Business Visa

The business visa is a standard visit visa that permits an individual to enter the country for no more than 90 days. The business visa allows the worker to engage in conferences, seminars and similar business-related activities, but may not engage directly with work. The period of residence may not exceed 90 days. The visa is not required if the individual is from a Nordic country, an EU Member State, or a visa-free country. Business visas may be single, double or multiple entry depending on the nature of the visit.

Processing Time: at least 15 days

Processing Fee: €60

Residence Permit for an Employed Person

For foreign nationals seeking to work in Finland for an extended duration, a residence permit is required, which applies to most forms of employment for foreign employees. The permit card indicates the type and duration of the employment for the individual. There are three categories of residence permits:

  • Continuous (A): Extended for a maximum of 4 years at a time
  • Temporary (B): Extended for 1 year at a time
  • Permanent (P)

The type of permit issued is typically tied to the nature of the work. The permanent permit may only be granted if the employee meets certain requirements and they have resided and worked in Finland for four years without interruption.

Residence permits are usually granted for a single professional field depending on the job, although permits can be granted for those with several lines of trade. In most cases, the permit is only issued for a single employer and the employee will not be able to engage in employment with another employer unless they renew the permit.

Processing Time: Maximum of 4 months

Processing Fee: €450

Residence Permit for Self-Employment

This permit is applicable for those who wish to be self-employed once they entire Finland. They must register their business with the Trade Register at the National Board of Patents and Registration before the permit can be issued. Private entrepreneurs, partners, general partners, and members of a cooperative are all categorized under this permit. They must provide supporting documentation as proof of their professional status and evidence of their business.

Processing Time: Maximum of 4 months

Processing Fee: €450


Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Finland, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Finnish market.

Citizens from any EU or EEA country are free to reside and work in Finland for up to three months, and must register the right of residence at a local police station if extending their employment. Nationals who are from countries in the Schengen zone only require a valid passport and travel documents instead of a visa for stays up to three months.

Foreign nationals who are not from Nordic, EU or EEA countries require an employee’s residence permit or an ordinary residence permit when working with an employer based in Finland. For most cases of foreign employees wishing to enter and work in Finland, the relevant permits must be obtained under the Aliens’ Act. The process for a Finland-based company employing a foreign national is a comparatively simple process, where in many cases only a residence permit is required to legally employ a foreign employee.

Employee – Residence Permit Application

  • The employee is offered a position at a company in Finland where employment will commence in the future under an employment contract.
  • The employee submits a ‘residence permit for an employed person’ application to the Finnish diplomatic embassy in their country prior to travelling to Finland.
  • The employee submits documents for identity verification along with the permit application, such as a valid passport, fingerprints, photo and supporting documents.
  • The Employment and Economic Development Office makes a partial decision on the merits of the employee’s application.
  • Migri (Finnish Immigration Service) investigates whether the employee fulfils the necessary conditions to be granted a residence permit and makes the final decision.
  • The employee is informed of the decision by mail through the embassy if abroad, and through either the police or Migri if in Finland on the status of the application. The employer is also notified by mail.
  • The employee obtains a residence permit card from the Finnish embassy or from the police.
  • The first permit is granted for one year, and may be renewed at a local Finnish police station once expired given that the conditions for the residence permit are still met.
  • The employee may travel to Finland and begin employment.

Required Documentation (Employee)

  • Employment contract
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photo
  • Residence permit for an employed person application
  • Payment details
  • Medical certificates, e.g. Salmonella, Tuberculosis, etc.

Employer – Residence Permit Application

  • An employment agreement is drafted stating the terms and conditions of the employment relationship, detailing the duration, employee’s salary, etc.
  • The employer must confirm the employee’s application for a residence permit for an employed person by filling in the TEM 054 form.
  • The employer cannot apply for a residence permit on behalf of the employee, but may advise the employee on the steps and forms to follow.
  • For individuals who are already residing in Finland, it is up to the employer to ensure that the employee has the right to work and is a legal resident in Finland.
  • On the employee’s arrival, the employer must verify that the foreign employee has a valid residence permit card or sticker in a travel document, or is from a country where a permit is not required. Illegal employment without valid documentation attracts fines from €1,000 to €30,000.
  • Once all documentation has been confirmed, the employee may commence work.
  • The employer must retain all relevant documents, such as the employment contract, record logs, and copies of each foreign employee’s residence permits for inspection by the police, occupational safety and health authorities, or the Finnish tax administration.

Required Documentation (Employer)

  • Employment contract
  • TEM 054 form (Confirmation of residence permit application by employer)
  • Certificate of paid taxes or tax debts
  • Certificates on employer’s statutory insurance premiums such as TyEL insurance
  • Report on the number of employees in the company
  • Report on recruitment of labour force from the Finnish labour market and EU/EEA labour market

Processing Time: The expected processing time is at most 4 months

Processing Fee: A fee of €450 must be paid by the applicant.