Fire these hacks.

So what this jackass, (head of the immigration services head of asylum) Esko Repo, is demanding, that we reward (officially) 2/3 of those seeking asylum who are (officially) frauds, work at the expence of the habitually (over 10%) Finnish unemployed’.

Immigration chief calls for law change on asylum seeker work permits

Asylum seekers currently need a certificate of eligibility before they can start work, but the paperwork is unnecessary and is draining resources, says Finland’s Immigration Service.

Työntekijä rakennustyömaalla.
Image: Jarno Kuusinen / AOP

The Immigration Service’s head of asylum has called for an overhaul of a law which requires asylum seekers to obtain a certificate of eligibility before they can begin work in Finland.

An asylum seeker has the right to work in Finland three months after lodging their asylum application, so long as their passport is in order. There are currently around ten thousand people in reception centres across the country who fulfil this criteria.

However, Finland’s Aliens Act puts a further hurdle in their way – everyone also needs an official certificate proving their right to work.

Esko Repo from the Immigration service says that providing the certificates has generated a large amount of extra work for already stretched asylum officials, who are dealing with record numbers of claims.

Asylum seekers who are otherwise eligible to look for work are currently having to wait months before their documentation arrives.

Yet Repo says that the paperwork is unnecessary, not least because the law demands the work permits without even specifying how they should be overseen. “We need some sort of simple solution,” he says, to avoid already stretched resources being taken up producing the certificates.

One solution could be to print the date that someone’s asylum application was lodged on their official identity card.

Delighted to work

Iraqi asylum seekers Farhan Saffah and Salam Al-Janabi have both received their work permits after ten months in a reception centre, and are delighted to be working on the renovations at Helsinki’s Swedish language adult education college, Arbis.

Saffah says he is in no doubt as to the importance of work in helping asylum seekers integrate. “I feel very good and I feel strong, I have so much energy. I feel like, how do you want to say? Like a Finnish man,” he says.

Al-Janabi says his brother is still waiting for his certificate of eligibility. “There are about 250 of us in my reception centre, just five have got their permits,” he claims.

Saffah says he believes being able to work would also ease the strain on asylum seekers holed up in reception centres. “Many people with me, they have mental health problems, they’ve been sitting in the camp,” he says. “Everyone should get a job, any job, to work, to get himself active.” 

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