Finland: Drop in Asylum Seekers

The number of applicants for asylum in Finland has dropped sharply. This year an estimated 2,000 fewer asylum seekers are expected in Finland than last year. Last year the number of applicants totalled 6,000. Coinciding with this year’s drop in applications, the Finnish Immigration Service is also cutting the number of reception center places. Although numbers are down, this could change depending on what kinds of crises are brewing around the world.

About ten new reception centers have been set up in the past couple of years. More recently the Finnish Immigration Service has reduced allocated places at reception centers by 700, and more cuts are expected.

A law took effect this month allowing fast-track processing for asylum applications by citizens of other European Union countries.This has already reduced the number of applicants from Bulgaria. In practice, a citizen from another EU country cannot be granted asylum in Finland.