Finnish employment minister Timo Harakka has said that his government plans to reduce the time taken to grant work visas to just one to two weeks by next year.
The move is reported to be aimed primarily at attracting more software professionals from countries like India.
For these expert visas and for these expert work permits, which require a certain (level of) income, but are also on the express lane on permits, we are aiming to get these things handled in one or two weeks,” the minister told PTI.
“We are looking to shorten the time frame. This can be achieved next year because we are shifting the whole process of immigration — work-based and study-based immigration — to my Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment from the Interior Ministry,” he added.
When asked if Finland has done any assessment on how many software and ICT professionals it would be needing in next three-five years, Harakka replied, “I think the number would be in thousands, if not tens of thousands. Indians are the biggest community in that sector but there is a constant need for ICT and software professionals in the Finnish companies which aim to be global champions. I think we have demand that is unsatiable.”
“Since Finland is a small country and is not always on the top of mind of Indian students and talent, we want to promote the idea that Finland is an English-speaking country. All of us speak fluently in English…. Secondly, for a third year in row, we have been nominated as the happiest country in the world,” he added.