You are perusing an article from the archives. Lately, we have gone through major updates. Therefore, it is possible that you will experience minor quirks in layout when reading older articles. To provide you an improved reading experience, we have started to clean our pearls from the past. Just keep reading.


Picture: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

When it comes to immigration, the government is now all about promoting labor migration. In the past four years, the number of residence permits for employed persons has been growing, and it seems that there’s no end in sight for this growth. Thanks to the recovering economy.

Last year, the number of work-based residence permits grew by one third from the level seen in 2013 and 2014. Smooth permit procedures play a significant role in attracting international talents and workers to Finland.

The Finnish Immigration Service aims to simplify decision-making and to better meet the objectives set for processing times. Another aim is to increase the utilization rate of e-services to 50 percent. In 2018, the Finnish Immigration Service intends to introduce a procedure, which will make it much simpler to apply for an extended permit.

This means that after having logged into the service by using electronic identification applicants will get a pre-completed form which is based on the information provided earlier. “At the same time, we are preparing to transfer the permit procedures, which are based on simple register checks to a fully automated decision-making process. The tax administration, for example, has used an automated tax-decision process already for years,” said Kai Mykkänen, the minister of the interior, in a bulletin.

“Additional efforts will be made to streamline the work permit process in order to succeed in the competition for international talents and workers.” -Kai Mykkänen, the minister of the interior

A new type of residence permit was introduced for startup or growth entrepreneurs in April 2018. Also, if the recent legislative proposal on students and researchers is adopted, residence permits for students and researchers will be extended and steps will be taken to encourage job seeking and entrepreneurship. “Additional efforts will be made to streamline the work permit process in order to succeed in the competition for international talents and workers. E-services provided by the Finnish Immigration Service are a good example of an innovative approach to improving the efficiency of activities,” Mykkänen said.

The refugee crisis in 2015 showed that the asylum systems of EU countries are still not harmonized enough. Progress has, however, been made in the negotiations on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), although some of the key issues, such as solidarity and burden-sharing under the Dublin Regulation, still remain unsolved. The aim is to have the whole legislative package adopted before the next elections to the European Parliament in 2019.

The returns of those who have been refused asylum have become a central theme throughout the EU. At the moment, only a fraction of the people who are not allowed to reside in the EU can be returned to their country of origin. The EU is taking a number of different measures in an attempt to increase the return rate.

In Finland, the submission of a new asylum application after receiving a final decision on the previous application became a new trend among asylum seekers last year. In early 2018, such applications accounted for more than half of all asylum applications made in Finland.