Growing your company’s operations in Finland is an exciting opportunity. Whether you’re transferring employees from your parent company, hiring new candidates from other countries, or building a talented workforce with a combination of both, some of your team members will likely need to obtain a Finland work visa.
Types of work visas in Finland
Citizens of countries outside of the European Union (EU), Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein will need to apply for a residence permit before working in Finland. The type of permit your employees will need depends on the nature of the work they’ll be doing for your company. The following 3 categories of work visas will be relevant for most companies:
- Business visa: A business visa allows employees to stay in Finland for up to 90 days. However, this visa does not allow the employee to directly engage with work. A business visa does allow the individual to attend conferences and seminars. This visa may be relevant during the onboarding process for employees who will not be staying to work in Finland.
- Residence permit for self-employment: This permit may apply to some individuals within your company, including private entrepreneurs, partners, and members of a cooperative. Your company will need to be registered with the Trade Register at the National Board of Patents and Registration before this permit can be issued.
- Residence permit for an employed person: This visa is the most common type, and most companies will need to be familiar with it to grow their operations in Finland. There are 3 types within this category: Continuous (A), Temporary (B), and Permanent (P). Employees seeking residence in Finland for the first time should apply for a Temporary permit.
In June 2022, Finland also introduced a fast-tracked D Visa for specialists, startup entrepreneurs, and their family members. As of Dec. 22, 2022, the D Visa also includes employees in managerial positions, researchers, students, and their families.
Requirements to obtain Finland work visas
To obtain a working visa in Finland, employees need:
- An employment contract
- A valid passport and passport photo
- A residence permit for an employed person application
- Medical certificates
The process begins when employees are offered a position with a company in Finland. An employment contract is necessary to live and work in Finland legally.
If employees are moving to Finland, they’ll need to apply for a residence permit, which can be done online through the Enter Finland service. Within 3 months of submitting the application, they must visit a diplomatic mission or embassy of Finland and present original copies of the application appendices, including fingerprints and supporting documents. If employees cannot apply online, they can print the application form from the Finnish Immigration Service website and bring it to the nearest diplomatic mission along with its appendices.
The merits of the application will be decided by the Employment and Economic Development Office. Finnish Immigration Service, or Migri, will make the final decision after making sure employees meet all requirements for a residence permit. Both employees and the employer will be notified of the decision through the mail.
Once approved, employees receive a residence permit card from the embassy of Finland. The first permit is valid for 1 year and can be renewed at a local police station in Finland.
Other important considerations
While employees who are citizens of EU member states and Switzerland do not need to apply for a residence permit to work in Finland, they do need to register their right to reside in the country. This process can be completed through the Enter Finland system. Citizens of Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and the Nordic countries do not need to register. However, they must notify their Local Register Office that they’re living in Finland.
Employees with a residence permit should be aware that they’re entitled to apply for permanent residence after 5 years of legally living and working in Finland.
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At this moment, G-P does not offer support processing work visas or permits in this particular location.