Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO-service we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence.
Finnish visa, residency and permit regulations require expert guidance as they vary according to the country foreign nationals live in – the European Union, the European Economic Area and other foreign nationals are all affected by these complex regulations.
Our team is trained to research the latest information on Finland visas and work permits and therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. By reading this guide you will get familiar with all the requirements so you or your employees can start working in Finland in no time.
What types of Work Visas and Permits for Finland are there?
When individuals want to live, visit, or work abroad, they often require travel documentation such as entry visas, work visas, work permits or residence permits. Due to agreements between countries, some foreign nationals may be exempt from this documentation, so it is important to be aware of what these requirements are.
For instance, citizens of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, and other Nordic countries, have the right to visit, live or work in Finland with no need for visas or residence permits.
However, for stays of more than 90 days, they should contact the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. If individuals wish to stay for longer than one year, they should register at a Finnish Population Register Centre (Väestörekisterikeskus, VRK).
Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), as well as Liechtenstein and Switzerland, due to their ‘freedom of movement’ agreement, do not require a visa to holiday, visit family or friends, find employment, or acquire residency in Finland. They only need their national ID or passport. Nevertheless, if the stay is for longer than three months, they require an EU registration with a personal identity code to be considered legal in Finland.
Third Country nationals, who are not on the visa-exempt list, require travel documentation. The following can apply for most employees:
- For visits of up to 90 days, a short-term Schengen Visa is available
- To live and work for longer periods, a First Residence Permit is required
- A Business Visa allows stays up to 90 days for business purposes, such as attending conferences, signing contracts or networking
Foreign nationals wanting to work must determine which type of residence permit is required. The process should begin outside Finland and in person – and can begin online through the Enter Finland Service. The main categories for employees are:
- Employed Person (TTOL) – wanting to work with Finnish employer with a signed employment contract. However, this Residence Permit is tied to Labor Market Testing (LMT) and opportunity is given to Finnish citizens, EU, and EEA nationals first before the employer can look to third-country employees.
- Specialist – citizens should have special skills and higher qualifications with a signed contract worth around €3,000 (US$3,548) per month.
- EU Blue Card – citizens from third countries who are highly qualified, with a degree looking for top line employment. A signed contract is required. EU Card is valid for two years. Also, the annual salary should be more than the average gross salary by approximately 1.5 times. https://ec.europa.eu/immigration/blue-card/finland_en
Other categories include Entrepreneur, Start-up, Research, Intra-corporate transfer and more. For application forms and further details regarding the appropriate residence permit: https://migri.fi/en/working-in-finland/applications
How to obtain a Finland Visa/Residence Permit to Work?
Nordic country citizens, EU, EEA, and Switzerland nationals do not require a Residence Permit or Visa to work in Finland.
For Third Country nationals who do not already reside in Finland and are seeking a job as an Employed Person (TTOL) which has already been through Labor Market Testing (LMT), the process for a First Residence Permit starts with:
- Finding a job, agreeing, and finalizing a contract
- The employee can then apply for the appropriate Residence Permit (in cooperation with their employer) which must be started from outside Finland and in person. The procedure can begin online through the Enter Finland Service (EFS).
This service also allows employers to track the employee’s permit process, submit any documentation required such as the TEM 054 form (regarding Labor Market Testing) with any information required about the job and the company. Employers may also pay any fees. They cannot apply for the permit on behalf of their employee, so paperwork has to be processed through the EFS.
- Next, the employee must make an appointment at a Finnish Embassy so their identity can be verified, original documents checked, and fingerprints taken. The appointment must be within three months from the online application.
- The work permit will be sent to the local Embassy for collection and processing.
Note: Applicants cannot go to Finland before receiving their residence permit. Work cannot be undertaken without a residence permit unless there is the ‘right to stay’ e.g., EU and Nordic countries.
However, those nationals applying through the Specialist application route are allowed to enter Finland without a residence permit but must obtain an entry visa … or be on the visa exempt list or have the ‘right to stay’ in Finland for 90 days without a visa. A job and signed contract that meets the conditions for the Specialist position is required. https://www.infofinland.fi/en/moving-to-finland/non-eu-citizens/coming-to-work-in-finland
To work for longer than 90-days, a residence permit must be applied for through the EFS or with the Immigration Service for persons in Finland.
To obtain an EU Blue Card, the applicant requires a secure job offer or signed contract for one year at least with a minimum annual salary of €59,148 (US$70,000) per annum. Proof that the employee is well qualified to do the job and has all the necessary qualifications and has a relevant visa/permit if appropriate and sickness insurance.
How to apply for Visa/Residence Permit in Finland
Nationals who are not on a visa exempt list or do not have the ‘right to stay’ in Finland without a visa, need to obtain a Schengen visa for stays up to 90 days and for those working for longer than 90 days, a residence permit is required.
The first step is to decide which First Residence Permit application is relevant. There are a number of options from study to entrepreneurial purposes. For work purposes, a contract is needed from a Finnish company to apply for residence permits.
Once decided, this can be done either via Enter Finland Service (EFS) online or by completing the appropriate form. To use EFS applicants must open an account to log on and send application.
Residence Permit as an Employed Person: This is tied to the Labor Marketing Testing (LMT) program and the employer must show his effort to place a Finnish, EU/EEA national in the position before offering the job to a Third Country national. Basic documents required include:
- Valid passport
- Completed application form
- Passport photo following guidelines
- Colored photocopied pages containing relevant information
- Paperwork showing legal residence in country where the application is submitted
- Proof the salary is enough to support employee during stay in Finland
PLUS - Documents required from employer as appendices to application form:
- Form TEM 054 completed by employer regarding the employment
- Taxes paid certificate for previous three months
- Document showing company paid statutory insurance premiums and unemployment insurance for previous three months
- Declaration of number of employees working full and part-time
- Report on staffing from Finnish, EU/EEA labor market and any specific documents relating to the company business
For the Specialist/Expert Residence Permit application, the basic documentation required from the applicant is the same as for Employed Person. However, there are other documents specific to the Specialist application:
- Certificate confirming terms and conditions of employment
- Certificate concerning any extra benefits
- Job description
- Degree or diploma
For an EU Blue Card. Again, the basic documents from the applicant as the Employed Person are the same - plus, there is other required paperwork:
- Employment contract with full details of job, duties, and salary
- Diploma or degree proving higher education for a minimum of three years
Some of the documents mentioned above may need to be translated and notarized. Fees needs to be submitted with all applications.
Applicants can also apply for a Personal Identity Code (Suomalainen henkilötunnus) at the same time as the Residence Permit by requesting to be registered in the Finnish Population System at their home country Embassy. This is needed to work, open a bank account and deal with the tax office and for renting property.
How much is a Finland Residence Permit / Visa?
- The Schengen Visa: €80 (US$95)
- First Residence Permit (Employed Person): €690 (US$813); Electronically through EFS: €490 (US$577)
- First Resident Permit (Specialist and EU Blue Card): €610 (US$718); Electronically through EFS: €410 (US$483)
Working Visa / Permit for Finland
Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and the Nordic countries benefit from ‘freedom of movement’, so they do not require an entry visa or residence permit.
Also, there is a visa-exempt list so these people can visit for 90 days but then require a residence permit. Third Country nationals needing an entry visa can apply for a Schengen visa.
There are a number of different residence permit for students, entrepreneurs, for employment, for family, so it is important the correct application is completed, and these can all be accessed on Finland’s Immigration Website.
People wanting to work in Finland for the first time, must apply for the First Residence Permit from their home country and not enter Finland until the paperwork is completed and the permit granted. There are a number of permits available, but the most common ones are:
- Employed Person Permit (TTOL)
- Specialist Permit
- EU Blue Card Permit
The employee may choose to apply in-person or online to supply the relevant documentation, and the employer also has to cooperate with information through the Enter Finland Service online. Some documents may need to be translated and notarized.
After applying online or going the paper route, an appointment must be made at a local Finnish Embassy or Mission to verify documents, confirm identity, and have the biometrics recorded.
A Personal Identity Code may be applied for at the same time as the residence permit from the embassy/mission, as they will also register applicants on the Finnish Population System.
Finland Business Visa
Those traveling to Finland for business purposes for up to 90 days (during a 180-day period) can apply for a short-stay Schengen Visa.
The following documents must be included with the application:
- Passport with three months validity after the end of the individual’s stay, and must be issued within the last 10 years
- Completed and signed application form
- Color passport photograph
- Travel insurance receipt up to €30,000 (US$35,424) to cover illness and repatriation during the stay
- Proof of flights and accommodation
- Invitations from Finnish companies – private and public
- Proof of financial status
This can be applied for at the nearest Finnish Embassy/Mission and will take around 15 workdays to process at a cost of €80 (US$96).
Finland Visa for EU Citizens
EU citizens do not require an entry visa or resident permit to visit, live or work in Finland, just their national ID or passport. Nevertheless, if the period of stay is for longer than three months, then an EU registration is required with a personal identity code to be considered legal in Finland. This will also allow employees to open a bank account, collect a tax card and insurance card.
Visa for USA Citizens
USA citizens can travel to Finland for business, family visits or a holiday for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, without a visa but will need a valid passport and a return ticket. However, in 2022 they must apply for an ETIAS visa. To stay longer, a residence permit will be needed and there are a number of options so citizens must ensure they apply for the appropriate one.
For work purposes, employees can apply for the Employed Person, Specialist or EU Blue Card permits. This should be done from outside Finland, in person and in possession of a signed contract or agreement.
An interview will be needed to confirm documentation, ID and biometrics should be taken. Paperwork will be needed from both the employee and employer. A Personal Identity Code can be applied for at the same time, which is necessary to work, open a bank account, deal with taxes, and rent a property.
Finland Visa for Canadian Citizens
Canadian citizens traveling to Finland for business, leisure or family purposes do not require an entry visa for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. However, from 2022 they will need to apply for an ETIAS visa. They must have a valid passport and a return ticket in order to apply.
For Canadian citizens who want to stay for longer than 90 days, a residence permit is required. There are a number of options available to choose from depending on the purpose of the individual’s stay. These can be found on the Finnish Immigration Services website.
For those wishing to work in Finland, the three most appropriate permits that companies require are: Employed Person, Specialist, EU Blue Card Permit. Documentation will be required for qualifications and minimum salary.
These permits should be applied for from Canada at a local Finnish Embassy or Mission. A signed contract is needed as is the employer’s cooperation to supply information to the immigration service through the Enter Finland Service (EFS). The permit can be applied for by printing a form for the local embassy or doing it online through EFS.
These should be submitted personally and an interview at the Finnish Embassy or Mission is likely to confirm documentation, ID and to take biometrics.
A Personal Identity Code can be applied for at the same time, which is necessary to work, open a bank account, deal with taxes, and rent a property.
Finland Visa for Chinese Citizens
To travel to Finland, Chinese Citizens need a Schengen visa to visit family, go on holiday or business purposes. This needs to be applied for in a local Finnish Embassy in China and will be for 90 days during a 180-day period.
If nationals decide to stay longer, they need a residence permit. For more information, check out the Finnish Immigration Service website.
A Residence Visa for work purposes can either be for:
- Employed Person
- EU Blue Card
Documentation will be required confirming qualifications, minimum salary from both the employee and employer, and there must be a binding job offer or signed employment contract. These can be applied for through the Enter Finland Service.
These should be applied for personally and an interview at the Finnish Embassy or Mission is likely to confirm documentation, ID and to take biometrics. A Personal Identity Code can be applied for at the same time, which is necessary to work, open a bank account, deal with taxes, and rent a property.
Finland Visa for UK Citizens
UK citizens can travel to Finland without a visa but only for 90 days in a 180-day period, as they are a Schengen area country. This can be to visit friends, for business and training purposes, or for tourism. If, however, they wish to extend their trip for more than the 90 days then a Residence Permit is required.
Note: In 2022, Finland and the EU will be launching a new ETIAS visa for those who are exempt at present.
For work purposes, applications are for the Employed Person, Specialist or EU Blue Card Permits. There are a number of options and applications which can be found on the Finnish Immigration Services website.
Applications must be made in person from the UK and with an agreed contract or binding job offer in place. Paperwork will be required from both employee and employer. An interview will be needed to confirm documentation, ID and biometrics should be taken. A Personal Identity Code can be applied for at the same time, which is necessary to work, open a bank account, deal with taxes, and rent a property.
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Expanding into Finland? You will need a firm grip on permit and visa compliance if moving your staff there. Contact Bradford Jacobs’ international payroll today for advice – and the other options. Contact us today for more information.