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Residence permit on the basis of employment is now granted much faster than last year

Publication date 15.10.2021 9.10

This year, foreign employees have been issued with residence permits on the basis of work considerably faster than last year.

There are several different work-related residence permits depending on what kind of work the person intends to do in Finland. The largest number of work-related applications are related to residence permits for employed persons. Residence permit for an employed person is applied for by cooks, cleaners and employees in the building trade, for example. In January-September of this year, the average processing time of the permit was 77 days, whereas in 2020 it was 143.

The aim is to issue customers with a work-related residence permit within a month in 2023. The Finnish Immigration Service’s key methods in speeding up the processing of residence permits are increased automation and the development of permit processing practices and customer guidance. The goal is to provide customers with more information on the processing of their application.

“We want to make the decision-making process more effective and are trying out new ways of processing applications. In order to work, automation requires the right information. Therefore, the information provided by the customer and the employer, and our customer guidance, are of great importance. We can reach the best outcome by working together with our customers, interest groups, and other authorities,” says Anna Hyppönen, Head of Branch.

Residence permits for an employed person are processed by the Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) and the Finnish Immigration Service. First, a TE Office makes a partial decision on the application based on its assessment on whether the applicant has sufficient financial resources, whether the terms and conditions of the employment are appropriate, whether the work will be temporary or continuous, and whether labour force is available within the EU/EEA for the work in question within a reasonable time. After this, the Finnish Immigration Service will decide the residence permit application.

In January-September of this year, the average processing time for all work-related residence permits was 61 days, whereas in 2020 it was 111 days.

Specialists are issued with a residence permit in a couple of weeks

This year, the processing of residence permits for specialists has been faster than before. Specialists receive a residence permit decision in 16 days, on average.

Specialists include, among others, IT experts and employees with a higher education degree who come to Finland to work in a job requiring particular professional skills.

“The premise is that Finland will need the immigration of labour force in the coming years. We need to make sure that moving to Finland is as effortless as possible,” says Elina Immonen, Deputy Director-General.

In January-September of this year, the average processing time of first residence permits for specialists was 16 days, whereas in 2020 it was 22 days. As for first residence permits for start-up entrepreneurs, the average processing time has been 24 days during this year (70 days in 2020).

Statistics on applications and decisions can be found in the statistical service of the Finnish Immigration service.

Media inquiries

Elina Immonen, Deputy Director-General, tel. 0295 433 037, email:

Anna Hyppönen, Head of Branch, tel. 0295 433 037, email: