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Schengen Visa

Finland Concerned Over Future Work Immigration as Number of Work-Related Residence Permit Applications Increases

Finland Work Residence Applications

The Finnish authorities have said that the country is expected to experience trouble with work immigration from countries outside the European Union as they will be unable to process the large number of work-related residence permit applications if no additional resources are allocated.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish Immigration Service, in order to avoid future work-related immigration to the country, Finland needs to speed up the processing of residence applications, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

As the authorities explain, the number of work-related residence permit applications has increased significantly, reaching over 20,000 applications in 2022 – 5,000 more than in 2021.

The number of applications has increased sharply compared with 2015, too, when there were just under 6,500 applications, and 2020 when the number fell to over 8,000 due to the Coronavirus restrictions.

Taking into account the high number of work-related residence permit applications filed last year, the Ministry and the Immigration Service said that the authorities need to take measures as soon as possible, Helsingin Sanomat explains.

Moreover, the Immigration Service stressed that if more resources are not allocated, the system will be badly congested, with the number of applications awaiting a decision to reach 200,000 by the end of this year.

“If additional investments beyond the current framework level are not made, and the development of the number of applications continues in the current trend, at the end of the government program period, the queue of permit cases awaiting resolution will have grown to an estimated more than 200,000 applications and the system will be badly congested,” the statement of the Immigration Service reads.

In addition to the above-mentioned, the Immigration Service said that the probable future congestion would mainly occur due to a lack of additional funding.

Commenting on the matter, the head of the consul of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jussi Tanner, said that the situation is not expected to improve as the number of applications continues to increase.

“The situation is not sustainable if the number of applications continues to rise at the current rate in the coming years. Then pairs of hands are simply not enough,” Tanner said.

Data provided by the Finnish authorities show that in 2022, nationals of Russia, the Philippines, Ukraine, India, Kosovo, Uzbekistan, Thailand, and China filed the highest number of work-related residence permit applications.

HS explains that while the Ministry and the Immigration Service want these applications to be processed more quickly, Finns have proposed to curb work-related immigration. They have demanded a monthly income limit of at least €2,500 for non-EU citizens wishing to obtain a residence permit for work purposes.

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