If you are in Finland and receive a negative residence permit decision from the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto), you must either leave Finland or appeal against the decision. You may stay in Finland for as long as it takes to process your appeal. You can also file an appeal if you have applied for a residence permit from abroad. In that case, you must wait abroad for the processing of the appeal.
If you are in Finland as an asylum seeker or are a victim of human trafficking, you are entitled to receive assistance for voluntary return (vapaaehtoisen paluun tuki) if you decide to return to your home country. Read more under Assistance for voluntary return.
Appealing against a residence permit decision
Instructions for filing an appeal are always enclosed with the decision. The appeal will be processed by the Administrative Court (hallinto-oikeus). The Administrative Court may either reject the appeal or return the matter to the Finnish Immigration Service for reprocessing. If the appeal is rejected, the Finnish Immigration Service’s decision remains in force.
If the appeal is rejected by the Administrative Court, you may in some cases apply for permission to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court (korkein hallinto-oikeus). If the Supreme Administrative Court grants you permission to appeal, it will process your appeal.
You may receive help for filing an appeal from a private lawyer, State Legal Aid Offices (valtion oikeusaputoimisto) or the Refugee Advice Centre (Pakolaisneuvonta) (asylum seekers only).
More information on getting legal help is available on the InfoFinland page Do you need a lawyer?
You must leave Finland if your residence permit application is rejected or your appeal to the administrative court is dismissed. You will be given the opportunity to leave Finland voluntarily. The deadline is usually after 30 days.
If you do not leave the country before the deadline, the police or Border Guard will remove you from the country.
You will get a Schengen entry ban if
- you have violated entry rules and your application has been rejected, for example due to a sham marriage
- you have committed crimes and are considered a danger to public order or safety
- your asylum application is dismissed in expedited processing
- you do not leave the country voluntarily before the deadline
When you have an entry ban, you cannot visit Finland or other Schengen countries.
Assistance for voluntary return
If you want to return to your home country, you may in some cases receive assistance for this purpose. This assistance is either money or service. The amount of money depends on the country to which you are returning. Examples of the service include assistance in looking for a home or a job in the country to which you are returning.
You can receive assistance if:
- you have received a negative decision on your asylum application
- you cancel your asylum application
- you are a victim of human trafficking and do not have a municipality of residence in Finland
- you have been granted a temporary residence permit because you cannot be removed from the country
- you have received temporary protection
- your international protection status in Finland has been withdrawn or cancelled and a decision has been made to deport you
- you have received humanitarian protection, but your residence permit is about to expire or has expired.
If you are a customer of a reception centre, you can apply for assisted voluntary return through your own reception centre. If you are not a customer of a reception centre, you can apply for assisted voluntary return through the Finnish Immigration Service.