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June 24, 2023

Interest to Move to Finland for Study & Work Purposes

The Finnish Immigration Service has been busy receiving a high stake of immigration applications for work, education and family reunification purposes, marking the highest rates of applications among European countries.

According to a press release by the Finnish Immigration Services, a total of 7,343 applications for work-purposes first residence permits were submitted in early 2023, which is almost reaching rates of applications filed all throughout 2022, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had a significant effect on the number of applications submitted in 2022. The war especially caused the number of seasonal work permit applications to plummet,” says Johannes Hirvelä, Director of Development at the Finnish Immigration Service.

On the other hand, the number of Russian applicants has balanced in 2023, after skyrocketing in the previous year.

The majority of residence permit applications for work purposes are for employed persons, particularly, individuals seeking to work in the social and health sector, who have been filing more requests in recent years. This can be related to the shortage of nurses and companies’ increased international recruitment.

Similarly, applications for study purposes have jumped throughout 2023, as in the previous year the Finnish government made changes to legislation on student residence permits.

Granting a residence permit for the entire duration of the degree programme and to allow students to work, has also had an impact on the increased number of students with dependables.

Data show that the majority of applicants for a student residence permit recorded between January and May were aiming for a degree – 90 per cent of all applicants, more specifically. In early 2023, the majority of applicants were from China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Unlike other European countries that have been flooded with applications for international protection, Finland has received fewer of those.

While the total number of first-time applications surpassed 950,000 in 2022, marking a record since 2016 and the total number of asylum applications to the European Union reached 84,000 in the first quarter of 2023, Finland has received a total of 1,310 first asylum applications by the end of May 2023. Most asylum seekers were citizens of Somalia, Russia, Afghanistan, Türkiye and Iran.

“Although the record numbers of asylum seekers seen in Europe are not seen in Finland, the circumstances in many of the countries of origin significant to Finland, such as Somalia and Afghanistan, continue to be precarious. In addition, if the European asylum system becomes overloaded, it may have a delayed effect in Finland. We are prepared for this,” says Hirvelä.

In addition, fewer Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war are applying for temporary protection – a total of 8,722 applications were filed by May. regardless, migration due to war is expected to further continue in 2023 and 2024.