How immigrant-friendly is Finland?
If we look at the unemployment figures (20% jobless among foreigners) and the motives of non-Finns that moved to this country according to their residence permit applications, we are still faraway from being an immigrant-friendly country.
According to the Finnish Immigration Service, last year 6,196 (32%) residence permit applications were for employment followed for studies 3,980 (20%) and other reasons such as specialists, researchers, athletes (16%). Most of the residence applications were for studying and family ties based on marriage and children (5,464/23%).
Add both of the latter groups and it reaches 43%!
The total number of foreigners that applied for residence permits in 2007 stood at 19,216, up 33.3% compared with 14,420 in the previous year. Of the above-mentioned amount, the Finnish Immigration Service rejected 2,015 applications versus 1,633, respectively.
Even though the Finnish foreign population has been growing since the mid-1990s, when it became a EU member, Finland is not a paradise for foreigners who are seeking employment. Even so, matters can change. At the present rate, however, things are changing very slowly.