The publication "Streamlining Work-Based Immigration - The One-Stop-Shop Principle and Two-Week Service Promise" offers tools for decision-makers to enhance Finland's competitiveness and attract international workforce. Photo: N2 Albino, Marek Sabogal

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In a bold move to enhance Finland's appeal to international talent and boost its economy, the Finnish startup community, in collaboration with Neogames Finland ry, Teknologiateollisuus ry, Suomen Ekonomit ry, and the City of Helsinki, has put forward a series of initiatives aimed at simplifying the work-based immigration process. The proposals, detailed in the newly released report "Streamlining Work-Based Immigration: The One-Stop-Shop Principle and Two-Week Service Promise," seek to make Finland a more attractive destination for skilled workers by reducing bureaucratic hurdles and accelerating the immigration process.

The startup community, along with its partners, envisions a Finland where work-based immigration can be completed within two weeks, and all related services are accessible through a single point of contact, minimizing the time spent by immigrants, businesses, and authorities. "Our vision for Finland is one where work-based immigration happens within two weeks, and all services required for the immigration process are provided from a single point, saving time for authorities, companies, and immigrants," says Riikka Pakarinen, CEO of the Finnish startup community.

The proposal aims to address the current complexities and redundancies in the immigration process, which often involves multiple agencies and repeated requests for the same information. By centralizing the collection of personal data and making it readily available to all relevant parties, the process would be significantly streamlined. This could include, for instance, banks being able to electronically access an immigrant's personal data to facilitate account opening and other banking services remotely.

A key component of the proposed improvements is the Virtual Finland project, operated under the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The project's continued funding and the development of a pilot program are crucial for implementing the proposed centralized data collection and authorization system. "The Virtual Finland project has already developed viable concepts, and it would be a shame to see this effort go to waste if funding is not continued. Now is the time to accelerate the project and turn these concepts into practical solutions," states Youssef Zad, Chief Economist of the Finnish startup community.

The initiative outlines seven key measures, including long-term goals, to revamp the immigration process for work-based migrants. These measures are designed to cover all services needed by immigrants, from residency permits to local registration, banking services, and even securing daycare places for children.

The collective effort by Finland's startup community and its partners to streamline work-based immigration is a strategic move to enhance the country's competitiveness in attracting global talent. By simplifying the immigration process, Finland not only stands to gain from an increase in skilled workers but also from the economic benefits of increased workdays and tax revenues.

HT

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