After detention for 27 days in Finland, Iraqi asylum seeker gets rejection for work permit after half-a-year wait

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Remember an Iraqi asylum seeker called Hayder Al-Hatemi who was detained for 27 days from January 6-February 2 pending a deportation order? He applied for a work permit on February 6 shortly after his release and had learned at the beginning of August that it had been turned down. 

Al-Hatemi said that the bakery where he is employed had opened another branch and needs workers.

“The reason why I got [my work permit] turned down is that they state that Finns can do my job and because there is unemployment in Southern Finland,” he said. “The owner of the bakery put ads in the paper but no Finn applied. At work, we’re 17 employees from countries like Iran, Iraq, Estonia, Russia  and only two Finns.”

Despite the treatment that Al-Hatemi has received from the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), he said that he’d still come to Finland and apply for asylum.

“I would come to this country again because the Finns I have met are nice,” he continued. “The people are friendly, but it’s another story if we talk about Migri and the government.”


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Al-Hatemi already has four rejections for asylum and one for a work permit.

“I probably have the world record in Finland for the most rejections,” he said with a pinch of humor.

Al-Hatemi works and pays taxes.

“I don’t live in an asylum reception center,” he concluded. “I live in an apartment and pay rent.”

We at Migrant Tales that Al-Hatemi, who has shown that he can make a living and stand on his two feet, will be given a residence permit.

Migri’s rejections and his brush with deportation, which speak volumes about how asylum seekers are treated in Finland, reveal a systematic campaign to make the lives of people like Al-Hatemi as challenging and harsh as possible.

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