“One absurd case after another is reported in the news. Within SFP, we have long been concerned about the apparent arbitrariness with which residence permit applications are approved or rejected by the Finnish Immigration Service. It is unsustainable. A profound investigation of the Immigration Service and its processes must be carried out,” says Anders Adlercreutz, Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group.
On Saturday, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported on how Anudari Bolbaatar, a Mongolian-born nurse who had been trained in Finland, had her residency application rejected after a profoundly defective process.
“The rejection was repealed after the defects were exposed, but the fact that an individual’s legal rights can so grossly be trampled speaks of an organisational culture that is insupportable,” Adlercreutz says.
In the case reported by Helsingin Sanomat, the applicant was denied an explanation as to the cause of the rejection.
“This speaks of a complete lack of understanding of how a constitutional state works. A residence application is not a trivial question; it can have an incontrovertible impact on a person’s future. Therefore the decision cannot, as it did in Bolbaatar’s case, hinge upon the fact that the civil servant in charge of the case is unable to read a bank statement.Crucially, applicants must have access to the reasoning behind decisions and an opportunity to address misunderstandings. This cannot be seen as anything but a grave mishandling on Migri’s part,” Adlercreutz says.
Financial experts agree that Finland needs more labour migration.
“Currently our annual net immigration is just over 20,000 people. This figure should be doubled if we are to bridge the sustainability gap. The technology industry alone is calculated to require an additional 130,000 workers in the next decade. When we face a challenge like this it is simply insane to even consider rejecting people who are already in employment, contributing to our society. We have made a number of legislative amendments to address the situation,but many problems remain. The Immigration Service must transform both its culture and its ideology. An independent enquiry of Migri’s processes is needed,” Adlercreutz concludes.