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Asylum seekers allowed to work without waiting period

Published : 26 Jun 2020, 02:33

Updated : 26 Jun 2020, 02:36

  DF Report

File picture of asylum seekers. DF Photo.

The government on Thursday submitted a bill to bring temporary amendment to the Aliens Act for approval with the view to extend the right of asylum seekers to work.

The President is expected to approve the bill on Friday and the Act will enter into force on 29 June, said a government press release.

The law amendment will temporarily abolish the three-month and six-month waiting periods for asylum seekers for taking up employment.

As soon as the Act enters into force, asylum seekers will have the right to work in agriculture, forestry, horticulture and fisheries.

This will help alleviate the situation where a shortage of seasonal employees from abroad is likely this year in Finland. The Act will remain in force until 31 October 2020.

The abolishment of the waiting periods will apply to asylum seekers who are waiting for a decision concerning international protection either from the Finnish Immigration Service or from an administrative court at the time of the entry into force of the temporary act.

Under the amendment, the time left in the waiting period will be set aside for those asylum seekers where the three- to six-month waiting period for their applications has not yet expired.

In addition, asylum seekers can temporarily continue working longer than at present in agriculture, forestry, horticulture and fisheries.

If asylum seekers receive a negative asylum decision and the removal decision concerning them becomes enforceable, they may continue working while they are in the country due to emergency conditions and receive reception services.

Due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the entry of foreign labour has decreased significantly.

The situation makes it challenging to find a sufficient number of workers, especially seasonal workers, in the agriculture, forestry, horticulture and fisheries sectors.