Finnish Immigration Service Director General Jari Kähkönen to leave his post


The Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service, Jari Kähkönen, is to step down from his post on 1 May 2022. Kähkönen took up the fixed-term position in September 2020.

“I set myself ambitious goals when accepting the role of Director General. In recent years, the Finnish Immigration Service has grown into a major actor as immigration has taken on increasing significance in Finnish society. Meanwhile, the expectations for the agency to develop its operations have been high, ranging from the need for the effective implementation of automated processes to profound cultural changes. While progress has been made in this regard, I do not see the results as sufficient,” Kähkönen said.

”Finland needs effective and well-functioning processes for immigration, and the Finnish Immigration Service needs swift reform. The work awaiting my successor will be challenging, because the country’s current immigration system is based on a different set of needs than those we face in today’s society. Moreover, the pressures for reform extend beyond a single agency to a wide range of actors across the levels of public administration and to the very social climate itself. Implementing change in the context of a complex legislative environment is challenging and time-consuming.
Compelling personal reasons and the well-being of my family have also been a particularly important factor underlying my decision,” said Kähkönen, who lives in Lappeenranta.

Finnish Immigration Service Deputy Director General Elina Immonen will stand in for the Director General. The Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service is appointed by the Government. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the practical aspects of the recruitment process as well as related communications.



Director General Jari Kähkönen will not give interviews about the matter.


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The Finnish Immigration Service is a decision-making organisation in matters related to immigration, asylum, refugee status and citizenship and maintains the reception system.

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