Start-up entrepreneurs coming to Finland can apply for their own permit from 1 April 2018
As of 1 April 2018, persons coming to Finland to become start-up entrepreneurs can for this purpose apply for their own Finnish Startup Permit. This new residence permit can be granted to a person who has established or will establish a start-up business in Finland.
A favourable Eligibility Statement from Business Finland must be attached to the residence permit application
There are two stages in the application process:
1. The applicant must apply for an Eligibility Statement from Business Finland which states that Business Finland supports the applicant acting as a start-up entrepreneur in Finland. Business Finland will evaluate whether the business model has the potential for fast international growth.
2. The favourable Eligibility Statement must be attached to the residence-permit application. The application can be made in the e-service or on paper. The Eligibility Statement cannot be more than two years old. The Finnish Immigration Service does not evaluate the entrepreneurship. The granting of a residence permit requires that the applicant has secure means of support and that the general requirements for granting a residence permit are fulfilled.
The expected processing time for a Finnish Startup Permit is about a month at the Finnish Immigration Service. The processing fee of an online application is 450 euros and 520 euros for a paper application. From 11 April, you can apply for the permit in the e-service.
Permit is generally granted for two years
If the residence permit decision is positive, the applicant is usually granted a continuous residence permit for two years. If his or her family members apply for a residence permit at the same time, they can be granted a permit if they also fulfil the income requirement. In addition, the general requirements for granting a residence permit must be fulfilled. One of these is a valid passport.
After the first permit you can apply for an extension of the residence permit on the same grounds if the start-up entrepreneurship continues. The business must also then have the potential for fast international growth.
At the beginning of April, you can find more detailed instructions on applying for a Finnish Startup Permit on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.
Changes also to the residence permits for a self-employed person and a specialist
From 1 April 2018, the current name of the residence permit for a self-employed person will change to the residence permit for an entrepreneur.
Whereas, a specialist can be granted a residence permit straight away for two years from 1 April 2018. At present, a first residence permit for a specialist can be granted for one year. The requirement is that the employment relationship is continuous or valid for at least two years. This change also applies to the family members of specialists.