Seasonal worker – submit your residence permit application for this summer by the end of February
The annual peak for work-based residence permit applications usually falls in May–June, when applications are submitted at short notice, particularly for seasonal work.
If you wish to obtain a decision before your employment begins in the summer, submit your residence permit application by the end of February, or at least two months before your work will begin.
Processing of applications takes several weeks. The process has two stages. First, an Employment and Economic Development Office will issue a partial decision concerning your application. Then, the Finnish Immigration Service will make its decision. The processing time in the Employment and Economic Offices varies.
The Finnish Immigration Service aims to issue a decision on residence permit applications for employed persons within four months. This time limit was set in an amendment to the Alien’s Act, which entered into force on 1 January 2014. The amendment did not have a major impact on the processing of these applications, as the majority of the applications have already been processed within four months or sooner.
Electronic application costs less than application on paper
It costs less to apply for a residence permit for an employed person electronically than on paper. The processing fee is 540 euros if you submit your application on paper, and 450 euros if the application is submitted electronically. Electronic services speed up the application process, since application forms and attachments do not need to be sent by post from one authority to another. With e-services, you can also follow the status of your electronic application online.
You can also submit your application in paper form. You can print the application form on the 'Application forms'web page. Fill in the form carefully and submit all the necessary attachments. This ensures that your application will be processed faster. More information can be found on the 'Residence permit for an employed person'web page.
A residence permit card will be ready in approximately two weeks
If you are issued with a residence permit, you will receive a residence permit card. It takes approximately two weeks to manufacture the card and deliver it to you.
For the time being, we must send residence permit cards for Russia, Kazakhstan, Beijing (China), Shanghai (China) and Israel by the courier service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Card deliveries to the missions in these countries will take longer, but generally no more than three weeks.
Residence permit is required of citizens from outside the EU and EEA
Citizens of EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland may work in Finland without a residence permit. If their stay in Finland exceeds three months, they must register their residence with the local police.
Citizens of all other countries need a residence permit to be able to work in Finland.
Only berry, fruit and vegetable pickers, whose employment relationship lasts for a maximum of three months, may work in Finland without a residence permit. If they come from a country whose citizens are required to have a visa, they must obtain a visa. More information on the visa requirement is available on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.