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Frequently asked questions about the effects of the coronavirus

 

Updates about the corona situation: migri.fi/coronavirus

 

Updated on 1 April 2020

Working in Finland 

I have employees who are staying in Finland with a work permit (first residence permit). If I need to temporarily lay off staff during the epidemic, will Migri consider that the work requirement has not been met?

The permit will stay valid for the duration of the lay-off.  

If someone with a first residence permit is temporarily laid off because of the coronavirus outbreak, how will this affect the work requirement and the possibility to obtain an extended permit?

If an employee who is in Finland with a first residence permit is temporarily laid off, the permit will stay valid. 

If the employee applies for an extended permit, one of the conditions for granting the extension is that the person has had secure means of support during the validity of the previous permit. If it seems like work cannot be offered in the future, for example due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the applicant has not found new employment, it is unlikely that the applicant is granted an extended permit. The Finnish Immigration Service or the TE Office will assess whether the person applying for an extended permit has sufficient means of support.

My employer is postponing the start date of my employment relationship because of the coronavirus outbreak. Can you make my residence permit come into effect when it is safe to come to Finland again?

We will not wait for the situation to be solved. All applications are decided when it is their turn to be processed. 

If the conditions for granting a residence permit are met, we will send the residence permit card to the Finnish mission, and you can come to Finland when travelling to Finland is allowed again. A first residence permit is usually valid for a year.

Follow the updates on the situation concerning the missions at the websites um.fi and finlandabroad.fi

I can’t come to Finland to work right now because of the coronavirus outbreak. Can you make my residence permit come into effect when it is safe to come to Finland again?

We will not wait for the situation to be solved. All applications are decided when it is their turn to be processed. If the conditions for granting a residence permit are met, we will send the residence permit card to the Finnish mission, and you can come to Finland when travelling to Finland is allowed again.

Follow the updates on the situation concerning the missions at the websites um.fi and finlandabroad.fi

My employment contract was terminated because of the coronavirus outbreak. Will the Finnish Immigration Service cancel my residence permit? 

At present, residence permits will not be cancelled only because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Will Finland permit the entry of seasonal workers?

Follow the websites of the Finnish Border Guard and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for updates on the situation.

Is entry into Finland permitted to those who have been granted a work-based residence permit?

Follow the websites of the Finnish Border Guard and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for updates on the situation.

 

Updated on 1 April 2020

Visits to service points and Finnish missions 

How does the lockdown of Uusimaa affect visits to the offices of the Finnish Immigration Service?

If you live in Uusimaa, you can book an appointment with our Helsinki office. If you live outside Uusimaa, you cannot currently visit our Helsinki office. You should always try to book an appointment with the office nearest to you.

I have an appointment booked with someone at the Lappeenranta office but I live in Helsinki. What should I do?

Since you cannot currently leave Uusimaa, you need to cancel your appointment. For information about other ways to keep your case moving forward, see migri.fi/you-are-in-finland

I am over 70 years old and I have an appointment booked to visit the Finnish Immigration Service. Can I keep my appointment?

You belong to a high-risk group and should therefore cancel your appointment. For information about other ways to keep your case moving forward, see migri.fi/you-are-in-finland

I arrived in Finland a few days ago and I have an appointment booked for tomorrow. Can I keep my appointment?

You need to self-isolate for 14 days after entering Finland and should therefore cancel your appointment. For information about other ways to keep your case moving forward, see migri.fi/you-are-in-finland

I have booked an appointment at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. Is it safe to go there?

Follow the instructions given by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). If you feel unwell, cancel your appointment in the appointment system

At the moment, only customers who have booked an appointment are allowed to enter our service points. Queue numbers are not handed out any more.  

I have submitted my application in the online service Enter Finland. Do I have to visit a service point to prove my identity? Isn't there another way to do that?

We are looking into other possibilities but at the moment, a visit to a service point to prove your identity is required. For information about other ways to keep your case moving forward, see migri.fi/you-are-in-finland.

If you have applied for an extended permit in the online service Enter Finland and used strong electronic identification, you might not need to visit a service point to prove your identity and to have your fingerprints taken. The online service will tell you whether you have to visit a service point later or whether the electronic identification is enough.

I have booked an appointment at a Finnish mission abroad but the mission is closed. What should I do?

For now, Finnish missions are closed until further notice. Follow the updates on the situation concerning the missions at the websites um.fi and finlandabroad.fiWhen the Ministry for Foreign Affairs announces that the special arrangements are over, book an appointment right away. For more information, see the page migri.fi/you-are-not-in-finland.

I'm supposed to go to a Finnish mission for an interview, but the mission is closed. Do I still need to go to an interview?

Follow the updates on the situation concerning the missions at the websites um.fi and finlandabroad.fi

I’m an asylum seeker and I need a certificate of my right to work in Finland. I heard that I can’t submit a request for a certificate at a service point any longer. How do I get my certificate?

You are right, certificates of an asylum seeker’s right to work cannot be submitted at service points any longer.

However, it is still possible for you or for your employer to send a certificate request to the Finnish Immigration Service in written form. To do that, fill in the form which is available on our website. For instructions on how to request a certificate and how to pay for it, see the page migri.fi/certificate-requests

I have submitted my application online in Enter Finland. According to the online service, I need to visit a service point to prove my identity within three months of submitting the application. I can’t do that within three months. What should I do?

Due to the exceptional circumstances, the time limit for proving your identity has been temporarily extended. We will publish an announcement when this temporary practice ends. Follow the websites of the Finnish Immigration Service and of the Finnish missions.

Do I still need to visit the Finnish Immigration Service in person?

Yes, a personal visit is still necessary. We will inform of any changes to this policy without delay. If you feel unwell, cancel your appointment in the appointment system and book a new appointment.

I have booked an appointment at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. Are the service points still open?

Yes, they are still open. We will inform of any changes without delay. At the moment, visiting a service point is possible only if you have booked an appointment. Queue numbers are not handed out any more.  

If the Finnish Immigration Service cancels your appointment, we will send a text message to the number you have given us or an email to the email address you have given us.

I have booked an appointment at a service point in the online appointment system but I didn't come for the appointment because of the coronavirus. Do I need to pay the cancellation fee?

If you did not cancel your appointment, we may charge you a fee of 50 euros.

We will not charge a fee if you did cancel your appointment in the appointment system or by email (in case you lost your appointment number or PIN code).

My employer has told me to work from home. Can I still travel within Finland? Can I be sure that the service point of the Finnish Immigration Service will still receive me?

Yes. All booked appointments are still valid. If the Finnish Immigration Service cancels your appointment, we will send a text message to the number you have given us or an email to the email address you have given us.

At the moment, visiting a service point is possible only if you have booked an appointment. Queue numbers are not handed out any more.  
Follow the restrictions on movement imposed by the Finnish Government.

I’m in Finland and I can’t use Enter Finland. Can I send my residence permit application by email or by post? When does my application become pending?

Yes you can, but please use Enter Finland whenever possible. For more detailed instructions, see the page migri.fi/you-are-in-finland.

I cannot come for my booked appointment because I belong to a high-risk group for coronavirus. I cancelled my appointment. Do I need to book a new appointment? Do I need to send a message about my cancellation via Enter Finland?

Yes, you need to book a new appointment using our appointment system. You do not need to notify us via the online service Enter Finland if you cancel your booking or book a new appointment.

I cannot find any available appointments in the appointment system. I’ve been trying to book an appointment since the beginning of March. Will the Finnish Immigration Service book an appointment for me? 

Unfortunately no. You need to book the appointment yourself as soon as new appointments become available. 

I visited a Finnish mission to prove my identity, but the mission is now closed. Will my residence permit application be processed?

Yes. The missions will send all applications they have received to the Finnish Immigration Service.

 

 

Updated on 25 March 2020

Closure of borders 

Can the Finnish Immigration Service refuse to issue a residence permit on the basis of a danger posed to public health due to coronavirus?

At this moment, it is not possible to refuse a residence permit for reasons relating to endangering public health due to coronavirus. 

What does it mean that the Finnish borders are to be closed? When will they close?

The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for controlling the borders. For more information, visit the website of the Finnish Border Guard at raja.fi and see the frequently asked questions

Who are allowed to come to Finland?

The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for controlling the borders. For more information, visit the website of the Finnish Border Guard at raja.fi and see the frequently asked questions

I have a residence permit in Finland. Can I cross the border if I can arrange a flight to Finland?

The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for controlling the borders. For more information, visit the website of the Finnish Border Guard at raja.fi and see the frequently asked questions

 

Updated on 1 April 2020

Residence permit 

I cannot come to Finland because of the corona outbreak and I want to cancel my residence permit application. Will the fee that I have paid be refunded to me? 

As a rule, paid fees are not refunded. For more information, see the ‘Cancelling an application’ page. 

Can I apply for a temporary residence permit because of the coronavirus?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get a temporary residence permit because of the coronavirus. 

Temporary residence permits on ‘other grounds’ are granted in exceptional cases. Other special reasons are required for issuing such permits which are granted very seldom. They cannot be used to get round other actual residence permit grounds.

As this permit is granted only in exceptional cases, a global coronavirus outbreak is not considered an ‘other special reason’ for issuing a temporary residence permit.

Can I apply for a residence permit for my family on the basis of the coronavirus situation?

No, you cannot. If you want to apply for a residence permit for your family, follow the instructions given on this page: migri.fi/en/moving-to-finland-to-be-with-a-family-member.

I am in Finland and I have been granted a residence permit but I have not received my residence permit card. Will I not get it due to the coronavirus outbreak?

We will continue sending residence permit cards in Finland as usual. However, delays are expected due to the current situation with the coronavirus. Please wait patiently for your card to arrive.

I have applied for a residence permit for four months only. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, I probably cannot travel to Finland during the entire time for which I have applied for a residence permit. Am I still granted a permit?

The permit will be processed in a normal way. You will be issued with the permit if you meet the requirements for the permit.

I’m abroad, and I can’t come back to Finland before my residence permit expires. Can I apply for an extended permit abroad? What should I do?

Unfortunately, you can only apply for an extended permit in Finland. If you submit a residence permit application at a Finnish mission abroad, the application is always processed as a first residence permit application.

The Finnish missions are now temporarily closed. Follow the updates on the situation concerning the missions at the websites um.fi and finlandabroad.fi. Book an appointment immediately after the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has announced that the special arrangements are no longer in force. 

The coronavirus situation in my home country is so bad that I don’t want to return to my home country. Can I ask for my residence permit to be extended because of that?

Extending a residence permit requires, in every case, that a new residence permit application has been submitted.

Temporary residence permits on ‘other grounds’ are granted in exceptional cases. Other special reasons are required for issuing such permits which are granted very seldom. They cannot be used to get round other actual residence permit grounds.

As this permit is granted only in exceptional cases, a global coronavirus outbreak is not considered an ‘other special reason’ for issuing a temporary residence permit.

I have a certificate for seasonal work in Finland that is expiring soon. Can I stay in Finland?

You cannot stay in Finland without a permit. You can apply for a residence permit for seasonal work or a residence permit for an employed person, depending on the duration of your employment, 

  • if your new seasonal work continues right after the expiry of your certificate for seasonal work; or 
  • you have a new job in Finland.

Apply for a residence permit before your certificate for seasonal work expires. Check that you have the right to work during the processing of the application. 

If you no longer have a job in Finland, you must leave the country when possible.

I have applied for a first residence permit abroad. I’m now visiting Finland. If the decision is made while I’m in Finland, can the decision be served here?

Yes, it is possible. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we can make an exception in your case so that you can get the decision in Finland even if you had submitted your application to a Finnish mission abroad. For more detailed instructions, see the page migri.fi/you-are-in-finland

I need to renew my residence permit card but I’m ill and cannot visit the service point before my card expires. How can I get a new residence permit card?

Notify the Finnish Immigration Service of your situation. For more detailed instructions, see the page migri.fi/you-are-in-finland.

 

 

Updated on 1 April 2020

Processing times 

Will the coronavirus outbreak influence the processing times of the Finnish Immigration Service? 

It is very likely.

I have applied for asylum in Finland. Will my decision be delayed because of the coronavirus situation? 

It is possible that there will be delays. We aim to issue decisions normally, but as the situation will delay interviews, hearings and service of decisions, you may have to wait for your decision longer than usual.

Does the coronavirus outbreak affect the processing times for residence permit applications?

Unfortunately, processing times are likely to be longer.

The Finnish Immigration Service is issuing decisions at near-normal rates. However, there are likely to be delays in the postal service.

All Finnish missions are closed and all interviews abroad suspended for the time being. We cannot currently process or make decisions on applications that require a visit to a Finnish mission.

Residence permit applications from key workers are given priority, and the processing of other work-based residence permit applications has been suspended until 13 April. Keep checking the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for updates on the situation.

 

 

Updated on 7 April 2020

Visa 

I am currently visiting my spouse in Finland and cannot return to my home country. My visa is about to run out. Can I apply for a residence permit on the basis of family ties?

If you satisfy the eligibility criteria for a residence permit and wish to apply, you can naturally do so. Your best bet is to apply online at enterfinland.fi.

If you would rather extend your visa, you can contact your local police department

I’m in Finland on a visa. I can’t leave Finland before my visa expires because the flights are cancelled. What should I do?

Contact the local police department in your area. Visa extension matters are always assessed case by case.  

I have a visa that permits me to spend 90 days each year in Finland. I am now approaching my 90-day limit. What should I do?

Contact the local police department in your area. Visa extension matters are always assessed case by case.  

 

 

Updated on 30 March 2020

Leaving Finland 

I have received a negative residence permit decision and I’m being refused entry to Finland. Today is the last day for me to leave Finland but my flight has been cancelled because of the coronavirus. Can I stay in Finland legally?

The police are responsible for removals from the country and for monitoring of foreign nationals. Contact the local police in your area.


 

Updated on 20 March 2020

Asylum seekers 

How is the risk of corona infections taken into account with regard to asylum seekers?

The same instructions apply for asylum seekers as for Finns returning from abroad. Everyone coming from abroad must stay in quarantine for 14 days. The reception centres will advise the asylum seekers.

My asylum interview is cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak. What should I do?

You do not need to take any action. The Finnish Immigration Service will book you a new appointment as soon as it is possible again. You will receive a new invitation then.

I have not received any information about cancellation of my asylum interview. How do I know if my interview is cancelled?

The Finnish Immigration Service notifies the reception centre separately of each cancellation. Your reception centre will notify you if your asylum interview, service of asylum decision or other meeting at the Finnish Immigration Service is cancelled.

I have applied for assisted voluntary return. What happens now, as I cannot return?

Those who are accommodated in reception centres may apply for assisted voluntary return at their reception centres as usual. The return will be arranged once there are again flights.

Where can I get information about voluntary return?

If you want to know more about voluntary return, call the number +358 295 433 348 from Monday to Friday at 9.00–11.00. 

You can also send your questions to us using WhatsApp (+358 50 413 8625) or by email ([email protected]). We will answer your questions in Finnish or in English. 

You can also book a personal appointment with us and with an interpreter.

Can I come to Finland and apply for asylum?

Yes, you can. Persons applying for asylum are allowed to come to Finland. Tell the border control authorities immediately that you wish to seek asylum. To apply for asylum in Finland, you must talk to a police or a border control official in person.



Updated on 24 March 2020

Telephone service 


Why doesn’t your customer service answer my calls?

At the moment, our telephone service is very busy answering questions about the coronavirus situation. 
If you have questions about submitting an application or about matters requiring a visit to one of our service points with a queue number, call 0295 419 627. The line is open from Monday to Friday at 9.00–16.00.