Some 2,400 seasonal workers have already arrived in Finland to work this summer harvesting berries, on the country's farms and fields, according to the Border Guard. And this number will increase in the coming weeks, as thousands more arrive.
According to the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), 8,700 seasonal worker permits have been granted this year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, berry and vegetable farms in the fields are expecting to receive 9,000 seasonal workers from outside the European Union.
As in recent years, companies in the sector have employed seasonal workers, mainly from Ukraine. Most of them come to Finland for a short period in the summer. They apply for a certificate for seasonal work, which enables them to work in Finland for 90 days. Those who work longer apply for a seasonal worker’s residence permit.
This year, approximately 9,270 seasonal work certificate requests and approximately 1,185 seasonal workers’ residence permit applications have been submitted in total. A decision has been made on approximately 7,485 certificate requests and approximately 1,385 residence permit applications in total, Migri says.
There are approximately 1,500 seasonal workers waiting for a decision on their application.
Based on information received from companies, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry granted 1,500 seasonal workers who met the requirements permission in April to enter the country during the first phase.
According to the Government policy, 3,000 seasonal workers received permission to arrive starting from 14 May, with an additional 4,500 coming after 1 June. Therefore, 9,000 seasonal workers in total may now arrive in Finland.
The Finnish Immigration Service processes the applications in the order they are submitted. The time when the employment relationship starts is also taken into account in the decision-making.
‘We try to process the applications further based on both the time when they were submitted and the time when the work will start. All applications by seasonal workers are treated as urgent. In this way, we want to ensure that the workers can start working on the farms on time,’ says Head of Section Tuuli Huhtilainen.
The Border Guard monitors the number of seasonal workers who have arrived in the country and makes the decision on their entry. According to their account, 2,400 seasonal workers have now arrived in Finland.