Immigration Updates – 3rd of May

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Denmark

    Update on proposal to change the rules regarding family reunification of spouses

    On 11 April 2024, the Ministry for Immigration and Integration presented a proposal to the Danish Parliament to change the rules regarding family reunification of spouses.

    If the proposal is passed, the requirement that the spouse in Denmark needs to have passed Prøve i Dansk 3 or another Danish test at the same or higher level, in order for the couple collectively to meet the integration requirement, can also be met by the spouse in Denmark by documenting having been in ordinary full-time employment for five years, which has significantly involved communication in Danish.

    In addition, the financial guarantee requirement that must be met in order to qualify for family reunification of spouses will be reduced from approx. DKK 114,000 to DKK 57,000

    If the proposal is passed, the new rules will come into force on 1 July 2024. However, it will also be possible to have an application submitted before this time, processed under the new rules when they come into force. It could be, for example, if the spouse in Denmark wants the further processing of the case to await the reduction of the financial guarantee to DKK 57,000, or if the spouse in Denmark has been in ordinary full-time employment for five years, which has significantly involved communication in Danish, and where the person in question does not have documentation of having passed Test in Danish 3 or an equivalent or higher Danish test. In these cases, the Danish Immigration Service will give the spouse in Denmark the opportunity to indicate whether the couple wants the further processing of the case to await the expected entry into force of the new rules.

    During the consideration of the proposal in the Danish Parliament and until the expected entry into force on 1 July 2024, the Danish Immigration Service will not make a decision in cases where the proposed reduction of the financial guarantee and the proposed adjustment of the language requirement are of decisive importance to the case. The processing of these cases will continue after the expected entry into force and will be processed according to the new rules.

    Applicants whose application for family reunification of spouses has been refused before the proposal was presented on 11 April 2024, because they did not meet the current financial guarantee requirement or the current language requirement, have the opportunity to submit a new application for family reunification of spouses after the proposal’s expected entry into force.

    European Union

    Council restricts visa provision for Ethiopian nationals

    On 29 April 2024, the European Council decided to temporarily suspend certain elements of the EU law that regulates the issuing of visas to Ethiopian nationals. In particular, it will no longer be possible for member states:

    • to waive requirements with regard to the evidence to be submitted by Ethiopian visa applicants
    • to issue multiple entry visas
    • to waive the visa fee for holders of diplomatic and service passports

    Furthermore, the standard visa-processing period now becomes 45 calendar days instead of 15.

    This decision follows an assessment by the Commission, which concludes that cooperation by Ethiopia in the field of readmission of its nationals illegally staying in the EU is insufficient. Based on the EU visa code, the Commission regularly assesses the cooperation of third countries on readmission. These assessments may lead to the conclusion that a given third country does not cooperate sufficiently. In such cases, the EU may decide to suspend the application of certain provisions of the visa code.

    The suspension decision is temporary but does not come with a specific end date. The Commission will continue to assess any progress made on readmission cooperation.

    Finland

    Automated decisions possible for some citizenship applications

    On 2 May 2024, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) will start issuing automated decisions on certain citizenship applications.

    An automated decision is a decision that Migri’s system automatically makes on an application. The processing of an application may involve automated steps and steps taken by Migri specialists.

    Migri’s system makes an automated decision only where this is possible under law. Automation is based on the rules formulated by the Finnish Immigration Service. The system uses these rules to check whether an application meets the requirements laid down in law.

    Applicants can receive an automated decision on their application if they meet the following conditions:

    • They have submitted the application and paid the processing fee via Enter Finland ;
    • they submitted the application on or after 2 May 2024;
    • they have completed the application with due care and have submitted all the required information and attachments;
    • they meet all the requirements for acquiring Finnish citizenship. The application does not require individual assessment, such as granting an exemption from a requirement;
    • they are at least 18 years old;
    • they have not added any co-applicants to the application;
    • they do not have a non-disclosure for personal safety reasons (dvv.fi)
    • Migri does not need to ask for additional information from other authorities to process the application
    • they hold the citizenship of a country other than Finland.

    If the citizenship application cannot be decided using automation, applicants will receive a decision in accordance with the normal, manual process.

    Service points and telephone service of the Finnish Immigration Service closed from 7 to 9 May 2024

    All service numbers and service points of the Finnish Immigration Service are closed from 7 to 9 May 2024.

    Most applications can be submitted using the online service Enter Finland. Applicants can also use Enter Finland to check the status of their application. Applications becomes pending when submitted in Enter Finland. Applicants then have three months to visit a service point to prove their identity.

    Residence permit or travel document expiring on 7–9 May 2024

    Applicants can submit their residence permit application online via Enter Finland and prove their identity at a service point later. They can book an appointment for their visit or take a waiting number at the service point. The following permits cannot be applied for via Enter Finland:

    • residence permit on the grounds of Finnish origin
    • residence permit on other grounds.

    Extended permit or new residence permit card applications

    Visiting a service point is not always required if an online application is submitted via Enter Finland using strong electronic identification (online banking credentials, citizen certificate or mobile certificate) to log in. After the application is submitted, Enter Finland will inform the applicant whether or not they need to visit a service point.

    Those applying for a residence permit card on the basis of temporary protection should use Enter Finland to submit an online application. If they cannot apply online, they should submit the application at a service point during opening hours.

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