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First residence permit

When you apply for your first residence permit in Finland, the right application form for you depends on your reason for coming to Finland:

You will find the application form at the bottom of the application page of each residence permit. If you are not sure which application form you should use, use the Application Finder to find out.

You need to apply for your residence permit personally. You cannot for example apply for a residence permit for your spouse or employee.

If you already have a residence permit and wish to continue your stay in Finland after it expires, apply for an extended permit.

If you are a citizen of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit for Finland but you must register your right of residence in Finland. Read more on the page Registration of right of residence

This is what you should do


Make sure you meet the requirements for the residence permit you are applying for.


Make sure you have all the attachments needed. If necessary, have them translated and legalised. The processing time may be longer if you have not filled in your application sufficiently.


Fill in your application in the online service Enter Finland or use a paper application form.


Pay for your application in the online service Enter Finland, at a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate) or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.


If you are abroad, visit a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate). If you are already in Finland, book an appointment at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.


Wait for a decision. The Finnish Immigration Service will contact you if necessary.


Read what happens after you have applied. Check the estimated processing time of your application. You can follow the processing of your application with the help of our chatbot Kamu. In addition, you will usually receive automated messages at the different processing stages of your application.


You should wait for the residence permit in the same country or locality where you submitted your application and proved your identity.

General requirements for entry into Finland

Make sure you meet the general requirements for entry into Finland before you submit an application.

Overview of residence permits

1. The applicant applies for a first residence permit and selects suitable grounds for the application.

2. After this, the applicant visits a Finnish embassy or consulate abroad or a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in Finland to prove his or her identity.

The applicant must wait for the decision in the same country where he or she submitted the application.

3. The Finnish Immigration Service processes the application and makes a decision.

4. If the application was submitted in the Enter Finland e-service, the applicant gets an email or a text message when the decision is ready.

Applicants who submit a paper application will get the decision by post or via the Finnish embassy or consulate.

5a. Negative decision:

The applicant may appeal the decision.

5b. Positive decision:

A residence permit card will be issued to the applicant, and the applicant’s details will automatically be recorded in the Finnish Population Information System.

6. Later, the applicant may apply for an extended permit or a permanent residence permit.