From the beginning of June, eligible experts and growth entrepreneurs – as well as their family members – will be granted a residence permit within 14 days.
Minister of Labor Tuula Haatainen (SDP) said this "fast track" the residence permit considerably speeds up the application process. According to the government’s proposal, the application period for this residence permit system will be reduced from one to two weeks. The reform is a response to the shortage of highly trained experts in the field of technology.
"We need experts from other parts of Finland. Businesses only need them to grow," Haatainen said.
At its worst, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has taken 46 days to process applications for residence permits for growth entrepreneurs. The Covid pandemic led to a decrease in the number of applications, which in turn shortened processing times.
The experts include highly educated people who come to Finland for expert tasks that require special expertise. The employer has a major role to play in determining what a highly skilled workforce is considered.
Growth or startup entrepreneurs are individuals who run an innovation-based company with the goal of rapid international expansion.
According to Haatainen, compliance with the promised application times is closely monitored. He added that the accelerated procedure does not in itself increase the risk of abuse, as even accelerated residence permit applications are subject to normal entry criteria.
"This is not a new category of authorization, but a promise of service," Haatainen clarified.
The minister said the system has already been tested and the results look good.
Technology industry: a good but modest reform
Technology experts such as data analysts, information systems experts, and high-end coders are likely to use this fast 14-day residence permit system.
Leading expert Milka Kortet The Technology Industry, which represents companies in the technology industry, cautiously praised this step of reform.
Kortet estimates that this fast track will make it easier for thousands of professionals to arrive in Finland. The main advantage of this fast road is to provide a signal to both companies and foreign experts that Finland can deal with the problem.
Finnish companies competing with companies from other countries for top professionals can now promise recruiters that they will enter the country smoothly and bring their families with them.
"This is a message to the entire business community that these permitting processes are being speeded up. And at the same time it brings predictability to those who come to Finland," The cards told Yle.
However, Cortet urged the government to continue cutting bureaucracy and criticized the accelerated action a "marginal" renew.
"Of course, this 14-day promise is good, but the problem is that the hassle of the permitting process only begins when you arrive in Finland," Cards added.
Aim for 1 month processing time for everyone
Migri and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as the missions, are responsible for practical advice on issues related to the speed of residence permits.
Haatainen stated that speeding up the residence permit for highly trained experts is only one part of the government’s program to attract top talent to Finland.
The government promises to further reduce bureaucracy, strengthen digital services and provide more efficient customer service. Legislative changes are also planned that will make life easier for everyone who moves to Finland on the basis of work and education.
"We want everyone to have a maximum of one month of processing time. This will be done by the end of this term," Haatainen said.
Source: The Nordic Page