Kättelevät ihmiset

Canada's model for residence permits: a direct route for international talent

News article

TEK and Ekonomit propose a new migration pathway to Finland to attract talent. Like in Canada, it would offer immigrants the opportunity to obtain an immediate permanent residence permit, with selections for this proposed pathway made on a points basis. Points could be awarded for having expertise in areas suffering labour shortages, or based on education and language skills.

Finland has rapidly undergone internationalisation, especially in key growth sectors. One in ten graduate engineers is already international, and for example in ICT, a fifth of growth has been driven by immigrants since 2010. A low availability of skilled labour slows down this business growth.

"Companies are relocating or expanding their operations to where skilled labour is available. Attracting talent has therefore become a key tool for growth and in business policy. Finland's ability to attract skilled workers is particularly important at a time when many companies born in the 2010s are in a rapid growth phase. The availability of labour will determine whether these companies choose to grow in Finland, or choose to grow abroad," says Ted Apter, a specialist in industrial policy in Suomen Ekonomit.

A sense of security is an important attraction and retention factor for immigrants. A permanent residence permit allows people to take risks in their lives – for example, starting their own business or working for a start-up.

An immediate permanent residence permit increases the sense of security and allows for long-term planning.
- Owain Hopeaketo

"This pathway for migration would provide a significant advantage for immigrants seeking permanent residence. An immediate permanent residence permit increases the sense of security and allows for long-term planning. The proposal is then a step towards a more open and attractive immigration policy that meets the needs of both Finland and immigrants," believes Owain Hopeaketo, a project manager in international experts at TEK.

Finland needs an immigration policy that sees immigrants as people with their own aspirations, and that understands the important role they play in the economy. Suomen Ekonomit and TEK therefore encourage the government to investigate whether a points-based route to a permanent residence permit could be introduced in Finland.

This proposal for a migration pathway was presented at the Swipe Yes for Finland event on 13th March, in which the participants discussed how to bring growth and prosperity to Finland by learning from Canada's immigration policy.

Contact details:

TEK Owain Hopeaketo, Project Manager, International Experts 

Phone: 046 954 7718 

Email: owain.hopeaketo@tek.fi

Suomen Ekonomit Ted Apter, Special Advisor, Industrial Policy 

Phone: 0400 602 439 

Email: ted.apter@ekonomit.fi