Frequently asked questions: EU citizens
As an EU citizen, how do I enter Finland permanently and what kind of a permit will I need?
As a Union citizen, you are free to enter Finland without a visa and reside in Finland for a maximum period of three months without registering your right of residence. In order to enter the country and reside there you must have a valid identity card or passport.
As a Union citizen you must register your right of residence at the latest when three months have elapsed from your entry into the country. Decisions on registering Union citizens are made by the Finnish Immigration Service. You can find further instructions on the registration of your right of residence here.
Registration takes place at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service and a written certificate of the registration will be issued to you (certificate of registration of the right of residence of a Union citizen). If you are a citizen of the Nordic countries, however, your registration will be handled by the local register office.
In exceptional circumstances, Union citizens may be issued with a residence permit if they are unable to register on account of a lack of funds and if they were entitled to a residence permit without meeting the income requirement or if an exception could be made in a particular case concerning the income requirement. Leave your residence permit application to the Finnish Immigration Service.
I am an EU citizen and have come to Finland to marry a Finn. I have resided in Finland for three months and would like to register. We have been co-habiting for more than three months now. How can we co-habit for the required two years if I cannot reside legally in Finland? I have no job.
You may register on the basis of Union citizenship if you have sufficient means of livelihood, in other words, if you do not need to resort to income support and you have the necessary health insurance cover. Registration is also possible on the basis of financial activity (finding a job).
Registration of Union citizens is decided by Finnish Immigration Service. You can find further instructions on the registration of your right of residence here.
Do I have a right to gainful employment if I have a residence card of an EU citizen’s family member?
If you have a residence card of an EU citizen’s family member, which has been issued by Finland, you may work freely in Finland. A separate work permit will not be required. However, you can not work in Finland with a residence card of an EU citizen's family member which has been issued by another EU member state.
My spouse is a Finnish citizen. I am not an EU citizen or a comparable person. We lived together in France. Can I get a residence card when we move to Finland?
You can get a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen. Your Finnish spouse has lived in another EU country and is returning to Finland. Your family was formed before he or she returned to Finland and you have lived with your spouse in another EU country.
My spouse is a Finnish citizen. I am not an EU citizen or a comparable person. I got to know my spouse when he or she lived in Germany. We did not begin our relationship at this point. We got married after my spouse had moved back to Finland. Can I get a residence card when I move to join him or her in Finland?
You cannot get a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen, because your family was only formed after your spouse returned to Finland after he or she had resided in another EU country. The relationship that led to your spouse becoming your family member did not begin when you were living in Germany. Instead of a residence card, you can apply for a residence permit as a spouse of a Finnish citizen.
I am an EU citizen. If I already have been granted a personal identity code by the Local Register Office do I also have to apply for registration of the right of residence at the Finnish Immigration Service?
Yes you do. If you stay in Finland for over three months without a break, you have to register your right of residence. It is not only enough to be granted a personal identity code but you also have to apply for a registration certificate of your right of residence in the EU at the Finnish Immigration Service.
If you do not yet have a personal identity code the Finnish Immigration Service can grant you one in connection with the registration of your right of residence. When you apply for a registration certificate of your right of residence at the Finnish Immigration Service, you can also apply for a personal identity code with the same application form.
What documents are needed to register an EU citizen’s right of residence?
The documents needed for the registration are listed at the end of the application form.
Are secure means of support sufficient grounds for the registration of an EU citizen’s right of residence?
Yes. You can register your right of residence as an EU citizen if you have sufficient funds to stay in Finland. Sufficient funds mean that you get by on your own funds and that you have no need to apply for social assistance in Finland.
Will I be in trouble if I am not able to register within three months of arriving in Finland?
You have to register your right of residence if you are staying in Finland without a break for over three months. Submit a registration application before your stay has lasted over three months.
If you stay in Finland without a break for over three months and do not apply for registration you are committing a violation of the Aliens Act for which you can get a fine. It is enough that you submit an application within three months of your arrival in Finland. It does not matter whether the decision is made within three months.
How do you register an EU citizen’s child who was born in Finland?
You apply for a registration certificate for the child on the basis of family ties. To do this you have to fill in a separate EU_REK form for the child. At least one of the guardians has to be present when submitting the paper application or when proving the child’s identity after submitting the application in the e-service.
If both of the guardians are not personally present, you have to get a written consent to the application from the other guardian.
The child has to have an own valid passport or identity card.
Does the employer have to take care of the registration of an EU citizen?
An employer cannot take care of the registration on the behalf of an EU citizen. The EU citizen himself or herself has to apply for the registration.
Can I change the grounds for the registration of an EU citizen’s right of residence afterwards?
You cannot change the registration ground for another ground afterwards. Once a registration has been made it will be valid until further notice if it is not cancelled with a separate decision. When you have stayed in Finland without a break for five years you can apply for a certificate proving you have a permanent right of residence.
How can an EU citizen extend the validity of the registration?
The registration is always valid until further notice. So you do not have to extend the validity of the registration.
After staying in Finland without a break for five years you can apply for a certificate proving you have a permanent right of residence.
How do you cancel a registration when an EU citizen leaves Finland after his or her employment ends?
If an EU citizen permanently moves away from Finland, he or she has to inform the Finnish Immigration Service of that. At the same time he or she has to submit to the Finnish Immigration Service a signed written request to cancel his or her registration.
After the notification, the Finnish Immigration Service will make a separate decision on cancelling the registration.
A person leaving Finland should also inform the Local Register Office that he or she is moving as the Local Register Office will update the information in the Population Information System.
How should an employee of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) register his or her residence?
The employees of ECHA are exempt of the formalities related to the registration. An employee of the Agency, his or her spouse or a family member dependent on him or her who is an EU citizen does not have to register his or her right of residence.
The employees of ECHA and their abovementioned family members who are EU citizens can register their right of residence in the normal way, if desired, but they are not obliged to do so.
If the family member of the Agency’s employee is not an EU citizen or a comparable person the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland can grant him or her a temporary residence permit by virtue of Section 69 of the Aliens Act.
I am an EU citizen and studying in Finland for six months. If I visit Estonia twice during the six months, do I need to register my right of residence in Finland?
You do not need to do so if you do not stay in Finland without a break for over three months. If, for example, you arrive in Finland in January and travel outside Finland in March and May, you do not need to register your residence. Keep the receipt or tickets of your journey, in case you need to prove later that you travelled abroad.