Did you come to Finland as an asylum seeker in 2015 and receive international protection? You may be entitled to a permanent residence permit
In autumn 2019, many of those who came to Finland as asylum seekers in 2015 can apply for a permanent residence permit. A person can apply for a permanent residence permit after having lived in Finland for an uninterrupted period of four years with a continuous residence permit.
A permanent residence permit is valid until further notice. In other words, its period of validity is not limited.
Who can get a permanent residence permit?
You can get a permanent residence permit if:
- you have lived in Finland for an uninterrupted period of four years with a continuous residence permit (the A permit); and
- the grounds on which you were granted a continuous residence permit still exist.
For a person who has received international protection, the period of continuous residence is counted from the date of entry into the country.
If you have been granted a residence permit on the basis of international protection (asylum or subsidiary protection), the conditions for granting a continuous residence permit usually still exist.
If you have committed a crime or are suspected of a crime, the permanent residence permit may be refused.
When should I apply for a permanent residence permit?
You should apply for a permanent residence permit before your previous residence permit expires. However, you should not apply for the permit earlier than approximately three months before your fixed-term residence permit expires. If you apply before this, the Finnish Immigration Service may not be able to examine whether the requirements for issuing you with the permit are met.
How do I apply for a permanent residence permit?
- Fill in the application in our online service Enter Finland. If you are unable to use the online service, submit a paper application.
- Book an appointment at one of the service points of the Finnish Immigration Service using our appointment booking system.
- Pay the processing fee in advance in the online service, or when you visit the service point at the latest.
- During the same visit you can also apply for an alien’s passport or a refugee travel document. There are no separate application forms for these. In this case, you should bring with you a photo no more than six months old and be prepared to pay for the processing fee.
Read more about the permanent residence permit and the requirements for granting the permit: migri.fi/en/permanent-residence-permit.
Who can acquire Finnish citizenship?
One of the requirements for acquiring Finnish citizenship is that your identity has been reliably established. This means that you have, for instance, a passport or some other legal identity document.
You must also be able to prove that you have sufficient language skills in either Finnish or Swedish and that you have lived in Finland for the past five years without interruption. If you came to Finland as a refugee or have been granted a residence permit on the basis of international protection, you can apply for citizenship after having lived in Finland for four years without interruption.
There are also other requirements for acquiring Finnish citizenship. You can read more about them here. Remember to make sure that you have a valid residence permit when you apply for citizenship. The residence permit must be valid during the entire time when your citizenship application is being processed.
Read this customer bulletin in other languages: migri.fi/en/brochures-and-publications