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Country of Decision : Finland
Court Name : FI: Supreme Administrative Court [Korkein hallinto-oikeus]
Date of decision : 22/09/2020
Type : Judgment
ECLI : FI:KHO:2020:98
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol :

Applicant, B. and C. (Iraq) v Finnish Immigration Service


FI: Supreme Administrative Court rejected family reunification request and considered that sending a minor to Finland by his/her guardians can be an attempt to circumvent the legal provisions on entry

B. and C. (Iraqi nationals) application for residence permits on the basis of family reunification in Finland was rejected by the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS) on 10 November 2017. FIS held that the family member is their daughter, Iraqi national, who has been granted subsidiary protection in Finland and a residence permit was issued as of 8 September 2016 for a period of 4 years. The daughter was a minor at the moment the subsidiary protection was granted. FIS found that B. and C. and the family member (daughter) have left their home region of Fallujah together to escape the security situation in the area to Baghdad and then possibly together to Turkey. The family life of the family member and her parents was considered to have ended after the family member has left her parents' home country or country of residence at the time and came to Finland. FIS assessed, based on the report in the case, that the guardians of the family-gatherer send her to Finland with the aim to possibly obtain residence permits in Finland through family reunification. FIS concluded that the actions of the guardians of the family can be regarded as an attempt to circumvent the provisions on entry within the meaning of Article 36(2) of the Aliens Act. FIS also considered that the best interest of child does not require the issuance of residence permit for family reasons when the family relations ended voluntarily and the applicants acted against the best interest of the child by sending their daughter to Finland in order to obtain family based residence permits at a later stage.

B. and. C., and the family member appealed the decision and the Supreme Administrative Court upheld FIS decision. The Supreme Administrative Court considered that the reasons for granting subsidiary protection, precisely the security situation in the family member’s home region of Anbar county and her return there alone while the parents lived in Baghdad and then in Turkey, were not grounds for justifying the need to send the family member away from her parents in Baghdad or Turkey and that no compelling reasons related to the life or health of the family member were raised to justify the issuance of residence permits for the parents. In the light of all circumstances of the case, the Supreme Administrative Court held similar as FIS that there was no family life within the meaning of art. 8 of the ECHR, and that the application of the parents was done to circumvent the provisions for entry into the territory of Finland. One judge of the Supreme Administrative Court had a dissenting opinion on the case and would have granted residence permits for the parents based on family reunification and the vulnerable situation of the minor.

Asylum Procedures/Special Procedures; Family Reunification; Iraq; Subsidiary Protection; Unaccompanied minors;

European Convention on Human Rights;


Finland, Supreme Administrative Court [Korkein hallinto-oikeus], Applicant, B. and C. (Iraq) v Finnish Immigration Service, FI:KHO:2020:98, 22 September 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.