The number of Somali family reunification applications in 2012 plummeted to just over 500 application compared with 1,900 in the previous year and 3,900 in 2010, reports Helsingin Sanomat, citing the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS).
There were a total of 8,600 applications in 2012. The highest number were from were from citizens of the Russian Federation, followed by Thai and Somalis, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
A Somali resident in Finland, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Migrant Tales that matters started to get especially difficult from 2012.
“In 2011 there were still some who could bring their families,” the Somali said, “but in 2012 almost every application was turned down by the authorities.”
FIS reported earlier that at the end of 2011 there were a total of 6,100 family reunification application by Somalis. According to the Refugee Advice Center, only 329 family reunifications took place on average annually between 1999 and 2010.
Apart from the suffering of living separated from your loved ones indefinitely, what’s supposed to happen if separation is the price you must pay if you want to stay in Finland?
It’s natural that immigrant and refugees want to bring their families to their new homeland.
Finns that moved to the United States in the nineteenth century did the same. First came the relatives and later on the neighbors and friends.