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EU residence permit (P-EU)

If you are a third-country national and have lived within the European Union, you may be granted a long-term resident’s EU residence permit. Third-country nationals are citizens of countries other than the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

An EU residence permit is valid until further notice. In other words, its period of validity is not limited. 

You may get an EU permanent residence permit if you meet these conditions:

  • You have lived in Finland for an uninterrupted period of 5 years with either a continuous residence permit (an A permit) or a continuous and permanent residence permit (A and P permits) before you submit your application for an EU residence permit.
  • Your residence permit is valid when you apply for the EU residence permit.
  • You have sufficient financial resources for living in Finland.

You may be refused an EU residence permit if you have committed crimes.

Calculation of the required five-year period

The five-year period begins: 

  • on the first day of the first continuous residence permit; or  
  • on the day when you moved to Finland if you already had a continuous residence permit when you entered Finland.

Your continuous residence is not interrupted if you spend less than 6 consecutive months outside Finland and if the total time you have been away from Finland does not exceed 10 months during the five years. You may be granted an exemption from these time limits for special reasons, such as studies, work outside Finland, or a serious illness of a close relative.

If you have not yet lived in Finland for 5 years, you may apply for a new fixed-term residence permit (extended permit). When you have resided in Finland for four years with a continuous residence permit (an A permit), you can apply for a permanent residence permit.

You can only apply for an EU residence permit when you are in Finland

If you submit your application abroad, you will not be granted an EU residence permit. If you submit your application abroad, your application will be processed as an application for a first residence permit and the application will be subject to a processing fee for a first permit.

Apply for an EU residence permit before your previous permit expires

When you apply for an EU residence permit, you must have a valid continuous or permanent residence permit. Do not apply for the EU residence permit before you have spent the required five years in Finland without interruption.

You cannot get an EU residence permit if you apply for it after your previous residence permit has expired. In such a case, you may apply for a new extended permit instead.

You can stay legally in Finland during the processing of your application. If you get a negative decision and choose to appeal against it, it is legal for you to stay in Finland during the appeal process. If the Finnish Immigration Service does not grant you an EU residence permit, we will nonetheless consider whether we could grant you a permanent residence permit or a new extended permit.

Right to work

You may continue working while your application for a permanent residence permit is being processed if you applied for it before your previous permit expired and:

  • You have a residence permit for an employed person (TTOL) and you still work for the same employer or in the same field of work.
  • Your right to work is based on another residence permit, such as a residence permit on the basis of family ties or studies.

If you apply for an EU residence permit after your previous residence permit has expired, you are not allowed to continue working. Read more about the right to work while an application for an extended permit is being processed.

After you get an EU residence permit, you have an unrestricted right to work. However, your right to work is only valid in Finland. As a holder of an EU residence permit, you may only work in the EU Member State that has granted the permit to you.

You may stay in another Schengen country for 90 days with your EU residence permit 

If your stay will be longer than 90 days, you must apply for a national residence permit in that country. Your family member may also stay in a Schengen country ( if he or she follows you there and you have started your family in the country that granted you the EU residence permit.

New residence permit card from a service point

If you already have an EU residence permit but your residence permit card expires, is broken or gets lost, do not apply for a new EU residence permit. Instead, you need a new residence permit card. Read the instructions for applying for a new card before you book an appointment for visiting a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Application process when you are applying for an EU residence permit