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Finland to Extend Residence Permits for as Long as the Temporary Protection Is in Effect in the EU

The Ministry of the Interior has sent out for comments a draft of a temporary amendment to the Aliens Act that would ensure the validity of residence permits issued in Finland to recipients of temporary protection for as long as the temporary protection is in effect in the EU. With the amendment, first residence permits would be issued directly for the entire period of validity of the temporary protection. Moreover, those who have already received residence permits would not need to apply for an extension separately.

Holders of residence permits can prove their right of residence with a residence permit card. With the amendment, the validity of the residence permit cards would also be extended for the duration of the residence permit. If they so wish, holders of residence permits could apply to the Finnish Immigration Service for a new card with updated information on the validity of the permit and card, for example for travel purposes. 

The original idea was to introduce a special act that would ensure the smooth continuation of residence permits for recipients of temporary protection. However, during the preparation of that act, it was noted that it would also be justified to lay down temporary exemptions to the Aliens Act. In addition to extending the validity of permits, the amendments would lay down new provisions on the validity of the first permits. The amendment to the Aliens Act would remain in force until 4 March 2025.

The deadline for comments is 7 October 2022. The government proposal is due to be submitted to Parliament during the autumn session 2022.

Ensuring the validity of residence permits for the duration of protection is the most clear-cut solution

The temporary protection currently in place in the EU lasts for one year from the entry into force of the Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382, i.e. until 4 March 2023. After this, the temporary protection will be extended automatically for another year, unless the Council decides to end it. The Council may also decide to extend the temporary protection for an additional year. Under the Temporary Protection Directive, the total duration may not exceed three years.