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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

  • How do I submit my residence permit application?

    Most applications can be submitted online through EnterFinland.

    After submitting the application you are required to visit the Application Centre/Consulate General within 90 days for fingerprinting and identification purposes.

  • As a US passport holder how long can I stay in Finland without residence permit?

    As a US citizen you can stay in Finland and the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day-period.For longer stays you will need to apply for a residence permit. For your information: A calculator regarding the remaining days

  • What appendices do I need when I am applying for residence permit?

    For required documents please visit the Finnish Immigration Service.

  • How can I know the status of my application?

    You can check the status of your application by logging into your Enter Finland account using your registered e-mail id and password that was used to create the account.

  • Can I speed up the processing of my application?

    No you cannot. Inquiries 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, so please wait patiently.

  • I cannot visit the Application Centre at my appointment time. What should I do?

    Please cancel or reschedule through the VFS appointment system. In urgent cases please call Helpline immediately.

  • I do not have an identity document (passport etc). What should I do?

    You are required to prove your identity when visiting the Application Centre. A valid identification document is compulsory to have.

  • How long can I stay outside Finland without my residence permit expiring/being cancelled?

    For information on how long you can stay outside of Finland without your permit/resident status changing please visit the Finnish Immigration Service.

  • I have submitted a residence permit application abroad. Can I travel to Finland to wait for the decision?

    No. If you submit your application abroad, you cannot go to Finland to wait for the decision while the application is being processed.

  • How will I receive my residence permit?

    AC will mail the permit to you with the prepaid envelope submitted by you.

  • I have been granted a residence permit to Finland. Do I also need a Schengen visa to enter the country?

    No. You do not need a visa in addition to a residence permit.

  • I have an expired residence permit. Can you use the biometrics I provided last time for my new application?

    No. You will need to visit the AC/Consulate General again after submitting the new application.

  • Can I send my application by mail?

    Unfortunately that is not possible. An application must be entered to Enter Finland and a personal visit is mandatory for identification and for the biometrics.

  • What is the processing time for residence permits?

    The Consulate General of Finland cannot provide information about the processing times on behalf of another authority. The competent authority regarding residence permits is the Immigration Service in Finland.

    Please find information on expected processing times: The Finnish Immigration Service.

  • My residence permit card was stolen during my family holiday in the US. I am originally from “any country with visa requirement to Finland”, how do I proceed?

    First you need to report the incident to the police. A police report and a valid ID are required to submit a new residence permit application. Please note that you can't apply for a replacement card outside of Finland. The first residence permit application needs to be submitted to the Consulate General of Finland in New York or in Los Angeles.

    You will need to start a new residence permit process with a new process fee.

  • I am residing in Washington state US and the nearest Application Centre is in Vancouver, Canada. Could I submit my biometrics there?

    You can submit your biometrics in Vancouver AC, but only if you are applying for study or work based residence permit. Please note: Only US residents of Washington state can submit their applications at Finland Application Centre in Vancouver.

  • I am a resident of Washington state US and going to submit my biometrics at Vancouver Application Centre. After submission, do I have to travel to Vancouver again to get my residence permit card?

    You can collect your decision at the Vancouver Application Centre, or you can buy a VFS courier service to your address in Washington state, US. Please note: Only US residents of Washington state can submit their applications at Finland Application Centre in Vancouver

    WORK

  • I want to move to Finland to work. However, I don't have a job waiting for me yet. Can I apply for a residence permit for work?

    In order to submit an application based on work you need to have a job offer first.

  • I have been granted a residence permit to work as an au pair. The family needs me to start working before the permit's validity begins, am I allowed to do so?

    No. You cannot start working as an au pair before you have a valid residence permit.

  • I plan on applying for an EU Blue Card. What are the application-specific requirements?

    The tasks must require special professional qualifications or expertise, you must have a higher education degree and the duration of the work has to be minimum one year. Your gross income must be at least EUR 4,663 per month.

    STUDIES

  • I got accepted to a university in Finland. How much money do I need to have for my stay?

    Please find information on the website of The Finnish Immigration Service.

  • I am 19 years old, can I provide the bank account information of my parents?

    No. Only minors can have a joint bank account. If you are over 18 years old, the funds must be in your own bank account. Sponsorship agreements provided by relatives, friends or employers are not acceptable.

  • I have medical insurance through my family, however it only covers medical expenses up to USD 15,000. Do I need to purchase a separate insurance plan?

  • Yes. If your studies last less than two years your insurance must cover medical expenses up to EUR 120,000. If your studies in Finland last over two years your insurance must cover medical expenses up to EUR 40,000.
  • Where can I find the right kind of insurance?

    You can take out insurance from an insurance company in your home country. The Finnish Immigration Service has also listed some insurance companies that offer plans for students on their website.

  • I want to study Finnish language in Finland. Can I apply for a residence permit for language studies?

    You may not obtain a residence permit for language or training courses alone. However, you may obtain a residence permit to study Finnish before the start of your actual studies if you have been accepted as a student to a Finnish educational institution.

    FAMILY TIES

  • Can my family members fill out one application?

    No. All applicants, including children, need their own application.

  • My partner has been granted a residence permit to Finland. We are not married but have been living together for over 2 years, can I join him in Finland?

    Yes. You can apply for a residence permit based on cohabitation if you have lived together for at least two years in a marriage-like relationship or with whom you have a joint custody of a child.

  • I want to get a residence permit to Finland based on family ties, but we are not married yet

    Please note that the concept of family is narrower in Finland than in many other countries. The family members defined by law are a spouse, a registered partner, a cohabiting partner, a child and a person who has custody of a child under 18 years of age and a child.

    Please find information about applying for a permit on other grounds: The Finnish Immigration Service. Applications based on other grounds need to be submitted at the Consulate General of Finland in New York or Los Angeles.

    REMIGRATION

  • My grandfather was a Finnish citizen, can I apply for a residence permit to Finland?

    Yes. Former Finnish citizens and descendants of native Finnish citizens are able to apply for a residence permit based on Finnish ancestry. You may apply for a residence permit if at least one of your parents or grandparents is or has been a native Finnish citizen.

  • Can I submit the application through EnterFinland?

    No. The application can only be submitted as a paper copy during an appointment at the Consulate General.

    OTHER GROUNDS

  • I have looked at the requirements for residence permit applications, but I don't meet the requirements for any of the specific applications. Can I still apply?

    If none of the grounds apply to you, the option of applying for a residence permit on other special grounds is available. Please find more information here.

  • Can I submit the application through EnterFinland?

    No. The application can only be submitted as a paper copy during an appointment at the Consulate General.

    RESIDENCE PERMIT CARD

  • My permit is about to expire, how can I renew it?

    An extended residence permit can only be applied for in Finland before the previous permit expires. If you submit your application abroad, your application will be processed as an application for a first residence permit even if you have already had a residence permit in Finland. The application will be subject to a processing fee for a first permit.

  • I will be living abroad for 2,5 years to complete my studies, will my residence permit be cancelled?

    Your residence permit will be cancelled if you move permanently away from Finland. The permit will also be cancelled should you live outside of Finland for a continuous period of two years. If you do not want your residence permit to be cancelled because you are living abroad, you should to apply within two years of moving abroad to have the cancellation prevented. Please find more information here.

  • I cannot find an answer to my question here. What can I do?

    Email: info.finres.usa@vfshelpline.com

    Helpline +1 212-203-0023

  • Do you want to know more about residence permits, application process, moving to Finland or life in Finland in general?

    For more information please visit the Finnish Immigration Service or Infopankki where you can find information in your language.