Withdrawal of residence permits
If you are residing outside Finland permanently, you can ask the Finnish Immigration Service to cancel your residence permit.
In some cases, the Finnish Immigration Service may withdraw your residence permit without a separate request from you. Before making a withdrawal decision, we will contact you to ask for your opinion on the possible withdrawal of your permit. In some cases, you can file an application for preventing the Finnish Immigration Service from withdrawing your residence permit.
Please note that the instructions on this page only concern fixed-term residence permits, permanent residence permits and long-term resident’s EU residence permits for third-country nationals (P-EU).
The instructions on this page do not apply to EU registrations or to those who hold a residence card for an EU citizen's family member. For information about cancellation of EU registrations and residence cards for EU citizens’ family members, see the page Cancellation and expiration of right of residence.
You may ask us to cancel your residence permit by submitting a written notification
If you need us to cancel your residence permit, you can submit a free-form written notification in Finnish, Swedish or English. The notification must contain the following information:
- The reason why you no longer need your residence permit.
- Your first and last name.
- Your personal identity code or your date of birth.
- A postal address to which the Finnish Immigration Service can send the withdrawal decision.
- If you are moving abroad soon, state your new address and mention when you are moving.
- Date of signature.
- Your signature.
Send the notification to the Finnish Immigration Service. For contact details, see the page Contact information.
Your permit may also be withdrawn without you requesting withdrawal
Your residence permit may be withdrawn if you have given false information, if the grounds on which the permit was issued no longer exist or have changed, if you hold a residence permit for an employed person and become unemployed, if you hold an EU Blue Card and become unemployed, if an entry ban to the Schengen area has been imposed on you by another Schengen State, or if you have permanently moved out of Finland.
1. If you have deliberately given false information
We may cancel your residence permit if:
- you have knowingly given false information about your identity or about other matters relevant to the decision when you applied for a residence permit; or
- you have concealed information that might have prevented the issue of the residence permit.
2. If the grounds on which the permit was issued no longer exist or have changed
We may cancel your fixed-term residence permit if the grounds on which the permit was issued no longer exist. Your residence permit may be withdrawn if, for example:
- You hold a residence permit on the basis of family ties but your family ties have broken.
- You hold a residence permit that requires sufficient financial resources but you no longer meet the income requirement. Read more about the income requirement.
In general, we do not cancel residence permits that are valid for less than 6 months.
If your grounds for residing in Finland have changed, read more about applying for a residence permit on new grounds.
3. If you hold a residence permit for an employed person but become unemployed
We may initiate a process for withdrawing your residence permit after you have been unemployed for 3 months.
However, we will not cancel your permit if your residence permit expires in less than 6 months or if you have been put on furlough, that is, laid off temporarily. If it is brought to our attention that obtaining a residence permit may have involved a serious abuse of rights, the withdrawal process may be initiated without delay.
4. If you hold an EU Blue Card but become unemployed
Your EU Blue Card will be cancelled if you have been continuously unemployed for more than 3 months. We will ask you to return the card so that it can be annulled.
5. If a country other than Finland has imposed an entry ban into the Schengen area on you
We may withdraw your residence permit if another Schengen country requests Finland to do so. This may happen if you have been prohibited from entering the Schengen area and ordered to be removed from it because of crime or because your conduct endangers safety.
6. If you have moved away from Finland permanently
Your fixed-term or permanent residence permit will be withdrawn if you move out of the country permanently or if you have continuously resided outside Finland for over 2 years for permanent purposes.
If you hold a long-term resident’s EU residence permit (P-EU), it will be withdrawn if you have resided outside the territory of the European Union for 2 consecutive years or outside Finland for 6 consecutive years.
We will ask for your opinion before we withdraw your permit
Before a decision to withdraw your permit can be issued, we will ask you and the family member who lives in Finland to give your opinions on the possible withdrawal. You and your family member will be given an opportunity to submit a written statement on your opinions on the possible withdrawal.
However, we might not need to ask for your opinion in the following cases:
- Your consecutive residence period outside Finland clearly exceeds 2 years.
- We do not know where you live and you have not given us your current contact details.
- The information we have suggests that your ties to Finland seem to have broken or your ties to Finland are weak. The data available in, for instance, the Finnish Population Information System, Incomes Register, and the registers of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and of the Border Guard will be checked.
If we are considering the withdrawal of your permit, we will make an individual assessment of your situation. We might not necessarily need to cancel your permit.
If we decide to withdraw your residence permit and you are residing in Finland while the decision is made, you may be deported from Finland. If you are deported, an entry ban may be imposed on you. The entry ban may prohibit entry into Finland or into the entire Schengen area.
You have always the right to appeal against a decision issued by the Finnish Immigration Service to an administrative court. Read more about how to appeal a decision.
If you wish to prevent the cancellation of your residence permit
If you want to prevent the withdrawal of your permit when you are temporarily living outside Finland:
- Fill in the application OLE_PER (pdf) in Finnish, Swedish or English. Submit the application within a maximum of 2 years of moving outside Finland.
- Have the required attachments translated by an official, authorised translator into Finnish, Swedish or English if necessary. See the page Interpretation, translation and legalisation for more information about having your documents translated.
- Pay the processing fee in advance and send your application to the Finnish Immigration Service. For contact details, see the page Contact information.
Your family member must submit a separate application and pay a processing fee for it.
An application to prevent the withdrawal of your residence permit may be granted only if you have been residing outside Finland temporarily and for special or exceptional reasons.
Submitting an application for preventing the withdrawal of your residence permit is not always possible
Asking us to prevent the withdrawal of your residence permit due to residence outside Finland is not possible if you hold one of the following permits:
- residence permit for studies or residence permit for a researcher;
- residence permit for internship or residence permit for voluntary work;
- residence permit to look for work or to start a business;
- residence permit for seasonal work;
- residence permit for intra-corporate transferees (‘ICT permit’);
- right of residence under the withdrawal agreement conducted between the European Union and the United Kingdom (‘Brexit permit’).
Assessment of your application
As an example, below is a list of situations in which an application to prevent the withdrawal of a permit might be granted and not granted:
Your application to prevent the withdrawal of a permit may be granted in, for example, the following cases:
- You have a fixed-term employment contract outside Finland. You have filed the application for less than 2 years after your residence outside Finland began. Your application states the date when you will return to Finland.
- You have returned to your home country to finish your unfinished studies. Your employment relationship in Finland is valid until further notice. You have stated in your application the exact date when you will return to Finland. In addition, your Finnish employer has confirmed that you will return to work for them as soon as you are back in Finland.
If your application is granted, we will state a date by which you must return to Finland. If you do not return to Finland by the appointed day, we may initiate the process for considering the withdrawal of your permit.
Your application to prevent the withdrawal of a permit might not be granted in, for example, the following cases:
- You have been working in a country other than Finland for almost 2 years and have estimated in your application that you will be staying outside Finland for a year or 2, after which you will return to Finland to work for the employer with whom you have an employment contract.
- Your stay outside Finland is exceptionally long and your application does not state an exact date for your return to Finland. In such a case, the decision on your application is likely to be negative.
- You are working outside Finland because you did not find work in Finland. You have a permanent address outside Finland and your employment contract is valid until further notice. You have stated in your application that you will return to Finland in 2–3 years.
- You have not stated an exact return date in your application and your residence outside Finland is permanent. In that case, the decision on your application is likely to be negative.
Furthermore, an application to prevent the withdrawal of a permit cannot be granted if the application has been submitted too late, that is, over 2 years after your residence outside Finland has begun.