Amendments to Aliens Act on 1 June 2019: asylum seekers’ right to work will end when the decision on their application becomes enforceable

Due to amendments to the Aliens Act entering into force on 1 June 2019, there will be changes in asylum seekers’ right to work.

Starting from 1 June 2019, these amendments will apply to all asylum seekers regardless of the date when their asylum application has been submitted.

What will change on 1 June 2019?

  • Starting from 1 June 2019, an asylum seeker’s right to work ends when his or her decision becomes enforceable. This means the date when the asylum seeker can under law be removed from the country. Before this, an asylum seeker who had received a decision on refusal of entry or deportation had the right to work until the decision became final.
  • If an asylum seeker has already received a negative decision or has submitted a new asylum application and the previous decision is enforceable, he or she will no longer have the right to work as of 1 June 2019.
  • If an asylum seeker gets a positive decision, he or she can in most cases continue working in Finland. Asylum seekers can check their residence permit card or their decision to see whether they have the right to work in Finland.

When are asylum seekers allowed to work without a residence permit?

An asylum seeker will still have the right to work in Finland without a residence permit, when he or she has resided in Finland for three or six months after submitting his or her asylum application.

The limit is three months, if the applicant has presented a valid and authenticated travel document. The limit is six months, if the applicant has not presented a travel document. For an asylum seeker who later submits a new asylum application, the counting of the time limit will start again from the beginning.

Finnish Immigration Service