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Residence Permit


Applicants who plan to stay in Finland for longer than 90 days within any 180-day period are required to have a residence permit. The right to work without a residence permit is restricted. You may have to apply for a residence permit in order to work in Finland even if your stay does not exceed 90 days. If you are an EU citizen or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you are not required to have a residence permit for Finland. Decisions for the residence permits are made by The Finnish Immigration Service which is the competent authority in residence permit matters in Finland.

Who Is Eligible To Submit A Residence Permit Application?

The application must be submitted in the country in which the applicant resides legally.

The Application Centre can accept application only if the applicant is legally residing in Nigeria, Cameroon, Central Africa, Chad, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) , Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone or Togo on the day of submission


The applicable residence permit category needs to be chosen by the applicant based on the reason for coming to Finland. For more information about residence permit categories please visit The Finnish Immigration Service.


You can find information about the expected processing times: The Finnish Immigration Service. Enquiries do not speed up the processing of your application. You will be contacted if additional information is needed for your application. Otherwise, you will not be contacted before the decision is made.

If you use Enter Finland you can track processing of your application via your personal user account in Enter Finland. When the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision on your application, you will see it there.


Enter Finland is an e-service of the Finnish Immigration Service

You can apply for a residence permit using Enter Finland.

The information available in Enter Finland is the same you receive when calling the Finnish Immigration Service customer service.

Enter Finland will guide you through the process of filling in your application. You do not need to save your application manually. Enter Finland will save it automatically as you fill it in.

If you are an employer, you can use Enter Finland to track the processing status of your employee’s residence permit application, to submit documents to the Finnish Immigration Service and to pay the processing fee on behalf of your employee.

When you submit your application through Enter Finland, you have to continue using Enter Finland throughout the application process.

You can track the processing of your application through your personal user account in Enter Finland. When the Finnish Immigration Service makes a decision on your application, you will be notified through the system.

The Finnish Immigration Service will also notify you through Enter Finland if additional information is needed for the processing of your application. You will get an email or a text message notification if further information is requested from you.

If you have a technical problem related to the use of Enter Finland, please contact the technical support:


All residence permit applicants older than 6 years will have their fingerprints taken to be recorded in the Register of Aliens. All applicants will be required to provide their biometric data (10 fingerprints and a digital photograph) when applying for a residence permit.

Exemptions from the fingerprinting requirement are provided for a limited number of applicants:

  • Children under 6 years old
  • Applicants who are physically unable to provide finger scans (disabilities, missing or non-functional body parts etc.)

During each visit to the Application Centre the applicant’s fingerprints are collected, a passport photo is taken and a signature is collected to be attached in a biometric file of the applicant. Children under 6 years old are not photographed and they need to bring a photo to be scanned. Please notice the qualifications of the photo.

Fingerprints will be collected each time when applying for a residence permit, a permit extension or a permanent residence permit, and a new card will be issued each time. Biometric identifiers stored on the residence permit card chip include a facial image and two fingerprints. The residence permit card is not an official identity card. Recording biometric identifiers on the residence permit will help to prevent malpractice by creating a more reliable connection between the residence permit holder and the permit itself.


Please note: The technical requirements for the photo must meet the international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).