own, incapable of asserting in the previous application the grounds presented in the subsequent application. The situation in the applicant’s home country may have changed, or the applicant may verifiably have become aware of a relevant fact only after the earlier decision became final. The applicant may also have had reasonable cause for having withheld this fact until the subsequent application due to vulnerable status, shame or fear.

The Finnish Immigration Service decides whether the application fulfils the admissibility criteria or whether the application is rejected as inadmissible. If the application is admissible, the applicant will be granted a new personal interview.

Subsequent applications affect the right to work

Asylum seekers may start working in Finland

  • three months after submitting their asylum application if they have a travel document
  • six months after submitting their application if they have no travel document.

The same time limits apply to subsequent applications as to the first application. If an asylum seeker submits a subsequent application, he or she must wait three or six months before being allowed to work again.

Subsequent applications filed for the purpose of delaying removal do not prevent denial of admittance or stay

Under the Aliens Act, a first subsequent application will not prevent the enforcement of an earlier decision on denial of admittance or stay, if the subsequent application does not fulfil the admissibility criteria and it has been submitted for the sole purpose of preventing or delaying return. In practice, this means situations in which the return arrangements have already been made and a new application is not submitted until at the airport, for example. Submission of a second subsequent application will no longer prevent the enforcement of an earlier decision on denial of admittance or stay, if the subsequent application does not fulfil the admissibility criteria.

The subsequent application must therefore be submitted as soon as there are grounds for doing so.

The principle of non-refoulement must always be taken into account both in decision-making and when implementing removal, also in the case of subsequent applications. A decision on denial of admittance or stay will not be enforced if the return could result in a person being subjected to the death penalty, torture, persecution or any other treatment that violates human dignity.