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Fri, 25 Sep, 2015 02:45:21 AM
Family reunification criteria to be tightened
FTimes Report, Sep 25
File Photo Lehtikuva.
The Ministry of the Interior on Thursday has set up a project to establish how to speed up the process to remove certain foreign national offenders from the country. 
The aim is to identify the problems associated with their removal, said an official press release.
The project will review the existing legislation, instructions and practices of the authorities and propose necessary legislative amendments.
The project is included in Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's government programme and a government proposal in this regard will be submitted to Parliament in spring 2017 at the latest.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has established a legislative project to review the family reunification criteria to comply with the EU Family Reunification Directive. 
The project will consider tightening the criteria by extending the scope of application of maintenance requirements and the application of integration and accommodation requirements.
The Directive lays down the general requirements for family reunification, and additional requirements to be applied at national level as decided by the Member States. 
Finland has not applied all the additional requirements laid down in the Directive. The family reunification criteria would now be tightened in accordance with these additional requirements.
The application of integration requirements would support the Government's objective to ensure that all those who have been granted asylum participate in integration measures. 
The project aims to examine how the application of integration requirements and other additional requirements could be implemented in practice.
Reviewing the family reunification criteria is included in government programme and the Government proposal in this regard will be submitted to Parliament in spring 2016.
The purpose of the Family Reunification Directive is to determine the minimum conditions for the exercise of the right to family reunification by third country nationals residing lawfully in the territory of the Member States.
Under the Aliens Act in force, a residence permit may be issued on the basis of family ties to applicants who are members of the nuclear family (the spouse and minor children/parents of minor children) but not other relatives, having a secure livelihood (sufficient resources to maintain the family without recourse to the social assistance system) and not to be a threat to public order or security.
It is also established whether the applicants really intend to resume their close family life in Finland and not try to bend the rules to be able to enter the country legally.
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