The Finnish Immigrations Service's Saimaa division in southeast Finland reports that so far this year, officials in Lappeenranta have granted asylum to roughly 2,400 applicants and turned down 2,150 applications of a total of 5,550 applications received this year.
Acording to immigration officials the total number of affirmative decisions handed down throughout the entire country reached 3,100 by the end of June, indicating that Lappeenranta was responsible for the bulk of positive decisions. Nationwide, nearly 4,700 asylum applications were denied.
Director Hanna Tikkala of the Finnish Immigration Service attributed the disparity between the national rate of approvals and that in Lappeenranta to different applicant profiles.
Tikkala noted that the Saimaa region has received more applications from Syrian asylum seekers, and that the practice has been to grant residence permits to all applicants from that country.
By the end of June immigration officials had processed some 12,300 asylum applications altogether. Approximately 2,700 applications had lapsed because applicants had either disappeared or withdrawn their applications. Another 1,800 pleas are still to be examined.
Lappeenranta is responsible for processing asylum seekers referred by police departments in eastern and southeast Finland.