Residence permits to Finland

If you want to stay in Finland for a longer period than three months, you need a residence permit. Nationals of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland do not need a residence permit to come to Finland.

  1. You can apply for a residence permit in Finland if you have a job, a study place or a family member in Finland. Apply for a residence permit before you come to Finland. 
    According to the EU visa rules, one of the requirements for granting a Schengen visa is that the person must leave the Schengen area before the visa expires. For this reason, a visa cannot be granted to a person who has come to Finland in order to obtain a residence permit or to wait for the decision on a pending residence permit-related matter. This also applies to family members of Finnish citizens.
  2. Only you may initiate the application.
  3. Apply for a residence permit electronically at or on paper at   
    Apply at
  4. Choose the correct application form based on why you are coming to Finland (job, study place or family member in Finland).
  5. Fill in the residence permit application carefully. Make sure that the appendices are correct.
  6. Once you have filled in the application, book a time at a Finnish mission for the purposes of authentication. Book an appointment by e-mail.
  7. A Finnish foreign mission may be located in a different country to where you are. You may need to submit a visa application for the country in question.
  8. Go to the mission, authenticate yourself, and pay the fee collected for the residence permit application. This fee will not be refunded even if you cancel your application or receive a negative decision.
  9. After this, your application will be transferred to the processing queue at the Finnish Immigration Service
  10. You can follow the progress of the processing online. You may be asked for further information and you may be invited for an interview.
  11. Processing the application takes time. Please be patient. Waiting times are usually long, but each application will be processed.
  12. You will be notified once a decision has been made.
  13. If you receive a positive decision, the residence permit card will be delivered to the mission. A negative decision means that is was considered that you do not have sufficient grounds for a residence permit.
  14. You can get further information about applying for a residence permit at the Finnish Immigration Service website

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