Legal Alerts/8 Mar 2023
Employer Certification Simplifies the Work Permit Application Process
The Finnish Aliens Act was amended at the end of this February. The key focus of these amendments is to shorten the processing time of work-related permits down to one month, as currently it takes app. 3 months to get the permit.
In addition, these amendments will enable the use of a wider range of automation procedures for retrieving data. From now on, the Act will allow the use of data from different administrative registers, which means that less information needs to be requested directly from the employer or the applicant.
What is new?
In addition to the processing time and automation, the amendments also cover travel documents and employer certification. As such, a travel document that is valid at the time of the decision-making is now sufficient for applicants’ first work-related residence permits, and thus the validity of the travel document no longer affects the duration of the first residence permit. The amended Act also, for instance, clarifies the regulation in terms of controlling the use of foreign workers and enables employers to apply for a prolonged employer certification.
The employer certification shortens the processing time of the Finnish Immigration Service and the employer certification can be highly useful for employers who are hiring foreign workers on a regular basis. The permit applicants do not need to fill out their terms of employment in the residence permit application and the employer itself no longer needs to fill out information about the employer separately for every application.
The first employer certification is issued for two years, after which the employer certificate is granted for three years at a time. The employer can apply for employer certification in Enter Finland for Employers, an online service of the Finnish Immigration Service.
When the employer is certified, a separate assessment regarding the employer’s ability to meet its obligations as an employer is no longer needed.
The employer meets the certification requirements if, during the last three financial years preceding the certification application,
- the employer has employed at least ten employees that have been granted residence permits based on work, and if at least three of these permits have been extended residence permits;
- the company’s equity has been positive during each of these three years;
- the financial result of the company has been positive at least one of the three years preceding the application; and
- the average turnover of the company has been at least EUR 1 million per financial year.
In addition, the employer must meet its employer obligations and the general terms of employment must comply with the applicable collective agreement and other provisions in force.
If you have any questions about the amendments to the Aliens Act or need assistance with work abroad, please contact the undersigned or other members of our Employment team.