The lifting of restrictions, he explained, made it possible to release pent-up demand.
“There were additions to the permit types. The number of work permits increased, there were more students and also more family members arrived. The only type without growth were asylum seekers,” he revealed to the news agency.
This year, the number of immigrants is not expected to increase as much, but the long-term trend is clearly upward.
Immigration to Finland has increased throughout the 21st century, Hirvelä reminded. Although the result of the ongoing coalition negotiations is reflected in the number of granted residence permits, demand and the number of applications will certainly continue to grow.
Russia was the largest source of immigration, and the number of immigrants jumped to a 30-year high of around 6,000. Such immigration numbers have not been seen since around 5,500 people immigrated from the Soviet Union to Finland in 1991, the last year of the Soviet Union’s existence.
The next largest source countries of immigration were Sweden (2,600), India (2,400), Estonia (2,400) and the Philippines (2,250).
Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion are not included in the statistics, as they are granted residence permits on the basis of temporary protection. According to Migri, more than 47,000 Ukrainians applied for temporary protection in Finland in 2022.
STT said on Wednesday that Finland attracts immigrants especially thanks to study and work opportunities. For example, many people from the Philippines moved to work as domestic helpers or nurses.
“The labor shortage has led to the development of international recruitment networks in Finland,” said Hirvelä.
Studying in Finland attracts foreigners because of the relatively low tuition fees. However, Hirvelä pointed out that there may not be more potential for growth due to the limited student capacity of English-language programs.
According to Statistics Finland, internal migration affected the population growth of six Finnish provinces in 2022.
Pirkanmaa, which surrounds Tampere, received the largest domestic migration gains in more than 70 years and increased its population by 3,800. The next biggest beneficiaries of internal migration flows were Uusimaa and Varsinais-Suomi, which each recorded around 1,000 additions.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page