In a recent announcement, the Finnish Immigration Services has initiated the automatic post-decision monitoring of student residence permits starting from September 28. The primary aim of this monitoring is to ensure that students holding residence permits remain eligible for the permits granted to them.
This move by the Finnish Immigration Services is in response to the need to keep a closer eye on the validity of student residence permits, particularly those that commenced on June 1, 2022, and are granted for degree-seeking studies.
The monitoring process involves tracking various aspects of students' study statuses, including when their studies began, how much progress they've made, whether their right to study is still valid, and other related matters concerning holders of student residence permits.
Director of the Permit and Nationality Unit at the Finnish Immigration Services, Pauliina Helminen, highlighted the significance of this monitoring, stating, "The post-decision monitoring is our statutory obligation but it also benefits Finnish society and our customers from the perspective of internal security. It enables us to detect labor abuse and human trafficking, for example."
A significant legislative amendment in 2022 allowed residence permit holders for study purposes to have their permits extended for the entire duration of their studies. Before this change, the requirements were checked when a student applied for an extension of their residence permit.
The automatic post-decision monitoring relies on automatic register checks, with Finnish authorities able to run these checks on different national registers. While some processes in this monitoring are automated, the ultimate decision to withdraw a residence permit will be made by an official within the Finnish Immigration Service.
Anna Cheung, Chief Digital Officer, emphasized the advantages of automation, stating, "Automation enables periodic monitoring with better coverage, and ensures our officials can focus on the tasks that demand their full expertise."
In cases where automated post-decision monitoring triggers register checks that require a closer review, they will be referred to a Finnish Immigration Service official. The customer's situation will be assessed and decided upon based on specific circumstances. If there are grounds to consider withdrawing the residence permit, the customer will be informed accordingly.
It's worth noting that if a customer's residence permit is withdrawn, they have a 30-day window from the date of the decision to request a review of the decision. Typically, the customer's right to work continues to apply, and they can continue to reside in Finland until their request for review is processed.
The Finnish Immigration Service has been conducting post-decision monitoring since 2017, with the agency selecting specific targets for this monitoring on an annual basis. This proactive approach is aimed at ensuring the integrity of student residence permits and safeguarding the rights of both students and Finnish society.
By fLEXI tEAM