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Home BUSINESSDebit card system being tested for refugees
Sun, 14 Feb, 2016 01:42:09 AM
FTimes-STT Report, Feb 14
File Photo Lehtikuva.
The Finnish Immigration Service is testing a new system whereby asylum seekers are paid money through debit cards. 
In the future, the cards could also be used for salaries, Immigration Service sources said.
The facilitation of asylum seekers to employment is in demand, said Päivi Keskitalo, a senior inspector at the Office of the Ombudsman for Equality.
“Snow work is one example which has often been discussed,” Keskitalo added.
But employment for asylum seekers is no simple task. A permit from the Immigration Service is required before an asylum seeker can work. 
If the asylum seeker has a passport, he or she can stay in Finland for three months after his asylum decision. 
A person without a passport can stay six months. Problems arise when employers require bank accounts for their employees.
“Employers do not want to pay wages in cash,” Keskitalo said.
The interior ministry is preparing a draft to amend the law which applies to resident permit holders. 
The aim is to make it easier to obtain an identity card for foreigners, so they can access bank accounts and online banking Ids more easily. 
However, this does not help asylum seekers.
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