Finland offers a range of different residence permit options, depending on your background and individual circumstances. In most situations, you are required to declare a legitimate reason for moving to Finland (such as work, study or family ties) as well as demonstrating that you can financially support yourself.
It is important to apply for the correct documentation in a timely manner. Staying in Finland without a permit can result in fines or deportation. If you are unsure of which type of documentation to apply for, the Finnish Immigration Service offers an Application Finder to guide you to the right place.
In addition to Finnish and Swedish, immigration services are almost always offered in English.
EU and EEA Citizens
Nordic, EU and EEA citizens do not need a visa or a residence permit to enter Finland. However, if you are staying for over 90 days you must register your right of residence with the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto).
Citizens from outside the EU may require a visa to enter Finland. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland lists the countries that are exempt from visa regulations.
Non-EU citizens staying in Finland for longer than 90 days must apply for a residence permit. A residence permit may also be required for stays shorter than 90 days if they involve work. The type of residence permit you apply for depends upon your reason for moving to Finland (work, study, family ties or other reasons).
EU/EEA citizens who have registered their right of residence do not require an additional work permit. However, non-EU/EEA citizens must apply for a residence permit that includes the right to work if they plan to find a job or be an entrepreneur in Finland. The salary you receive from your work must be high enough to support you. The Finnish Immigration Service annually reviews the income requirement.
Different residence permits are available for different groups, including:
- Specialists, who are coming to Finland as highly skilled workers and usually already have a contract of employment.
- Entrepreneurs, who own or co-own a business that has been registered with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.
- Start-up entrepreneurs, who are coming to start their own business and already have a positive Eligibility Statement from Business Finland.
- Researchers, who are coming to conduct scientific research or prepare a doctoral dissertation at a higher education institution.
If you are a student from outside of the EU/EEA, you must obtain a residency permit from the nearest Finnish embassy or consulate in your home country. Your university in Finland will provide further information regarding this process once you have confirmed your study place.
Registration as a foreigner in Finland
All citizens moving to Finland for longer than 90 days must notify the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. This is a separate process from the residence permit or declaring the right of residence, and will confirm the municipality of residence as Turku.
This process involves a visit to the nearest Local Register Office of Southwest Finland, which can be found in Turku city centre.
- Finnish Immigration Service – The official decision-making organisation, where you can apply for permits, right of residence or citizenship.
- Enter Finland – The online service of the Finnish Immigration Service, where you can apply for documentation online.
- Info Finland – a multilingual online information service offering comprehensive information about Finland and its immigration process.
- Including specific information about moving to Southwest Finland.
- Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland – Official information regarding current restrictions on entering or leaving Finland.
- Infotori – personal guidance for current international residents offered by the City of Turku.