Work-based immigration and residence permits
Once you have found a suitable candidate for your organization, our IHH Advisory and Counseling Services are here to explain the residence permit process and help you understand what steps to take for your employee to relocate to and start working in Finland.
The immigration process starts with applying for a residence permit if your new employee comes from outside the EU/EEA. If your new employee is a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, they do not need a residence permit to work in Finland. In that case, you can proceed to the next step in your relocation journey, the right to work and employer obligations.
You can always reach out to our IHH Advisory and Counseling Services for support throughout the residence permit process and we are here to answer any questions related to work-based immigration.
Immigration process and residence permit types
The immigration process depends on whether your international employee is a citizen of an EU/EEA country or from outside of the EU/EEA. International employees who are not EU or EEA nationals most likely will require a work-based residence permit to start working in Finland. Below you can find most common residence permit types and how the immigration process goes in case the international employee is a citizen of a country outside of the EU and EEA.
The employee and their family members should complete the immigration process by themselves. The application process usually starts with submitting applications via Enter Finland. If your employee is applying for a work-based residence permit, you, as the employer, must fill in the work conditions in the residence permit application. After submitting the application, the employees and their family members must verify their identity in person at a Finnish Mission, Application Centre or one of A Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) service point, if they are already in Finland.
Common residence permits for employment situations
|Average duration of the application process 2-4 months||Average duration of the application process 2 weeks||Average duration of the application process 1-2 months|
TIP: You can check the processing times for the applications on the Finnish Immigration Services’ (Migri) website.
If your future employee is coming to work in Finland from a non-EU/EEA country, they may be able to apply for a residence permit using Migri’s fast track service. Under the fast-track system, the employee can get a decision on the residence permit application within two weeks.
Your future employee can apply for a residence permit using the fast track service if they are applying as:
- a specialist
- an EU Blue Card holder
- a specialist or manager based in an internal company transfer
- a top- or middle-level manager
Family members can also submit fast track residence applications.
Please note that you must use the Enter Finland e-service to use Migri’s fast track service. It is recommended that your Enter Finland account is created at the earliest stage of the application process.
TIP: For Fast track applications employers needs to add the terms of employment to the employee’s application within two (2) working days of receiving the message that your employee has submitted an application.
Employers account on Enter Finland
When applying for a residence permit you can use the Enter Finland e-service to submit the application and required documents from the employer side. To get started you must first create an employer account on the Enter Finland e-service. By having an account, it is easier to provide information about their employment.
After your have created your employers account on Enter Finland, you can:
- fill in the terms and conditions of employment and company details in your residence permit application
- pay the processing fee (not applicable for fast track)
- provide supplementary information about your company and the terms of employment
- monitor the status of the application
Learn more about what else you can do with your employer’s account on Enter Finland
TIP: In case the new international employee is relocating to Finland together with their family members it is advisable to apply for residence permits and visit the Finnish mission at the same time so that the applications of the whole family will be processed simultaneously.
TIP: While your employee is waiting for their residence permit to be processed, you can always provide them with information and links to start the settling in process. More information about Settling in the Helsinki capital region.
If your new international employee receives a request to provide additional information for their residence permit application, the application will be on hold until the requested information is provided.
NOTE: You cannot apply for residence permit on behalf of your employee.
For more information, please check Migri’s website for employers and how to use Enter Finland for Employers.