Last month the Finnish Immigration Service announced in its customer's bulletin that, due to the amendments to the Aliens Act entering into force on 1 June 2019, asylum seekers' right to work would end if received an enforceable negative decision.
This meant, as explained by the immigration agency, from the very moment they could be expelled from the country regardless of if they legally continued to appeal (for instance to the Supreme Administrative Court) or if they had submitted a subsequent asylum application on other grounds. Migri's statement also announced that in the future all of those asylum seekers that still had the right to work must present to the employers a certificate for which they would be charged 20 euros.
However, the changes announced in the procedures to apply the Aliens Act were not accurate, according to the latest customer's bulletin published by Migri, which says there has been a confusion and the information was not communicated properly:
"As of 1 June 2009, the right to work of an asylum seeker changed due to an amendment to the Aliens Act. The law change has been complicated: the interpretation of the law has been challenging and has had to be discussed more than usual within the Agency and with the Ministry of the Interior. We have removed old bulletins from our website so that the information they contain no longer confuses customers and employers.
The right to work has not expired on 1 June 2016 from any asylum seeker simply because the new law came into force.
We sincerely apologize that we have not been able to communicate this in a clear and timely manner", says Migri in a statement published on 5 June 2019.
Service telephone for employers
Migri had previously informed also that the telephone service numbers for employers to verify the asylum seeker's right to work would be closed after 31 May 2019. Migri encouraged employers to demand their potential employers to request one of those paid right-to work certificates.
But now, Migri has rectified also this and the latest information published in its website says to the employers that "from the time being, you can check the asylum-seeker's right to work by telephone from 9 am to 12 am".
The valid rules from 1 June 2019
So, according to the latest customer's bulletin, the amendments may affect those asylum seekers who submit their asylum applications after the 1 of June 2019, but none of those who were already working will lose the right to work. Until further notice the rules applicable for the asylum seekers's right to work from 1 June 2019 are the following:
Applicants who applied for asylum before 1 June 2019:
If you had the right to work on 31 May 2019, your right to work has continued to be valid and will remain valid until you receive an enforceable decision on your removal from the country. This means the date on which you can under law be removed from the country.
If you had the right to work on 31 May and you have received an enforceable decision on your removal from the country before 1 June, your right to work will expire when the decision becomes final.
If your right to work had not yet begun on 31 May, it will begin 3 months from the date you submitted your application if you have a valid travel document. If you do not have a valid travel document, the waiting time is 6 months.
- Your right to work will expire if you are granted a residence permit on any grounds. After this, your possible right to work will be based on the residence permit you have been granted.
Applicants who submitted their asylum application on 1 June 2019 or later:
Your right to work will begin 3 months from the date you submitted your application if you have a valid travel document. If you do not have a valid travel document, the waiting time is 6 months.
If you submit a new asylum application, the waiting time will start over again from the beginning. This means that your right to work will be interrupted for a period of 3 or 6 months.
Your right to work will expire when you receive an enforceable decision on your removal from the country. This means the date on which you can under law be removed from the country.
Your right to work will expire if you are granted a residence permit on any grounds. After this, your possible right to work will be based on the residence permit you have been granted.
Where does the applicant and the employer get information about the right to work?
- If you receive a positive decision, you can check your right to work in the decision or on your residence permit card.
If you receive a negative decision, you should check the decision to see when your right to work expires.
The decision will be served to you in your mother tongue or another language that you understand. If necessary, we will use an interpreter or a translator when we serve the decision to you.
- If you have not yet received a decision, your employer can for the time being verify your right to work by phone from Monday to Friday at 9–12. If you have received a positive decision, you should present your residence permit card to your employer to show your right to work.
- For the time being, you can check an asylum seeker’s right to work by phone from Monday to Friday at 9–12.