New year brings changes to the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch
The start of 2020 will see the entry into force of amendments to acts and decrees related to the police, immigration and rescue services. This press release provides a summary of the most important changes.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to assume responsibility for labour migration administration
From the beginning of 2020, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will be responsible for the administration of labour migration matters. This transfer of duties was agreed on in the Government Programme. The objective is to link labour and student migration more closely to employment, industrial, innovation, education and training and immigration policies. The change will promote the Government's objective of promoting labour migration.
From the beginning of next year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will be responsible for policies and legislation related to the immigration of workers, students and researchers, and the development of permit processes. Similarly, responsibility for legislative projects related to the immigration of workers, students and researchers will be transferred from the Ministry of the Interior to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The two ministries will continue to cooperate in the preparation of legislation.
The Ministry of the Interior will continue to be responsible for immigration policy and legislation on the whole, for general permit conditions, and for the performance guidance and resourcing of the Finnish Immigration Service. In future, the ministries will share responsibility for performance guidance in labour migration matters.
Finland to receive 850 quota refugees
In line with the Government Programme, the annual number of quota refugees will be raised 750 to 850 in 2020. Finland will receive 400 Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Turkey, 200 Congolese refugees from Zambia and 130 refugees from Niger, including refugees evacuated by the UNHCR from Libya to Niger. Refugees evacuated from Libya may also be received from other countries. Finland is also preparing for the resettlement of 120 emergency and urgent cases without applying any of the usual criteria related to nationality or origin.
New Fundraising Act to enter into force in March
The new Fundraising Act will enter into force on 1 March 2020. Under the new Act, only the National Police Board can issue fundraising permits. The permit holder has to notify the National Police Board every year of the organisation of fundraising, the funds raised and the use of the funds. As of 1 March 2020, the price of the annual notification will be EUR 100. As of March, police departments will process the notifications (EUR 55 each) concerning small-scale fundraising.
More grounds for postponing the right to study at Emergency Services Academy
New grounds will be added to the Act on the Emergency Services Academy for students to postpone their right to study in the Firefighter, Emergency Response Centre Operator and Sub-Officer programmes. The new grounds will include military service, non-military service, women's voluntary military service, maternity leave, paternity leave and parental leave. Students will also be able to postpone their studies on other reasonable grounds. This amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2020.
Fees in the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch in 2020
Passport and ID card prices to fall
From the beginning of next year, it will become cheaper to apply for a passport and an identity card. The prices will be reduced thanks to enhanced processes and increased volumes. The cheapest way to apply for a passport or identity card is to do it online. A passport will cost EUR 51 if the application is submitted at a police station and EUR 45 if the application is submitted online. The price of an identity card will also decrease: the price will be EUR 54 when applying at a police station and EUR 48 when applying online.
Finnish Immigration Service to bring processing fees closer to costs
The fees for processing residence permit applications will increase slightly as of 1 January 2020. The most significant changes concern the fees for processing applications for residence permits submitted by employees and entrepreneurs. The processing fee for paper applications will be EUR 640 (previously EUR 600) and the processing fee for online applications EUR 490 (previously EUR 400).
The fees for processing applications for Finnish citizenship will rise by EUR 40. In future, the processing fee for a citizenship application made in paper form will be EUR 520. If the citizenship application is submitted online, the price will be EUR 420. Determination of citizenship status will cost EUR 100 (previously EUR 50).
The prices will be increased to better reflect the costs incurred in processing applications. The processing fees will contribute to ensuring adequate resources for the Finnish Immigration Service and to reaching the deadlines set for the processing. The processing fee is still lower than the costs in the case of first residence permit applications (excluding employee and entrepreneur permits) and in the case of temporary residence permit applications for minors and students. Applying for international protection is free of charge.
In future, a fee of EUR 50 will be charged for unused appointments, in other words if the customer fails to arrive at the office of the Finnish Immigration Service and has not cancelled the appointment.
No change to assistance for voluntary return
There will be no change in the assistance for voluntary return compared to 2019. The new decree on assistance for voluntary return will be valid for two years until the end of 2021.
It has been recorded in the Government Programme that the voluntary return system will be developed as a primary option to secure the removal and reintegration of persons who have received a negative decision. The functioning and development of the voluntary return system will be examined separately and, if necessary, the decree on the assistance may be amended before it expires.
Changes to fees charged by Emergency Response Centre Agency and Emergency Services Academy
The fee for connecting an automatic fire alarm to the emergency response centre will increase from EUR 50 to EUR 70. The fee for the periodic testing of an automatic fire alarm will increase from EUR 10 to EUR 13.
Moderate increases will be made to the fees for the courses offered by the Emergency Services Academy to rescue professionals.
Jorma Vuorio, Director General, tel. +358 295 488 600, [email protected] (labour migration administration)
Mirka Eirola, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 383, [email protected] (quota refugees)
Aino Salmi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 685, [email protected] (fees charged by the National Police Board and local police)
Satu Kaskinen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 680, [email protected] (Finnish Immigration Service permit fees)
Jorma Kantola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 215, [email protected] (assistance for voluntary return)
Veli-Pekka Hautamäki, Senior Officer for Rescue Services, tel. +358 295 488 419, [email protected] (rescue services)