A person with a job or their own company in Finland can apply for a residence permit on the basis of employment or entrepreneurship. The main rule is that the application for a residence permit is submitted from abroad before moving to Finland.
There are several kinds of residence permits. The choice of residence permit application depends on what kind of work the applicant is doing.
The residence permit for an employed person is granted in two stages. It means that the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) first makes a partial decision on the application. The partial decision means that the TE Office needs to first assess whether or not there is suitable labour from the EU or EEA available within a reasonable period of time. The Finnish Immigration Service will only make a decision after this. If the partial decision was negative, the decision of the Finnish Immigration Service will also be negative.
The second largest number of applications involve a residence permit for a specialist. A person applying for a residence permit for a specialist is usually a highly educated individual working as a specialist, with a monthly salary of over EUR 3,000.
The number of applications from various countries varies from year to year. The nationalities also vary with regard to various residence permits.
With regard to residence permits for employed persons, Ukrainians and Russians were the largest groups of applicants in 2017 and 2018. Many people also come from Ukraine to Finland for short-term seasonal work. In recent years, the clearly largest number of applications for residence permits for specialists come from India.
The statistics can be found in the statistics service on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.
The application processing period depends on the basis on which you applied for a residence permit. You can check the processing period estimate with the Processing Period Checker, for example.
Some of the work-based permits have fast processing times, such as the residence permits for specialists and seasonal workers.
In some of the work-based permits, other authorities in addition to the Finnish Immigration Service are also involved. The application processes for employees, entrepreneurs and startup entrepreneurs have two stages.
With the residence permit for employed persons, the Employment and Economic Development Office makes a partial decision on the application first, after which the application goes to the Finnish Immigration Service for processing.
The process for residence permit for an entrepreneur also has two stages. The business must be profitable, and the livelihood of the entrepreneur must be secured by the income from the business. The ELY Centre assesses these requirements.
A startup entrepreneur must obtain a positive statement from Business Finland before applying for a residence permit.
Occasionally the application processing time may be longer than expected, if it is necessary to request further clarification from the applicant or if there is information missing from the application, for instance.
Each work-based permit has statutory requirements that are checked by the Finnish Immigration Service.
This means that the Finnish Immigration Service does its part to ensure that people come to work in Finland under appropriate terms and conditions of employment.
When people apply for a residence permit for work, they must receive appropriate wages for their work, and they must be able to live in Finland on the wages from gainful employment while the residence permit is valid.
A negative decision is always based on the fact that the applicant does not fulfil the criteria for the residence permit in question. Each application is assessed as based on the criteria defined by law. In some of the permits, the consideration of other authorities in addition to the Finnish Immigration Service is involved. If a partial decision is negative, the decision of the Finnish Immigration Service is also negative.
The authority must also ensure that appropriate terms and conditions of employment apply to foreign workers. Workers coming to Finland must be aware of the terms and conditions of their employment and their working conditions. The workers’ wages must be in accordance with the generally applicable collective agreement, and the working conditions of the workers must correspond to the working conditions of Finnish workers with similar duties. Certain jobs require language skills, training and work experience in the field, such as working as a cook.
From time to time, abuses are linked to work-based residence permits, and suspicions arise that a worker is not coming to Finland to work under reasonable conditions. The authorities must also prevent and combat human trafficking. Finland is obliged to do this by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings as well as the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.
Sometimes the decision may also be negative because the applicant for a residence permit has committed crimes in Finland that make it impossible to grant a residence permit to the applicant.
Yes. If a person who completed a degree in Finland has a job, s/he can apply for an extended permit based on that job. The consideration related to availability is not carried out; rather, the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision in the case concerned. The permit extension is valid for four years at maximum.
Students who have completed a degree in Finland but who do not yet have a job can apply for a residence permit for seeking work before the residence permit for studies ends. The residence permit is valid for one year.
Asylum seekers can be gainfully employed without a separate permit during the processing of their application after either three or six months from applying for asylum.
Applying for international protection is not intended as a method of coming to work in Finland. If the applicant is not granted international protection, they may nevertheless stay to work in Finland if they are granted a residence permit for the purpose. A separate application must be submitted for a residence permit on the basis of employment.
At any stage of the process, the asylum seeker can apply for a residence permit based on employment. In order to receive the permit, the applicant must fulfil the statutory requirements. These requirements are the same for all applicants.
The applicant must have a valid passport in order to be granted a residence permit. Not all asylum seekers have a valid travel document.