Chief Inspector Kaj Wahlman of the Helsinki police immigration service told Yle that 60-70 percent of applicants receive positive decisions, while just five percent have their applications turned down.
The rest languish in a grey area, and it is these that Helsinki should focus on, Wahlman said.
“But since we have to deal with one third of all the country’s cases in Helsinki, these are the ones we wrestle with. If we go in the direction of electronic processing, I would hope that we could deal with the more difficult cases here in Helsinki,” he added.
Residence permit applications on the rise
Although the number of asylum applications in Finland are decreasing, the number of other immigrants is steadily increasing.
Up to the end of August, the number of non-EU residence applications had already reached 9,000, compared to 11,500 for all of 2011. The number of permit applications in 2010 was even lower – some 7,500.
Residence applications from EU citizens and their families already account for one-third of all permanent residence applications.
Applicants typically receive a decision in about three months.
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