Residence permit to Finland

Finland has outsourced collection of the biometric data required for the work and student residence permit applications to VFS Global. It is mandatory to schedule an appointment, which can be done through the appointment scheduling service available at residencepermits.finland.fi. The Consulates General in New York and Los Angeles accept also other residence permit applications in addition to work and student residence permits. An appointment for such application will need to be scheduled through our electronic appointment scheduling service.

How to apply for a residence permit

  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 enterfinland.fi or on paper at migri.fi   
    Apply at enterfinland.fi
  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 migri.fi

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.

migri.fienterfinland.fi