EU residence permit

If you are third-country national (a citizen of a country that is not a member of the European Union) and you live within the European Union, you may be granted a long-term resident’s EU residence permit.

An EU residence permit is valid until further notice. In other words, its period of validity is not limited. If you have an EU residence permit granted by a Schengen country, you may stay in another Schengen country for a maximum of 90 days. 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 an EU residence permit.

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

  • You have lived in Finland with a continuous residence permit (the A permit) for an uninterrupted period of five years before you apply for an EU residence permit.
  • The grounds on which you were granted a continuous residence permit still exist.
  • You have secure means of support.

Calculation of the required five-year period

The five-year period is calculated from the first day of your first year of continuous residence. If you already had a continuous residence permit when you arrived in Finland, the five years are counted from the date you came to Finland.

Your continuous residence is not interrupted if you spend less than six consecutive months outside Finland and if the total time you have been away from Finland does not exceed 10 months. 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 spent five years in Finland without interruption, you may apply for a new fixed-term residence permit (extended permit). Alternatively, you may apply for a permanent residence permit if you have lived in Finland for four years.

In order to get an EU residence permit, you need to be able to get a continuous residence permit

The Finnish Immigration Service can only grant you an EU residence permit if you have the grounds and meet the requirements for a continuous residence permit (the A permit). In most cases, your grounds for a permanent residence permit are the same on which you received your previous, continuous residence permit.

You may also apply for an EU residence permit on new grounds. Remember that you need to meet the requirements for the residence permit for which you apply. You may for example get an EU residence permit on the grounds of family or work.

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

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

If you submit your application abroad, your application will be processed as an application for a first residence permit. The application will be subject to a processing fee for a first permit.

Your continuous residence permit must still be valid when you apply for an EU residence permit

Apply for an EU residence permit before your previous residence permit expires. Please reserve some time for the processing of your application and your visit to a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. Do not apply for an EU residence permit before you have spent the required five years in Finland without interruption.

If you apply for an EU residence permit after your previous residence permit has expired, you cannot get an EU residence permit. In such a case, you may however apply for a new extended permit.

You may legally reside in Finland during the processing of your application and the possible 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

Your right work while your application is being processed depends on the grounds on which your previous residence permit was granted to you. 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 your application for an extended residence permit is being processed.

After you get an EU residence permit, you have an unrestricted right to work. Please notice that your right to work is limited to 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.

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 visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Application process when you are applying for an EU residence permit

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