People lined up outside an office of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) in Malmi, Helsinki, on 19 April 2021. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)


THE GOVERNMENT of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) should adopt a numerical target for education and employment-based immigration in its midterm session to alleviate the labour shortage in Finland, states Finland Chamber of Commerce.

The government will convene to mark the halfway point of its term in office toward the end of this week.

Finland Chamber of Commerce on Monday said the government should set the objective of bringing 30,000 immigrants to work or study in the country during the course of 2022. CEO Johanna Sipola pointed out that this “moderate initial objective” would increase skills-based immigration by a third compared to the year before the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual target should be raised in the coming years and doubled by the end of the decade, demands Finland Chamber of Commerce.

“We need workers to emerge from the coronavirus [pandemic] on a growth trajectory. The shortage of skilled labour has been a significant growth obstacle for businesses regardless of the coronavirus. It is necessary that we attract talent also from outside the country,” said Sipola.

The Finnish government has set into motion a number of projects designed to promote skills-based immigration. Authorities, meanwhile, have begun work to automatise and speed up the related permit procedures.

Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen (SDP) in March announced Finland will trial a fast lane that should guarantee that the electronically submitted residence permit applications of special experts, startup entrepreneurs and their family members are processed in no more than two weeks, with a view to possibly introducing the lane by the year-end.

Sipola on Monday underlined that the government should make sure in its midterm session that such efforts are sufficiently funded also in the coming years.

“Finland must definitely make sure the permit processes are smooth and the resources for processing permits are sufficient. We must put an end to humiliating international experts in permit lines,” she stated.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT