Seeking asylum is not the only way to come to Finland. If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and wish to move to Finland for a period longer than three months, you need a residence permit. You may apply for a residence permit in Finland, for example on the basis of work, study or family ties. The principal rule is that the residence permit must be applied for before coming to Finland.
You need a residence permit if you wish to work in Finland. Once you have found a job, you may apply for a residence permit. In order to work, you need an employee’s residence permit or some other kind of residence permit that includes the right to work. The type of permit is dependent on what kind of work you are coming to Finland to do.
You also need a residence permit if you wish to study in Finland. Before you can apply for a residence permit, you must be granted a study place in Finland. A permit may also be granted if
- you have a study place at a Finnish institute
- your studies will lead to a profession or degree
- you have sufficient assets to study in Finland
- you have health insurance
You may apply for a residence permit to study or work on a paper application form at a Finnish mission, but the quickest and cheapest way to apply is electronically. Remember, however, that even if you send in your application electronically, you must still go in person to a Finnish mission to identify yourself and to present original copies of appendices required for your application. You may visit a Finnish mission in your home country or in another country where you are allowed to be or visit legally.
If you wish to travel to Finland only for a short time for a holiday, business trip or visit with relatives, for example, you need a visa if you are not a citizen of a visa-exempt country. A visa is a permit to enter the country for a short and temporary stay, and it is valid for no more than three months.
Before you can be granted a residence permit or visa, you must also meet the general requirements for entering the country.