Wednesday. 11.12.2019
El tiempo

Finland further limits the right to work of asylum seekers

Due to amendments to the Aliens Act entering into force on 1 June 2019, asylum seekers’ right to work will end after receiving an enforceable negative decision. But this is not all, those who can work must present to their potential employers a certificate for which Migri will charge 20 euros.

Finland further limits the right to work of asylum seekers

The Finnish Government will apply new limitations to the right to work of asylum seekers derived from the amendments to the Aliens Act that will come into force on 1 June 2019

Asylum seekers will no longer have the right to work from the very moment that they can legally be expelled from the country, even if they legally continue to appeal or if they submit a new asylum application. But this is not all, those who can work must present to their potential employers a certificate for which Migri will charge 20 euros.

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) informed in its customer's bulletin that since 1 June 2019 an asylum seeker's right to work will end "when his or her decision becomes enforceable". In other words, since "the date when the asylum seeker can under law be removed from the country".

Before this, an asylum seeker who had received a decision on refusal of entry or deportation still had the right to continue working until the decision became final.

What does this all mean in practice? According to legal sources consulted, a negative decision on an asylum request becomes enforceable -and therefore the person will lose the right to work- in the following cases.

  • If the asylum seeker decides not to appeal a negative decision issued by Migri to the Administrative Court or if the appeal is not presented during the legal appeal period.
  • When the Administrative Court confirms the negative decision issued by Migri.

As of 1 June 2019, in any of those cases the person must cease working immediately.

Even if appeal to Supreme Administrative Court

Until now, asylum seekers who had received a decision of refusal on entry or deportation still had the right to work until the decision became final. That is, until exhausting all possible appeals to legal instances. In practice, in most of the cases this meant until receiving a negative decision from the Supreme Administrative Court.

Many asylum seekers who get a negative decision from the Administrative Court appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court in search of protection. And until now they had the right to continue working while they waited for the Supreme Administrative Court's final decision. From now on, they will not be entitled to work even if they make such an appeal.

Regardless of the date of application

The Finnish Immigration Service remarks on its customer's bulletin that these changes will apply to all asylum seekers, regardless of the date when their asylum application was submitted. And it will not help either to present a new application if there is already an enforceable decision on the person.

"If an asylum seeker has already received a negative decision or has submitted a new asylum application and the previous decision is enforceable, he or she will no longer have the right to work as of 1 June 2019", points out Migri.

Request for a certificate of the right to work

But this is not all. In addition, when these changes enter into force asylum seekers will also have to demonstrate to their prospective employers that they have the right to work. And the way to do it will be to request from Migri a certificate of their right to work. Migri will charge them 20 euros for the paper.

Employers will be still obligated to verify that their employees have the right to work in Finland. However, they will no longer be able to collect the information directly from Migri, because the service number for employers will be closed after 31 May 2019. Therefore, Migri encourages employers to demand potential employees to request one of those paid right-to-work certificates.

When are asylum seekers entitled to work?

In general, Finnish law allows asylum seekers to start working in Finland without a residence permit when they have resided in the country for three or six months after submitting his or her asylum application. The limit is three months if the applicant has presented to the authorities a legal authenticated travel document (passport) and six months if the person did not.

Asylum seekers can continue working in Finland if they get a positive decision from Migri or from the Administrative Court on their applications.

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