The Finnish authorities have announced that the country will no longer grant temporary protection and issue new residence permits to nationals of third countries and stateless persons who have fled Ukraine after residing there on the basis of a temporary residence permit.
The decision to no longer apply facilitated rules to this group of people entered into force on September 7, 2023. However, it has been stressed that the decision will not affect the protection already granted or the validity of the residence permits issued prior to this date, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“As of 7 September 2023, Finland will not issue residence permits on the basis of temporary protection to third-country nationals and stateless persons who have resided in Ukraine on the basis of a temporary residence permit,” the statement of the Finnish Immigration Service reads.
According to the Finnish Immigration Service, the decision will not affect Ukrainian citizens and their family members.
Moreover, the decision will not affect the persons who have been granted international protection in Ukraine and their family members, as well as persons who have resided in Ukraine with a permanent residence permit and were unable to return to their home country in safe conditions.
As explained, the changes apply only to temporary protection applications that have been submitted on September 7, 2023, and onwards.
“The decision applies to people who arrive in Finland after the entry into force of the decision or who have arrived in Finland earlier but have not notified the authorities of their need for temporary protection before the entry into force of the decision,” the Ministry of Interior of Finland emphasised.
As for residence permits that Finland has already issued on the basis of temporary protection, the Finnish Immigration Service explained that they will remain valid until March 4, 2024.
For people who will be applying for temporary protection from now on, the Finnish Immigration Service said that third-country nationals and stateless persons need to show proof of family ties to Ukrainian citizens or that they have been granted international protection in Ukraine, or that their family member has been granted international protection in Ukraine or they hold a permanent residence permit issued by Ukraine.
This means that third-country nationals and stateless persons can show a marriage certificate, a birth certificate, a refugee certificate issued by the Ukrainian authorities or a permanent residence permit issued by Ukraine.
Once the Finnish authorities receive the required documents, they will investigate whether applicants can return to their country of origin in safe conditions and then issue a decision on their application.
Just like Finland, the Netherlands also decided to no longer offer temporary protection for third-country nationals who fled Ukraine. The change is expected to affect around 2,900 people.
Source: Schengen Visa Info