Finland tightens residence permit rules

Published 6 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The prime minister's palace in Helsinki.

Finland has started to tighten the rules for residence permits in the country. Language requirements will be introduced and the aim is to ‘encourage’ immigrants to respect the laws and regulations of society.

Last autumn, the Finnish government announced plans to tighten the rules governing residence permits in the country. The Ministry of the Interior has now initiated a government proposal on the issue.

The aim is to encourage newcomers to respect the rules of society, work and learn the language. In addition, the length of residence, i.e. the time a person has lived in Finland, should be extended from four to six years as a requirement for a permanent residence permit.

Knowledge of Finnish or Swedish would also be introduced, to be proven by a language test. In addition, the person must not have a criminal record and must have worked continuously for two years. Furthermore, the applicant’s identity must be verifiable, which also means that the applicant must actively contribute to the investigation of his or her own identity.

“Successful integration”

“A prerequisite for a permanent residence permit is successful integration”, writes the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.

In some cases, the six-year residence requirement can be waived in favour of the old four-year requirement if the applicant has an annual income of at least €40,000 or a university degree obtained or recognised in Finland and has worked for two years.

The six-year residence requirement may also be waived if the applicant has a particularly good knowledge of Finnish or Swedish, as demonstrated by a language test, and has worked continuously for three years.

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