The number of asylum seekers arriving in Finland is unlikely to rapidly increase this spring, according to the Finnish Immigration Service.
During the second-to-last week of March, the number of asylum seekers dropped to 60.
Since the start of the year, 2,166 asylum seekers have arrived in Finland. During week 10 there were 109, during week 11 there were 57, and during week 12 (March 21-27) there were 60. Every fourth asylum seeker is an Iraqi national, according to Juha Similä, head of the Asylum Unit, who released recent immigration statistics on his Twitter account over the weekend.
The slowdown is related to the decision by the European Union and Turkey earlier this month to turn back asylum seekers trying to enter Greece via Turkey. The Finnish Immigration Service says that this explains why the number of asylum seekers to Finland is unlikely to rapidly increase in the near future. However, this downward trend may change at some point owing to internal EU transfers of asylum seekers.
The Service says that it is prepared for various scenarios and has budgeted for up to 15,000 asylum seeker applications for 2016.