Wednesday 9/29/21
MOVING TO FINLAND

FAQ - How to apply for an entry permit from Afghanistan to Finland

The Finnish government has compiled and published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for people from Afghanistan to answer their questions regarding their and their families' applications and rights of entry and asylum
Finnish troops participating in the refugee evacuation operation in Kabul. Photo: Puolustusvoimat.
Finnish troops participating in the refugee evacuation operation in Kabul. Photo: Puolustusvoimat.

Following the crisis in Afghanistan that followed the fall of Kabul, several Western countries - Finland among them - have evacuated their citizens and Afghan personnel who have served diplomats and peacekeepers.

The Finnish government has compiled and published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for people from Afghanistan to answer their questions regarding their and their families' applications and rights of entry and asylum.

1. I am a Finnish citizen/ I have a residence permit to Finland. I am in Afghanistan and want to return to Finland. What should I do?

Finland’s relief efforts in Afghanistan have ended. The Finnish Embassy in Kabul has been closed until further notice, and we are not able to offer consular assistance in Afghanistan.

Under the Consular Services Act, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs provides assistance to Finnish citizens and foreign citizens residing permanently in Finland, but the opportunities for giving assistance are currently very limited. Persons in dire distress can turn to local or international organisations (for example, the Red Crescent, the Red Cross, UNCHR) and ask for assistance.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is monitoring the situation and examining possibilities to provide assistance. If you are still in Afghanistan, follow the local media and advice given by the local authorities.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs advises Finnish citizens and permanent residents of Finland who are still in Afghanistan to submit their travel plans and contact details at www.matkustusilmoitus.fi

Through this service, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is able to contact persons who are staying in the country and send them information about possible changes in the situation.

2. Are you able to bring my family members from Afghanistan to Finland?

Evacuations from Afghanistan have ended.

Finnish citizens and permanent residents of Finland always have the right to return to Finland. Instead, a family member of a foreign citizen needs a residence permit to be able to move to Finland. Please visit the website of the Finnish Immigration Service for more information about the residence permit.

It is also good to remember that countries make independent decisions on the preconditions for exiting their territory. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs cannot influence other countries’ decisions on, for example, who are entitled to receive an exit visa.

3. I am a Finnish citizen but also a citizen of Afghanistan. Am I entitled to receive consular assistance from Finland?

Under the Consular Services Act, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs can provide consular assistance to Finnish citizens and foreign citizens residing permanently in Finland.

Persons who hold the citizenship of the country where they are staying may be considered citizens of that country only, despite their Finnish citizenship.

Therefore, it is possible that actual assistance is not possible.

4. I am a Finnish citizen staying in Afghanistan and I have lost my Finnish passport. What should I do?

Due to the temporary closure of the mission of Finland and missions of other EU Member States, it is not currently possible to get a Finnish passport or a European Emergency Travel Document (ETD) in Afghanistan.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs if monitoring developments in Afghanistan and advices Finnish citizens still staying in Afghanistan to submit their travel plans and contact details at matkustusilmoitus.fi.

Through this service, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is able to contact persons who are staying in the country and send them information about possible changes in the situation.

5. My whole family is in danger and they want to leave the country. Could I submit an application for tourist visas to Finland for them? Where could I get such visas?

Family members of foreign citizens need a residence permit for moving to Finland.

Holders of a tourist visa cannot stay in Finland. Finland uses only Schengen visas, which can be granted for short and temporary stays of no longer than 90 days.

A visa is granted provided that the applicant intends to leave the Schengen area before the visa expires.

6. My family member has fled to Iran, Pakistan or some other third country. How could he or she get to Finland from there?

Family members of foreign citizens need a residence permit before moving to Finland.

If a citizen of Afghanistan is legally staying in Iran or some other country where Finland has a mission where residence permit matters are processed, he or she can contact the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a permission to visit and handle the matter at that mission instead of at the Finnish Embassy in New Delhi.

At present, applicants visiting the Embassy in Tehran are interviewed in English, because interpreters are not available. 

Finland does not have a mission in Pakistan, and residence permit matters cannot be handled in Pakistan through a mission of any other country.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is seeking solutions that could facilitate family reunification, for example with the help of roving consuls.

7. If a family member manages to flee to a neighbouring country, can he or she come to Finland?

Family members of foreign citizens need a residence permit before moving to Finland.

They must apply for the first residence permit in the country where they are staying legally before arriving in Finland. When they have received a residence permit, they may move to Finland.

8. I have underage siblings in Afghanistan who do not have a guardian/whose affairs I have taken care of/whose guardian I am. How can I bring them to Finland?

Family members must apply for a residence permit via a Finnish mission.

They can move to Finland only after the Finnish Immigration Service has issued them with a residence permit.

9. I have filed an application for family reunification, but it has not been possible to visit the Finnish Embassy in New Delhi. I would like to have my application processed quickly. Where can I use your services? How can I bring my family members to Finland?

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is examining possibilities to organise the reception, identification and interview of residence permit applicants in one of Afghanistan's neighbouring countries where people are legally allowed to travel from Afghanistan.

Once a solution has been found, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will inform about it on its website and explain how to get service in person.

10. How can I apply for asylum?

You need to be within the Finnish territory when you apply for asylum in Finland.

https://migri.fi/turvapaikka-suomesta

11. Who are the persons in Afghanistan that Finland can offer assistance to?

Finland’s relief efforts at Kabul Airport ended on Thursday 26 August. We are still trying to assist Finnish citizens and permanent residents of Finland to the extent possible.

In line with Government decisions (dated 13, 15 and 24 August 2021), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also aims to assist local employees of the Finnish Embassy in Kabul, who meet the following criteria:

They were employed by the Finnish Embassy in Kabul after 1 January 2016 and they have requested an admission to enter Finland,

OR

They were employed by the company, which provided security services for the Embassy of Finland in Kabul on 13 August 2021. The decision is limited to apply to the following: groups responsible for the immediate security of the staff of the Finnish Embassy and the group leaders serving in them, leaders of the relief effort, heads of administration, drivers, and protection and security guards.

12. Does working in development cooperation projects funded by Finland or participation in political or commercial cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs give the right to receive assistance?

Such cooperation does not entitle anyone to receive assistance. 

13. How can I help persons who are not covered by the provisions of the Consular Services Act or the Government decisions (13, 15 and 24 August 2021)?

Persons in dire distress can turn to local or international organisations (for example, the Red Crescent, the Red Cross, UNCHR) and ask for assistance.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION READ ALSO:

Migri: Answers to frequently asked questions about situation in Afghanistan published on Finnish Immigration Service website.

FAQ - How to apply for an entry permit from Afghanistan to Finland
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