A Moroccan called Majid* got in touch with Migrant Tales who was deported in October despite marriage to a Finnish woman. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) claims that the marriage was arranged, but he denies such a claim. He is presently awaiting a decision by the administrative court to overturn MIgri’s decision.
Majid was deported from Finland in October and he can not return to the country and the Schengen area for two years. He knows another Moroccan who was married to a Finn and who was deported like him.
Asylum seekers have had a tough time in Finland as our laws have tightened. This protestor went on a hunger strike in front of the little parliament in 2016.
“Ours is not a fake marriage,” the man said by phone from Morocco. “I love my wife very much, and she is very sad about our separation. My wife visited me, and she stayed with me for three months. It is expensive to travel back and forth from Finland to Morocco.”
According to Majid, his short time in Finland went well and he was able to adapt and be a part of society.
“I was living a normal life,” he continued. “I am a tolerant person with goals and who wanted to achieve them. I wanted to learn Finnish. When they deported me I was studying the Finnish language at a school seven kilometers from home. I used to walk or bike to school.”
Majid came to Finland in February 2016 and asked for asylum. His request was later turned down by Migri.
“I went to Migri in March  to tell them about my marriage, which happened in the previous month,” he said. “Despite being married, they said I had to leave Finland because my request for asylum was turned down. That’s when the police took me to Metsälä [immigration removal center] where I was detained for a month.”
After moving to Finland and living in Oulu, Majid moved to Helsinki and lived with a Moroccan friend for four months. It is during this time when he met his future wife on the Internet. “We met, and we hit it off very well,” he said.
Even if Majid claims that the interview with Migri went well about his marriage to his wife, he claims that the police have done everything possible to destroy his marriage.
“The police told my wife that it was a mistake to marry a foreigner,” he said. “They told her that they know of many cases where foreign men take advantage of Finnish women. They marry just to get a residence permit.”
The man’s problems got worse when the police in a northern Finnish city asked him to come to the station.
“That’s when they detained me and locked me up in a police cell for three days,” he continued. “The only way I can see my wife for only a half an hour is in a city [abut 100km away] because there was no meeting room with a glass separation.”
Majid said that after two nights they woke him up at 4 am and said he was going to be deported. He could not call his lawyer or wife because the police took his phone.
“I was taken to Oulu, then to Helsinki, to Paris, where I boarded a plane with the police to Casablanca,” he said.
Despite all the legal problems and the battle with the authorities, Majid is hopeful that the administrative court will overrule Migri’s decision.
“I love my wife, I love Finland, and want to make my home in that country,” he concluded.
* The name of the person was changed to protect his identity.