Documentation Database: Questionnaires: Family Reunification Directive 2003/86/EC
Finland

Subject Comparative study on the implementation of the Family Reunification Directive 2003/86/EC in (25) Member States
Data from other countries Go to Questionnaire (with links to the answers of all other countries)
This Form Data by Finland (30/11/2006)

Section Question Answer

A. General
A.1 top Q: Has the Directive been implemented in your country? If so, please add the references and the texts of relevant legislative and administrative measures and the dates they entered into force.

answer Finland A: Yes, the Directive has been implemented. The provisions of the Directive were attempted to be transposed to the national legislation as thoroughly as possible already when the new Aliens Act (Ulkomaalaislaki 301/2004) that was given on the 30th of April 2004 and entered into force on the 1st of May 2004 was drafted. The Act 380/2006 amending the Aliens Act (Laki ulkomaalaislain muuttamisesta 380/2006), that was given on the 19th of May 2006 and entered into force on the 1st of July 2006 brought the national legislation in line with those provisions of the Directive that were not fully taken into account already in the reform of 2004.

The Finnish text of the Aliens Act 301/2004 can be found at www.finlex.fi and the English text at www.uvi.fi. The Finnish version of the text of the Act is updated and therefore contains the amendments made by the Act 380/2006 amending the Aliens Act.

The Government Proposal to the Parliament for the Aliens Act and certain acts related to that HE 28/2003 (Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle ulkomaalaislaiksi ja eraiksi siihen liittyviksi laeiksi HE 28/2003) (hereafter Government Proposal 28/2003) can be found at HE 28/2003 and the Proposal of Government to the Parliament for the Act amending the Aliens Act HE 198/2005 (Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laiksi ulkomaalaislain muuttamisesta HE 198/2005) (hereafter Government Proposal 198/2005) at HE 198/2005.


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A.2 top Q: Has there been a political or public debate on the implementation of the Directive? If so, please summarize the main issues of the debate.

answer Finland A: No there hasn't been. The implementation of the Directive did not cause any fundamental changes to the national legislation and it did therefore not cause any remarkable public or political debate.

During the general reform of the Aliens Act in 2004 when the changes of national legislation caused by the Directive were already anticipated, other questions such as the labour migration and international protection attracted more public and political attention than the question of the family reunification. Likewise, the adoption of the Act 380/2006 did not cause public debate.


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A.3 top Q: What have been the main changes in the national law or practice due to the Directive. Please indicate for each change whether it improved or deteriorated the legal status of third country nationals and their family members? Did it make the national rules more strict or more liberal?

answer Finland A: Previously the residence permit issued on the ground of family tie could be refused not only on the ground that the alien was considered to jeopardize public order or security or public health, but also on the ground that the alien was considered to danger Finland's international relations. Section 36 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 was amended in this respect by the Act 380/2006 and now a residence permit on the basis of family tie can no longer be refused on the ground of danger to Finland's international relations. This amendment made the national rules more liberal.

The definition of 'family member' as laid down in 37 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 was amended by the Act 380/2006; now also unmarried children under 18 years of age whose parent or guardian the spouse of the person residing in Finland is, are regarded as family members. Previously the spouse's children were not included in the notion of 'family member' and thus this amendment made the national rules more liberal.

A new provision on family member's autonomous residence permit was added by the Act 380/2006 in 56 § the Aliens Act 301/2004. This amendment made the national rules more liberal. There appears, however, to be a discrepancy between the national rules and the Directive in this respect; under the Directive a family member is in this kind of situations entitled to a residence permit whereas the Aliens Act leaves the authoritie with discretion in this respect as according to 56 (2) § a person concerned may be issued with a residence permit.

According to 69 (a) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006, the decision on residence permit on grounds of family tie shall be served to the applicant within nine months of the day when the application was lodged. Under exceptional circumstances the decision can be served later than that. Previously such a time limit was not set in the Act. In 2005 the average time of handling the applications was nine months in cases involving persons receiving international protection and three months in other cases. It can be argued that this change made the national rules more liberal as now the decision making can take more than nine months only under exceptional circumstances.

According to 79 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006, all family members have right to gainful employment. This amendment made the national rules more liberal as previously the right to work was more restrictive.


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A.4 top Q: Are there already judgments of national courts applying or interpreting the Directive? If so on which issues?

answer Finland A: No there are not yet such judgments.
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A.5 top Q: Did the judgment of the Court of Justice of 27 June 2006 in the case Parliament v. Council (C-540/03) already have any effect on the implementation of the Directive, the national practice or case-law or the legal literature? If so, please specify the effects.

answer Finland A: No.
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B. Questions on specific provisions
B.1 top Q: Article 3(1):
How is the clause: who has reasonable prospects of obtaining the right of permanent residence
implemented in the national law?

answer Finland A: This clause is not transposed explicitly to the national legislation. It is, however, considered to be implicitly contained in the national provisions concerning family reunification of persons residing in the country by virtue a continuous residence permit.

According to 33 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004:
'Types of residence permits. Residence permits are either fixed-term or permanent. Fixed-term residence permits are issued for a residence of temporary nature (temporary residence permit) or of continuous nature (continuous residence permit). Permit authoritie decide on the purpose of residence, taking account of the information given by the alien on the purpose of his or her entry into the country. Permanent residence permits are valid until further notice.'

According to 56 § of the Aliens Act a person who resides in Finland by virtue of a continuous residence permit shall be issued with a permanent residence permit after four years of residence in the country. Those who reside in the country by virtue of a continuous residence permit are regarded as persons who have 'reasonable prospects of obtaining the right of permanent residence' as after four years residence they shall be issued with a permanent residence permit. In case of continuous residence permit the persons concerned have, provided that the conditions for that are met, a right to family reunification.

It is, however, important to note that under the Finnish Aliens Act the right to family reunification is not limited to the family members of those residing in the country by virtue of a continuous residence permit; a residence permit on grounds of a family tie shall be issued in most cases where the sponsor resides in the country by virtue of a temporary residence permit, as well. The Aliens Act does not differentiate between the cases of continuous residence and temporary residence in this respect and thus also those provisions of the Act that are based on the provisions of the Directive shall be applied in cases of temporary residence where family reunification is allowed.


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B.2 top Q: Article 3(3):
Will a third country national also having the nationality of your country be able to rely on the Directive?

answer Finland A: Yes, there are no obstacles for that. However, as the rules concerning Finnish citizens are either similar or more liberal than those of the Directive, there are hardly any situations where there would be a need to rely on the Directive.
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B.3 top Q: Article 3(3):
Are nationals of your country and their third country national family members entitled to the same treatment, to a more privileged treatment or to less favourable treatment as provided in the Directive? Please specify the differences.

answer Finland A: The Finnish nationals and their third country national family members are entitled to more privileged treatment than that provided in the Directive. Furthermore, certain groups of third country nationals, such as Ingrian Finns and persons receiving international protection, including subsidiary protection, are, too, entitled to more privileged treatment than that provided in the Directive.

According to 50 (1) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'Family members of Finnish citizens living in Finland, and minor unmarried children of the family members, are issued with a continuous residence permit on the basis of family tie upon application filed in Finland or abroad.' Thus, in case of family members of Finnish citizens the application for residence permit can be lodged after entering in Finland. In the other cases the permit has, according to the main rule, to be applied and received before the family member enters the country. There are, however, exceptions to this main rule. One of these exceptions is laid down in 49 (1) (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004, according to which an alien who has entered Finland without a residence permit is issued with a permit if the requirements for issuing a residence permit abroad are met for example the person concerned does not jeopardize public order and security or public health and if the alien has already before entering Finland lived together with his or her married spouse who lives in Finland, or has continuously lived together for at least two years in the same household in a marriage-like relationship with a person who lives in Finland. According to the Government Proposal 28/2004 this provision should be applied only in exceptional circumstances.

Furthermore, according to 50 (4) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004, issuing a residence permit to a third country national family member of a Finnish citizen does not require that the alien has secured means of support. In the other cases the requirement of secured income is, according to the main rule, applied. There are, however, exceptions to this main rule. The requirement of secure income is not applied, for example, in cases concerning Ingrian Finns and where the sponsor receives international protection, including subsidiary and temporary protection. Furthermore, according to 39 (1) § of the Act 301/2004, an exception may be made from the requirement for means of support in individual cases if there are exceptionally weighty reasons for that, or if the exemption is in the best interest of a child.


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B.4 top Q: Article 4(1):
Has the right to family reunification of spouses and minor children been codified in national law? If so, please mention the relevant provisions of national law.

answer Finland A: This right to family reunification was recognised in the national legislation already before the implementation of the Directive. The personal scope of this right was, however, extended by the Act 380/2006 to cover also the children of the sponsor's spouse. According to 37 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006: 'Family members. When applying this Act, the spouse of a person residing in Finland, and unmarried children under 18 years of age whose parent or guardian the person residing in Finland or his or her spouse is, are considered family members. If a person residing in Finland is a minor, his or her parent or guardian is considered a family member. A person of the same sex in a nationally registered partnership is also considered a family member.
Persons living continuously in a marriage-like relationship within the same household regardless of their sex are comparable to a married couple. The requirement is that they have lived together for at least two years. This is not required if the persons have a child in their joint custody or if there is some other weighty reason for it.'

According to 45 (3) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'Family members of an alien who has been issued with a temporary residence permit are issued with a temporary residence permit for the same period.'

Furthermore, according to 47 (3) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'Family members of an alien who has been issued with a continuous or permanent residence permit are issued with a continuous residence permit.'

Thus, when the preconditions for granting a residence permit on ground of family tie laid down in the Aliens Act are met, the authoritie are under obligation to issue the residence permit on ground of family tie and to allow the entry and residence of the family member.


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B.5 top Q: Article 4(1) and 4(6): (children over 12 or 15 years)
Does the national law of your country provide special rules concerning the admission of children aged over 12 or 15 years?

answer Finland A: No it does not.
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B.6 top Q: If children over 15 are prevented from applying for family reunification under what conditions are they entitled to reside considering the obligation for Member States second sentence of Article 4(6)?

answer Finland A: They are not prevented from applying for family reunification.
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B.7 top Q: Is your country barred from using the exceptions in Article 4(1) last sentence and Article 4(6) by the standstill-clauses in those two provisions?

answer Finland A: Yes it is.
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B.8 top Q: Article 4(3) (unmarried partners)
Has the provision on the admission of unmarried partners been implemented in national law? If so, under what conditions do they have a right to family reunification?

answer Finland A: The right to family reunification of unmarried and registered partners was contained in the national legislation already before implementing the Directive. According to 37 (1) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: '[] A person of the same sex in a nationally registered partnership is also considered a family member.' Furthermore, according to 37 (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'Persons living continuously in a marriage-like relationship within the same household regardless of their sex are comparable to a married couple. The requirement is that they have lived together for at least two years. This is not required if the persons have a child in their joint custody or if there is some other weighty reasons for it.' Thus, if the requirements laid down in this provision are met, the unmarried partners regardless of their sex and persons of same sex in a nationally registered partnership have a right to family reunification under the same conditions as married partners.
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B.9 top Q: Article 4(5) (minimum age spouse)
Does the national law require a minimum age for the admission of spouses that is higher than 18 years? If so what is the minimum age?

answer Finland A: No it does not.
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B.10 top Q: Article 5(2) (documents and fees)
What kind of documentary evidence has to be presented with a family reunification application?

answer Finland A: According to 7 (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'The authorities shall ensure that the matter is investigated. The person concerned shall present the grounds for his or her claim and generally contribute to the investigation of his or her matter. The authoritie shall tell the person concerned what further clarification needs to be presented in the matter. A request for clarification shall be specified and in proportion to the means for clarification available to the person concerned, considering his or her circumstances.'

The Aliens Act does not specify what kind of documentary evidence the applicant should present to the authoritie. This is left to be defined according to the situation at hands. The Guidelines given by the Directorate of Immigration on family reunification requires that the following documents shall be required: In case of married partners:

  • A filled form concerning information on the family relationship.
  • A photocopy of the applicant's and the sponsor's passport or other travel document or if the person concerned does not have a passport or a travel document, a photocopy of her identity document.
  • Marriage certificate and certificate of the registration of the marriage in the country of origin if such certificates are issued. If the marriage is concluded in religious ceremony, information on that, too, should be provided.
  • Certificate of divorce or death certificate if the previous marriage has terminated or if the former spouse has died.
  • Proof concerning secure income if secure income is a condition for issuing the residence permit.
  • Information on the previous trips to Finland and possible previous visas and residence permits to Finland.
  • Extracts from the criminal record concerning the applicant and the sponsor.
In case of cohabiting partners:
  • The same documents as in case of married partners except documents concerning the marriage.
  • Official documents indicating that the persons concerned have lived together at least for two years (for example the rent contract)
  • Documents concerning the joint custody of a child.
In case of registered partners:
  • The same documents as in case of married partners except documents concerning the marriage.
  • Certificate of the registration of the partnership.
In case of minor children:
  • A filled form concerning information on the family relationship.
  • A photocopy of the applicant's and the sponsor's passport or other travel document or if the person concerned does not have a passport or a travel document, a photocopy of her identity document.
  • Birth certificate that contains information on the parents.
  • Proof on adoption if such is relevant in the case.
  • In case of a child born outside marriage, certificate on paternity.
  • Death certificate in case one or both of the parents have died.
  • Divorce certificate in case the parents have divorced.
  • Proof on custody (for example a court order).
  • If the child is in joint custody, a written and officially certified statement from the other parent indicating that the parent allows the child to move to Finland. Alternatively the other parent can be heard orally. If the written and officially certified statement cannot be received and the parent cannot be heard, a court decision shall be required.
  • Information on earlier trips to Finland including information on possible previous visas and residence permits.
  • Information on income in cases where secured income is required.
  • Extracts from the criminal record concerning the applicant and the sponsor.
As these requirements are laid down in administrative guidelines, they are not legally binding. If required documents cannot be presented, for example because such documents don't exist or cannot be obtained from the country of origin, other proof may be presented instead.

According to 62 (2) § of the Alien's Act 301/2004: 'To establish whether the requirements for a residence permit are met, the person mentioned in subsection 1 shall be provided with an opportunity to be heard before a decision is issued on the matter.' The persons mentioned in subsection 1 are the applicant and the sponsor. They both should be heard at least once before taking the decision on the residence permit on ground of family tie. The significance of the right to be heard is emphasised in situations where sufficient documentary evidence is not available as is often the case when the sponsor receives international protection.


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B.11 top Q: Does the applicant have to pay any fees and, if so, what is the (total) amount of those fees?

answer Finland A: The fee for the residence permit is currently 175 euros for applicants who are adults and 50 euros for applicants who are minors.
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B.12 top Q: Article 5(3) (place of application)
May an application be submitted when the family members are already residing in the Member State?

answer Finland A: Yes, but only exceptionally. According the main rule that is laid down in 60 (1) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004, the residence permit shall be applied for abroad. According to this provision: 'A first residence permit shall be applied for abroad in the country where the alien resides legally before entering Finland. The application is filed with a Finnish mission.'

However, according to 49 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004:
'An alien who has entered the country without a residence permit is issued with a temporary or continuous residence permit in Finland if the requirements for issuing such a residence permit abroad are met, and if:
...
2. the alien has already, before entering Finland, lived together with his or her married spouse who lives in Finland, or has continuously lived together for at least two years in the same household in a marriage-like relationship with a person who lives in Finland;
...
4. refusing a residence permit would be manifestly unreasonable.'

Thus, in exceptional circumstances and when the conditions laid down in this provision are met, a residence permit may be applied and issued after the family member has entered in Finland. 49 (1) (4) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 may be applied for example in cases involving minor children and, therefore, minor children can under exceptional circumstances be issued with a residence permit after having already entered the country.


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B.13 top Q: Article 5(4) (length of the procedure)
Is there any time limit for the decision on the application by the administration?

answer Finland A: Yes there is. According to 69 (a) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006, the decision on residence permit on grounds of family tie shall be served to the applicant within nine months of the day when the application was lodged. Under exceptional circumstances the decision can be served later than that. Previously such a time limit was not set and therefore the Act was amended in this respect and thereby brought in line with the provisions of the Directive.
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B.14 top Q: Article 5(5) (interest of the child)
How is the provision that Member States 'shall have due regard to the best interests of minor children' implemented in national law?

answer Finland A: According to 6 (3) § of the Finnish Constitution 731/1999: 'Children shall be treated equally and as individuals and they shall be allowed to influence matters pertaining to themselves to a degree corresponding to their level of development.'

Furthermore, according to 6 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'In any decision issued under this Act that concern a child under eighteen years of age, special attention shall be paid to the best interest of the child and to circumstances related to the child's development and health.

Before a decision that concerns a child who is at least twelve years old is taken, the child shall be heard unless such hearing is manifestly unnecessary. The child's views shall be taken into account in accordance with the child's age and level of development. A younger child my also be heard if the child is sufficiently mature to have his or her views taken into account. Matters concerning minors shall be processed with urgency.'

Of interest in this respect is also 63 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 that concerns opinions on applications for a residence permit on the basis of family tie, that the Directorate of Immigration or District Police may obtain from the social welfare or health care authoritie. One of the purposes of this provision is to guarantee that the best interest of a child is paid sufficient attention to.

According to this provision:
'The Directorate of Immigration or the District Police may obtain an opinion on an application for a residence permit on the basis of family tie from the social welfare or health care authoritie of the sponsor's domicile or place of residence. An opinion on the sponsor's social situation or health may be requested if the sponsor is an unaccompanied minor, if the applicant is a member of the alien's extended family, or if there is another special reason related to establishing the family's situation.
Notwithstanding any secrecy provisions, social welfare or health care authoritie are obliged to submit in their opinion to the Directorate of Immigration or the District Police referred to in subsection 1, for the purpose of an application for a residence permit on the basis of family tie, any information that they have on the person's social situation or health that is necessary for a decision on issuing a residence permit on the basis of family tie.'

All these provisions were contained in the national legislation already before the implementation of the Directive.


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B.15 top Q: Article 6 (public policy exception)
How has the public policy and public security exception been implemented and defined in the national law?

answer Finland A: According to 36 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006: 'A residence permit may be refused if the alien is considered a danger to public order, security or health or Finland's international relations. A danger to Finland's international relations is, however, not a ground for refusing a residence permit on the basis of family tie.
A residence permit may be refused if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the alien intends to evade the provisions on entry into or residence in the country.'

Previously the residence permit on the basis of family tie, too, could be refused on the ground that the alien was considered a danger to Finland's international relations. This provision of the Act 301/2004 was, however, amended in this respect by the Act 380/2006 and now a residence permit on the basis of family tie can no longer be refused on the ground of a danger to Finland's international relations. This amendment brought the Act in line with the requirements following from the Directive.

Furthermore, according to 114 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006, that lays down the conditions for issuing residence permits to family members of persons who enjoy international or temporary protection:
'A residence permit is issued on the basis of family tie to a family member of a refugee or an alien who has been issued with a residence permit on the basis of a need for protection or who has enjoyed temporary protection if:

  1. the sponsor lives in Finland or has been issued with a residence permit for the purpose of moving to Finland; and
  2. the applicant is not considered to a danger to public order, security or health.'
Previously 114 (1) (2) § contained a clause according to which a residence permit on the basis of family tie could be refused if the alien was considered a danger to Finland's international relations. This clause was abolished by the Act 380/2006 and thus the Act is now better in line with the requirements following from the Directive.
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B.16 top Q: What are the similarities and differences compared to the definitions of the same notions in the context of free movement of EU citizens?

answer Finland A: 156 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 concerns public order and security and public health. According to this provision:
'In addition to what is provided in section 155, a requirement for an EU citizen's entry into and residence in the country is that the EU citizen or his or her family members or other relatives are not considered a danger to public order and security and public health.
Preventing an alien's entry into or removing an alien from the country on grounds of public order and security or public health shall be based on the alien's own behaviour and not merely on any previous conviction.'

In the national legislation the way the public policy exception is formulated in the context of family reunification is not identical with the way it is formulated in the context of free movement of EU citizens. In the context of family reunification, a residence permit may be refused if the alien is considered a danger to public order, security or health. In the context of free movement of EU citizens, the fact that the person concerned does not danger public order and security and public health is formulated as an absolute requirement for issuing a residence permit. It is, however, unclear if this difference in the formulations will have any significance in practice.

It is still too early to estimate whether the administrative and judicial practice concerning what kind of behaviour is considered to jeopardize public order and security and public health in the context of family reunification will take similar forms as in the context of free movement of EU citizens. Previously the interpretation and application of these notions in cases concerning third country citizens has been stricter than that concerning EU Citizens even though the Government Proposal 28/2004 defines the notions similarly in both these contexts.

It is also worth noting that 156 (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 emphasises that preventing an EU citizen's or his or her family member's entry into or removing an alien from the country on grounds of public order and security or public heath shall always be based on the person's own behaviour and not merely on any previous convictions. Similar provision does not apply in cases involving third country nationals. In this case it is, too still early to assess what kind of consequences this has in practice.


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B.17 top Q: Article 7(1)(a) and (c)(income and housing)
How is the income requirement specified in the national law?

answer Finland A: According to 39 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'Issuing a residence permit requires that the alien has secure means of support unless otherwise provided in this Act. In individual cases, an exemption may be made from the requirement for means of support if there are exceptionally weighty reasons for such an exemption or if the exemption is in the best interest of the child. The requirement for means of support is not applied if a residence permit is issued under Chapter 6 [that concerns international protection].

An alien's means of support are considered secure at the time when the alien's first residence permit is issued if the alien's residence is financed through gainful employment, pursuit of a trade, pensions, property or income from other sources considered normal so that the alien cannot be expected to become dependent on social assistance as referred to in the Act on Social Assistance (1412/1997) or on other similar benefits to secure his or her means of support. Social security benefits compensating for expenses are not regarded as such a benefit.
When issuing extended permits, the alien's means of support shall be secure as provided in subsection 2, provided, however, that temporary resort to social assistance or other similar benefits securing the alien's means of support does not prevent the issue of the permit.
The applicant shall submit to the authoritie a statement on how his or her means of support will be secured in Finland.'

The Government Proposal 28/2003 further specifies the income requirement. According to the Proposal, the means of support shall be regarded as secure if they suffice to regular standard of living in Finland without a need to avail oneself to social assistance or other such benefits. However, if the person concerned becomes, after entering the country, entitled to social benefits such as parental benefits, the income from this source is not regarded as a ground indicating that the means of support are not secure. The Guidelines given by the Directorate of Immigration 3/010/2004 offers further guiding in applying 39 § of the Aliens Act. The Guidelines defines an indicative level of net monthly income that is 900 euros/month and 10.800 euros/year for the sponsor and 630 euros/month and 7.560 euros/year for the spouse. In case of minor children the indicative level of net monthly income is 450 euros/month and 5.400 euros/year. It is emphasised in the Guidelines that this level of net monthly income is only indicative and that the special situation of the family, such as the number of children, should always be taken into account when assessing whether the income is secure.

According to the Government Proposal 28/2003, in case of residence permit on ground of family tie, the sponsor may present documentary or other evidence of the means of support on behalf of the applicant. The income and possessions of both the sponsor and the applicant shall be taken into account when evaluating whether the income is secure.


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B.18 top Q: What is the level of net monthly income required (in euros)?

answer Finland A: See answer on B17.
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B.19 top Q: Is there a housing requirement in force, and if so, what is the minimum surface of the accommodation (in square meters)?

answer Finland A: A housing requirement is not laid down in the Aliens Act. If the persons concerned can show that they have secure income as defined by Aliens Act and the Guidelines, their accommodation, too, is regarded to be secured. In other words, the defined indicative level of net income is regarded to cover the accommodation expenses. If, however, there are special reasons indicating that the sponsor does not have suitable accommodation for the family - for example, if the person concerned has only a poste restante address- the authoritie may ask the applicant and the sponsor to present more information on where the family would live.
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B.20 top Q: Article 7(2) (integration measures)
Are family members required to comply with integration measures? If so, do they have to comply before or after admission and what are they actually required to do (follow a course, pass a test, etc.)

answer Finland A: No, they are not required to comply with integration measures. They are, however, entitled to that provided that they meet the conditions for it.

The Act on integration of immigrants and reception of asylum seekers (Laki maahanmuuttajien kotouttamisesta ja turvapaikanhakijoiden vastaanotosta 493/1999) covers all migrants including family members and other relatives who are not Finnish citizens. According to the Act on integration, an immigrant who has moved to Finland after the 1st of May 1997, who has been entered in the population data system of her home municipality, and who is eligible for labour market subsidy and/or social assistance, is entitled to a personal integration plan. The participation to integration measures is not compulsory. Subsistence during the plan period is secured with integration assistance. The integration plan is drawn up after the immigrant has been entered in the population register as a permanent resident in Finland. The maximum plan period is three years. The plan is drawn up by the immigrant herself, the employment consultant, and where necessary, a representative of the municipality where the person concerned lives. The integration plan includes an agreement on the measures taken to help the immigrant enter into the Finnish society and working life. These measures include courses in Finnish or Swedish languages. The plan period involves also an assessment on how the qualifications or degrees taken outside Finland can be made to meet the requirements set by Finnish working life and what kind of supplementary training may be needed.


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B.21 top Q: Are there any positive or negative sanctions (privileges, subsidies, fines, residence rights or other) attached to the integration measures?

answer Finland A: Positive sanctions are attached to participation to integration measures. A person participating to integration measures according to her personal integration plan is, during the plan period, entitled to integration assistance.
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B.22 top Q: Does the national law distinguish between the concepts 'integration conditions' and 'integration measures' (compare Article 4(1) last indent and 7(2))?

answer Finland A: No it does not.
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B.23 top Q: Article 8 (waiting period)
Is there any waiting period before the family reunification application can be filed?

A No there is not.
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B.24 top Q: Article 9(2) (privileges for refugees)
Which privileges granted by the Articles 10-12 are in the national law limited to family relationship that predate the entry of the refugees?

answer Finland A: Such a limitation is not explicitly made.
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B.25 top Q: Do other protected persons than Convention refugees benefit from the provisions of Chapter V of this Directive?

answer Finland A: Yes, those receiving subsidiary and temporary protection are entitled to family reunification under the same conditions as refugees.
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B.26 top Q: Article 10(3) (family members of unaccompanied minors)
Are the parents, legal guardians or other family members of a refugee who is an unaccompanied minor, entitled to a residence permit under national law?

answer Finland A: This is somewhat unclear. According to 37 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: '... If a person residing in Finland is a minor, his or her guardian is considered a family member...'. According to the Government Proposal 198/2005 this provision is based on the idea that the child's parent is normally her guardian and therefore entitled to family reunification provided that the conditions for that are met. Furthermore, if the parent is, for some reason, no longer the guardian, the guardian shall be considered as the family member and therefore entitled to a residence permit on grounds of family tie provided that the other conditions for issuing a permit are met. There may, however, be situations in which a child has both a parent, who is not her legal guardian, and a legal guardian. According to the administrative practice attention shall, in this kind of situations be paid to which of the relationships is more real and important for the child; if the child, for example, lives with the biological parent and not with the legal guardian, the parent, and not the guardian, shall normally be regarded as the family member entitled to family reunification. It is argued in the Government Proposal 198/2005 that there is no discrepancy between the national legislation and the Directive in this respect. Arguably this formulation of the Aliens Act is not perfectly clear and it is important that the Aliens Act will be interpreted and applied in light of the directive.

Other family members such as siblings are under Finnish legislation according to the main rule not entitled to residence permit on the ground of family tie. There are, however, exceptions to this main rule. According to 52 (4) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004:
'Aliens residing in Finland are issued with a continuous residence permit if refusing a residence permit would be manifestly unreasonable with regard to their health or tie to Finland or another compassionate grounds, particularly in consideration of the circumstances they would face in their home country or of their vulnerable position.
[...]
[...]
If unaccompanied minor children who have entered Finland are issued with a residence permit under subsection 1, their minor siblings residing abroad are issued with a continuous residence permit. A requirement for issuing a residence permit is that the children and their siblings have lived together and that their parents are no longer alive or the parents' whereabouts are unknown. Another requirement for issuing a residence permit is that issuing the permit is in the best interest of the children. Issuing a residence permit does not require that the alien have secured means of support.'

Furthermore, According to 115 § of the Aliens Act:
'Issuing residence permits to other relatives of persons who have enjoyed international or temporary protection. A residence permit is issued to other relatives of a refugee or an alien who has been granted a residence permit on the basis of a need for protection or enjoyes temporary protection, if refusing the residence permit would be unreasonable because the persons concerned intend to resume their close family life in Finland or because the relative is fully dependent on the sponsor living in Finland. If the applicant is considered a danger to public order, security or public health or Finland's international relations, an overall consideration is carried out s provided in section 114 (2).

Issuing a residence permit does not require that the alien has secured means of support.'

Thus, in cases of international protection, including subsidiary and temporary protection, the family reunification is not limited to the members of the nuclear family.


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B.27 top Q: Article 11 (lack of documents)
Which rules on alternatives to official documents in case of lack of official documents proving the family relationship are provided for in the national law?

answer Finland A: According to 7 (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'The authorities shall ensure that the matter is investigated. The person concerned shall present the grounds for his or her claim and generally contribute to the investigation of his or her matter. The authoritie shall tell the person concerned what further clarification needs to be presented in the matter. A request for clarification shall be specified and in proportion to the means for clarification available to the person concerned, considering his or her circumstances.'

When ensuring that the matter is thoroughly investigated, the authoritie have to take into account all evidence available and not only official documents.

The significance of the oral hearing of the applicant and the sponsor is emphasized in situations where ther are no official documents. According to 62 (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004:
'To establish whether the requirements for a residence permit are met, the persons mentioned in subsection 1 [the sponsor and the applicant] shall be provided with an opportunity to be heard before a decision is issued on the matter.'

Furthermore, according to 64 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'When applying for a residence permit on the basis of family tie, the applicant, sponsor or other relative may be heard orally to establish whether the requirements for entry or for a residence permit are met.

The hearing is conducted by the police or by an official of a Finnish mission. The Directorate of Immigration may conductr the hearing if establishin the matter so requires.'

If no other adequate evidence on family tie based on biological kinship exists, the persons concerned will be offered an opportunity to prove the biological kinship with DNA analysis that is paid from State funds. According to the Government Proposal 28/2003 this opportunity to use the DNA analysis in order to establishing the family tie is particularly important in case of unaccompanied minors as they often come to Finland as asylum seekers and do not possess documentary evidence concerning their situation, and furthermore as for them as children it may be difficult to provide sufficient information of the family relationship orally.

According to 65 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004:
'The Directorate of Immigration may provide an applicant or sponsor with an opportunity to prove their biological kinship with DNA analysis paid from State funds if no other adequate evidence of family tie based on biological kinship is available and if it is possible to obtain material evidence of the family tie through DNA analysis.

The person concerned shall be given proper information on the purpose and nature of DNA analysis and any consequences and risks involved. Carrying out DNA analysis requires that the person to be tested has given a written consent based on information and free will. Results of the analysis may not be used for any purposes other than establishing the family tie required for issuing a residence permit in cases as specified in the person's consent.

If the person concerned has deliberately given false information on his or her family tie, as a result of which the person and the family member indicated by him or her have been ordered to take a DNA test, the Directorate of Immigration shall order the person concerned to reimburse the cost of the test to the State unless this is unreasonable under the circumstances. The decision of the Directorate of Immigration is enforced as provided in the Act on the Recovery of Taxes and Charges through Execution.'

Further regulations concerning how the DNA testing should be performed are laid down in 66 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004.


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B.28 top Q: Article 12 (exemption from requirements)
From which requirements for family reunification, mentioned in Article 7 or Article 8, are refugees or their family members explicitly exempted by national law?

answer Finland A: The requirements concerning housing and sickness insurance as well as the requirements laid down in Article 8 are not applied in Finland in any cases. Refugees and their family members are, according to 39 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004, explicitly exempted from the requirement of secured income.
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B.29 top Q: Article 13(1) (visa facilitation)
How has the obligation to grant third country family members 'every facility for obtaining the required visas' been implemented in national law?

answer Finland A: According to the main rule, the family member should wait for the decision on application concerning a residence permit on ground of family tie abroad. After the Directorate of Immigration has decided to issue a residence permit on grounds of family tie, a Finnish embassy abroad serves the permit as soon as possible to the family member concerned. A person who has been issued with a residence permit on grounds of family tie is not required to hold a visa to enter Finland. It is sufficient that she holds the residence permit.
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B.30 top Q: Article 14 (equal treatment)
How has the right of admitted family members to 'access to employment and self-employment in the same way as the sponsor' been implemented in national law?
answer Finland A: According to 79 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006: 'Aliens who have been issued with a residence permit on the ground of family tie has a right to gainful employment.' This applies to self-employment, as well. Previously the family members' right to work was not as covering as it is now after the amendent.
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B.31 top Q: Did your country make use of the exception to that equal treatment allowed under Article 14(2) of the Directive?
answer Finland A: No it did not.
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B.32 top Q: Article 15 (autonomous residence permit)
After how many years are spouses, unmarried partners and children entitled to an autonomous residence permit under national law? What other conditions are they required to fulfil in order to obtain such a permit?
answer Finland A: According to the main rule, after four years residence.

56 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006 concerns permanet residence permits.
According to this provision:
'A permanent residence permit is issued to an alien who has resided legally in the country for a continuous period of four years after being issued with a continuous residence permit if the requirements for issuing a continuous residence permit are still met and if there are no obstacles mentioned in this Act to issuing a permanent residence permit. Residence is considered continuous if an alien has resided in Finland for at least half of the validity period for the residence permit. The continuous residence is not cut by regular holiday and other trips abroad or working abroad as posted worker sent by an employer established in Finland.

A person who has been issued with a fixed-term residence permit on the ground of a family tie can be issued with a permanent residence permit even if the sponsor does not meet the requirements for issuing a permanent permit.

The period of four years is calculated from the date of entry into the country if the alien held a residence permit for continuous residence upon entry. If the residence permit was applied for in Finland, the period of four years is calculated from the first day of the fist fixed-term residence permit issued for continuous residence in the country.
[...]'

New paragraph 2 concerning family member's independent permit was added to 56 § of the Act when the Act was amended by the Act 380/2006. Under this provision a family member may be issued with an autonomous and permanent residence permit after four years residence in Finland even if the sponsor would not meet the requirements for issuing the permanent permit and would therefore not be issued with it. This permanent residence permit is, according to the Government Proposal regarded to be the 'autonomous' permit as meant in the Directive as it can be issued even if the sponsor would not be issued with the permanent permit. As this autonomous permit would still be a family member's permit, it's issuing is conditional upon the existence of the family tie and the legal residence of the sponsor. However, once the permanent permit has been issued, it cannot be cancelled on any ground related to the sponsor or his or her permit, or on ground that the family relationship no longer exists.

There may be a discrepancy here between the aliens Act and the Directive as under the Directive a family member is in this kind of situations entitled to a residence permit whereas the Aliens Act leaves the authoritie with discretion in this respect as according to 56 (2) § a person concerned may be issued with a residence permit.

It is worth noting here that the four year period is counted from the point of time when the person concerned was issued with a continuous residence permit. If the family member has resided in Finland by virtue of a temporary residence permit for example as a family member of a student for a longer period than one year and then after that by virtue of a continuous permit for four years, the time limit of 5 years laid down in the Directive shall be exceeded. According to the Government Proposal 28/2003 this is not regarded to be problematic as the Directive does not apply to temporary residence but only to permanent residence and the four year period required for a permanent permit shall be counted from the point of time when the permanent residence started.


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B.33 top Q: Under what conditions can an autonomous residence permit be obtained before the period of time normally required under national law?
answer Finland A: 54 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 concerns extended permits. According to 54 (6) § : 'A new fixed-term residence permit is issued on new grounds if such grounds would qualify the alien for the first residence permit. An alien wo has been issued with a temporary or continuous residence permit on the basis of family tie may be issued with a residence permit on the basis of close tie to Finland after these family tie are broken.'

Furthermore, if the personal situation of the family member would become particularly difficult if his or her autonomous residence in Finland would not be allowed, he or she can be issued with a residence permit under 52 (1)§ of the Aliens Act 301/2004 that concerns residence permits on compassionate grounds. According to this provision: 'Aliens residing in Finland are issued with a continuous residence permit if refusing a residence permit would be manifestly unreasonable with regard to their health or tie to Finland or another compassionate grounds, particualry in consideration of the circumstances they would face in their home country or of their vulnerable position.'

No time limits are set in these provisions and therefore the permit may be obtained on these grounds before the period of time normally required under national law. In these two cases the ground of the permit would no longer be the family tie.


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B.34 top Q: Article 16(1)(a) (resources)
Is the income of family members taken into account for the calculation of the sufficient resources at the time of the renewal of the permit?
answer Finland A: Yes it is.
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B.35 top Q: Article 16(1)(b) (real family relationship)
Does the national law allow for refusal or withdrawal of a residence permit on the ground that the family member does no longer live in a real marital or family relationship? If so, which criteria have to be fulfilled under national law? Is the ground applicable to the relationship between parents and minor children?
answer Finland A: If the marital relationship is no longer real when the first residence permit is applied, the conditions for issuing a residence permit on grounds of family tie are not met and thus a residence permit on this ground shall not be issued. Equally, if the family situation no loner exists when the extended permit is applied, the permit shall, according to the main rule, not be granted on family tie as the conditions for that are not met.

According to 58 (4) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004:
'A fixed-term residence permit may be cancelled if the grounds on which the permit was issued no longer exist. Another requirement for cancelling the permit is that the alien has resided legally in Finland for only a short time.' The residence permit could be cancelled on the ground that the family tie would no longer exist and thus the requirements for issuing a permit would no longer be met.

Furthermore, 36 (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 may be applicable in this kind of situations. According to this provision:
'A residence permit may be refused if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the alien intends to evade the provisions on entry into or residence in the country.'

58 (3) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004, too, may be applied in these situations. According to this provision: 'A fixed term or permanent residence permit may be cancelled if false information on the alien's identity or other matters relevant to the decision was knowingly given when the permit was applied for, or if information that might have prevented the issue of the residence permit was concealed.'

There are no provisions in the Aliens Act guiding how to asses whether the marital or family relationship is no longer real. The question whether the marriage or partnership is real or not is assessed when taking the decision on issuing or continuing the residence permit. The Guidelines given by the Directorate of Immigration on family reunification offers some guiding in this. According to these Guidelines, following factors shall be taken into account:

  • Life together: when and under what kind of circumstances the persons concerned had met; have they lived together before and/or after concluding the marriage; how have they kept in touch when they have lived separately.
  • Meetings and contacts before concluding the marriage.
  • Contradictory information given by the partners on each other and their relationship.
  • If one of the spouses paid to the other for concluding the marriage, the relationship shall normally not be regarded as real.
  • Lack of common language.
  • Indications on the fact that the spouses / the family don't live together without an acceptable reason for that.
  • When was the marriage concluded or the adoption registered? If this happened right after one of the persons concerned was issued a negative decision on an application for a residence permit on some other ground, a strong suspect arises that the marriage or partnership is contracted for the sole purpose of enabling reunification.
What comes to minors, as family members shall be regarded unmarried children under 18 years of age whose guardian the sponsor or her spouse is. If the sponsor is a minor, her guardian is considered a family member. Thus, the condition for family reunification in cases involving a parent and her child appears to be that the parent is also the child's guardian. The guardianship appears thus to be regarded as a sign of the fact that the relationship between the parent and her child is effective and if this link does not exist the relationship shall not be regarded as real and there is thus no right to family reunification. However, this rule is not applied strictly and the legal guardianship is not an absolute condition for family reunification.
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B.36 top Q: Article 16(4) (marriage of convenience)
Does the national law contain provisions on fraud or on marriages or partnerships of conveniences? Is so are the definitions, checks and practices in conformity with Article 16(4)?
answer Finland A: In case of marriage or partnership of convenience the residence permit may be refused or cancelled.

According to 36 (2) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004:
'A residence permit may be refused if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the alien intends to evade the provisions on entry into or residence in the country.'

Furthermore, according to 58 (3) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: 'A fixed term or permanent residence permit may be cancelled if false information on the alien's identity or other matters relevant to the decision was knowingly given when the permit was applied for, or if information that might have prevented the issue of the residence permit was concealed.'

Regarding the definitions, checks, and practices concerning the marriages of convenience the Government Proposal 28/2003 refers to the Council Resolution (97/C382/01) of 4th December 1997. According to the Guidelines given by the Directorate of Immigration on family reunification, following factors shall be taken into account in assessing whether the marriage is real or not:

  • Life together: when and under what kind of circumstances the persons concerned had met; have they lived together before and/or after concluding the marriage; how have they kept in touch when they have lived separately.
  • Meetings and contacts before concluding the marriage.
  • Contradictory information given by the partners on each other and their relationship.
  • If one of the spouses paid to the other for concluding the marriage, the relationship shall normally not be regarded as real.
  • Lack of common language.
  • Indications on the fact that the spouses / the family don't live together without an acceptable reason for that.
  • When was the marriage concluded or the adoption registered? If this happened right after one of the persons concerned was issued a negative decision on an application for a residence permit on some other ground, a strong suspect arises that the marriage or partnership is contracted for the sole purpose of enabling reunification.

Of interest in this connection is also 47 (5) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 according to which:
'If an alien has been issued with a continuous or permanent residence permit on the basis of family tie, and the family tie that was the basis for issuing the permit is broken, a member of his or her family residing abroad maybe issued with a continuous residence permit, provided that the family member has secure means of support. When making a decision, however, account shall be taken of the possibility of the person already living legally in Finland to return to his or her home country or another country to live with his or her family there, if all his or her family tie can be considered to lie there.'

According to the Government Proposal 28/2003 this provision may be applied, for example, in situations where there is a reason to believe that the marriage on the basis of which the residence permit on ground of family tie was issued, was concluded for the sole purpose of getting a residence permit in Finland and where the person who had been issued with a residence permit on the ground of family tie attempts soon after the break up of the marriage to be united with a new spouse. In this kind of situations special attention shall be paid to finding out whether the first marriage was real or concluded with the purpose of circumventing the regulations concerning entry.


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B.37 top Q: Article 17 (relevant considerations)
How has this clause, requiring that certain specific elements are to be taken into consideration in the decision making on residence permits and removal orders, been implemented in the national law?
answer Finland A: According to 66 a § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006:
'When the residence permit has been applied on the ground of family tie, when considering refusal of the permit, due account shall be taken of the nature and solidity of the person's family relationships, the duration of his or her residence in the country as well as the existence of family, cultural and social tie with the country of origin. The same applies to the consideration concerning withdrawal of the residence permit issued on the ground of family tie as well as taking a decision on removing the sponsor or her family member from the country.'

According to the Government Proposal 198/2005 this provisions shall be applied in situations where the decision would, after applying the requirements for issuing a residence permit to the facts of the case, be negative to the applicant. In this kind of situations the family situation would be given special significance before taking the final decision. In other words, the influence of the negative decision to the family situation of the applicant and the sponsor would be reconsidered before issuing the final decision. According to the Proposal, this provision would not be applied in situations where the decision would, after applying the requirements for issuing a residence permit, be positive.

146 (1) § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 as amended by the Act 380/2006 concerns decision making in cases of refusal of entry deportation or prohibition of entry. According to this provision:
'When considering refusal of entry, deportation or pohibition of entry and the duration of the prohibition of entry, account shall be taken of the facts on which the decision is based and the facts and circumstances affecting the matter otherwise as a whole. When considering the matter, particular attention shall be paid to the best interest of children and the protection of family life. Other facts to be considered include at least the lenght and purpose of the alien's residence in Finland, the nature of the residence permit issued to him or her and the alien's tie to Finland as well as possible family, cultural and social tie to the country of origin.
Should a refusal of entry, deportation or related prohibition of entry be based on any criminal activity of the alien, accout shall be taken of the seriousness of the act and the detriment, damage or danger caused to public or private security.'


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B.38 top Q: Article 18 (judicial review)
Are the sponsor and his family members entitled to have a negative decision reviewed by a court or independent tribunal? If so, please specify the relevant provisions in the national law and the scope of the judicial review (full review, review on legality or marginal control only)?
answer Finland A: According to 190 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 the negative decision may be appealed to administrative court. Both the applicant and the sponsor may appeal the negative decision (6 (1) § of the Act on Administrative procedures, Hallintolainkayttolaki 586/1996).

According to 196 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004 the decision by the administrative court may be further appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court if the latter gives a leave to appeal. A leave to appeal may be given if it is important for the application of the Act to other similar cases, or for the sake of consistency in legal practice, to submit the case to the Supreme Administrative Court for a decision or if there is some other weighty reason for giving the leave.

The scope of the judicial review is full review.


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B.39 top Q: Article 18 (judicial review)
Is (publicly funded) legal aid available for an appeal against a decision to refuse fam-ily reunification or to withdraw the residence permit of a family member?
answer Finland A: Publicly funded legal aid is available in this kind of cases provided that preconditions for that are met (in practice that the person concerned does not have sufficient income to cover the expenses).
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C. Final questions
C.1 top Q: What are in your view the main strengths and weaknesses of the Directive?
answer Finland A: The main strength of the Directive is its overall purpose i.e. recognising the right to family reunification of third-country nationals residing lawfully in the EU and determining the minimum conditions for using this right.

It is positive that the Directive pays special attention to the vulnerable situation of refugees. It is, however, regrettable that these special guarantees are not guaranteed to those receiving subsidiary or temporary protection as their needs are often very similar or even identical to those of the refugees.

Of individual Articles worth mentioning in this respect is Article 14 entitling the family members to access to education, employment and self-employed activity and to vocational guidance, initial and further training and retraining, in the same way as the sponsor. It is, however, regrettable that this right is compromised by Article 14 (2) and 14 (3).

The main weakness of the Directive is that it does not apply to those receiving subsidiary protection. There are no sufficient grounds to justify this limitation as the nature and duration of subsidiary protection is normally as permanent as that of refugee protection.

The notion of family member adopted in the Directive comprising only of the members of the nuclear family is rather narrow. Certain provisions of the Directive create scope for narrowing this already narrow concept even further. Of concern in this respect are especially Articles 4 (1) and 4 (6) concerning treatment of minor children. These provisions, under which minor children can under defined circumstances be excluded from the scope of application of the Directive, are problematic from the perspective of the principle of the best interest of child. The requirement laid down in Article 4 of the Directive concerning the minimum age of sponsor and spouse that can be maximum 21 years of age may, too, in practice lead to further narrowing the personal scope of the Directive and may furthermore be problematic in light of Article 8 of the ECHR.


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C.2 top Q: Please add any other interesting information on the Directive or its implementation in your country that might be relevant for our study.
answer Finland A: What comes to the situation in Finland, it may be argued that the Directive did not have any very significant impact on the national system. However, where the national legislation was amended on the ground of the provisions of the Directive, the changes were to a more liberal direction. For example, the notion of family member was amended to cover also unmarried children under 18 years of age whose parent or guardian the spouse of the person residing in Finland is. Previously the spouse's children were not covered by the notion of family member.
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C.3 top Q: Please send us copies of the relevant laws and regulations, of any legal or other publications on the Directive or of judgments of national courts applying or interpreting the Directive, if possible in electronic form.
answer Finland A: The Finnish text of the Aliens Act 301/2004 can be found at www.finlex.fi and the English text at www.uvi.fi. The Finnish version of the text of the Act is updated and therefore contains the amendments made by the Act 380/2006 amending the Aliens Act.

The Government Proposal to the Parliament for the Aliens Act and certain acts related to that HE 28/2003 (Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle ulkomaalaislaiksi ja eraiksi siihen liittyviksi laeiksi HE 28/2003) (hereafter Government Proposal 28/2003) can be found at HE 28/2003 and the Proposal of Government to the Parliament for the Act amending the Aliens Act HE 198/2005 (Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laiksi ulkomaalaislain muuttamisesta HE 198/2005) (hereafter Government Proposal 198/2005) at HE 198/2005.


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AUS BEL CYP CZE DEN EST FIN FRA GFR GRE HUN IRE ITA LAT LIT LUX MAL NET POL POR SVK SVN SPA SWE GBR

D. Table
D.1 top Q: This table refers only to mandatory provisions of the Directive.
Please choose for each article one of the four alternative labels:
  • correct transposition
  • no transposition
  • violation of the Directive
  • unclear
If you choose the label 'violation' or 'unclear', please add a footnote with a short explanation.
answer Finland A:
Articles of the
Directive
Opinion about TranspositionExplanation
5(5) correct transposition
10(3)(a) unclear According to 37 § of the Aliens Act 301/2004: '...If a person residing in Finland is a minor, his or her guardian is considered a family member...' This formulation of the Aliens Act appears not be striclty in line with the Directive. The Aliens Act recognises explicitly a guardian's and not the parent's right to residence permit on grounds of family tie. In practice, however, a child's parent is normally also her guardian and thus in practice the parents are normally entitled to family reunification. Furthermore, in the administrative practice emphasis is laid on whether the relationship between the child and the adult is real, and not only on the fact of legal guardinship. Thus, for ecample in cases where the child has both a parent and a legal guardian, it is not automatically the legal guardian who would be entitld to family reunification even though the wording of the Aliens Act would indicate this. Argubly the formulation of the Aliens Act could be clearer in this respect.
11 correct transposition
13(1) correct transposition
14(1) correct transposition
15 correct transposition
16(1)(b)correct transposition
17correct transposition
18 correct transposition

Answers on this question by other countries:
AUS BEL CYP CZE DEN EST FIN FRA GFR GRE HUN IRE ITA LAT LIT LUX MAL NET POL POR SVK SVN SPA SWE GBR