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.
How to apply for a residence permit
- 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.
- Only you may initiate the application.
- Apply for a residence permit electronically at enterfinland.fi(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) or on paper at migri.fi(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
- Choose the correct application form based on why you are coming to Finland (job, study place or family member in Finland).
- Fill in the residence permit application carefully. Make sure that the appendices are correct.
- Having filled in the application, find out which Finnish mission or VFS Global Application Centre you can visit for identification and for submitting biometric identifiers (signature, photograph, fingerprints) and book an appointment there.
- A Finnish mission or VFS Application Centre may be located in a different country from where you are staying. Be prepared to apply for a visa for the country in question.
- 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.
- After this, your application will be transferred to the processing queue at the Finnish Immigration Service
- You can follow the progress of the processing online. You may be asked for further information and you may be invited for an interview.
- Processing the application takes time. Please be patient. Waiting times are usually long, but each application will be processed.
- You will be notified once a decision has been made.
- 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.
- You can get further information about applying for a residence permit at the Finnish Immigration Service website migri.fi(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
If you lose your residence permit card
If you are a visa national and lose your residence permit card when abroad, you must primarily apply for a first residence permit at a Finnish diplomatic or consular mission to be able to return to Finland, even if you already have a valid residence permit. Applications for an extended permit cannot be lodged at missions. As a rule, a visa cannot be granted for this purpose, because the return requirement set out in the Visa Code is not met.
A visa may be granted only in situations referred to in the Visa Code, such as in a serious humanitarian situation – not because the applicant is in a hurry, has lost his or her air ticket or cannot pay the residence permit fee, for example. In other words, if a mission does not grant a visa, you must apply for a new residence permit to be able to return to Finland.
Expired residence permit
If your residence permit has expired while you have been abroad, apply for a new residence permit at a Finnish diplomatic or consular mission. A visa cannot be granted for this purpose, because the return requirement set out in the Visa Code is not met. A visa may be granted only in situations referred to in the Visa Code, such as in a serious humanitarian situation – not because the applicant is in a hurry, has lost his or her air ticket or cannot pay the residence permit fee, for example.
If a mission cannot grant a visa under the Visa Code, you must apply for a residence permit before returning to Finland.
Applying for a residence permit in the United Arab Emirates
Where to apply for a residence permit?
You may apply for a residence permit at the Embassy of Finland in Abu Dhabi (Opens New Window), if you are a citizen or resident in one of the following countries:
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
It is not possible to submit a residence permit application in Abu Dhabi, if you are a holder of a short-term tourist visa or visa free tourist in the UAE and do not have residency in the above-mentioned countries.
All residence permit applications submitted at the Embassy are first residence permit applications. You can apply for an extended permit(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) only at the Finnish Immigration Service’s service points in Finland. Plan your future travels accordingly.
Book an appointment
The Embassy’s customer service operates by appointment only. The Embassy does not have a walk-in service.
You can book an appointment by sending an email to the address [email protected]. In order to protect your personal data, you may send encrypted email to the Embassy through Encrypted message -service(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).
Your email should contain the following information:
- name of the customer / names of the customers, if you are booking an appointment for more than one applicant
- contact information: email and phone number
- nationality and country of residence
- Application specific information
- Application based on studies: name of the educational institute and the acceptance letter
- Application based on family ties: name of the sponsor and family tie (spouse, child, parent)
- Application based on employment: name of the employer and assignment
The appointment is personal and cannot be forwarded to another person. If you wish to book an appointment simultaneously for your family member, write the names of all the applicants in your appointment request.
If you are unable to attend your appointment, inform the Embassy as soon as possible, in order for us to offer the cancelled appointment to other customers.
Latest news regarding the Embassy's customer service:
Embassy's customer service and contact information during the corona virus pandemic (Opens New Window)
Appointments for residence permit applicants
Fill in your application
It is recommended to use the Enter Finland –service(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) to fill in the residence permit application. It speeds up the process and you are able to follow the process in the portal.
You also have the option to submit a paper application(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) and fill in the application form by hand. The paper application is more expensive and the processing time is longer, because the Embassy has to send the papers physically to the Immigration Service in Finland. Online application is in the reach of the Finnish Immigration Service once submitted in the Enter Finland –service.
Make sure you have your application ready, when you come to the Embassy for your appointment. The Enter Finland –service has maintenance breaks and therefore we recommend to complete your application well in advance, before visiting the Embassy. There is no possibility to fill in an application (electronic nor paper) during your appointment and therefore a lack of a duly filled application will result in a cancelled appointment.
The Embassy does not have a customer computer or Wi-Fi to submit your online application at the Embassy.
Make sure you have all the necessary attachments ready for your application. You can find a list of the attachment from the Enter Finland –service or from the end of the paper form. Bring all the original documents with you to the Embassy.
You are allowed to use help for filling in your application. However, you alone are responsible of the content of your application. If you use outside help, tell it to the Embassy official, if asked.
Pay the application fee
You can pay the application fee (Opens New Window):
- directly at the Enter Finland –service via credit card or
- at the Embassy by using local or international debit or credit card or
- to the Embassy Bank account in First Abu Dhabi Bank, FAB in the UAE. You will receive our bank account details with the appointment confirmation.
The Embassy does not accept cash payments.
Visit the Embassy
Visit the Embassy (Opens New Window) during your scheduled appointment to verify your identity and your original documents.
Bring with you
- Original passport(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window). The passport should generally be valid through the validity of your first residence permit. Make sure, that you are recognizable from the photo in your passport. Renew your passport, if needed.
- Passport size photo(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) less than 6 months old in photo paper.
- Receipt of the payment, if you paid to the Embassy bank account in First Abu Dhabi Bank.
- Proof of legal stay in the UAE:
- Valid Passport of the UAE, Bahrain or Qatar or
- Valid UAE residence permit or
- Valid short-term tourist visa from applicants residing in Bahrain, Qatar or Pakistan, who need a visa to enter the UAE.
- All the original documents you have scanned to the Enter Finland -service. If you are submitting a paper application, you need to have both the original document and a photocopy of each document with you.
- Bring all hardcopies with original signatures and stamps with you to the Embassy.
- We do not need “attested photocopies” or “certified true copies” of any of your documents.
- If you received the document electronically (insurance, online bank statement, acceptance letter), no need to print it out unless you are submitting a paper application. Attach the original file to the Enter Finland -service.
- If your application requires Birth Certificate or Marriage Certificate as a supporting document, you must legalize them (Opens New Window). We recommend to legalize the documents before your appointment, but you may also leave them for legalization during your appointment. Please note, that the Embassy is normally not able to legalize the documents during your appointment time and separate handling times for legalizations apply.
During your appointment, the Embassy will identify you from your passport and collect your fingerprints for the biometric residence permit card. The Embassy examines your documents and returns the originals to you during your visit to the Embassy. The Embassy does not keep your original documents.
If you are applying as a family or based on family ties, in some cases the Embassy may offer a DNA test(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) to establish family ties based on biological relationship.
Your application is processed by the Finnish Immigration Service
After you have visited the Embassy your application will be handed over to the Finnish Immigration Service in Finland. They will process the application and make the decision.
Most of the questions regarding the application process are answered in the Finnish Immigration Service's website(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window). If your need additional information not available on the website, please contact the Finnish Immigration Service(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window). The Embassy will give you your customer number at the Finnish Immigration Service during your appointment at the Embassy. You may find your customer number also from the Enter Finland -service. Always provide your customer number, when contacting the Finnish Immigration Service.
The Embassy is not able to answer questions regarding the processing.
Additional supporting documents
Follow your Enter Finland -account as the Finnish Immigration Service may ask you to provide additional documents. You should attach all documents to your application directly in the Enter Finland –service, if not asked otherwise.
Please do not send supporting documents via email to the Embassy, if not specifically asked. We will not attach them to your application, as you are required to do it yourself via the Enter Finland -service.
Oral hearing (interview)
In some cases, it is necessary to organize an oral hearing (interview)(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) in order for the Finnish Immigration Service to make a decision to your application. You will receive a request, if you need to come for an interview to the Embassy.
Book an appointment for the interview.
The interview is held in English. In case you need an interpreter, you will need to use an authorized interpreter and bear the costs yourself. If there is any uncertainty regarding your English skills, you should use an interpreter. It is your legal right to understand what is asked and to be understood when you give an answer. The interview plays an important role, when the Finnish Immigration Service makes the decision to your application.
Note! During the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not possible for the Embassy to organize interviews with an interpreter (Opens New Window) taking into account health security and local official regulations. The Embassy will take your appointment request and place it in a queue. The Embassy will inform you once an appointment for an interview with an interpreter can be arranged.
You may check the approximate processing times of residence permit applications from the Finnish Immigration Service’s Processing Time Checker(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window). You can also ask your position in the queue from Kamu Chatbot(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).
The Embassy cannot expedite(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) or affect in any way the processing of your application at the Finnish Immigration Service.
The Embassy does not recommend paying for plane tickets or accommodation in advance before you have the residence permit card in hand.
When the decision is ready, you will receive it through the Enter Finland –service or in case of paper application, the Embassy will notify you when the decision is ready.
- You will receive the decision to your application through Enter Finland –service.
- The residence permit card is being manufactured and delivered to the Embassy. This takes approximately 2-3 weeks from the day of the decision.
- You will receive an email from the Embassy when the card arrives and is ready for collection.
If you do not read the decision in the Enter Finland –service, the decision will be delivered to you the same way as in the paper application.
- You will receive an email from the Embassy when your decision is ready for collection. If the decision is positive, the residence permit card will be delivered simultaneously.
The Embassy does not provide information regarding the content of the decision by email or over the phone.
Collection time is on Sundays between 12.30 PM and 3.00 PM only. Note that the Embassy is closed on certain public holidays (Opens New Window) and also the COVID-19 affects our customer service (Opens New Window).
The Embassy will inform you via email once your decision is ready for collection. You will be given a collection number.
Wait patiently for the Embassy to contact you. Contact the Embassy only, if you received the decision through the Enter Finland for more than three weeks ago. Provide us the exact decision date with your customer number. You can find the decision date from your decision document.
How to collect the residence permit decision from the Embassy:
- In person at the Embassy, by presenting your valid ID.
- You may authorize another person to collect the residence permit decision for you. The person collecting your decision must have a letter of authorization and his/her own ID when collecting the decision.
- By courier, by providing the Embassy with a pre-paid airway bill from a courier service. Send the airway bill to the Embassy by e-mail [email protected] Attach to your message also a signed letter of authorization that the Embassy may hand out your residence permit decision to the courier. Also the courier must have a matching airway bill and a copy of the authorization letter when collecting your decision. The courier must know your collection number. Inform the courier about the collection time.
- Note! The Embassy will not release your documents to a courier if:
- we have not received an authorization letter from you or
- the courier does not know your name and collection number or
- the courier comes outside our collection time.
Use this template (Opens New Window) for the letter of authorization. Remember to write your collection number to the form.
Traveling with your residence permit card
When traveling, you will need to provide your passport and the residence permit card at the passport control (entry and exit). You may find more information from the Finnish Border Guard’s website(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).
Remember to include your traveling dates in your period of residence in your application. The residence permit is generally issued according to the dates you put in your application.
Even if you hold a passport that allows visa free entry to Finland, the Embassy does not recommend traveling to Finland before you have received the residence permit card. The card is delivered to the Embassy and it is not possible to collect the card in Finland.
As a Finnish residence permit holder, you are also allowed to travel to other Schengen countries(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) up to 90 days for tourist purposes.
Note! As part of the measures to contain the spreading of COVID-19, individual Schengen States have introduced travel restrictions, including at certain borders between those states.
Depending on the development of the epidemiological situation both within and outside the EU, travel restrictions may be eased or reintroduced.
All travelers are responsible for verifying the travel restrictions in place before departure. Holders of a residence permit, Schengen visas or visa free passport are not automatically entitled to enter the Schengen area, but must respect the travel restrictions in place.
For more information regarding the effects of COVID-19 on travel to Finland:
- Travel to and from Finland, Finnish Government(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
- Guidelines for border traffic during pandemic, Finnish Border Guard(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
- Travel and the coronavirus pandemic, Finnish institute for health and welfare (THL)(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
- FINENTRY –service for coronavirus testing and self-quarantine(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
How to send encrypted email to the Embassy?
Ensuring data protection(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window) is important to us in all of our activities.
When you send emails or files containing personal data to the Embassy, you should send them over encrypted email by using the Encrypted message -service. Detailed instructions can be found here (Opens New Window).
Registration to the Service:
- Go to the Encrypted message -service(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).
- Give your email address to the service and click “Continue” and after that “Register”.
- You will receive an individual link via email, which you will use to identify yourself in the service. The link is active for 30 days and you may send multiple emails by using the same link.
Sending an encrypted email:
Follow the link you received via email after the registration.
- Write the recipient’s email address in the ”To” –field, for example [email protected]. You may only send email to the Finnish Government Offices’ (for example @formin.fi) addresses.
- Fill in the “Subject” and write your message. Select attachment files, if any, from the ”Add attachment” –button and confirm by pressing “Attach”. Please, clarify in your message the matter the attachment is regarding.
- Send the message by pressing ”Send”
- After you have send the message, you have the option to save your message for your own purposes.
Please note that all documents to a residence permit applications must be attached through the Enter Finland –system. The Embassy will not attach any documents send by email.