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About 6500 permits for seasonal workers - most come to work on berry farms and in agriculture

2.7.2018 14.21 | Published in English on 3.7.2018 at 16.08
Press release

Thousands of seasonal workers have arrived to work in Finland this year. The majority of them work during the summer season on berry farms and in agriculture.

From the beginning of this year, people coming to Finland to do seasonal work have been required to get a permit. By the end of June, the Finnish Immigration Service had granted a total of about 6,500 seasonal work permits. The majority of the decisions were positive, 6,451 in total.

Most applications were for a seasonal work certificate, which is intended for short-term work. Seasonal workers who come to Finland from visa-free countries to work for less than three months can apply for this certificate. A total of 5,824 seasonal work certificates were granted. The largest groups among seasonal workers are Ukrainian and Russian citizens.

– Applications were submitted for work all across Finland but our estimation is that most seasonal workers have come to work in Southwest Finland, Ostrobothnia and Savo, says Tiina Suominen, Director of the Immigration Unit.

Seasonal workers who stay in Finland for longer than three months have to apply for a residence permit for seasonal work. Nearly 450 residence permits for seasonal work were granted for work lasting from three to six months, and approximately 180 for work lasting longer than six months. The maximum length of seasonal work is nine months.

Those who come from countries whose citizens are required to have a visa have to apply for a seasonal work visa at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate).

Terms of employment determined by law

One of the issues raised in the media is that persons applying for seasonal work have to be given the exact start and end dates of their employment even though some seasonal workers already apply for their permits at the beginning of the year.

– The terms and conditions of employment and the minimum wage are determined in the Seasonal Workers Act. It is important to see to that the usual terms of employment apply to seasonal workers, says Suominen.

According to law, seasonal workers must be guaranteed minimum wage. The salary has to be at least the minimum specified in the relevant collective agreement. If there is no collective agreement, the gross salary must be at least EUR 1,189 per month.

If the worker is employed on more than one farm, several employers can be listed on the application. This way, it will not be necessary to apply for a new permit during the summer season.

Next seasonal workers for fur farms and tourism

The next season for seasonal workers is already coming up in the autumn, when the number of seasonal work permits is expected to increase because the arrival of workers for e.g. fur farms and tourism.

The Finnish Immigration Service recommends that future seasonal workers apply for their permits online in the e-service Enter Finland. The processing of applications submitted in the e-service is faster and more inexpensive than that of paper applications.

According to Tiina Suominen, Director of the Immigration Unit, the agency aims to further develop the application process for seasonal work permits, as this type of permits were new this year. In coming seasons, it will be possible to foresee more exactly than before for instance the number of applications the agency will receive. The agency will also pay attention to making application instructions available in more languages in the future.

More information about seasonal work can be found on our website.

Further information

Tiina Suominen, Director of Immigration Unit, tel. +358 295 430 431, e-mail: firstname.lastname@migri.fi