Is your residence permit about to expire? Learn how to request an extension
Choose the most important reason for you to live in Finland and use it as the grounds for your application. Be sure to submit it three months before your current permit expires
If you notice that your residence permit is about to expire, it may be a good time to start thinking about applying for an extension, in order to continue residing legally in Finland.
Unless you have been in the country for a long time, the most common option in these cases is to request an extended residence permit, which will allow you to stay up to two more years. The law allows also to apply for a permanent residence permit or for a long-term resident's EU residence permit for third-country nationals, but only if you have been in Finland long enough (4 -5 years are usually required, depending on the case).
Leaving aside these cases, most immigrants face at sooner or later the need to request an extended permit, when their first residence permit is about to expire. If this is your current situation and you still meet the requirements on which basis your first residence permit was granted (for instance work or family ties), then the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) recommends to apply for an extended permit on the same grounds.
In case your circumstances have changed, if you still meet the legal requirements to live in Finland you can apply for a residence permit based on other grounds. Migri recommends to apply always for an extended permit on the main grounds of your residence in Finland. For instance if you study or work, or if you are married or work, select among those the most important reason for you to live in Finland and use it as the grounds for your application.
The law gives you the possibility to apply for an extended residence permit on the following grounds:
- Family ties
- International protection
- You are a victim of human trafficking
- Other grounds
If you are not sure about which is the right application you should sent, the Finnish Immigration Service has in its website an Application Finder that may help you to find the best choice. You can consult the Application Finder HERE
Depending on the grounds of your application, you will have to provide certain documents (for example to prove that you have a work contract or a study place in Finland. Still, there are some general attachments you must send:
- A valid passport (you must show it when you submit the residence permit application).
- Passport photo complying with the photo guidelines issued by the police or a photograph retrieval code you received from a photo shop.
- Color copies of the passport page containing personal data and all pages that contain notes.
How to apply
You can submit your application for an extended permit via the e-service Enter Finland or on paper. But remember that even if you choose to use the electronic service you must visit a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service after you have filled in the application.
If you want to access the Enter Finland service to initiate your electronic application of an extended permit, click HERE
If you already applied online and now you need to book an appointment with Migri to prove your identity, show your passport and allow your fingerprints taken, click HERE
Applications are subjected to he payment of a fee. For extended permits, the cost is 190 euros unless you are a student or minor (150€) or you are a returnee or you have been guaranteed international protection (200€). You can consult a list of the 2019 fees collected by the Finnish Immigration service HERE
Apply three months before
The processing of your application will take time. The same will happen with the compulsory visit you will have to make to Migri in order to proof your identity. Therefore, you should consider addressing this process with sufficient time to gather the documents, request an appointment and visit the service point of the Finnish Immigration Service.
The time recommended by Migri to submit an application for an extended permit is three months before the expected expiration date of your current residence permit. Do not do it earlier, because such a hurry could turn against you. According to Migri, if you submit your request too early its personnel may not be able to assess whether you meet the requirements for the extension of your permit. This may occur for example if you are an student and you did not have time to fulfill your academic goals: do not apply for an extended permit until you have completed the necessary ECTS credits.
The grounds on which your previous residence permit was granted will determine if you can work or not while your application for a new residence permit is processed. One important thing to keep in mind is that you will not be allowed to continue working if you applied too late, when your first residence permit expired. So, once again, face the process with sufficient time and submit your request three months before.
Cases in which you can continue working
In general terms, you can continue working while your application for an extended permit is processed if you sent your application before your previous residence permit expired and you meet one of the following conditions:
- You have a residence permit for an employed person (TTOL) and you still work for the same employer or in the same field of work.
- You have a residence permit for an employed person (TTOL) and you are applying for an extended permit on the basis of family ties. While your application is processed, you have the right to work within the limits set by your residence permit for an employed person.
- Your right to work is based on another residence permit, such as a residence permit on the basis of family ties or studies.
- If you have a residence permit for seasonal work and you apply for an extended permit to continue working for the same employer.
In the event that Migri decides to deny you an extended permit and you appeal the decision, you may continue working until your appeal has been processed. There is an exception to this: if you have completed a degree in Finland and are applying for an extended permit for work or to look for work and receive a negative decision, you are not allowed to continue working even if you appeal the decision.
Once you have completed your application, you may reside in Finland legally during the processing and time of the eventual appeal.
If you receive a negative decision and a decision on your removal, you will be obliged to leave the country.