A total of 36,206 applications for a first residence permit were made in Finland in 2021, with the most common reasons for immigrating to the country were work, family and studies, the Finnish Immigration Service revealed.
According to a press release, the number of residence permit applications submitted in 2021 reached an all-time high (36,206), leaving 2020 rates lagging 71 percent (21,160), TheSchengen.com reports.
Moreover, the total number of applications for work-based residence permits was 15,012 in 2021, an increase of 71 percent from 2020, when 8,771 applications were submitted. In addition, the number of requests made by employees such as chefs, nurses, cleaners and restaurant workers increased by 91.2 percent, to 8,529, while the number of requests from professionals such as IT experts peaked at 1,605 from 853 in 2020.
“In recent years, the operational environment around immigration has changed dramatically and continues to change,” said Director General Jari Kahkkonen.
Requisitions for business purposes prevailed in 2021
The Scandinavian country appears to be the preferred destination for workers with the largest proportion of applications submitted by workers. In addition, just over half of positive decisions on work-related applications were filed by employees seeking residence permits, which required a labor market test conducted by the Employment and Economic Development Office before the Finnish Immigration Service took over the case. The number of these workers increased from 4,504 to 5,929 in 2021.
Moreover, about 1,293 residence permits were issued to skilled workers, and among the major nationalities that topped this list were Russians, Indians, and Chinese. In addition, the number of seasonal workers has also increased, with 15,892 seasonal workers obtaining a work permit, an increase of about 19 percent from 2020, with the majority of seasonal workers arriving from Ukraine and working on farms.
Finland also needs employees from abroad. In 2021, a total of 11,428 residence permits were granted on the basis of work. Kahkkonen noted that the figure in 2020 was 8508.
However, the number of applications for extended permits remained relatively unchanged – 30,930 compared to 30,161 in 2020 and 27,988 in 2019. In addition, the Finnish Immigration Service also granted about 30,623 extended permits, That is about 10% more than in 2020 and 18% more than in 2019. A total of 11,563 people also obtained a permanent residence permit from Finland this year.
More EU nationals and third-country nationals relocated to Finland in 2021
Moreover, EU citizens also chose Finland as the destination with more than 12,465 registration applications accepted compared to 8,982 in 2020. Most EU citizens applied for work-based residence permits, with 5,905 in 2021 and 4,014 in year 2020.
11,190 EU citizens were granted registration of their right of residence last year, while this number was 7,629 in 2020. Of these, 5,333 were registered on the basis of work – 1,865 more than in 2020. The majority of EU citizens obtained these permits were from Estonia. Germany and Latvia.
The Finnish Immigration Service also revealed that the country acquired 7,585 new citizens in 2021, of whom Iraqi citizens made up the largest group of applicants – 2,240 of them, which is a 19 percent increase and also surpasses the Russians, who have taken a leading position in these the list. Furthermore, the number of applications for citizenship increased from 11,569 to 14,366 – an increase of 24 percent.
However, the positive trend of immigration would be less clear without the efforts of the Finnish government. The country is determined to reduce processing times and make the application process as smooth and transparent as possible.
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