Are the officials’ resources enough?
As the number of refugees in Finland increases, many questions may arise on how this will affect the application period of other residence permits. There’s been concern that the influx of refugee applications will affect the system, causing delays. There has been a lot of uncertainty, so we wanted to clear the situation.
According to Anna Hyppönen, the Head of Section in the Finnish Immigration Service, there’re currently no signs that the application period for employment-based residency permits would experience undue delays due to the increase in refugee applications. The refugee applications and the employment-based residence permit applications are handled in different units. According to the Finnish Aliens Act, the maximum application period for employment-based residence permits is 4 months, and this is the time that the Immigration Service strives to uphold.
This view is shared by police sargeant Kaj Wahlman of the Helsinki police department, who assures that both employment-based residence permit and EU-registration application processes will remain unchanged for the time being. The police has received some additional resources to manage the increase in various refugee-related tasks. The staff working with residence permit extensions and EU-registrations has also been reinforced. These are still primarily dealt through the scheduling system, the earliest times usually several months in the future.
It is possible that there will be an impact on for example the police’s Immigration Unit next year as the refugees’ resident permit extensions come due. Both Kela and local registration officials will probably feel the impact of increased immigration towards the end of the year. Finland Relocation Services will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated on any developments.