An American family with three small children has applied for political asylum in Finland, immigration officials said Friday.
The five family members came to Finland on Tuesday from Germany, said Minna Serradj from the Directorate of Immigration.
“It’s very unusual for a U.S. citizen to apply for asylum,” Serradj said, declining to give details in line with a policy to protect asylum seekers. “I don’t remember when we last had Americans applying.”
Serradj declined to comment on local media speculation that the parents possibly were seeking to escape serving in the U.S. armed forces in Iraq.
“We will handle the case just like all the others,” she said, adding a decision will be made in three to six months.
Finland has one of the smallest proportions of foreigners in Europe, amounting to just over 2 percent of the 5.3 million population. Last year, 38 of 2,300 applicants were given political asylum.