There have been some recent changes in Finland’s visas:
- Fast-track processing is now available for eligible employment-based permit types, this has reduced processing times to two weeks for certain application types.
- Visa nationals can now seek a D Visa to enable travel to Finland, opposed to waiting for the creation of their residence permit card.
- These changes to visas are intended to attract skilled workers to Finland as labour shortages in key sectors continue to restrict growth across Europe, by facilitating and streamlining the immigration process.
Fast track processing.
Two-week fast-track processing is now available for specialists, start-ups, EU Blue Card and EU Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) Permit applicants; and family members of these applicants.
- To be eligible for the Fast tract service, the applicant must include the terms of their employment on the Finnish immigration online system application ‘Enter Finland’ within two business days after they have submitted their application. Their employer must create logins in ‘Enter Finland’ for this purpose.
- The applicant must also pay the application fee in ‘Enter Finland’ and verify their identity within five business days of submitting the application.
- Applications are processed within two weeks of submitting biometric data.
- Applications will be processed in two weeks, down from one to four weeks for Specialists, one to three months for EU Blue Cards and EU ICT Permits, and two to four months for start-ups.
- Applying from abroad via a fast-track is expected to allow visa-exempt applicants to bypass one to three-month waiting times to schedule an in-country biometrics appointment.
- Although visa-exempt Specialist Permit applicants can start working before filing their application, in-country appointment scheduling delays and lengthy government processing times caused a significant work authorization gap even for these individuals.
D Visa scheme now open.
Visa nationals can now apply for a D Visa.
- Visa nationals can apply for a D Visa with their online fast-track application. These applicants submit their passport when submitting biometric data and receive their passport with a D Visa sticker once their residence permit is approved.
- Visa nationals can also apply for a D Visa separately via hardcopy application if ineligible for fast-track processing. The D Visa will be affixed upon residence permit approval.
- Visa nationals can travel to Finland and start working with their D Visa sticker.
- The benefit of the D Visa is that successful applicants can travel to Finland immediately upon approval with their D Visa sticker, instead of awaiting creation of a residence permit card which takes two to four weeks.
The Finnish government is exploring various methods of attracting and retaining foreign talent, including the recent introduction of a jobseeker permit, measures to improve integration of migrants already resident in Finland, and ongoing efforts to reduce immigration processing times for all employment- and study-based permits (including those ineligible for fast-track processing).