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Migri: Last year's rate of first-time asylum seekers in Finland lower than pre-2015 levels

The number of people who applied for asylum in Finland for the first time in 2017 was clearly less than the year before, according to Migri, the Finnish Immigration Service.

Turvapaikanhakija ikkunan äärellä.
File photo. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

In 2017 some 5,059 people applied for asylum in Finland, compared to 5,657 people in 2016, according to Migri.

The biggest difference in the number of asylum applications were seen in people applying for the first time; some 2,139 people applied in 2017 compared to about 4,005 people in 2016, the agency said.

Roughly one thousand asylum seekers had applied for asylum in either Greece or Italy. Those applicants were sent to Finland, in compliance with an EU agreement.

Last year around 40 percent of applicants were granted asylum or a residence permit, compared to the approval rate of 27 percent in 2016, according to the agency.

Some 42 percent of asylum seekers' first and second applications were rejected last year, Migri said.

Back to pre-2015 levels

Migri said that when not taking into account the asylum seekers who had renewed their applications — and those who were transferred to Finland from another country — the number of asylum applicants was less than a few years before 2015 when the number of applicants increased significantly.

In the years prior to 2015, there were typically between 3,000-4,000 asylum applicants arriving to Finland annually, according to Migri.

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