Helsinki (29.07.2019 - Heikki Jokinen) Migri, the Finnish Immigration Service announced in July that it has given deportation orders to 139 Uzbek construction workers this year.

These individuals have also received a two-year ban from the Shengen area. The reason for these deportations is that their education documents had been forged.

Uzbeks have been working in Finland on construction work specialising in industrial painting and screeding. These jobs were done mainly by Uzbeks and there had been some 800 Uzbeks in Finland, Yle News reported.

Migri had granted working permits to the now expelled people due to the claimed shortage of manpower in construction work and because of their special competence, which was attested to by the training documents that turned out to be forged.

The documents show that they had mysteriously graduated between 1997 and 2016 in a school that, according to Migri, has been closed since 1993.

Because of forged documents, some 240 other Uzbeks were also rejected for work-related residence permits this year.

Johanna Elonen, the regional ombudsman of the Finnish Construction Trade Union informed Yle that the forged documents might be part of a bigger problem.

According to rumours from the construction sites non-EU workers have been paying 2,000 - 3,000 euro to unknown middle-men for a working residence permit, she says. The Uzbek workers seem to be victims, Elonen adds.

In 2019, the construction industry in Finland presently employs almost 200,000 people. One in five come from abroad.