Right to appeal a negative decision

This is my last blog and I thought it will be good to highlight one of the most important right of an asylum seeker which is the right to appeal a negative decision.

When the Finnish Immigration service has made a decision regarding an asylum application, applicants are informed about it by the Finnish Immigration service or the police. The decision is served in the applicant’s mother tongue or another language you stated you understand. When necessary, an interpreter or translator can be used to serve the decision.

How to go about the process

If the Finnish Immigration service has rejected your asylum application, it is the right of the asylum seeker to lodge an appeal by following the legal procedure involved if they are not satisfied with the grounds for rejection.

Firstly, the applicant has to inform his or her legal counsel and a reception centre employee of this immediately. It is worth noting that, the legal counsel representing the asylum applicant and the reception centre are not automatically informed as regards the negative decision.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to tell the legal counsel that his or her application has been rejected. If an individual does not have a counsel but would like to have one, a reception centre employee can advise on the matter.

Furthermore, it is important and necessary to inform an employee at the reception centre of the negative decision by the Finnish Immigration service. The reception centre employee will be able to guide on what will happen next.

Where to lodge an appeal

Instructions on lodging an appeal are enclosed in the decision. The document is called “Appeal Instructions”. If any one wishes to appeal, you will need a legal counsel. The legal counsel lodges the appeal on behalf of the asylum seeker. If one needs help, the reception centre employee can help finding a legal counsel.

It is an administrative court that will decide on an appeal. In case an appeal is rejected by an administrative court, it is possible to apply for a leave to appeal the case before the Supreme Administrative court. However, the Supreme Administrative court does not review all appeals.

The Administrative court and the Supreme Administrative court may

  • reject a decision
  • rule that an application must be reprocessed
  • rule that your application is rejected.

An appeal lodged against a decision made by the Finnish Immigration service, The Finnish Immigration service will no longer be the competent authority on the case. In case of any further questions concerning a case, or the applicant wants to provide additional information, it is advisable to contact your legal representative or the administrative court processing the case.

In 2018 for example, the courts overturned hundreds of asylum decisions. Some 330 decision on asylum applications rejected by the Finnish Immigration service (Migri)

I will conclude with the opinion that, though it is a right for an asylum seeker to appeal, appealing does not automatically guarantee a positive decision. It provides an opportunity for the application to be regarded much more carefully once more and to adequately access the need for asylum.





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