Berry pickers’ visa applications to be processed with particular precision
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs suspended the issuing of visas to Thai berry pickers in November 2022. The Ministry stated as grounds for the suspension certain ambiguities concerning wild-berry picking, including risk of trafficking in human beings, an ongoing police investigation in Finland and the possible amendments to the status of wild-berry pickers prepared by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
On 9 February, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment stated that it is not possible to clarify the status of wild-berry pickers by amending the Seasonal Workers Decree alone and that instead the matter requires more comprehensive changes to the relevant legislation.
As the drafting of the necessary amendments will take time, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has no grounds to continue the suspension of the issuing of visas to berry pickers. Possible visa applications will be accepted and each application will be processed individually in accordance with the Visa Code. When processing applications, particular attention will be paid to the purpose of stay, the risk of trafficking, the reliability of the information provided in the application, and the sufficiency of the applicant’s financial resources.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been of the view that wild-berry picking should fall within the scope of the Seasonal Workers Act and that berry pickers should have a contractual employment relationship so that visas could be issued on the basis of seasonal work. This would clarify the status of both wild-berry pickers and the companies employing them.
- Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment(Link to another website.) (in Finnish)
- Jussi Tanner, Director General of Consular Services, tel. +358 50 411 0340
- The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format email@example.com.