Do you feel that the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has not treated you correctly? Do you suspect that any of its workers has done something illegal or did not comply with his/her obligations? If so, you are entitled to submit a complaint about the behaviour of any of its officials. Pay attention to the information below so you can exercise your rights.
According to the information provided by Migri, you have the right to file administrative complaints against Migri as a whole or against a public official if you believe that s/he has missed his/her responsibilities. You can lodge your complaint with the Finnish Immigration Service itself or you also have the option to complain to higher instances, if you think it is appropriate. The examination of complaints by the competent institutions is free of charge.
Before proceeding to submit your complaint, remember that all the mechanisms described in this article are intended to report cases of lack of diligence, corruption or those in which service customers believe they have not received adequate treatment. Administrative complaints are useless as an appeal against negative decisions on residence permits. To appeal in those cases, customers have to use other mechanisms that involve the courts of Justice.
In general, there are three different ways to file a complaint.
- You can lodge an administrative complaint with the Finnish Immigration Service if you suspect that one of its public officials has acted unlawfully or failed to comply with his or her obligations. In this case you have the possibility to lodge a complaint concerning the conduct of a concrete official. With regard to the conduct of public officials at reception centres, Migri encourages you to exercise your right to complain before the director of your reception centre.
- In case that your complaint concerns senior officials at the Finnish Immigration Service or the agency as a whole, you have the right to lodge your complaint with the Ministry of the Interior. If any complaint of this type is lodged with the Finnish Immigration Service then it will be transferred to the Ministry of the Interior.
- Finally, there is also the possibility to file your complaint with the highest authorities responsible for monitoring of legality, those are the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice.
How to lodge a complaint
Anyone can submit and lodge a complaint in free form concerning the operation of the Finnish Immigration Service. You can do it even if the case does not directly affect you. But you must keep in mind that if you are not an interested party in the facts that originated the complaint, confidential information cannot be disclosed to you on the basis of your complaint.
In order to lodge your complaint, you can use a specific administrative complaint form or write a free-form complaint. The text must include at least the following information:
- Your name and contact details.
- The name of the authority, public official, civil servant or any other person performing public administrative tasks whose conduct you feel is not honest or deserves criticism.
- Your description of the facts that originated the complaint and when they happened.
- Your grounds of thinking that the official has acted unlawfully or failed to comply with his/her obligations, if you believe that is the case.
If you want to download an specific complaint form for the Finnish Immigration Service, you can get the file in PDF by clicking HERE
Once you have written your complaint, you can submit it either by ordinary mail or email. You can lodge a complaint orally only in exceptional circumstances, for example if you are unable to submit your complaint in written form for health reasons. You should then be prepared to orally provide the minimum information listed above.
If you want to know Migri's contact details in order to send your complaint, you can find its postal and email addresses HERE
After your complaint has been examined, Migri or any other competent institution with which you filed your complaint will be asked to supplement your complaint with additional information if it deems it necessary to handle the matter.
According to the information published by the Finnish Immigration Service, administrative complaints are investigated in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, where applicable. If necessary, a statement will be requested from the official who is the subject of the complaint. After this, you, in the capacity of a complainant, may be asked to submit a response. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated without special grounds, Migri warns.
When the investigation is finished, Migri will send you a written reply. This reply will also be delivered to the official whose actions are the subject of the complaint. After that, decisions on complaints are not subject to appeal.
If the Finnish Immigration Service finds that the conduct of the official in question was reprehensible, s/he may be admonished for instance with a reprimand or warning. If the denounced facts reveal that there are grounds enough to suspect that a crime has been committed, Migri may delegate to the police the task of conducting an investigation.
Based on a complaint, the Finnish Immigration Service may also alter its procedures or issue new guidelines or orders to its workers.
Migri insists that administrative complaints can never be used as a means of appealing against a decision on a residence permit, asylum or a citizenship application.
Such decisions cannot be legally changed or annulled on the basis of administrative complaints. If you got a negative decision on your residence, asylum or citizenship application and you want to appeal, you must do it to the Administrative Court by following the instructions for lodging an appeal that Migri enclosed to its decision.