Living in Finland


Kielteinen oleskelulupapäätös

Negative residence permit decision

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 this 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?

linkkiRefugee Advice Centre:
Legal aid for refugeesFinnish | Swedish | English

Leaving Finland

If your permit decision appeal is rejected, you must leave Finland. You will usually be given a deadline by which you must leave the country. If you do not leave voluntarily, you may be removed from the country after the deadline has passed.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Leaving FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

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 are an asylum seeker and your application is being processed
  • you have received a negative decision on 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.

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.

linkkiThe Finnish Immigration Service:
Voluntary returnFinnish | Swedish | English