Finnish companies or small businesses that wish to employ asylum seekers are required by law to ensure that their employees have the right to work. Until now, this could be done through a simple phone call to the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), but the authorities have just changed the rules.
As of 1 September 2019, employers who want to be sure that the asylum seekers among their staff have the right to work must request a certificate from Migri, informed the immigration authority in its customer bulletin. A fee of 20 euros will be charged for this service. The certificate will be sent to the asylum seeker, who can later show it to his employer.
Asylum seekers may also request themselves the certificates on their right to work.
The Finnish Immigration Service also informed that following this change, the employer's phone service used until now for these procedures will be discontinued on 30 September 2019.
When are asylum seekers allowed to work
According to the Finnish law, an asylum seeker can enter paid employment within three or six months after having applied for asylum in Finland, depending on his circumstances.
The waiting period is three months if the asylum seeker has presented a valid passport or other travel document to the authorities, and it has been verified as genuine. The waiting period is six months if the asylum seeker has not shown any valid travel document.
An asylum seeker’s right to work terminates when a decision rejecting his asylum application becomes enforceable, for example when he may be removed from the country, or when the decision acquires legal force and can no longer be appealed.
If a decision concerning an asylum seeker has become enforceable before 1 June 2019, the asylum seeker’s right to work will terminate when the decision acquires legal force. If a decision has not been enforceable before 1 June 2019, the asylum seeker’s right to work will terminate when the decision becomes enforceable.
For employers: how to order a certificate
According to Migri, the process to obtain the right to work certificate has four steps:
- Pay the processing fee of 20 euros. You will need payment's receipt at the time of placing your request. The account number and payment details can be checked on the request form.
- Fill in the request form. You can access the form HERE
- Send by email both the form and the receipt of your payment to [email protected] If you prefer to do your request on paper, you may also send the form by regular post to PO Box 10, FI-00086 Finnish Immigration Service.
- The Finnish Immigration Service will send the certificate to the employee.
In its website, Migri reminds employers who wish to hire an asylum seeker that they must begin by asking if he has the right to work. Later, the employer must also check "from time to time" if the right to work is still valid.
For asylum seekers: how to check the right to work
Asylum seekers who want to make sure they are entitled to work can check it in any of the following ways:
- During the asylum application process, asylum seekers are given a brochure called ‘Information on the right to work’, which tells them about when their right to work begins.
- The right to work of an asylum seeker is also indicated on his asylum decision and residence permit card.
- Any asylum seeker himself may also request a certificate concerning his right to work. This request is also subject to charge.
For further information on the right to work of asylum seekers, you can visit Migri's webpage HERE