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Finnish Immigration Service launches a project to streamline the processing of work permits and permits for students

Publication date 1.2.2021 10.43

On 1 February 2021, the Finnish Immigration Service launches a project to speed up and streamline the processing of work-based permits and residence permits for international students.

The aim is to issue customers with a work permit on average within a month by 2023. Another goal is to achieve a processing time of two weeks for permits for specialists, start-up entrepreneurs and their family members during the year 2021. 

“The project focuses heavily on the customer. We will listen to the views of our customers, of employers and of our interest groups on how to develop our operations and customer experience,” says Director General Jari Kähkönen.

Work-related permit processes are streamlined in cooperation within the immigration administration. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is leading an ongoing project to develop legislation concerning foreign nationals as well as the permit processes. The Finnish Immigration Service has a central role in the project as the authority responsible for issuing the permits.

Digital development is advanced systematically

Vesa Hagström will lead the Lupa22 project for a year starting from the beginning of February. Hagström has previously worked as Chief Digital Officer at the Technology and Digitalisation Unit of the Finnish Immigration Service. 

As Project Leader, he will be responsible for steering the project and for project planning as well as the systematic advancement of digital development, among other things. 

“Agile development of our practices and increased automation are ways to speed up permit processing and to support Finland in competing for international experts,” says Project Leader Vesa Hagström.

The project called Lupa22 follows an earlier development project. In 2020, the Finnish Immigration Service carried out an organisational reform.

Work, family and studies are reasons for coming to Finland 

Work, family and studies are the most common reasons for moving to Finland. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic affected the number of residence permit applications submitted abroad, but work-related immigration is expected to increase in the future.

Last year, the Finnish Immigration Service issued more than 8,500 first residence permits on the basis of work. When the number of employees who arrive in Finland with a certificate for seasonal work is included, a total of 20,117 permits were issued on the basis of work. A total of 8,592 residence permits were granted on the basis of family ties (2019: 10,251) and 3,225 on the basis of studies (2019: 5,246).

Media inquiries

Vesa Hagström, Project Leader, tel. +358 295 433 037, email:

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