Frequently asked questions: Family
- Residence permit for a spouse
- Residence permit for other relative
- Residence permit for a child
- Family member of a recipient of international protection
I have a residence permit granted by the state of Finland. My spouse also wishes to move to Finland. She is not an EU citizen or equivalent. How should we proceed?
Your spouse may apply for a Finnish residence permit on the basis of family ties.
May I complete a residence permit application in Finland on behalf of my spouse?
You may not apply for a residence permit on your spouse’s behalf. Only the applicant may initiate a residence permit application.
Do the same instructions and practices apply to people in a registered relationship as to married couples?
Yes. Two people of the same sex who have registered their relationship are also considered as spouses.
May my cohabiting partner, who is not an EU citizen or equivalent, be granted a Finnish residence permit on the basis of family ties?
A cohabiting partner may apply for a residence permit on the basis of family ties on certain conditions. If you are not sure what application form you should use, use the Application Finder to find out.
I am in an established intimate relationship with a foreigner who is not an EU citizen or equivalent. We plan to marry. May my partner be granted a Finnish residence permit for the purpose of marrying?
In accordance with the Finnish Aliens Act, a partner is not considered a family member and therefore a residence permit is generally not granted on this basis.
However, in special cases a partner may be granted a residence permit. This requires a special reason. In some cases a residence permit may be granted on the basis of, for example, cohabitation, if the foreigner is coming to Finland to marry.
I am in an established intimate relationship with a foreigner who is not an EU citizen or equivalent. May my partner enter Finland with a visa and apply for a residence permit after we marry?
Your partner may enter Finland with a visa, if the conditions for granting one are met, or without a visa, if your partner is exempt from the visa requirement. A Finnish embassy abroad decides whether a visa is granted.
When you have married, your spouse may apply for a residence permit on the basis of marriage or a registered relationship.
May my parents be granted a Finnish residence permit?
Relatives other than members of the nuclear family may in some cases be granted a residence permit on the basis of family ties. The permit may be granted only to other relatives of a Finnish citizen or a person who has received international protection.
If the close family life of the applicant and of the relative living in Finland has previously been discontinued for normal family reasons – for example, when an adult child has begun family life with his or her spouse – the residence permit may not be granted on the grounds of resuming close family life.
Residence permits are primarily intended to be granted on the above grounds if an elderly parent moves to Finland at the same time as his or her adult child. If the application for a residence permit is submitted after the adult child has moved to Finland, the discontinuation of family life must have taken place for compelling reasons, such as for living in exile as a refugee. Even in such cases the efforts to resume the close family life must begin immediately after the adult child has arrived in Finland and established contact with the relative.
A permit may also be granted if the close relative is fully dependent on the person residing in Finland. Dependence on a person (sponsor) residing in Finland refers to both physical and mental dependence; financial dependence alone does not constitute full dependence.
Those falling within this group generally include the elderly parents of adults residing in Finland as well as adult children and unmarried siblings. Residence permits are not generally granted on the basis of poor health and need for treatment if the applicant has the opportunity to receive treatment for his or her condition in the home country.
If the applicant’s poor health is stated as a reason for the application, relevant medical certificates must be appended to the application.
Does a child, even a baby, have to have a passport of his/her own before a residence permit can be applied for?
No. You can submit the application, but the residence permit will not be granted until the child does have a passport or has been entered in his/her parent’s passport.
How soon after the birth of a child in Finland does the residence permit application have to be submitted?
The application must be submitted within three months of the child’s birth.
Does the child, even a baby, have to be present in person when the application is submitted?
Usually, the child must be present when the application is submitted at a mission or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. However, the child does not have to be personally present, if
- the application concerns a new-born baby or
- there is a weighty medical reason why the child cannot be present.
Can anyone else besides the child’s guardian fill in and submit the residence permit application if given power of attorney?
An application on behalf of an underage child must be filled in and submitted by the child’s guardian. More information on who is considered a child’s guardian.
The application may be filled in and submitted also by someone else to whom the guardian has given a power of attorney. The child must be present when the application is submitted.
I have a residence permit for Finland on the basis of family ties. May I work and study in Finland?
If you have a residence permit granted on the basis of family ties, you have the right to gainful employment and study without restrictions in Finland.
When will the sponsor have been granted a residence permit on the basis of international protection?
A sponsor residing in Finland will have been issued with a residence permit on the basis of international protection when he or she has been
- granted asylum in Finland either on the basis of an asylum application or as a quota refugee
- granted a residence permit on the basis of subsidiary protection, or
- granted a residence permit prior to 1 June 2009 on the basis of the need for protection.