A total of 3,238 people applied for asylum in Finland compared with 3,129 people in the previous year, according to the Finnish Immigration Service. The largest single group of asylum seekers was Iraqis (819) followed by Russians (226) and Somalis (217).
The number of asylum seekers coming to Finland oscillated between 1,500 and 6,000 over the 5-year period from 2006 to 2010.
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”The situation has been stable for a few years,” Esko Repo, head of the FIS refugee unit, was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat.
A total of 4,055 asylum decisions were made by the authorities last year. Forty-five percent (1,827 applicants) were given asylum while the rest were rejected.
The average processing time for asylum applications was 190 days, with 80% of applicants processed in 156 days.
Meanwhile in neighboring Sweden, the total number of asylum seekers in 2013 was 54,259 persons, or whom 24,498 were given asylum, according to the Migration Board of Sweden. This compares with 11,983 asylum seekers in Norway in 2013 and 3,896 in Denmark during the first three quarters of the year.