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APN podcast: Is Migri fit for purpose?

Yle News' podcast turns its spotlight onto how the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) processes permits for foreign nationals, as government ministers join calls for the agency to be reformed.

All Points North main photo 15.12.2022
Yle News

The week All Points North hears about renewed calls for the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) to be reformed, following much-publicised criticism of how the agency handles work and residence permit applications submitted by foreign nationals.

"The consequences [of delays and rejections] for the client and their families are severe," Tony Khalil of the Finnish Refugee Council told APN.

"In these cases I believe that Migri should be able to bring the human aspect to the process, and be able to advise and help the applicant in the process."

Migri's Director of Permits and Nationality Pauliina Helminen told the show that a review of the agency's practices is already underway, with a view to adopting a "more customer-centred approach".

"We must understand the customer’s situation as a whole and emphasise its significance in our work. Finland needs workers and students from abroad," Helminen said.

Tuition fee proposal

APN also followed up on a proposal by the Finance Ministry that Finland should introduce university tuition fees as one means of plugging a nine-billion euros gap in public finances.

The ministry's report noted that universities could decide for themselves if they wish to introduce the fees as well as how much the costs would be, but the idea has not been warmly welcomed.

"If the intention is to lure more international students to Finland that is, of course, an issue. And of course we should keep in mind as well that this effectively means that the student becomes a customer," Jani Erola, a sociology professor at the University of Turku, told the show.

APN to return to Apple, Google

Many APN listeners noticed that their weekly update of news from Finland in English had disappeared from a number of podcast platforms — including Apple and Google — over the summer.

The move was due to changes to Yle's overall operating model, but was not well received by APN listeners.

Following feedback from APN listeners, the decision was reversed and All Points North will return to Apple and Google by the beginning of next year.

Join the discussion

This week's show was presented by Ronan Browne and Veronica Kontopoulou and the sound engineer was Laura Koso.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, you can contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or via email at yle.news@yle.fi and allpointsnorth@yle.fi.

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