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Staying as a tourist or wish to work in Finland?

People from many countries outside the EU can stay in Finland as tourists for three months without a permit. If you wish to work in Finland, you need to apply for a residence permit, even if the period of stay is shorter than three months. EEA and Swiss citizens, their spouses and children under 21 years of age (and dependents in their parents' care) do not need a work permit.

Permits for entrepreneurs and employees depend on whether the person is from or resides in another Nordic country, an EU country or comes from outside the EU. The notifications and permits required can include registering for the right to reside in Finland, getting a residence permit for entrepreneurs or employees, or registering in the Population Register.

Persons residing outside the European Economic Area (EEA) may also need a permit from the National Board of Patents and Registration to serve in a managerial position or to carry out other duties of responsibility in a businesses.

Applying for a visa to the Schengen area

Finland is part of the Schengen area . Foreign nationals who need an entry visa are requested to apply at the nearest Finnish consulate. In countries where Finland does not have a mission, another Schengen country can represent Finland in visa matters. These states have jointly agreed on the rules concerning the movement of third-country nationals in their territories and have decided which countries' citizens are required to present a visa.

Residence permits

Citizens of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) may freely enter Finland and reside in the country without a residence permit. They can also take up paid employment without a residence permit for an employed person.

EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have the right to enter, reside, study, seek work, or practice a profession in Finland for three months without a residence permit. If the stay lasts longer than that, they must register their right to reside in Finland at a police department.

Citizens from non-EU/EEA countries should apply for a residence permit first. Everyone applying for a residence permit must fill in a separate form. This applies to all children too. The application is subject to a fee. In order for a residence permit to be granted, the applicant must have a valid passport or other approved travel document. The first residence permit for employed persons or self-employed persons costs as a paper application 520 EUR and as an electronic application 450 EUR (2018).

Finland has an advanced social security and public health care system that extends to all permanent residents in the country. People moving to Finland have the right to buy real estate or rent property from the open market.

Work permits

A foreign national in Finland who wishes to be employed requires a residence permit, which is applied for before arriving in Finland through a Finnish Embassy abroad. Private entrepreneurship or practicing a profession in Finland requires a separate residence permit intended for entrepreneurs. Residence permits for employees or entrepreneurs are not required for citizens of EU member states or citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

EU citizens and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can freely work in Finland if the work lasts for a maximum of three months. After that, they must register their right to reside in Finland, but they do not need a special residence permit.

Foreign employees who are non-EU citizens and equivalent persons need a residence permit for an employed person if they intend to work in Finland. A residence permit can be granted on the basis of either temporary work or work of a continuous nature.


  • Migri.fiInformation on how to apply for work permits