Are you one of those who think that Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) takes too long to process residence permits?
Migri's employees think so too, and recently they have been publishing alerts about delays due to lack of personnel.
However, the situation can be even worse by the end of 2019 and in 2020, if the predictions of the agency are confirmed.
Last week, a press release informed that Migri is considering to apply temporary layoffs at the end of 2019 and many fixed-term contracts expiring in 2020 will not be renewed. The aim is to tackle the agency's high deficit, for which the additional appropriations reserved by the Government would not be sufficient.
Migri informed about its intention to begin negotiations on temporary layoffs with its entire personnel, which consists of 1,025 employees. The agency intends to apply temporary layoffs of 14 days in November and December.
The final duration of those layoffs and the number of employees affected will be determined during the negotiations.
The Finnish Immigration Service promised to inform its customers and other "interest groups" about the effects of the temporary layoffs "once the negotiations begin and proceed". The agency remarked its intention to continue "offering its services in a reduced capacity even during the temporary lay-offs".
The financial situation
The reason for the negotiations is the complicated financial situation of the agency.
The Ministry of Finance has proposed that an additional 2.5 million euros should be reserved for Migri in a supplementary budget for the end of the year. However, the agency says this sum "is not enough to cover this year’s deficit".
Migri estimates that approximately 2 million euros more are needed and intends to terminate the negotiations with its employees if the financial situation improves. "More information about the results of the budget negotiations and their implications will be available in the end of October", the agency said.
Job cuts in 2020
But in order to balance its financial situation, the Finnish Immigration Service will have to cut expenses also in 2020, when the number of employees will be reduced.
According to Migri, "a significant share of the fixed-term contracts ending at the end of this year will not be prolonged for next year". In 2020, the number of its employees will drop to approximately 900, this is around 120 less workers than this year.
In Finland, the Finnish Immigration Service is the agency responsible for processing the residence permit applications from international employees, students and family members as well as for registering EU citizens’ right of residence.
Migri is also responsible for processing asylum applications. It runs the state-owned reception centres of Oulu and Joutseno and the detention units of Helsinki and Joutseno.
The agency has offices in Helsinki, Raisio, Lappeenranta, Vaasa, Oulu, Pudasjärvi, Tampere, Lahti, Kuopio, Rovaniemi, Kuhmo and Mariehamn.