Finland further hinders the requirements to obtain a residence permit as a specialist worker
Starting from 7 January 2019, daily allowances and other benefits compensating for expenses are not counted towards specialists’ salaries.
Finland today announced a legal change that will make more difficult to fulfil the economic requirements for the granting of residence permits for specialist workers.
Until now, to receive their residence permits, these professionals had to prove the possession of a work contract and an income higher than the national average (at least 3,000 euros gross per month is acceptable). But starting next week, specialists will also see limited the number of concepts that the Finnish authorities accept as 'salary'.
So, when making the account, the immigration authorities will not accept daily allowances and other compensations for expenses, as informed today the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri).
On a press release, the immigration authorities explained that one of the requirements for obtaining a residence permit as a specialist is that the applicant´s salary must be higher than the average. “To obtain a residence permit as a specialist, the applicant must have a salary of approximately 3,000 euros per month”, says the official text.
Company cars or housing benefits
Then, the statement distinguishes between the concepts that will be acceptable from now on as part of the salary and that will not.
For instance “taxable fringe benefits provided by the employer can be counted towards the employee’s salary”. Such fringe benefits may be a company car or a housing benefit. However, “daily allowances or other similar compensations for travelling or for the costs caused by residing in Finland will not be counted towards the employee’s salary starting from 7 January 2019”.
As explained in Migri's words, the reason for the change is that "foreign daily allowances are a compensation for the costs that the work causes the employee. These allowances are not part of the salary, and they are not taxed as salary".
The change applies to applications submitted on 7 January 2019 or later. Migri also points out that the policy change affects “both first and extended residence permits”.
When deciding whether an extended residence permit can be granted, one of the factors that the agency will always assess is whether the terms of employment given in the application for the first residence permit have been met. An extended permit cannot be granted if, for example, the employee’s real salary has not been as high as was stated in the first application.
Who can be considered a specialist?
According to the requirements of the Finnish Immigration authorities, you may be considered as a specialist and apply for a residence permit on these grounds if your work is demanding and requires a higher education degree and if your salary is at least 3.000 euros (gross) per month.
In your application, you must prove that you meet these criteria. Specialists include, mainly:
- IT experts
- Experts in some field of specialisation who have a higher education degree.
- Other persons with a higher education degree whose work requires expert knowledge.
For more information on the requirements to get a residence permit as a specialist and to apply for one, click HERE