By now you probably know about Finland’s “three-tiered” immigration system, which has a highly-restricted path for immigrants, with a much lower threshold for those who can prove they have no previous criminal convictions.
This is where we come in, as Finland is now considering a new immigration policy that would allow all foreign nationals to stay in the country if they pass a criminal background check.
But this could also have a serious impact on the country’s immigration system as many people with criminal records will be eligible for a residency permit.
According to the countrys Immigration and Asylum Directorate, which administers the country, the goal of the policy is to reduce the risk of re-entering the country due to a criminal record.
This includes people who have committed a crime, or are convicted of serious crimes, but have not yet had their criminal record expunged.
In order to be eligible to stay, the applicant needs to have lived in Finland for two years or less.
Those who have been in Finland less than two years have a higher chance of receiving a residency visa.
It’s worth noting that these are all conditional on having no previous convictions, so the criteria for a non-convicted foreigner being able to stay is less stringent than for an convicted criminal.
The Finnish Immigration Directorate said that the changes to the system were in line with a recent study by a Finnish research group that found that the number of foreigners living in Finland had fallen from 4.7 million in 2010 to 3.6 million in 2020.
In other words, the number in Finland is decreasing, but the number on the ground is increasing.
So far, the government has granted a total of 590,000 residency permits to foreigners since 2010.
As of March 2017, about 1.1 million people have lived and worked in Finland.