Visa Crunch

Finland’s Proposed Bill To Allow Students To Stay Longer And Work

According to reports, Finland is considering a new measure that would give international students studying in Finland more time to find work after graduation and expand the number of hours they can work per week.

As per YLE, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is recommending a series of modifications that would allow overseas students to stay for two years after graduation rather than one. They would also be issued a single visa for the duration of their studies.

“By granting a continuous residence permit to students in higher education degree programs, it’s possible for them to receive a permanent residence permit and also of course citizenship sooner than presently,” said Jarmo Tiukkanen, a senior officer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment was quoted saying by the Helsinki Times.

The senior officer stated that the proposed amendments must still be reviewed and voted on by parliament, but if accepted, they will take effect on April 1, 2022. Students studying in Finland must currently renew their study-based visas every year or two.

According to YLE, the proposed reform also includes intentions to modify the status of foreign student visas from “B” (temporary) to “A” (continuous), significantly decreasing the period of residency required to petition for Finnish citizenship in comparison to the current arrangement. If the revisions are passed, students studying in Finland will still be subject to the same conditions for permanent residency as other immigrants.

The proposed reforms would also see individuals studying in Finland have their weekly working hours increased from 25 to 30 hours. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, on the other hand, has said that the number of weekly hours may fluctuate as long as it does not exceed the annual maximum. Internships and on-the-job training would be excluded from the working time limit.

According to the proposed changes, international students who have completed their studies in Finland will be able to apply for permission up to five years after their initial study permit expires. This would enable students to return to their home countries or work in other countries before returning to Finland to look for work.

According to Study in Finland, finding a career in Finland might be difficult because not all subjects of study offer prospects for employment before graduation. They also state that job seekers may be required to speak Finnish or Swedish. According to the idea, hours spent on study-related work or training would not count against the working restriction and would be virtually unfettered.

Another change brought about by the changes is greater flexibility for foreign student graduates who leave the nation after finishing their studies and later desire to return to Finland. The reforms would also allow overseas graduates to apply for job-search-based residence permits within five years of the expiration of their student visas.

In other words, graduates might work in another country after finishing their education and then return to Finland to look for work if they so desired.

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