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Effects of the coronavirus on customers who are in Finland

On this page, you will find updated instructions on how the coronavirus outbreak affects the submission of applications and visits to service points.
 
See the instructions for different situations:
 

You are in Finland and applying for a residence permit or an extended permit 

  • If your permit is about to expire soon, you can submit your application in the online service Enter Finland. 
  • If you are applying for an extended permit or a permanent residence permit, you must be in Finland. You cannot apply for an extended permit or a permanent residence permit if you are outside Finland.
  • Normally, you would be required to visit a service point within three months of the date when you submitted your application.
  • Due to the coronavirus situation, the time limit for proving your identity has been extended until 1 June 2022.

Many matters can be dealt with online

Most applications can be submitted using the online service Enter Finland at enterfinland.fi. 
  • The online service Enter Finland is the quickest and most affordable way to apply. 
  • The online service will guide you through the whole process of filling in the application. 
  • Use Enter Finland to pay the processing fee and to follow the status of your application. 
  • You will get a certificate of a pending application from Enter Finland.
You can use Enter Finland even if you do not have online banking credentials. You only need an email address.
 
Book an appointment at a service point in our appointment system. New appointments become available all the time. As a rule, you should book the appointment for proving your identity yourself. When you have booked it, tell us in Enter Finland when your appointment will be. 
 
If there are no available appointments, please wait patiently and check the available appointments again later. If your matter is urgent, you can visit a service point and take a waiting number. The waiting numbers are only intended for submitting applications. 
 
If you are applying for an extended permit and have used strong electronic identification in Enter Finland, you do not always need to visit a service point. However, you must be in Finland, because you cannot apply for an extended permit if you are outside Finland. You can use strong electronic identification in Enter Finland by logging in with your online banking credentials, citizen certificate or mobile certificate. The online service will tell you whether you have to visit a service point or whether the electronic identification is enough. If you have to visit a service point, book an appointment in our appointment system. 
 
You can apply for an extended permit in Enter Finland even if you applied for your first permit with a paper application.

You are applying for Finnish citizenship 

You cannot send your citizenship application by post or by email. Submit your application in Enter Finland as usual, or fill in a paper application and book an appointment for visiting a service point. 
 

Normally, you would be required to visit a service point within three months of the date when you submitted your application. Due to the coronavirus situation, the time limit for proving your identity has been extended until 1 June 2022. If needed, we will make changes to this time limit, depending on how long the current state of emergency will last.

 

Do not submit your application before you meet the requirements for naturalisation and you have all the necessary certificates, such as a language certificate.

You need to have a valid residence permit and a valid passport even when your citizenship application is pending.

If you already have applied for Finnish citizenship, please wait patiently for the decision. At the moment, there is backlog in the processing of citizenship applications. For more information, please see our customer bulletin: Backlog in the processing of citizenship applications.

Visit the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education for information about language tests

For more information about changes in language test schedules, visit the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education

You have received a request for additional information 

As a rule, you should log in to  Enter Finland and reply to the request for additional information there. If you have not applied online, send your reply according to the instructions in the request for additional information.
 
If you have received a request for additional information that is reminding you to pay the processing fee, you can, exceptionally, pay it into the bank account of the Finnish Immigration Service: FI86 1804 3000 0154 04 (Nordea). Write your customer number and the name of the permit you are applying for in the message field. Send a receipt of the paid processing fee by email to the address [email protected] or by post to the address Finnish Immigration Service, PO Box 10, 00086 Maahanmuuttovirasto. 
 

You have applied for a permit abroad but you cannot travel to get the permit

If you, for some reason, are in Finland and you cannot travel to the country where you have submitted your application, we can make an exception in your case so that you can get the decision in Finland. 
 
The Finnish Immigration Service needs to know an address where to send your decision in Finland. Notify us immediately of your situation.
 
Send us your address in the same way as you would reply to a request for additional information.
 
The service points of the Finnish Immigration Service cannot give you the decision or the residence permit card.
 

Asylum seeker 

You have applied for asylum in Finland

To apply for asylum in Finland, you must talk to a police or a border control official in person. Even during the coronavirus situation, you can come to Finland and submit an asylum application. Persons applying for asylum are allowed to come to Finland. Tell the border control authorities immediately that you wish to seek asylum.

The Finnish Immigration Service often arranges interviews over a video connection

At the moment, interviews are arranged as usual. However, you cannot participate in an interview if you have any coronavirus-related symptoms or if you have been exposed to the coronavirus. For this reason, asylum interviews may have to be postponed to a later date more often than usual.  

The interviews are arranged over a video connection as often as possible. This means that you will participate in the interview from a reception centre or a detention unit and the employee of the Finnish Immigration Service will be at the Finnish Immigration Service. Sometimes it is possible that you will also be at the Finnish Immigration Service, but you will participate in the interview over a video connection from a different room than the employee of the Finnish Immigration Service. The interview can also be held in a room where there is a transparent screen between you and the employee of the Finnish Immigration Service.

If you are about to have an asylum interview, we will make you an appointment and you will receive an invitation to the interview. The exact address and time of the interview is given in the invitation.

How to obtain the decision

If the asylum decision can be sent to you by post and if it is not necessary to reserve an interpreter for the notification, you will only be notified by post, as usual. The decision will be sent with an advice of receipt.

Customers are more often informed of the decision on their asylum application over a video connection

The Finnish Immigration Service and the reception centre will agree on a time for a meeting, where the decision will be interpreted to you. An employee of the reception centre will tell you the time when we will contact you.

When we have made a decision on your asylum application, we will make an appointment with you so that you can hear the decision.

  • An employee at the reception centre will tell you when the meeting will take place.
  • We will contact you over a video connection; the reception centre will tell you when this will happen. If there are exceptional reasons, we can also inform you of the decision over the phone. In that case we will call you on the reception centre phone number.
  • An interpreter who will interpret all of our discussion has been reserved for the event. The interpreter will use a telephone or video connection to do the interpreting.
  • After that, the decision will be sent to you by post. The decision will be sent with an advice of receipt

Minor asylum seekers unaccompanied by a guardian and their representatives will also be notified about the decisions in this way.

Telling you about the decision by telephone or through a video connection will not affect the time period during which you can appeal the decision. The appeal period is calculated from the date when you have received the decision by post.

The date when the decision is served is the date when you have received the decision letter; this also applies to minor asylum seekers unaccompanied by a guardian. 

  • In case only the representative of the minor is served with the decision, the appeal period is calculated from the date when the representative has received the decision letter. 
  • If the decision letter is sent to both, the representative and the minor, the appeal period is calculated separately for each of them. For each of them, the appeal period is calculated from the date when they receive the decision by post. 

The bulletin ‘Finnish Immigration Service tells clients about asylum decision by phone or via a video connection’ can be found in several languages at migri.fi/en/brochures-and-publications.