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Progress in the preparation of fast track service – specialists’ and start-up entrepreneurs’ move to Finland to become quicker

Publication date 16.12.2021 10.53

Specialists’ and start-up entrepreneurs’ entry into the country will be easier next year. The fast track service currently under preparation will help professionals to start working in Finland more quickly. Customers will also be able to anticipate the processing of their application better than before.

The Finnish Immigration Service will process the residence permits of those coming to Finland via the fast track route in a maximum of two weeks. As professionals’ families often move to Finland, too, the fast track service is also aimed at specialists’ and start-up entrepreneurs’ family members.

The preparation of the fast track service is combined with a new type of permit, the national D visa, which is currently being reviewed by the Parliament. The aim is to have the national D visa and the fast track route for specialists and start-up entrepreneurs in use in June 2022.

“The Finnish Immigration Service has actively participated in the preparation of the fast track route and the D visa, and we are preparing to give our customers advice on the new, accelerated permit process,” says Pauliina Helminen, Director of the Permit and Nationality Unit.

Faster to move to Finland in future

In order to move to Finland via the fast track route, the customer must submit and pay for the application online. If the application contains all the required information and attachments, the application will become pending automatically, which means that the processing of the application starts immediately and proceeds quickly.

“Customer guidance is important, because also the customer needs to act quickly so that we will be able to keep our service pledge to decide on the application in two weeks. Customers are instructed with the help of frequent automated messages and clear descriptions of the application process,” says Helminen.

The processing of specialists’ applications is partly automated, and the development work continues. Increased automation has been the most important way to accelerate permit processing.

The national D visa makes it possible to travel to Finland as soon as a residence permit has been granted. Before entering Finland, the applicants prove their identity abroad and have their fingerprints taken for the residence permit card. The residence permit card will be given to the customer in Finland. At present, customers must wait for their card abroad after being granted a positive decision.

The Ministry of the Interior has also appointed a legislative project investigating the possibility to expand the D visa to cover students and researchers as well. The Finnish Immigration Service is actively involved in the preparation of the project.

Specialists are currently granted permits in two weeks

This year, specialists have received a residence permit decision in 16 days (the average processing time). Specialists include, among others, IT experts and employees with a higher education degree, whose work in Finland requires expert knowledge. The processing time for start-up entrepreneurs’ permits was 24 days (the average processing time) in January-November.

The Finnish Immigration Service aims at issuing specialists, start-up entrepreneurs and their family members with a residence permit in 14 days in 2021. As regards other residence permits for work or studies, the aim is that the processing time will be a maximum of one month in 2023.

“In order to achieve these goals in a durable way, we need considerable developments in ICT, such as system integration and expanding the use of partial automation in different permit processes, changes in working methods and several legislative amendments already under preparation, which will accelerate the overall granting of permits,” says Helminen.

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Media inquiries

Pauliina Helminen, Director of the Permit and Nationality Unit 0295 433 037, email: