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Finnish Immigration Service to pursue a considerable reduction of processing times

Publication date 29.10.2019 13.23 | Published in English on 31.10.2019 at 12.22
Press release

The Finnish Immigration Service is launching a change project to considerably reduce processing times and to improve its customer service.

"Our key method is adding automation to the permit processes. The Finnish Immigration Service is well prepared to implement the necessary reforms," says Director General Jaana Vuorio.

The Finnish Immigration Service will analyse the different residence permit processes and make the necessary organisational changes in 2020 to reorganise its operations in preparation for automation.

The Finnish Immigration Service has already piloted automation with projects concerning citizenship applications and certificates for seasonal work.

The reforms form part of the implementation of the Finnish Immigration Service’s strategy, which focuses on efficient operations and customer-oriented processes.

"These reforms aim to further improve our customer service in collaboration with our customers and interest groups. Our goal is to make it easier for our customers to use our services and thus reduce their need to contact us," says Harriet Mallenius, Director of Customer Experience.

Increased automation in decision-making requires legislative amendments. A legislative proposal on the processing of personal data by migration authorities has been submitted to the Parliament for consideration.

Immigration to Finland is changing

Immigration to Finland has undergone some changes in recent years. An increasing number of people are moving to Finland for work or studies or because of family ties.

"Immigration is increasing, and the residence permit processes need to be efficient to meet the needs connected with work-related immigration," says Vuorio.

Even though the number of new asylum seekers is low, the exceptional asylum situation of 2015 can still be seen, especially in the amount of subsequent applications.

"The asylum process has been carefully reviewed and improved over the past few years. The asylum decision-making process guarantees an individual and fair procedure for persons in need of international protection, and new applications can be processed within the processing time requirement set last year. The backlog of older applications still poses a challenge and is being cleared with the additional funding that we received for it," says Vuorio.

The Government announced today that it will propose additional funding for the Finnish Immigration Service for this year’s operations in the fourth supplementary budget for 2019. If the proposed funding is granted, the Finnish Immigration Service can cancel the planned lay-offs in November/December, which will help to launch the change project efficiently.

Media inquiries

Director General Jaana Vuorio, interview requests: tel. +358 295 433 037 (Communications Unit),