Seasonal workers in Finland are on the decline as the number of applications submitted by these workers is expected to drop this year.
However, the workforce is standing on solid ground as seasonal workers from different countries, especially Ukraine, are expected to work on berry and vegetable farms in the country, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to a press release by the Finnish Immigration Service, seasonal workers arriving from countries with a visa-exempt agreement can apply for a certificate for their activity in the country, legalising their work in Finland for up to 90 days.
Seasonal workers from these countries should apply for seasonal work visas, while those with an employment contract longer than 90 days will have to apply for a residence permit in order to continue working for this extended period. This doesn’t apply to EU nationals, but it does to all other countries that Finland has visa exemption agreements.
“The number of applications is moderate compared to previous years, and we expect fewer applications for seasonal work permits this summer than in the past, especially for short-term work,” Mikko Keski-Nirva, the Director of the Seasonal Work Section of the Permit and Nationality Unit, said in a statement.
Last year, seasonal workers submitted 5,209 certificate applications, and this number is estimated to reach 3,000 so far this year. Applications for residence permits have reached 1,600, but the number of applications is expected to decrease this year.
This can be related to the fact that Ukrainian nationals have been top applicants for work certificates, representing 87 per cent of all applications for certificates. Currently, Ukrainian nationals are able to work in Finland under the temporary protection directive, which has become effective due to the war in this country.
According to the authority, in the last year-and-a-half period, 53,886 refugees from Ukraine have been granted temporary protection.
“Ukrainians are still employed as seasonal workers, but because a large number of them stay in Finland with temporary protection status, they do not need a separate seasonal work certificate,” Keski-Nirva points out.
Despite application rates declining, the availability of seasonal workers in Finland has been the most successful yet, with workers being hired in different sectors such as horticulture, agriculture, forestry, as well as tourism and catering.
In the first five months of the year, 1,830 seasonal workers had applied for a seasonal work certificate, mainly from Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia, while 805 workers came from Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, being able to work in Finland as they have applied for residence permits based on seasonal work.