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Finland attracts growing number of international specialists

The increased utilisation of automation and digital technologies has helped expedite the granting of residence permits.


The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) received 1 627 first residence permit applications from international experts between January and July, signalling an increase of 1 006 from the first seven months of 2021.

“Last year’s [total] figures were exceeded already in July, and more applications keep coming in,” toldElina Immonen, deputy director at Migri.

The monthly number of applications peaked at 345 in June, coinciding with the launch of a fast-track service that promises a decision on the applications of specialists, startup entrepreneurs and their family members within two weeks of submission.

The service is available to specialists and entrepreneurs who submit and pay for their application online and verify their identity at a service point abroad within five work days of submission. A specialist is defined as a person who is looking to relocate to take up demanding expert tasks that, primarily, require higher-education qualifications.

Finland has both this year and previous years proven an appealing work environment especially for specialists from Russia, India and China. Indeed, Migri estimates that one factor driving the number of applications submitted by Russian citizens recently is attributed to employees of Finnish companies moving here for work.

The availability of labour in industries such as software design has not met demand in Finland. Image: Business Finland

Migri revealed that the residence permit applications of specialists have been granted on average in nine days, an improvement that is attributable partly to increasing utilisation of automation and digital technologies.

“To achieve shorter processing times, we have also had to widely develop and improve our working methods,” added Kaj Swanljung, head of the work and study branch at Migri.

Specialists who took advantage of the fast-track service have been asked to provide feedback on the process to identify future development needs, according to Swanljung. “Now in the early stages, the feedback we have received has been very positive. Most customers have experienced the fast-track service as easy and fluent,” he told.

Shared working experiences

As Finland’s work-based immigration continues to gather momentum, Good News from Finland has been hearing about people’s experiences living and working here since 2018. Take a closer at what has been said via the ‘My career: From start to Finnish’ series.


By: Aleksi Teivainen