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Finnish Immigration Trends: High Demand for Employment and Study Permits, Family Reunification Surges

Data from the Finnish Immigration Service reveals that applications for employment residence permits in Finland remain historically high, despite experiencing a slight decrease in 2023. The number of applications reached 16,999, reflecting an 18.8% decrease from 2022 levels. Filipinos, Russians, Indians, and Chinese are the main applicants for employment permits in 2023. The drop in applications in 2023 is attributed to factors like an economic downturn and a slowdown in the construction industry.

Finnish Immigration Trends: High Demand for Employment and Study Permits, Family Reunification Surges

The number of positive decisions on residence permits for employees in healthcare and social work reached a record high in 2023, signaling a notable increase over the past few years. Indians have consistently been the largest applicant group in recent years. The number of applications from skilled workers in 2022 surged due to increased requests from Russian citizens after the Ukraine conflict. However, in 2023, applications from Russians decreased by 46.4%, possibly linked to global competition for skilled workers and Finland's economic downturn.

The Finnish Immigration Service estimates that the number of employment residence permit applications in 2024 will be around 19,000, but economic unpredictability makes accurate forecasts challenging. Meanwhile, study purpose permit applications saw a significant increase in 2023, reaching 12,867, a 30.5% rise from the previous year. The growth is attributed to legislative amendments and a rise in international study programs. The Finnish Immigration Service expects applications for study permits in 2024 to reach 14,000.


Family reunification applications also surged in 2023, with a 13.7% increase in residence permits, totaling 21,583. Sri Lanka, Russia, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines were the top countries of origin for family permit applicants. The rise in family reunification aligns with the overall trend of increased immigration for work and study purposes since 2021.

In terms of EU citizens moving to Finland, a total of 9,570 registration applications were submitted in 2023, slightly lower than in 2022. Employment remains the most common reason for EU citizens to move to Finland, with 3,675 applications in 2023. The overall trend shows a slight decrease in the number of EU citizens confirming their right of residence in Finland, with Estonian, German, and Romanian citizens being the most common nationalities among those registered.

The multifaceted data highlights Finland's attractiveness for employment, study, and family reunification, while also showcasing the impact of global events and economic conditions on immigration trends.


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