December 16, 2020
There are about 300,000 Finnish citizens living overseas, and more than 250,000 of them are eligible voters. Throughout the entire 2010s, there were more Finnish citizens moving overseas than returning to Finland. In 2020, the figure looked different. The Finland Society seeks to make it easier for expatriate Finns to move back to Finland and to highlight trained expatriates as part of the solution for our country’s growing need of labor.
Expatriate Finns’ need for advice has grown
World events are reflected in the Finland Society’s work. In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have increased expatriate Finns’ need for instructions and counseling. During 2020, this has shown in the society’s Information Services as increased number of contacts and as peaks in traffic on the website.
Contacts received by the Finland Society indicate that expatriates are increasingly eager to return to Finland. In the uncertain world situation, many expatriate Finns are considering a return to Finland. While the society receives inquiries about returning from all European countries, most of them come from Sweden, Britain and Spain. Outside of Europe, the largest number of contacts about returning to Finland come from the United States.
Meanwhile, the Finland Society has received considerably fewer inquiries about moving overseas this year. They were mostly connected with jobs overseas. Retirees enquired about return to their country of residence especially this past fall.
The Finland Society develops a channel to bring trained labor to Finland
Expatriate Finns’ inquiries about employment opportunities and remote work in Finland have increased. The Finland Society seeks to make it easier for Finns living overseas to return to Finland and to highlight trained expatriates as part of the solution for our country’s increasing need of labor. At the moment, we and our networks are developing an ‘Expert Channel’ for returning expatriates to Finland.
Because of the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, there may be a delay for return migration to show up in statistics. Moving preparations may take a long time and plans do not necessarily lead to returning.
Studies and surveys on returning show that returnees hope to receive support, especially in finding employment and settling in. Even though many Finns living overseas dream about returning, the final decision to move may be hampered by complications in finding a job, spouses’ adaptation as well as a lack of networks.
Even in uncertain times, Finland appears as a safe country, at least for the time being. Its strengths include equality, high-quality education, innovation, nature and – from families’ viewpoint – relatively easy daily life. Finland should utilize these assets and support expatriate Finns’ return to Finland.
FINNISH CITIZENS’ NET IMMIGRATION, 2010 – 2020* (the 2020 figure is from January – October)
The Finland Society is a Finnish expatriate expert organization. We provide counseling to Finns living and traveling overseas and serve as an advocacy organization for expatriate Finns. The Finland Society runs the Finnish Expatriate Parliament (FEP) and publishes the magazine Finland Bridge https://suomi-seura.fi/suomen-silta-lehti/