Finland is set to invest over €18 million (equivalent to approximately USD 20.77 million) in four distinct projects aimed at enhancing border security and supporting the country’s visa policy. The funding for these initiatives will be provided by the European Union’s instrument for border management and visas (BMVI), and will be utilized to bolster the surveillance capabilities of the Border Guard, enhance information systems, and streamline the visa process, as per a statement from the Finnish Ministry of the Interior reported in Schengen Visa.
The four projects, along with the corresponding funding amounts, are as follows:
€14,196,307 (approx. USD 15,601,741.39) for improving the border guard’s surveillance capabilities at sea. A portion of this funding will be utilized to acquire a new patrol ship and other surveillance equipment.
€1,272,271 (approx. USD 1,398,225.83) for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop the visa process and visa system, with a focus on improving customer orientation, efficiency, security, and independence.
€613,000 (approx. USD 673,663.09) for implementing changes necessitated by the amendment of the Visa Information System (VIS) regulation.
€2,855,254 (approx. USD 3,137,812.79) for the Finnish Immigration Service – Migri to fulfill obligations in accordance with the revision of the VIS regulation and the EU regulation on information system for visas, as well as to ensure interoperability between information systems.
The Ministry statement also highlighted that the project aims to streamline background checks for visa applicants and enable registration of residence permits and National D visas in the VIS, while aligning with EU regulations and comprehensive information systems such as the EU Central Visa Information System (CVIS).
The total allocation for border security and improved visa policy in Finland amounts to approximately €78 million, of which €43.9 million has been made available so far. Procedures for the allocation of the remaining funds are expected to commence in autumn 2023.