If you are planning to stay in Finland for longer than 90 days, you will need register your right of residence. This also applies if you are a citizen of the European Union or Liechtenstein. The application needs to be submitted within three months of you entering the country.The Finnish Immigration Service will allow employed or self-employed people as well as students and family members of Finnish people to remain in the country. If none of these are applicable to you, you may still remain in Finland as long as you have sufficient funds to support yourself, you are not a danger to public order, general security or public health and you have a valid identity card or passport.
There is no set amount of money you will be required to have, but your funds do need to be sufficient as your main source of income. Social assistance and benefits cannot be your principal means of support.
There are two ways of submitting your application form: online or in person. The application will need to be submitted by you; family members or employers cannot do this on your behalf. Do also make sure that you meet all the requirements and have all the supporting documents handy prior to making the application. This is important as missing information may delay or invalidate your application. All the required attachments are listed on the immigration website; note that you may have to get them translated and certified prior to submitting the forms. The fee for the application is 54 EUR, regardless of whether you apply online or in person.
Once the forms are completed, you will need to visit the Finnish Immigration Service in Finland.
If your application was submitted via the e-service, you are required to visit the service in order to prove your identity and produce the original documents relevant to your application. You will have to pay the fee online when completing your forms. However, if you prefer to submit a paper application form, then you will need to bring it with you to the immigration office.
Don’t forget your proof of identity and any relevant documentation. Remember to take the originals of the documents you are submitting. You will need to pay for the application at the Finish Immigration Service.
If you meet all the requirements and your application is approved, you will be issued a certificate by the Finnish Immigration Service. This will include your full name and address, as well as the date of registration. If there are any missing documents or the decision can’t be made on the day, you can receive the certificate later via post or the e-service portal. If your application was made online, you will either get an email or a text message once the outcome is known. There is no need to contact the immigration service once your application is submitted; if additional information is required, they will get in touch.
Once you have registered your right of residence, it is valid until further notice. This means you do not have to extend the validity of the registration. The only reasons it would expire are:
• Your deportation from Finland
• Your becoming a Finnish citizen
• Your being away from Finland for an uninterrupted period of two years
• If you submitted false information or acted dishonestly during your application
• If your circumstances change and you no longer meet the requirements for registration.
The certificate you receive will be in paper form. After your right of residence is registered by the Finnish Immigration Service, you may apply for a Finnish identity card, although this is not obligatory. You will need to have your photo taken, following which the photographer will send the details directly to the police. You can find your nearest photographer here. In certain cases, the application can be done online, but sometimes the police will request additional information and you will have to visit the police licensing services in person before your application can be completed. There are detailed instructions available on the Finnish police website.
Once you’ve been a legal, permanent resident for an uninterrupted period of five years, you can apply for a permanent residence card or a new fixed-term residence card. You can ask the Finnish Immigration Service for the certificate of your right of permanent residence. Applying for this certificate is voluntary. Your permanent right of residence does not depend on this certificate. Instead, it is based on the Finnish law.
In conclusion, there are six steps you need to take during your application:
1. Confirm you meet all the requirements
2. Make sure you have all the supporting documentation and paperwork
3. Fill in the application via the e-service or the paper form
4. Pay the application fee of 54 Euro
5. Make an appointment at the Finnish immigration service, which can be done via the online booking system
6. Wait for the outcome.
You will be able to track the progress of your application though the website; use the processing time checker to see how your application is moving along. Once an EU citizen has provided the documents showing that they fulfil the requirements for registration, the certificate can be issued. A decision on a residence card application for a family member of an EU citizen will be made within six months of the application’s submission date.
If you require any additional information after reading this article, have a look at Finland’s immigration website.
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