In some cases, Finland is an incredibly difficult place to get to, as Flake told Yle’s A-studio earlier in October. Migri took three face-to-face meetings and several months of waiting before he was granted a temporary residence permit. The expert permit originally applied for was still not granted because he did not have a Finnish employer. Because of this, it was difficult for her to get a residence permit for her daughter.
Even if the visa has been obtained in a fairly reasonable way, practical life in Finland still requires several steps, such as a visit to the police, bank, registry office, etc. All these processes are complicated because in practice it is not possible to get a strong identity before establishing a banking relationship. However, establishing an banking relationship often requires an official address, which on the other hand requires a strong identity.
These processes have understandable roots in decentralized administration and a very precise interpretation of equality for all applicants. However, such complexity is unacceptable, given that the ability to attract the best talent in the world is becoming one of the most crucial challenges to Finland’s success and well-being.
Fires, Covid, and social unrest are shaking California. We cannot know for sure how many people will move permanently from Silicon Valley or the UK because of Brexit, but at least some thousands will move; and the group will have significant international talent and investors. Now is the time to attract some of them to move to Finland! We are experiencing a “moment of opportunity,” as Flake said on Finnish television in October, even though he had a difficult experience of the process.
We, the National Coalition Party, recently published an idea for an expanding migration strategy: LINK. Below are some key points:
- We need to make migration processes fast and digital for experts recruited in Finland. Residence permits must be issued within two weeks of the initial application. We also need to validate reliable employers who often recruit from abroad to get our experts on a lighter and faster track than others.
- We need to integrate a larger share of foreign students in order to stay in Finland. We should grant permanent residence to a student graduating from a Finnish university and the right to deduct university fees to Finnish income tax if they reside in Finland for work.
- We need to define a proper process for applying for a residence permit for major investors and talents who want to work with foreign employers in Finland. Currently, obtaining an expert permit requires a Finnish employer. However, there are people who want to move to Finland and work remotely for the benefit of the United States or other foreign companies. I admit that we cannot grant permits based on any job to any foreign employer because it can cause enormous abuse. However, we could possibly develop this process with a certain minimum wage, for example EUR 5000 per month, in the same way that we are already doing with the requirements to get to the experts quickly. Similar requirements could be imposed on corporate investors.
Finally, we need to make life in Finland easier and not force people to learn real Finnish in the beginning. More international schools are needed. In general, we must ensure that international recruitment becomes a key political tool for creating prosperity for Finland – also for Finns already living here.
Therefore, we should also organize the administrative tasks of labor migration differently in the government. Instead of sharing our responsibilities between three ministries and three state agencies, which is the current way, we should set up an international recruitment agency. It should integrate the current work and study processes of Migr, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the employment offices. The new international recruitment agency should have a clear goal of doubling international recruitment to Finland, including an appropriate marketing strategy in key hotspot countries.
Kai Aslak Mykkänen is a Finnish politician and former Minister of the Interior. He represents the national coalition in the Uusimaa constituency. Hi is the Speaker of the Parliament of the National Coalition Party of Parliament.
This article is written for MP Talk, which is a regular column in the Helsinki Times, where members of the Finnish Parliament share their thoughts and opinions. All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Helsinki Times.
Articles will be published in order of arrival.
Source: The Nordic Page