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Immigration supports Finland’s population growth

Work-based residence permit applications on the raise

Published : 08 Nov 2019, 02:29

Updated : 08 Nov 2019, 10:07

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

More and more persons have applied for a residence permit in Finland on the basis of work since 2017.

In 2018, a total of 10,805 applications for a residence permit based on work were submitted, which exceeds the same figure in 2017 by more than 2,000, said a press release issued by the ministry of interior.

Immigration supports the country’s population growth, as the birth rate is record low in Finland, states a report submitted by the Ministry of the Interior to the OECD.

Certain fields are suffering from a labour shortage, and the ageing of the population can aggravate the situation in the future. The situation can be alleviated by labour migration.

The majority of applications for a residence permit for an employed person concerned manual labour (53% of applicants). The second highest number applied for a residence permit based on specialist tasks (14%). The largest group among those applying for a residence permit for a person employed as a specialist were of Indian nationality (56%).

In spring 2018, the residence permit process for specialists was streamlined so that the first residence permit can now be granted for two years at a time instead of one year.

At the same time, a residence permit for start-ups directed to growth entrepreneurs was introduced, aiming to facilitate the immigration and entrepreneurship of international talents. It has been of particular interest to technology sector specialists.

In 2018, family was the most common reason for moving to Finland, and a total of 9,009 applicants were granted a residence permit on the basis of family ties.

The figure for 2017 was of the same size. Traditionally, the greatest number of residence permits on the basis of family ties has been issued to Russian nationals.

Very few new asylum seekers come to Finland

The reception centres still have plenty of asylum seekers following the exceptionally high numbers of asylum seekers in 2015. In 2018–2019, fewer asylum seekers arrived in Finland than during any other period in the 2010s. In all, 4,548 asylum applications were submitted in Finland in 2018. Almost one half of these (2,139) were subsequent applications submitted by asylum seekers already in the reception system.