Permit and Nationality Unit to be established on 1 March 2020 – aims to increase automation in the processing of applications
On 1 March 2020, the organisation of the Finnish Immigration Service will change as a new Permit and Nationality Unit is established.
The unit will process citizenship applications and residence permit applications made on the basis of work, studies and family ties. The unit will also be responsible for the registration of EU citizens and their family members. The agency’s service points around the country will also be part of the unit.
The purpose of this organisational change is to enable wider use of automation in permit processing. The aim is to reduce processing times and application queues significantly. Automation is an important means for increasing the effectiveness of the agency’s operations.
“In the beginning of March, it will be 25 years since the predecessor of the Finnish Immigration Service, the Directorate of Immigration, was established. The operational environment surrounding immigration is in constant change. Immigration is increasing, and residence permit processes must be made more effective to meet the requirements of the Finnish working life, for instance,” says Jaana Vuorio, Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service.
Last year, work was the most common application ground among applications for a first residence permit. In 2019, a total of 12,687 applications for a first residence permit were submitted on the basis of work.
Heikki Taskinen will head the new unit
Heikki Taskinen has been appointed as Director of Permit and Nationality Unit. Taskinen has previously worked as the director of the Nationality Unit.
At the end of 2019, the Finnish Immigration Service tested automation in the processing of citizenship applications within a pilot project, and partial automation was launched at the beginning of February.
“In the course of time, at least straightforward applications, meaning cases where the requirements for naturalisation are met, will be processed faster,” Taskinen says.
In addition to citizenship applications, partial automation has been introduced in the processing of extended permits for specialists and employed persons at the end of January. More processes will be automated later this year.
As part of the current change project, the Finnish Immigration Service will also reform its customer service.