Residence permits to Finland
If you want to stay in Finland for more than three months, you need a residence permit. The customer service and booking of appointments for the Embassy's visa and residence permit matters are managed by the VFS Global Service Centre.
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.) or on paper at migri.fi(Link to another website.)
- 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.)
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.
Where to apply for a residence permit?
How to make an appointment?
You have three options:
- Make a booking on the VFS website for residence permits.(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)
- Call the VFS helpline: 022-67866026 (from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
- Send an email to: [email protected]
The Embassy of Finland will no longer reply to inquiries regarding visas and residence permits by telephone or by email.
How do I book a family reunification interview or other interview related to residence permits?
As a rule, VFS will book interview appointments for applicants when they submit their applications at VFS. If the Embassy or the Finnish Immigration Service has instructed you to book an interview or to come to the Embassy for an interview, call the VFS helpline or send them an email (see contact details above). Do not use the VFS website to book an interview appointment! The website online booking system is only for appointments for submitting a visa or residence permit application. If you need to appear for an interview, it means you've already successfully submitted your application.
The Embassy will contact visa applicants directly in case an interview is necessary.
How do I legalise my documents for the residence permit application?
All documents to be either in English, Finnish or Swedish. Translation, if required, should be done in home country only. Documents to be legalised should be legalised by Home Country (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the Embassy of Finland in New Delhi as applicable. Indian documents must have Apostille from the Ministry of External Affairs of India.