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Country of Decision : Finland
Court Name : FI: Regional Administrative Courts [fi. hallinto-oikeus] [Please define in abstract- Helsinki, Itä-Suomi, Pohjois-Suomi, Turun]
Date of decision : 02/04/2020
Type : Decision
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : 01351/18/3101

Applicant (Afghanistan) v Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto)


FI: The Administrative Court ruled on family reunification - derogation for the 3 months deadline for exceptional objective circumstances

The applicants had applied for a residence permit based on family ties outside the 3 months deadline provided in Section 114 (4) of the Aliens Act. The applicants were not able to submit their application for residence permit in Afghanistan because the Finnish mission in Kabul did not offer consular services and they had to travel to India to submit it at the Finnish Embassy in New Delhi. It resulted from the file that the applicants were active in seeking to apply for the residence permit within the 3 months’ time limit, but the spouse of the sponsor did not manage to obtain a visa for India before the abovementioned deadline.

The Administrative Court assessed whether particular circumstances rendered objectively excusable a late submission of an application and whether the requirement in Section 114 (4) could be waived on this ground. The Administrative Court based its analysis on the principle of effectiveness as interpreted by the CJUE in its judgment of 7 November 2018 in Case C-380/17, considering that procedures provided by national law should not render impossible or disproportionately difficult to exercise the rights conferred under EU law.

The Administrative Court referred the case back to the Finnish Immigration Service for assessment of the other conditions for issuing a residence permit. It concluded that, in case of particular circumstances and by taking into account the situation in the home country, the best interest of the child and the applicants status as members of the refugee’s family, the late submission of the application must be regarded as objectively excusable and the requirement must be waived for the applicants.

Access to procedures; Family Reunification;

Family Reunification Directive (Council Directive 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification);


Finland, Regional Administrative Courts [fi. hallinto-oikeus] [Please define in abstract- Helsinki, Itä-Suomi, Pohjois-Suomi, Turun], Applicant (Afghanistan) v Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto), 01351/18/3101, 02 April 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.