Guidance: Travel to Finland for work

1 week ago 9

This guide is for British citizens travelling for business or other work purposes. It explains what employers, employees, or the self-employed need to do if they need a visa, work permit or residence permit.

Entry requirements

If you’re going to Finland to work (or any other EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) you must make sure you meet passport and other travel requirements.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

have at least 6 months left be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

If you’re travelling for business for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, you may be able to do some work-related things without needing a visa or work permit, such as attend business meetings. These are usually covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

If you’re going for other types of work you may need a visa, work permit or residence permit.

Finland’s authorities are responsible for setting and enforcing entry rules. They decide which activities need a visa or permit, or which may be exempt.

You must always check with Finland’s government before you travel, to make sure you meet their legal requirements

If you’re working in more than one country you’ll need to check the entry rules of each country.

If you need a passport, visa or permit, you should apply well in advance of travel.

Visa and permit documents

This guide explains the general application process for some of the visa or permit types available in Finland. It includes a checklist of documents that you’ll usually need to include when applying.

It may not cover all scenarios so you must always check the exact application process and document requirements with Finland’s immigration authorities or embassy.

You must also check what format the documents should be presented in.

Certain documents issued outside of Finland must be translated and ‘legalised’ (apostillised) – check with the authorities which ones.

You should also check if they should be:

originals, or if copies are acceptable signed in ink (a wet signature), or if they can be signed electronically (an e-signature) dated within a certain period of time, such as 30 days before you submit your application

Countries often use the terms visa, work permit and residence permit differently. For example, some may refer to a work permit as a visa.

This guide uses the same terms used in Finland, so you know which ones to use when speaking to Finland’s authorities.

Check if you need a visa or permit

You do not need a visa or permit if you’re travelling to Finland for up to 90 days in a 180-day period for:

attending job interviews going to court as a witness attending trade fairs or conferences attending board meetings meeting clients or customers meeting colleagues, contractors or vendors fact-finding visits providing legal advice to a client speaking or presenting at a conference (paid or unpaid) team-building activities installing, upgrading, troubleshooting and repairing machinery, hardware or software carrying out an internal audit signing executive deals and contracts supervising the work of a vendor, contractor, or managing a team

Or for the following types of training, so long as it’s for the same company or group:

classroom-based training on-the-job training

These activities are covered by the Schengen visa waiver.

Border checks

At the border, you may be asked to show:

proof of return travel, such as plane or train tickets health insurance that covers your stay proof of accommodation for your entire stay enough money for the duration of your trip an invitation letter explaining your trip proof of UK residence

Check Finland’s exemptions

Certain types of work and activities do not require a visa or permit because they’re exempt.

All countries have their own exemptions. What may be exempt in one country may not be in another. You should always check with the country’s authorities.

The following may not require a visa or permit in Finland if they’re for up to 90 days and require special expertise:

specialists interpreters teachers sport judges or referees professional artists, coaches or athletes film workers whose employers don’t have an office in Finland sailors working on a ship listed in the Register of Merchant Vessels tour guides for package tours where Finland is a destination goods transporters

These also need to meet minimum income requirements – check with Finland’s authorities on the amount as it may change over time.

Exemptions are covered by the visa waiver and the 90-day rule.

Goods transporters

You may not need a visa or permit for up to 90 days if you’re the driver or personnel of a goods vehicle owned or controlled by a company outside Finland. You qualify if either of the following apply:

you drive a vehicle to transport a load across the border that is to be delivered to or retrieved from a certain destination operation in Finland is related to regular service between municipalities, at least one of which is located outside Finland

You must not live in Finland.

Exemptions are covered by the visa waiver and the 90-day rule.

EU intra-company transfer permits from other countries

If you have an EU intra-company transfer (EU ICT) permit from another country you can work in Finland for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.

Your employer has to notify the Finnish authorities of where you will be working.

Show proof of exemption

You need to be able to show proof that you’re exempt to the authorities on request. This could be:

an assignment letter an employment confirmation letter a contract proof of required qualifications, such as a degree or professional certificate CV

Further checks

If you’re not sure if you need a visa or permit to travel you can get advice from Finland’s embassy or immigration authorities.

Applying for a visa or permit

This guide outlines the steps required for each visa or permit to help you prepare, but you’ll need to check the exact rules and processes with Finland’s immigration authorities or embassy.

Taking your family

You may be able to apply for dependant permits if you have a family and want them to join you. It depends on the type of permit you have.

Long-term residence permits

You need a long-term residence permit even for short work trips if you’re:

transferring from a UK company to a branch in Finland (on assignment) employed by a company in Finland on a Finnish contract (local hire) providing services to a client in Finland for a UK company

If you’re transferring branch you can apply for an intra-company transfer (ICT) permit.

You need to apply for a residence permit if you’re in Finland because you’re:

working as a visiting consultant or instructor carrying out highly skilled or specialist work carrying out work that doesn’t require a higher education (‘employed workers’) working as an entrepreneur working as a start-up entrepreneur conducting research work working in science, or arts and culture working as an athlete, trainer or coach

These can be used for:

transferring to a Finnish branch from a UK company employment at a company in Finland providing services to a client in Finland

Residence permits are valid for up to 2 years depending on which one you need.

Intra-company transfer (ICT) permit

You need an intra-company transfer (ICT) residence permit if your UK-based company moves you temporarily to a branch in Finland to work for:

up to 3 years 1 year if you’re a trainee

To qualify you must:

be a manager, specialist or trainee have a bachelor’s level degree (compulsory for trainees), or relevant work experience have worked for the UK company for at least 3 months keep your UK employment contract

The ICT permit takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. You can’t extend it beyond 3 years or 1 year for trainees. You can apply for a new ICT or a different type of permit once you’ve lived outside of Finland for 3 months.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for an ICT residence permit or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form 2 passport photos UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay degree or qualification certificate if you’re a trainee job description signed employment contract with your UK employer showing you’ve been employed by them for at least 3 months proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK signed assignment letter from the UK or Finnish company confirming the exact terms of the assignment proof that the UK and Finnish companies belong to the same group of companies marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Visiting consultants or instructors

You need a residence permit for visiting consultants or instructors if you’re working in Finland for up to a year.

You qualify if you’re:

transferring from a UK-based company to a branch in Finland working for a company in Finland on a Finnish contract providing services to a client in Finland for a UK company

You must also:

have a university degree meet monthly income requirements if there’s no collective agreement in place.

This permit takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 year and you can’t extend it.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for a residence permit or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay degree or qualification certificate job description proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK employment contract or consultancy agreement including employment conditions service agreement, work order, or invitation letter from a Finnish client, if you’re providing services to a client in Finland certificate of any fringe benefits from the employer or client marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Highly skilled work

You can apply for an EU Blue Card or a residence permit for specialists if you’re in Finland because you’re:

transferring from a UK-based company to a branch in Finland employed by a company in Finland on a Finnish contract providing services to a client in Finland for a UK company

EU Blue Card

To qualify for an EU Blue Card you must:

have an employment or assignment offer for at least 1 year from a sponsoring organisation in Finland have at least 3 years’ education at bachelor’s degree level make sure the duties you’re expected to carry out match your professional qualifications or expertise meet monthly income requirements This permit takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s usually valid for 1 or 2 years. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for an EU Blue Card residence permit or submit a paper form (as a special expert) to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay degree or other qualification certificate job description signed employment contract with the company in Finland proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Residence permit for specialists

To qualify for a residence permit for specialists your work must require special expertise. You must also:

meet minimum monthly income requirements have a bachelor’s level degree

You could be:

transferring from a UK company to a branch in Finland employed by a company in Finland on a Finnish contract providing services to a client in Finland for a UK company

This permit takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s usually valid for 1 or 2 years. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for residence permit or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay degree or qualification certificate job description signed employment contract with the company in Finland, if applicable signed assignment letter from the UK or Finnish company, if you’re on assignment service agreement, work order or invitation letter from a client in Finland if you’re providing services proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Work that doesn’t require a higher education (‘employed worker’)

You can apply for a residence permit for an employed worker if:

you don’t have a higher education your degree is not recognised in Finland

It’s also known as a worker residence permit. You could be:

transferring from a UK company to a branch in Finland employed by a company in Finland on a Finnish contract providing services to a client in Finland for a UK company

To qualify you must:

have an employment or assignment offer from a sponsoring organisation in Finland meet minimum monthly income requirements (unless a collective agreement is in place)

Finland’s authorities will usually carry out a labour market test to check that there are no suitable local candidates for the role.

The worker residence permit takes 3 months to get. It’s usually valid for 1 or 2 years. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for a residence permit or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form appendix to the permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay signed employment contract with the company in Finland, if employed in Finland signed assignment letter from the UK or Finnish company, if you’re transferring to Finland service agreement, work order or invitation letter from a Finnish client, if you’re providing services proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family medical examination results may be required certificate of paid taxes or certificate of tax debts (no more than 3 months old) report on the number of employees in the company, with a breakdown of full and part-time workers – from your employer report on recruitment of workers from Finland’s, the EU’s, Iceland’s, Liechtenstein’s, Norway’s and Switzerland’s labour markets – from your employer

They also usually need certificates of your Finnish employer’s statutory insurance premiums:

insurance company certificate for TyEL insurance (employer’s pension insurance) accident insurance employment fund certificate for unemployment insurance (no more than 3 months old)

Entrepreneurs

You’re classed as an entrepreneur in Finland if any of the following apply. You’re:

a private entrepreneur who has an individually-owned business a freelancer a partner in a general corporation a general partner in a limited corporation (not a silent partner) a member of a cooperative with unlimited liability for refinancing (the unlimited obligation to contribute has to be registered in the trade register) a shareholder in a managerial position for a limited liability company (LLC), such as a managing director or member of the board of directors in a managerial position at a company that’s not a LLC if you own at least 30% of the company’s share capital, or have at least 30% of votes produced by the company’s shares – if not you must have a similar level of authority

To qualify for a residence permit for an entrepreneur you must:

have registered your business with the Trade Register at the Finnish Patent and Registration Office, unless you’re a private trader earn your living primarily from your business

If you’re a private trader you can set up your individually-owned business after you arrive.

An entrepreneur permit takes 11 to 12 months to get. It’s usually valid for 1 year. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for a residence permit for an entrepreneur or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK Trade Register extract (or explanation of why the company hasn’t been registered) business idea description information about your business premises report on the number of employees professional qualification certificates proof of assets and other income most recent financial statements if you’re already in business recent updated accounts if you’re already in business calculation of profitability for the next 2 years if you’re not yet in business copies of signed agreements with customers and partners (if you have any) marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Start-up entrepreneurs

To qualify for a residence permit for a start-up entrepreneur you must:

get a positive eligibility statement from Business Finland before applying for the permit have enough money to cover your living costs in Finland

The start-up entrepreneur permit takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s usually valid for 1 year. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for a residence permit or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK eligibility statement from Business Finland – up to 2 months old from the date of applying if it’s your first time applying for this permit type recent financial statements recent updated accounts (income statement and balance sheet) marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Research work

You qualify for a residence permit for a researcher if you’re in Finland for any of these reasons:

carrying out scientific research studying for a licentiate degree working on your doctoral dissertation

You must also:

have a signed hosting agreement or employment contract with an authorised research organisation in Finland have either a PhD or a qualification that will allow you to start a PhD, such as a master’s degree meet monthly income requirements if there’s no general collective agreement in your sector have enough money to cover your living costs in Finland if you don’t have an employment relationship

The researcher residence permit takes 4 to 8 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 or 2 years. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for a residence permit for scientific research or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) once in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK signed hosting agreement or employment contract with the research organisation in Finland PhD or master’s degree certificate proof of income if there’s no legal relationship between the research organisation and you, the researcher marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Science, culture or arts work

You need to apply for a residence permit if you’re working in science, culture or the arts.

To qualify you must:

have an employment contract or agreement with an employer in Finland work professionally in science, culture or the arts be conducting scientific research if working in science have a bachelor’s degree, other relevant professional qualifications, or belong to a professional association meet income requirements

This permit takes 8 to 16 weeks to get. It’s valid for up to 1 or 2 years. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for residence permit or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK signed employment contract or agreement with the employer in Finland work experience references from your previous employers – in science, culture or the arts degree certificate marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Athletes, trainers or coaches

You need to apply for a residence permit for sports or coaching if you’re working in Finland as an athlete, trainer or coach.

You don’t need a visa or permit if working for up to 90 days.

To qualify you must:

be a professional athlete, coach or referee be employed by a sports club or employer based in Finland have a Finnish employment contract meet income requirements

This permit takes 4 to 16 weeks to get. It’s usually valid for 1 or 2 years. You can extend it if you meet the required conditions. It can lead to permanent residence if you meet the criteria.

If you have a family they can join you with this permit type.

How it works

You need to check with Finland’s embassy on the exact process. This is a rough guide to help you prepare.

You apply online for a residence permit or submit a paper form to the Finnish Immigration Service.

You attend an identification appointment at Finland’s embassy or at the Finnish Immigration Service if you’re already in Finland.

You register at the Digital and Population Data Service Agency (DVV) in Finland.

You register with Finland’s tax authorities and get a tax-withholding card or advance tax payment slips, if paying taxes in Finland.

Application documents

Finland’s authorities may request different documents at different stages of the process. Documents can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Usually they need:

completed permit application form MP1 form if you’re already in Finland and applying for your first residence permit UK passport for you and any dependants, valid for the duration of your stay degree or qualification certificates proof that you’re legally living in the country you’re applying from if it’s not the UK signed employment contract with your employer in Finland or employing sports club work experience certificates or references from previous employers and sports clubs evidence of sports club membership marriage certificate, if applying with family birth certificates of any children, if applying with family

Finnish government guidance

Read official Finnish government information on visas, work permits and residence permits.

Check for travel changes

European governments may update or change their rules without notice.

You should always check foreign travel advice for Finland for updates on issues such as safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings before travelling, or planning to travel.

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