"The appointment booking system of the Finnish Immigration Service is currently experiencing a backlog," the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) admitted in a statement released on Thursday.
According to the immigration agency, "the average waiting time for an appointment at a service point is currently three months."
Migri says the service will be adding more new appointments during this summer.
"The short-term goal is that, by the end of the summer, customers will be able to book an appointment within one month. The goal is also to ensure that in urgent matters, customers are able to receive service on the same day using the queuing number system," the agency says.
The Finnish Immigration Service says it is currently working to improve its customer services and exploring the options of upgrading its booking appointment system.
During the summer, Migri intends to "open thousands of new appointments for its services points and provide more advisory services to customers."
“Our goal is to offer quick and high-quality service through all our customer service channels even if the number of applications that we processes should increase,” says Harriet Mallenius, Director of Customer Experience.
'2,900 new appointments in Malmi'
To achieve that goal, Migri has recruited in Helsinki more summer workers than in previous years. The agency expects that once these workers start working, an additional 2,900 appointments will be opened in Malmi.
At the moment, appointments are available for up to six months for customers whose matter is not urgent. The service desks are also piloting shorter appointment times for certain permit types.
Migri says the current backlogs are due to a lack of staff. In 2020, the number of staff was one-fifth smaller than in 2019, although the number of applications submitted and decisions made at service points has remained the same.