If you are thinking of working or studying in Finland, it may be worth checking out the application process for obtaining a residence permit. The Finnish Immigration Service has released two new guides for employed people and students looking to migrate to Finland.

The process makes it easier to apply for residency if you meet the requirements and find the relevant information.

You can also find instructions on how to apply for a municipality of residence and a personal identity code. The guide is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.

The guide helps applicants to decide if their eligible for the scheme as a citizen of an EU country or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Split into easy sections under both student and work applications, the guide also provides a checklist of requirements to confirm that an applicant has not committed a criminal offence, been subject of a public entry ban, holds a valid passport, and has proof of right to study in the country with sufficient funds and insurance.

The document, as part of an application to study, asks a series of questions to help you ascertain which documents should be attached.

  • Are you residing in your current country of residence with either a visa or a residence permit?
  • Are you applying for a residence permit to complete further training to improve your vocational skills or to complete special training offered in Finland?
  • Have you already paid the tuition fee for the entire year in full?
  • Is the duration of your studies one year or longer?
  • Do you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or a Finnish Kela card?
  • Are you an applicant under 18 years of age?
  • Will a family member of yours move to Finland with you?

You must bring a passport photo with you in-person when you confirm your identity.

A valid residence permit will only be issued for a Right to Work application under similar criteria – for example, the application must already have a valid invitation to work which can be proven by an employment contract or other documentation.

In addition to the above requirements, the job salary must be sufficient to support the individual. More specific information on the minimum salary requirements for certain sectors can be found here: collective agreements in Finland (tyosuojelu.fi).

If there is no collective agreement or the employment is on a part-time basis, salaries must be at least EUR 1,283 per month in 2022. The onus is also on the employer to ensure they are paying legally required taxes, the statutory insurance premiums and are in a position to pay workers’ salaries.

The terms and conditions of employment must comply with Finnish law. In addition to the criteria above, the form also asks persons to declare if they hold more than one job in the field of social or healthcare.

Once an application is sent and paid for, detailing your relationship with an employer and conditions, visit a Finnish mission or the VFS Global application centre to prove your identity where the original documents attached to your application will be requested. Fingerprints will also be taken.

In a two-stage verification process, the TE Office establishes if labour can be sourced in Finland or within the EU/EEA and your employment relationship and suitability will come under scrutiny. After a partial decision is made by the TE Office, the Finnish Immigration Service decides whether to issue a residence permit.