In most of the cases, when you apply for a residence permit in Finland you will see that among the requirements stated by the Finnish immigration law it is included the obligation to prove that you have secure means of support.
To comply with this condition, you must prove to the authorities of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) that you have sufficient funds to live in Finland on your own, without becoming a burden on the social security system.
The requirement can be more or less strict depending on your personal circumstances.
For example, if you come from a country of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), everything is easier. To begin with, you do not need a residence permit but simply to complete the process of registering your right to residency.
In this case, Migri will not require either from you to have a specific amount of money, though you must have enough funds to support yourself. The main point is that the Finnish social assistance cannot be your principal means of support.
Therefore, even if you are an EU citizen do not be surprised if you are asked about the matter when you submit your application for the right of residence. Your personal circumstances (for instance if you are married to a Finn) will be taken into account by the officials when considering this requirement and will affect the process.
The whole thing becomes more complicated if you are a citizen from a third country outside the EU and the EEA spaces. In this case, the requirement might change depending on what kind of residence permit you are applying for.
Workers from outside EU and EEA
The law demands that if you apply for a residence permit to work in Finland, you need to be able to earn your living through gainful employment during the time your residence permit is valid. According to Migri, this means that your salary must at least correspond to the salary specified in the collective agreement applied to your field.
In the event that there is no collective agreement in your sector, then your gross salary must be at least 1,211 per month (this is the amount stated for 2019).
If you apply for a residence permit as a specialist, you are required to earn a salary that is higher than the average in the country. In this case you can benefit from a simpler bureaucracy, but you will need to receive at least 3,000 euros per month from your employer.
If you apply for an EU Blue Card, your gross salary must be at least 4,732 euros per month in 2019. Potential employee benefits and daily allowances do not count as salary.
Au-pairs and volunteers
If you apply for a residence permit for Au-pair status, your host family must provide you with room and food, an insurance and pocket money. This money must be at least 280 euros (net) per month.
Applicants for a residence permit for volunteering or for a working holiday must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to live in Finland. The general requirement in this case is to have about 2,000 euros in the bank account for the first three months.
Family members of a resident in Finland
If you are a family member of a person who has been granted a residence permit in Finland, then you are required to have secure means of support from other sources than benefits paid by the society. In this case, you can fulfil the requirement by the income from employment or business activities of your family member living in Finland.
Those means of support will be calculated from the net income, after taxes and after employer’s and employee’s pensions and insurance contributions.
Migri remarks that there are certain social benefits that can be considered income and therefore they reduce the required means of support. These are called ‘social security benefits compensating for expenses’. For instance in this category are included:
- Child benefit.
- Child care allowance.
- Child maintenance allowance.
- Study grant.
- Housing allowance.
According to the table shown above, a family of two adults and two children under 18 years of age needs a total of 2,600 euros per month (1,000+700+500+400 euros) to have secured means of support in Finland. A family of a single parent and four children younger under 18 years needs 2,400 euros per month (1,000+500+400+300+200 euros) to meet the requirement.
If you are dating a person or intend to marry
If you apply for a permit on the basis of an established dating relationship or an intention to get married, the Finnish law establishes that the income of your partner who lives in Finland is not taken into account when calculating the income requirement.
This is because under Finnish law, he or she is not considered to be your family member.
In this case you have to be an adult and to meet the income requirement you need to prove that you have at least 1,000 euros per month freely available to you, for example in your personal bank account.
For asylum seekers and refugees
The following people do not need to have secure means of support:
- A family member of a person who has been granted asylum or accepted as a quota refugee before 1 July 2016, if the family has been started before the sponsor arrived in Finland.
- A family member of a person who has been granted asylum on or after 1 July 2016, if the family was started before the sponsor came to Finland and if the family member submits his or her application for a residence permit on the basis of family ties within three months after the sponsor is informed that he or she has been granted asylum.
- A family member of a person who has been accepted as a quota refugee to Finland on and after 1 July 2016, if the family was started before the sponsor was accepted as a quota refugee and the family member submits his or her application for a residence permit on the basis of family ties within three months after the sponsor is informed that he or she has been accepted as a quota refugee.
- A brother or a sister of an underage person who has been granted international protection and who arrived in Finland alone. The brother or sister must reside outside Finland. In addition, the following conditions must be met:
- The siblings have lived together.
- Their parents have died or disappeared.
Before arriving in Finland, students must make sure that have enough funds for the entire time the studies will take. A residence permit for studies can be granted for two years, if they can prove that they have sufficient financial resources for the entire stay.
This means that a student must have at least 560 euros at his/her disposal every month to be able to pay for accommodation, food and other needs. For a two-year stay, they must have 13,440 euros at their disposal.
If you are a student and only want the residence permit for one year at a time, you must have 6,720 euros at your disposal in your own bank account. Means of income will be assessed every time the student submits an application to Migri. You must attach a bank statement to your application.
Some educational institutions support their students’ residence in Finland. If the educational institution provides you free accommodation, then you need to have at least 280 euros per month. If you get also free meals, then you need to have at least 195 euros per month.
For further information on income requirement and means of support for students, click HERE
Cases in which means of support are not required
Migri informs that you are not required to have secure means of support if:
- You have been granted a residence permit on compassionate grounds or as a victim of human trafficking.
- You are an underage sibling of a minor foreign national who has come to Finland alone and has been granted a residence permit on compassionate grounds, and your parents have died or disappeared.
- You have been granted a residence permit on the basis of international protection (asylum, subsidiary protection or temporary protection).
- You have been accepted as a quota refugee.
- You are a family member of a Finnish citizen, or an underage, unmarried child of such a family member.
- You are another relative of a Finnish citizen.
- You are a former Finnish citizen or a family member of a former Finnish citizen.
- You are a descendant of a former Finnish citizen, or a family member of such a descendant.
- You are from the area of the former Soviet Union and you were evacuated from Ingria or you served in the Finnish army, or you are a family member of such a person.
- You are an Ingrian returnee and you are applying for an extended permit or a permanent residence permit.
- You are the spouse or an underage child of an Ingrian returnee, you are applying for an extended permit or a permanent residence permit, and you applied for your first residence permit on the basis of family ties before 1 July 2016.