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Immigration by keyword legislation

Various permits may be needed for entering Finland and staying in the country, depending on the nationality of the individual and the reasons for entering the country.

Nordic citizens are free to enter all Nordic countries. Other Nordic citizens staying in Finland must, however, register at a local register office if their residence exceeds six months. Citizens of EU Member States can freely work, study and reside in another EU country if they can support themselves financially. A stay exceeding three months must be registered with the local police.

People from non-EU countries who come to work or study in Finland need a residence permit.

A person of Finnish extraction or with some other close connection with Finland can also obtain a residence permit. A Finnish citizen who has lived abroad can come back without any restrictions.

Finland may grant protection or a residence permit to asylum seekers. Each asylum seeker’s application
is processed on a case-by-case basis. Individual residence permit issues and asylum applications are handled by the Finnish Immigration Service. The Finnish Police is the primary authority in matters related to extended permits and residence of EU citizens. The Finnish Immigration Service takes decisions on granting Finnish nationality and on repatriation and deportation.

Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) have regional responsibility for immigration and integration. The local authority, in collaboration with the ELY Centres, makes arrangements and delivers services to promote and support the integration of immigrants.

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Page updated on 14.01.2014

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Suomi.fi editorial team | State Treasury