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FINLAND – Changes to Residence Permit Application Procedures; and New Posted Worker Notification Requirement

Effective 10 November 2016, the time limit for residence permit and EU registration applicants to prove their identity in person and submit original documents has increased from one month to three months.

Also, effective 11 November 2016, applications for a residence permit on the basis of family ties can be submitted online.

Effective 1 January 2017, the Finnish Immigration Service will be responsible for accepting applications for residence and citizenship permits, rather than the police, as currently.

Also from later in 2017, any employer in another country posting employees to work temporarily in Finland must report the posting before work begins.

Proving Identity

From 10 November 2016, an applicant will have to prove their identity in person and submit original documents within three months, rather than one month as previously.

The change also applies to applicants who submitted their online application, before 10 November, but have not yet proved their identity. As an example, if an application was submitted on 9 November 2016, the applicant needs to prove their identity by 9 February 2017 at the latest.

For an application from abroad, the applicant needs to book an appointment at a Finnish mission to prove their identity. For an application in Finland, the applicant needs to visit a police department until the end of 2016 and a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service starting from the beginning of 2017.

Applicants have to prove their identity in person after submitting an application for a residence permit, EU registration or Finnish citizenship via the e-service Enter Finland. The application will be put in in the processing queue immediately after the applicant has proved their identity.

The applicant must take their passport to the appointment, along with a passport photo and the originals of any documents they submitted in support of their electronic application.

Family Residence Permits

From 11 November 2016, applicants for residence permits on the basis of family ties can apply online using the e-service Enter Finland.

Each adult applicant must create their own user account. An application for a minor must be submitted through their parent's or guardian’s user account.

Paper applications can still be made, in case of technical or language-related issues.

Change of Authority

All permit matters for foreign nationals will be handled by the Finnish Immigration Service starting from 1 January 2017. Until now, the police has been in charge of in-country initial applications and extension applications for residence permits, permanent residence permits, EU registration and Finnish citizenship.

Visa extension applications and decisions remain the responsibility of the police.

Applications must be submitted to the police until the end of 2016. From 1 January 2017, applicants can submit applications online using the e-service Enter Finland, and book an appointment at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service to prove their identity.

Posted Worker Notification

Effective later in 2017, any employer, based either within or outside the EU, posting employees to Finland to perform work under a service contract, as an internal transfer within the same group of companies or as a temporary agency worker, must notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH) in Finland.

The notification must be given immediately before the work agreed upon in the contract starts. Reporting is not needed when workers are transferred within the same group of companies for a maximum of five days, except when the company operates in the construction sector.

The means by which the notification must be made have not yet been announced, but the notification must contain:

  • Identifying details of the company, contact information, foreign tax identification number and information on the responsible persons of the posting company in the country where the company is established;
  • Identifying details and contact information of the contractor;
  • Identifying details and contact information of the builder and the main contractor for companies in the construction sector;
  • Estimated number of posted workers
  • Identifying details and contact information of the postings company´s representative in Finland or information indicating why a representative must not be selected;
  • Starting date of the posting of workers and the estimated duration of the posting;
  • Place where the work will be carried out;
  • Branch in which the worker will work.

The posting company must immediately report any significant changes to this information during the posting.

Should the posting company not fulfil its reporting duty, it will be required to pay a penalty fee for negligence.

Action Items

  • Expect some delays in residence permit and EU registration processing as the Finnish Immigration Service takes on new responsibilities from 1 January 2017.
  • Employers posting workers to Finland must ensure comply with all relevant notification rules.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Finland Relocation Services.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.