Home Travel & Adventure Finland Halts Visa Applications for Wild Berry Pickers from Thailand, Cambodia, and...

Finland Halts Visa Applications for Wild Berry Pickers from Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar


For the second year in a row, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to remove Thailand from the list of countries the nationals of which are eligible for short-stay wild berry picker visas.

The decision bounds Cambodia and Myanmar too, as visa applications for berry pickers from these two countries are also processed under the jurisdiction of the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

The suspension applies to all applicants in the countries under the jurisdiction of the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok: Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. This means that wild berry pickers from these countries will not be granted Schengen visas for the summer 2024 harvest season.

Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Wild Berry Picker Visas Suspended for Thais Under Suspicions of Human Trafficking

Last year, Finland had also suspended visa issuance for the nationals of Thailand, following the tightening of guidelines for processing visa applications for wild berry pickers, due to suspicions that the route was being used for human trafficking.

According to the Ministry, it is suspected that wild berry pickers from Thailand, who obtained Schengen visas for picking berries in the wild of Finland, were often involved in human trafficking, and the number of victims is estimated to be over hundreds.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the visa authority and the authority that guides the issuing of visas for the embassies, takes a very serious view of the exploitation of Thai wild berry pickers.

Finnish MFA

Now, the government intends to find a new solution for the entrance of wild berry pickers in the country, for the harvest season of next year, and on. Currently, a working group has been set in order to work in this direction.

Thais Still Eligible for Seasonal Work Visas

On the meantime the reception and processing of visa applications for non-natural berry pickers will continue as normal at the Bangkok embassy, ​​and applications will be processed individually in accordance with the visa regulations.

This means that Thais will still be eligible to apply for seasonal workers’ visas for picking non-natural berries, or doing another type of work that falls under this type of visa. Thais wishing to work for less than 90 days in Finland under a seasonal visa, will not need a residence permit. However, those intending to work for longer periods, will have to obtain one upon arrival in the country.

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