Are you a specialist willing to work in Finland? Learn how to get your residence permit
Specialists can work for three months without the need for a residence permit. And if their work is extended beyond that time, the processing time of permits for them is relatively short (only one month) comparing to other groups.
The law in Finland offers the possibility to get a residence permit as a specialist. According to the definition made by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), a specialist is a highly skilled worker who comes to the country to work with expert tasks that require special expertise.
These highly qualified workers can enjoy several advantages when it comes to making the jump to this country, which claims to be eager to attract talent and people capable of innovating.
The main advantage is that once they are in Finland, specialists can work for three months without the need for a residence permit. And if their work is extended beyond that time, the processing time of permits for them is relatively short (only one month) compared to those of other groups.
But before you stop reading this article and run to the nearest airport and take a plane to Helsinki, it is a good idea to learn all the requirements to be considered a specialist and to benefit from the advantages that this status brings.
Who can be considered a specialist
According to Migri, you can apply for this kind of residence permit if you work as a specialist. For the Finnish Immigration authorities this means that you have a higher education degree, your tasks are demanding and your salary is higher than average, “at least approximately 3,000 euro gross pay per month”, says Migri.
You can also apply for this kind of residence permit if you are a consultant, a teacher or if you belong to the top or middle management of a company and have a contract of employment with an employer operating in Finland or have accepted a binding job offer. Migri points out that if you do not meet these demands, then you need to apply for a regular residence permit for an employed person.
Since January 1 2019, a legal change has been introduced that will make more difficult to fulfil the economic requirements for getting a residence permit as a specialist.
Until now, these professionals had to prove they had an income higher than the national average. But now they will also see limited the number of concepts that the Finnish authorities accept as income. So, when making the account, Migri will not accept daily allowances and other compensations for expenses. The explanation given is that “these allowances are not part of the salary, and they are not taxed as salary".
EU Blue Card
Instead of a residence permit for special experts, you can also apply for the EU Blue Card.
The EU Blue Card makes it easier to move from one EU country to another for work. You can be issued with the EU Blue Card if you meet the following requirements:
- Your work demands a high level of competence or special expertise.
- You have a higher education degree.
- You will be paid a gross minimum salary of 4663 euros per month.
- Your work in Finland will last for at least a year.
If you do not meet the requirements for the EU Blue Card, you can apply for a residence permit for a special expert.
You may work for three months without residence permit
If you are coming to Finland to work as a specialist, you can arrive without a residence permit and work for three months. In this case, you need to have a valid travel visa or the right to stay in Finland visa-free during this time, as well as a job.
For more information on the right to work without a residence permit, click HERE
If your work as a specialist in Finland will last for more than three months, then you will need to apply for a residence permit. Migri recommends to submit the application “soon after arriving in Finland, to make sure that your right to work does not expire”. Because if your visa expires, you will lose also the right to work in the country.
How to submit your residence permit application
The easiest way is to apply electronically by using the website Enter Finland, which is the online service of the Finnish Immigration Department. You can access to the page to submit your application for a residence permit as a specialist by clicking HERE
Before you start, check out that you have all the necessary attachments and information before you begin. At least, you will be required to provide:
- A valid passport.
- An employment contract.
- A degree or qualification certificate or some other document demonstrating special expertise.
If other attachments are required, this will be indicated in the application.
When using the Enter Finland system to submit your application electronically, first of all you will need to create an account if you do not have already one. You can create your own account by using your online banking credentials. If you do not have those, then you can also create an account by using a valid email address.
To have an account will ease the whole process of application because it will facilitate to you to be in touch with the authorities, to get to know the process evolution and receive any relevant notifications concerning your application.
The processing of an application is subject to a fee: 350 € for online applications. You can pay it with most credit cards, or use the online banking services provided by Finnish banks.
Even when using the electronic services, you will have to prove your identity in person, to show the originals of the documents that you attached to your application and to have your fingerprints taken. To do that, you will have to visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. There you can also pay the processing fee.
For this purpose, it is recommended to book in advance an appointment. You can do it by clicking HERE
To process an online application takes around one month and you can follow it in the online service. If further information or documents are required, Migri will send to you a request. You will also receive an online notification when a decision has been made.
Applications on paper form
If you do not have the possibility to fill in your application via the electronic service, you can also do it on paper. But take into account that it will be more expensive (the fee for paper applications is 550 €) and it will take more time.
To apply on paper, you must fill in the form OLE_TY2 carefully and then attach all the necessary documents.
You can fill in, download and print the OLE_TY2 application form by clicking HERE
Then visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service in order to submit your application and pay the fee. If you are abroad, visit a Finnish mission (embassy or consulate).
You can book an appointment online with the Finnish Immigration Service by clicking HERE
According to Migri’s webpage, the expected processing time for paper applications is 2 months.