Immigrate to Finland - Your Legal Guide on Moving to Finland
Immigrate to FinlandUpdated on Friday 18th February 2022
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Moving to Finland is not difficult, as many foreign citizens have already discovered the benefits of living in Northern Europe. People can relocate here based on employment or by starting a business. It is also possible to immigrate to Finland by marriage or by other means.
Below, our lawyers explain the main Finland immigration requirements and how you can obtain a residence permit. You can rely on our Finnish lawyers for support in relocation.
Types of Finnish residence permits
No matter the way you decide to relocate to Finland, you need to obtain a residence permit. There are two types of residence permits available:
- temporary residence permits;
- permanent residence permits.
Furthermore, temporary residency is divided into:
- B permits that have a validity of one year;
- A permits that have a validity of 4 years.
These are issued based on the grounds of immigration.
If you decide to immigrate to Finland, you can obtain the desired information about your options from our local law firm.
The main reasons under which residence permits are granted in Finland
If you want to move to Finland, there no less than 6 grounds you can invoke to obtain a residence permit. Among these, study, employment, business, family reunification, and marriage are the most employed.
The procedure for obtaining a residence permit is nearly the same no matter the path you choose, however, the differences reside in the documents you need to file.
For example, to obtain residency based on employment, you first need to secure a valid labor agreement. Based on the contract, you will be issued a work visa and a residence permit at the same time. Such a permit can have a validity of one year, however, it can also be issued for a longer period assigned to the contract.
Student residence permits can be issued for 2 years, but they can also be released for shorter time frames, if the program you are enrolled in is shorter.
Our lawyers can offer more information on other Finland immigration requirements depending on your reason for relocation.
EU citizens moving to Finland
As an EU member state, Finland welcomes citizens of other member states without requiring them to apply for a residence permit. So, it is easy to say that you can immigrate to Finland from the EU by moving in the desired city directly. The main requirement to comply with is to register with the local municipality of the city you live in. For this, you need a local address.
Feel free to get in touch with our law firm in Finland for guidance in how to relocate here as soon as possible. Among the requirements you need to meet, we remind the following:
- you can also move here if you are a Swiss or Liechtenstein citizen, therefore, you live in a European Economic Area state;
- you can use the same grounds mentioned above to stay in Finland;
- you need to be able to support yourself during the stay here, even if no specific requirement applies is this sense (for 2022, the average wage here is around 1,200 EUR).
Non-EU citizens must respect other immigration conditions.
How to move to Finland from a non-EU country
Non-EU/EEA citizens who decide to relocate to Finland must apply for one of the temporary residence permits presented above. Applications need to be filed with the embassies/consulates in their home countries.
Among the documents they need to prepare are:
- valid passport;
- proof of stable income;
- proof of payment of the visa application fee;
- documents indicating the reason of relocation.
Based on your country of origin, special conditions may apply, so we invite you to reach out for the help of our immigration lawyers in Finland for a correct application.
It is also useful to note that the procedure is much simpler if you are non-EU citizens moving to Finland from another EU country.
What to consider if you relocate to Finland
Finland is one of the most developed economies among North European countries. The living costs here are higher compared to those in other countries, as a single person can spend on average 800 EUR. without a rent. A family’s costs can rise up to nearly 3,000 EUR.
When it comes to rent, prices depend on the region and city you choose. The average rental ranges between 400 and 700 EUR per person, but can exceed 900 EUR.
If you decide to immigrate to Finland, you should know that the country’s expat population accounted for nearly 32,900 foreigners who moved here in 2020, according to this study. The largest expat community belongs to Estonians, however, there are also many Russians living in Finland.
If you decide to move here and need information on the Finland immigration requirements, contact our law firm anytime.