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Frequently asked questions: Application forms

Frequently asked questions

The form says that appendices should be translated into Finnish, Swedish or English by an authorised translator. How do I know that the translator I use is an authorised translator? Should the translator’s status be demonstrated in some way?

In Finland authorised translators use a special stamp. Investigate the practice adopted in your own country. The demand for an official or authorised translator arises from the need to be able to have faith in the translation. Investigating doubts concerning the quality of translation lengthens the time for processing.

The form requires a clarification of income to be appended. Does this kind of document need to be translated? How do I know which documents need to be translated and which don’t?

You must obtain an authorised translation of all documents to be appended to your application that are in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English.

What is a travel document? Is an air ticket a travel document?

An air ticket is not a travel document. The most common travel document is a national passport. A travel document may also be an official, diplomatic or alien’s passport or a refugee’s travel document.

I would like to move to Finland, but none of the forms seems to suit my circumstances. What should I do?

Before you can apply for a residence permit you must have grounds for making an application as outlined in the Finnish Aliens Act. The Aliens Act contains restrictions regarding the grounds on which a permit may be granted. The most common grounds for obtaining right of residence are study, work, self-employment or family ties with Finland. If you have an ‘other special reason’ for residing in Finland and are yourself taking care of the cost of residence here, complete form OLE_MUU. The granting of a permit is at the discretion of the authorities. ‘Other special reason’ may include, for example, an established intimate relationship with the intention of getting married. Travel, however, does not fall into this category.

Which certificates must be legalised?

If required as attachments to residence permit or citizenship applications, certificates of family ties must be legalised, unless they have been issued by authorities in one of the Nordic countries or in an EU Member State.

Such certificates include certificates of marriage and registered partnership. Death certificates and certificates of guardianship must also be legalised. Legalisation is a standard procedure applicable to foreign documents.Legalisation is a way of ensuring that the party issuing the certificate is entitled to do so under the laws of the issuing country and that the issued document contains the appropriate information and is valid in the country of issue.

Filling in the application

Do I need the programme Adobe Acrobat®Reader?

To fill in the application, you need Acrobat Reader. You can download the programme for free here. You can fill in the PDF-form online straight away or download the form to your computer and continue filling in the application later.

There are some parts of the form I don’t know how to fill in. Can I leave these blank?

Answer to the best of your knowledge.

If parts of the form are incomplete it will slow down the application process, as at some stage we will need to ask you to supply the missing information. If we do not receive the necessary information the application may be rejected and a permit cannot be granted.Advice can be obtained from customer service at the Finnish Immigration Service or a Finnish mission abroad.

The boxes on the form are too small for me to fit in the text I need to enter. What should I do?

If you run out of space on the form, take a blank piece of paper and enter the rest of your information there. Mark on the paper the question to which your information refers. Enter the name of the paper on the list of appendices and clarifications contained on the last page of the application and tick the box alongside.

I noticed that I entered one detail incorrectly on my application. Am I right in assuming it won’t make much difference?

You must communicate every incorrect or outdated detail of information as soon as possible to the place where you submitted your application. The smallest of details, where relevant, may affect the outcome of your application.

If you do not correct the information in your application, it may lead to being interpreted as providing false information. The provision of false personal information and false written documentation to the authorities is an act punishable under the Criminal Code in Finland, and may later have a bearing on whether residence in Finland is granted or not.

My address has changed. Whom should I inform?

The authority to whom you submitted your application should be notified of all changes to contact details.

The application form asks if I have been convicted of any crime. I have been given several parking tickets. Should I enter these on the form?

You application should include all punishable offences for which you have been found guilty. If you have several parking tickets, you do not need to list them all. You can enter a summary in your application which shows the total number of tickets and amount of fines.

Residence permit application forms

I have applied for a residence permit on the basis of employment but so far I have not obtained a decision. I have just got married to a Finn. Do I need to fill in another form?

You do not need to fill in a new application, unless you wish to change the grounds for your residence permit application.

You must, however, inform the Finnish Immigration Service of your marriage. This is especially important if you are changing your name.

Send a certified copy of your marriage certificate to the Finnish Immigration Service, either directly or via a Finnish embassy. Certificates issued by authorities of countries other than Finland must be legalised. If the certificate is not in Finnish, Swedish, or English, please also send a translation of the certificate in one of these languages, certified by an authorised translator

I am 17 years old and my father lives in Finland. Which form do I need to apply for a residence permit?

If your father is your official guardian, then he or your other guardian may apply for a residence permit for you using form OLE_PH4. Confirm with your signature that the information entered on the form is correct. Both of your guardians must also complete the form regarding clarification of family ties. A guardian resident in Finland should complete form PK4_plus. A guardian resident abroad should complete form PH4_plus.

I lived in Finland until a few years ago and am now moving back there. Do I need to fill in the same form again or can you refer to the information I gave before?

If you do not have a valid residence permit for Finland you must complete a form according to the basis for application and submit it to a Finnish mission abroad, together with the appendices mentioned on the form.

My first residence permit is expiring shortly. Where do I apply for an extension, and what form do I use?

The form you select depends on the basis on which you are applying for the extension. A guide to selecting the right form can be found here.

Why am I required to enter the details of my spouse on the form, when I am the one applying for a permit?

Details of your marriage and your spouse belong to the kind of information we require to process your residence permit application. The information is necessary in case your spouse wishes to apply for a residence permit at a later date. If you do not provide the information now, the information will conflict with the details on your spouse’s application and slow the application process. You must also notify any further changes, for example in your family relationships, such as the birth of a child. Such information may influence the processing of your application.

For how long must my passport be valid when I am applying for a residence permit?

The validity period of your first residence permit may not exceed the validity period of your passport. For example, if you are applying for a residence permit for one year, your passport must be valid for at least one year from the date the permit is granted.

Can I submit my application by post?

No, you cannot. The application must be submitted in person. Submit your application at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) abroad before coming to Finland. If you are already in Finland, submit your application at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.

How do I book an appointment at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service?

Book an appointment at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in advance in our appointment system. Fill in the application form in the e-service Enter Finland or fill in a paper form before visiting the service point.