Changes in your situation
I am applying for a residence permit to Finland on the basis of cohabitation. How do I need to prove cohabitation?
You can be granted a residence permit on the basis of cohabitation if
- you have lived with your partner for at least two years or
- you and your partner have joint custody of a child, or
- there are strong grounds for making an exception to the two-year residence requirement.
Neither partner can be married to another person. If one or both partners have been previously married, a legalised divorce certificate must be attached to the application.
If you have lived together for at least two years, you need to prove that you are living together by presenting
- a rental agreement
- an extract from a register of occupants
- a property manager's certificate, or
- other documentary evidence.
If you have a child together, you need to present
- the child’s legalised birth certificate, which contains the parents’ names
- a legalised decision on joint custody of the child.
- If the child was born in Finland, it will suffice that details of the child’s parents and guardians have been entered in the Finnish Population Information System.
See the section My spouse is in Finland for more information.
I have a residence permit for employment/studies in Finland. I found a partner in Finland. Do I need to change or can I change my permit to a residence permit granted on the basis of family ties?
You can apply for a residence permit on the basis of family ties if you meet the requirements for the permit. However, it is up to you to decide whether you wish to apply for a new permit and what type of permit you will apply for. Read more about residence permits granted on the basis of family ties.
The previous residence permit will usually be cancelled if it is still valid when a new permit is granted on a new basis.
How will a divorce affect my residence permit?
If you have a permanent residence permit (marked with P), changes in family ties will not affect your residence permit.
If you have a temporary residence permit (marked with A or B) granted on the basis of family ties based on your marriage to your spouse, the permit may be cancelled due to your divorce.
However, the length of your stay in Finland and the family’s cultural and social ties to home country are always taken into account when a cancellation is considered. Your residence permit will not necessarily be cancelled if, for example,
- you have custody of children who live in Finland, or
- you have gotten into a particularly difficult situation during the validity of the residence permit because you or your child have been subject to violence or abuse.
When the Finnish Immigration Service is considering cancelling your residence permit, you will always have an opportunity to be heard, in other words, you can tell your opinion on the cancellation of the permit.
If you have other grounds for continuing your stay in Finland (such as work), you can apply for a residence permit on these grounds.
When do I need to apply for a residence permit on new grounds: after a divorce has been filed for or only when a divorce has been granted?
We advise you to immediately apply for a residence permit once you have grounds for applying for a new permit.
I have a residence permit in Finland on the basis of family ties to my spouse. My spouse has just died. What should I do?
If you have a permanent residence permit (marked with P) on the basis of family ties, your residence permit will not be cancelled.
If you have a temporary residence permit (marked with A or B) on the basis of family ties, we will use our discretion to decide whether to cancel your residence permit. If your residence permit based on family ties is cancelled but you have other grounds for continuing your stay in Finland (such as work), you can apply for a residence permit on these grounds.
I have a residence permit in Finland. Which application should I file for my child who was born in Finland? Which documents should I attach to the application? Do both parents need to sign the application?
You should apply for a residence permit on the basis of family ties for a child whose guardian lives in Finland.
You must submit the application within three months of your child’s birth. The residence permit grants the child the right to reside in Finland.
You must apply for a residence permit even if you have applied for Finnish citizenship for the child and no decision on citizenship has yet been made.
Your child must be present at the Finnish Immigration Service’s service point when the application is submitted unless the child is newborn or sick.
Both parents must sign the child’s residence permit application or attach a written consent form to the application. If you file a residence permit application in Enter Finland, the application does not need to be signed. Attach the consent form (pdf) in the application.
The form must be signed by both parents.
Your child must have a valid passport. You can submit the application without a passport. However, a residence permit will not be granted before the child has a passport or the child is entered in a parent’s passport.
The child needs a passport photo that complies with the requirements issued by the police (pdf, poliisi.fi). Take the passport photo or the photograph retrieval code with you to the service point or add the code to your application in Enter Finland.
How do I get a residence permit for my child who is living abroad?
A residence permit application must be submitted for your child at a Finnish mission abroad. Please read carefully the instructions on how to apply for a residence permit for a child on the page My guardian is in Finland.
Please check the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website (finlandabroad.fi) to see which mission can receive your application.
Can a child apply for a residence permit to Finland with only one parent?
If a child is applying for a residence permit with one parent, the other parent must give his/her consent for the child's move abroad and for the residence permit. The consent must be permanent.
The consent does not need to be legalised, but it should usually be confirmed by a notary and translated into English, Finnish, or Swedish. The consent must include a copy of the identity card or passport of the person who has given the consent. The passport or identity card signature must be visible on the copy.
The other parent’s consent is not an essential condition for granting the permit. However, it is needed to assess the child’s best interests, especially if the child and the sponsor have lived apart for a long time.
A separate consent is not needed if the guardian has been heard in person at a mission and has given his/her oral consent and signed the transcript of the interview.