Applying for a residence permit in the United Arab Emirates
Who can apply for a residence permit?
You may apply for a residence permit via 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)
Please note that the Embassy has outsourced the customer service and appointment booking to VFS Global Abu Dhabi(Link to another website.).
For any residence permit enquiries and appointment booking, please contact VFS Global directly.
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 VFS Global Abu Dhabi should be 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.
Book an appointment
The Embassy has outsourced the customer service and appointment booking to VFS Global Abu Dhabi: https://services.vfsglobal.com/are/en/frp/(Link to another website.)
For any residence permit enquiries and appointment booking, please contact VFS Global directly: https://services.vfsglobal.com/are/en/frp/contact-us(Link to another website.)
Fill in your application
Please fill in the residence permit application on the Enter Finland –service(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window). The application must be filled in and submitted in the Enter Finland -service before your appointment.
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 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 your appointment.
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) either directly at the Enter Finland –service via credit card or at the VFS Global Abu Dhabi by using local or international debit / credit card or cash.
Visit the VFS Global Abu Dhabi 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 paid prior to your appointment)
- Proof of legal stay in the UAE:
- Valid Passport of the UAE / Bahrain / Qatar or
- Valid UAE / Qatar / Bahrain residence permit or
- Valid short-term tourist visa from applicants residing in Bahrain / Qatar / 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 your appointment.
- 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.
You must also pay to the VFS Global Abu Dhabi a service fee of 79 euro (or the equivalent amount in AED based on the currency exchange rate of the month).
During your appointment, VFS Global will identify you from your passport and collect your fingerprints for the biometric residence permit card. VFS Global examines your documents and returns the originals to you during your visit. VFS Global returns the originals to you along with the decision. If you require the original documents prior to the decision, you must inform VFS Global during your visit and may pay a courier to collect them accordingly.
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 VFS Global Abu Dhabi, 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 you 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 or VFS Global 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 or VFS Global, 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). You will receive a request from the Finnish Immigration Service in the Enter Finland -service if you need to come for an interview.
Book an appointment for the interview by contacting VFS Global Abu Dhabi. When booking the interview you need state your customer number / diary number and submit the request from the Finnish Immigration Service. This is compulsory in order to schedule your oral hearing.
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.
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, VFS Global Abu Dhabi 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 VFS Global 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 VFS Global when your decision is ready for collection. If the decision is positive, the residence permit card will be delivered simultaneously.
The Embassy or VFS Global does not provide information regarding the content of the decision by email or over the phone.
VFS Global Abu Dhabi will inform you via email once your decision is ready for collection.
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 VFS Global Abu Dhabi 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:
- Finnish Government(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
- Finnish Border Guard(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
- Finnish institute for health and welfare (THL)(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.
Fast track for holders of a D visa who have been issued with a residence permit
You can be issued with a D visa for Finland if you are applying for one of the following:
- a residence permit for a specialist
- an EU Blue Card
- a residence permit for startup entrepreneur
- a residence permit for ICT specialist (company’s internal transfer)
- a residence permit for family member of an applicant for one of the above permits.
Citizens of countries exempt from visa requirement do not need a D visa.
For more information, please visit the website of the Finnish Immigration Service(layout.types.url.description)(Link to another website.).
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 10 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' addresses, for example @gov.fi.
- 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.